mikro was a Berlin initiative for the advancement of media cultures, a catalyst and an open and independent platform for projects, discussions and events.
In March 1998, fifteen artists, theoreticians, journalists, organizers and other cultural producers founded mikro e.V., a Berlin-based initiative for the advancement of media cultures. The founding members worked mostly in the field of independent media culture – from video art and electronic music, independent radio and TV production, to creative use of the Internet and digital multimedia technologies. What brought this multi-faceted group together was the need for a critical discussion of the cultural, social and political impact of media in the late 1990s. This discussion took place not only within the initiative itself, but also during events that addressed an interested public. In this way, during several years mikro e.V. constituted an independent Berlin-based platform for media critique.
mikro’s aim was the creation of a democratic media culture. It fostered the development of such a media culture by presenting and discussing the artistic and cultural applications of the digital, computer-assisted media in public events, including panel discussions, project presentations, conferences (Wizards of OS, Berlin, 1999), workshops (net.radio days '98, different spaces in Berlin, June 1998, http://mikro.org/Events/19980606.html) and accompanying publications (Print, Internet, CD-ROM). In the beginning of 2000 mikro initiated Rohrpost, a German-speaking mailing list for media and net culture, as well as the Bootlab (since July 2000), a cooperative work place and media lab located in Berlin-Mitte, next to where the WMF club was at the time.
Between March 1998 and March 2001 Mikro organized 31 monthly mikro.lounges which took place at the Berlin WMF club deal with specific questions of media culture (from copyright & music on the Net, cryptography & security, diasporic communities, "cooking pot markets" and the gift economy, to net art, political activism on the Net, software patents, and ICANN) and combined the different formats of video screenings, lectures, panel discussions and DJ sets. Besides inviting representatives of Berlin-based cultural initiatives and companies for a presentation of their work, mikro also invited guests from other parts of Germany or the world. In cooperation with national and international partner organisations, mikro invited experts from media culture to Berlin, thereby enriching cultural debates in the city.
Inke Arns, Tilman Baumgärtel, Andreas Broeckmann, Paschutan Buzari, Florian Clausz, Martin Conrads, Vali Djordjevic, Micz Flor, Golo Föllmer, Volker Grassmuck, Ulrich Gutmair, Anja Heilmann, Jörg Koch, Geert Lovink, Sebastian Luetgert, Diana McCarty, Ellen Nonnenmacher, Thorsten Schilling, Stefan Schreck, Pit Schultz, Cornelia Sollfrank.
The mikro e.V. association gradually dimished its activities and was finally dissolved in 2021.
- Joanne Richardson. MIKRO - initiative for the advancement of media cultures. Inke Arns interviewed. November 2001.