Resistant Media – NxT

In 1999 ANAT worked very closely with NxT – Northern Territory Xposure, the Territory’s first Multimedia Symposium on the development of their program. The final stage of the Resistant Media program, NxT was a five day intensive examination and exploration of new media arts. In particular we worked closely with the NxT steering committee on the development component of the Symposium to take place at the Ski Club (adjacent to the NT Museum and Art Gallery, where the conference component of the symposium is to take place) which also became the third component of the resistant media project.

The Symposium organisers equipped the space with access computers and secured Telstra sponsorship to install an ISDN line to the venue. This then provided a fabulously convivial and accessible space where new ideas were discussed and developed collaboratively.

Resistant Media at the NxT symposium was intended as a space for accessing the net, holding informal workshops and discussion on artists uses of communications technologies and discussion and development of tactical media projects.

Australian participants were: Martin Thompson (aka FTR) who held workshops and developed a collaborative project using hotline; Josephine Starrs who developed workshops around computer games and a discussion around the blurred boundaries between interactive art and computer games; Sam de Silva, a media artist and activist who has spent time in the NT over the last year, in particular working in Kakadu on the Jabiluka campaign. Sam was involved with online media aspects of that campaign and is interested in the use of media strategies to
make campaigns more effective. Ian Andrews – of Disco Stu, Video Subvertigo, clan analogue, hypnoblob, battleship potato & horse he’s sick fame – presented and discussed video work Disco Stu and activist strategies also performed at the NxT nightclub event.

Shuddhabrata Sengupta from New Delhi, India and Geert Lovink from the Netherlands also presented at the event, exploring and discussing the internet and communications technologies and their uses for tactical media strategies.They particularly focused on uses of internet based communication technologies in conflict zones, citing recent examples in Kaigil, Bosnia and Blegrade. Rob Wesley-Smith from Darwin also demonstrated and discussed uses of radio from remote locations and sites of conflict focusing on the Northern territory and East Timor.

Most importantly, we attempted to work with local people in Darwin to ensure that local communities could feel comfortable in gaining access to this space to explore new territories and develop dialogue relevant to the local situation in Darwin. Given that the event coincided with periods of conflict following the elections in East Timor, we particularly tried to target the local East Timorese to provide possibilities for accessing information through the internet in this space.

Resistant Media also operated as an access space, where facilities will be available to all participants of the NxT Symposium to experiment, discuss new ideas for collaboration and conceptualise new strategies for media activism. The presentations and the conference party were also streamed live to the web and a number of people were able to participate remotely via CU-SeeMe.

The Resistant Media – NxT Multimedia Symposium in Darwin provided space for net access, workshops and discussion of tactical media projects.

“It is really hard to express to you how much I appreciated ANAT’s incredible contribution to the NxT Symposium. Your team of artists, which included Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Geert Lovink, Josephine Starrs, Ian Andrews, Sam De Silva and Martin Thompson were absolutely brilliant and took great care in sharing information and skills with Territorians that they could apply to their work in the future. This type of “collaboration” was significant throughout NxT and really helped to give the Symposium a very warm feeling.” – Mary Jane Overall, NxT Coordinator.
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