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  Relaunch: Public Netbase becomes "Netbase"
Re-positioning in a new setting

"Changes in our setting require a re-thinking of media-cultural practice and a corresponding adjustment of our fields of activity and our socio-cultural offerings." A series of funding cuts and the consequent discontinuation of a number of services have prompted the Vienna-based net culture group, previously known as Public Netbase, to re-position itself.

According to its director Konrad Becker, "the political developments and the resulting restrictions have made it necessary to adapt the organizational profile to the circumstances". As a first response to the Federal Government's long-standing hostility against critical cultural and media practice, the group will move into a smaller location. "This change should also be reflected in our name", said Becker. "Public Netbase becomes Netbase!"

"The relaunch will make it possible to provide an open space available for cultural exchange and artistic work. It is an attempt to deal with the situation in a productive way." Netbase is an important node in an international network and will continue to live up to this role in the realms of theory and dissemination. Within the re-positioning, discursive and project-oriented activities will become a priority.

The net culture group will also continue to critically engage with issues of technological control in society, semiotic democracy, intellectual property, and free access to information and education. New forms of artistic practice in the information society will also be a central concern. Still before the summer, new project activities will be presented, most of whom involve close cooperation with international partner organizations. The first such event will be a two-day symposium and a workshop program in June 2005. Invited guests from Southeast Asia will discuss global issues of democratic participation in relation to urban development and new communication technologies.

In November 2005 the net culture group will organize the World-Information City Festival in Bangalore (IN) as part of its EU- sponsored World-Information.Org project. The new Netbase caters for artists and cultural workers and to all who require independent infrastructure. "The situation remains critical for all of the remaining staff members. However, the importance of independent media-cultural pratice is greater than ever, and acts as a strong motivation for all of us", Becker concluded.
 
 
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