Lecture "Kill the Object, Keep the Product", Micz Flor
Micz Flor is media developer and training consultant at the Center for advanced media - Prague, where he initialised Campware. Over the past years he has been working with independent media institutions in the South-East of Europe as well as Asia. Besides his work in consultancy, training and development, Flor has been organising a series of cultural events and symposia, most recently the exhibition "One Bit Louder" in Liverpool, "Moneynations2" in Vienna and "Flashlights" at the Pandaemonium biennial of moving images, London. In early 1999, Flor worked as content developer for Public Netbase Vienna, where he also co-edited the web/print publication 'Period After' concerned with the independent media development in FRY. In 1998, living in the UK he founded and co-edited the online/tabloid publication "Crash Media" and has been working in the gravitational environment of Mute magazine. Living in Manchester from 1998 to '99, he initialised the structure and architecture of the independent cultural server "Yourserver". Flor was involved in the organisation of the "Hybrid Workspace", a collaboration between Documenta x and the Berlin biennial, 1997 in Kassel. In 1998 he organised the temporary media lab 'Revolting' in Manchester.
Before moving to the UK, he set up Berlin's content provider art-bag.net and since then has contributed to and worked with Berlin's net.radio programme Convex TV. In 1996, he developed the web art project "Cybertattoo" in collaboration with Florian Clauß, which received the first German net.art award of the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1997. In 1998, Flor received the multimedia preis Der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart together with "Crash Media" co-editor Josephine Berry. Until February 1999, Flor had been teaching at Salford University, UK and working for the collaboration programme in Liverpool.
Micz Flor was talking about some elements of new network economy and changes that this new social environment has been made, like erosion of former social based economy - health and social insurance (we will always be young!) or diminishing borders between working and non working time. these temporary interest groups are consisted of specific project oriented informal partnership between different skilled participants in the project. Micz Flor was giving some 'advice's' how to act in this realm of new economy since the economic bubble burst - which became more of an earth-quake than a hard landing - new media and networking have lost their hard currency. But, have they lost their cultural currency? Micz Flor gave a cynical overview of the recent media-magic history with a positive outlook.
...Kill the Object, Keep the Product subject leads us to the question how you can develop a group, how you can use the network to work towards results and how the first stages of software developing and networking are still very much based in the idea of old economy, factory suitable economy. first thing is a little bit analysis of what is like to be working with new media; we are looking in culture - yes, but also we are trying to sustain our work and try to find mixed models of working with other people and towards your own interests, but also towards the busines interests.
... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, has a scenario working group and they also are trying to understand how 21st century will actually look like and there are two extreme scenarios that they came up with: one is called 'virtual countries' and another one is called 'network economy'. Virtual countries are for them globally acting conglomerates meaning that this is kind of mixed product, global multinational business ventures who are already in place, and you can say disney is one of them. These are kind of huge multinational coorporations who have minimal responsibilities towards states, which is interesting fenomenon, because not only can they shift they legal headcourters whatever states suits them, but also you can see, for example in european level, that there is an interest that low is surrounding business, more and more in a way that we set some gold posts, but in ther all business can do whatever they want. So, low is acctualy split into something which is consered with normal people and there are those globally acting conglomerates, they can do what ever they want to do basicly, as long they are paying taxes within that legal framework.
Intresting idea for the mit was to say that these companies are more and more actually look after their employes, so it will be long life care for employes, which is, if you think about, very much an idea that was before the industrial revolution when a lot of people in the country side would be in the life long dependency towards the people who had the peace of land, or today, or in the future a kind of companies surrounding them. and also the idea that virtual country will provide education, as well as social network, so you don't even have to leave, because thay pay for the birth of your children, they pay for your retirement, they educate you, they would put friends next to you ... Then on the other hand, there is a network economy, which is more or less the oposite. Its autonomous teams of maximum ten members, so it's very decentralized, small teams who are kind of contracted to, not build entire thing, but build small part of it. these teams or groups are basicaly consisting of freelancers and small enterprises; there is no big structure involved, just a small units. they are connected to eachother via network and time to live for these units is limited to the project, so they come together, do the work and then split up again.
... So, when you think about being flexibile that sounds good... thinking of being small business means that we don't want to be in a company, so it is unpopular to have paid holidays (you don't want that), christmas gratifications (that would parents have), pension funds (we are young anyway - who wants to grow old), health inssurance (we don't have time to even go to a doctor), trade unions (that is for steel workers from shefield but not for us young, flexibile people from new media). On the other hand, in is sleeping in the office, working on weekends because it needs to be finished on monday, rennovating derelict office spaces and shops and spend three months just rennovating the whole thing and pizza...