Syndicate

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Syndicate was a mailing list, an open platform for exchange and cooperation in media culture in Europe. Founded in January 1996 on the last day of the festival Next 5 Minutes 2 in Rotterdam, where the meeting was attended by 30 media artists and activists, journalists and curators from twelve Eastern and Western European countries. The list enjoyed the most active period until 1999, and existed until August 2001 (then linking 500 members from more than 30 European and a number of non-European countries).

The original idea was to establish an East-West network as well as an East-East network. In the meantime, however, the Syndicate had increasingly developed into an all-European forum for media culture and art. Over the last few years the division between East and West had been growing less important as people cooperated in ever-changing constellations, in ad-hoc as well as long-lasting partnerships.

Andreas Broeckmann started administering the Syndicate mailing list after its installation on the server of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz in January 1996, helping people to subscribe, unsubscribe and post to the majordomo list. As the subscriber base grew from the original 30 subscribers to about 300 in 1998, Inke Arns joined in administering the list and - together with Arthur Bueno of the V2_Organisation in Rotterdam, who also maintained the Syndicate website and archive on http://www.v2.nl/syndicate from 1998-2000 - mostly managed the list administration through these years. In September 2000 after a server crash, the list was moved to a new server hosted by OpenOffice.de in Berlin, and switched from Majordomo to Mailman administration software.

The Syndicate meetings and workshops have been held regularly, in most cases as part of festivals and conferences. The main meetings have taken place at half-yearly intervals in Rotterdam (Sept. 96), Liverpool (April 97), Kassel (July 97), Dessau (Nov. 97), Tirana (May 98), Skopje (Oct. 98), Budapest (April 99), and Helsinki (Oct. 99), with many smaller meetings and joint projects, presentations and workshops happening in between. Readers edited by Inke and published on the occasion of some of the meetings (Rotterdam 1996, Ostranenie Dessau 1997, Junction Skopje 1998) have collected the selected texts from the mailing list in printed form.

The article is based on Inke Arns, Andreas Broeckmann, "Rise and Decline of the Syndicate: the End of an Imagined Community", 2001.

Publications
  • Inke Arns, Andreas Broeckmann (eds.), Reader of the V2_East / Syndicate Meeting on Documentation and Archives of Media Art in Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe, Rotterdam: V2_Organisatie, 1996. [1]
  • Inke Arns, Andreas Broeckmann (eds.), Deep Europe: The 1996-97 Edition. Selected texts from the V2_East/Syndicate mailing list, Syndicate Publication Series 001, Berlin, October 1997, 143 pp. [2] [3]
  • Inke Arns (ed.), Junction Skopje: The 1997-1998 Edition. Selected texts from the V2_East/Syndicate mailing list, , Syndicate Publication Series 002, Skopje, October 1998, 197 pp. Published on the occasion of the Ostranenie '97 festival at the Bauhaus Dessau. [4], Announcement.
  • Deep_Europe newsletter archive, Hybrid Workspace, Kassel, 1997.
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