Deep Europe and Kosovo conflict: History of the V2_East/Syndicate network and beyond, Geert Lovink


Geert Lovink (1959, Amsterdam), media theorist, net critic and activist, based in Sydney, studied political science on the University of Amsterdam. He is member of Adilkno, the foundation for the advancement of illegal knowledge, a free association of media-related intellectuals established in 1983 (agentur bilwet auf deutsch). He is a former editor of the media art magazine "Mediamatic" (1989-94) and has been teaching and lecturing media theory throughout Central and Eastern Europe. He is a co-founder of the amsterdam-based free community network 'Digital City' ( and the support campaign for independent media in South-East Europe "Press Now" ( He was the co-organizer of conferences such as "Wetware" (1991), Next five minutes 1-3 (93-96-99), Metaforum 1-3 (Budapest 94-96), Ars Electronica (Linz, 1996/98) and Interface 3 (Hamburg 95). in 1995, together with Pit Schultz, he founded the international 'nettime' circle which is both a mailinglist (in English, Dutch, French, Spanish/Portuguese, Romanian and Chinese), a series of meetings and publications such as ZKP 1-4, 'Netzkritik' (ID-archiv, 1997, in German) and 'readme!' (Autonomedia, 1998). From 1996-1999 he was based at De Waag, the society for old and new media ( where he was responsible for public research. A recent conference he organized was "Tulipomania dotcom" conference, which took place in Amsterdam, June 2000, focussing on a critique of the new economy In early 2001, he co-founded, a forum for Australian Internet research and culture which has its first publication out, launched at the first fibreculture meeting in Melbourne (december 2001).

Geert Lovink, Amsterdam

During the lecture, Geert Lovink dealt with phenomenon of mailing lists, occurrence of World Wide Web and the Internet in the nineties. In the beginning of nineties mailing lists, which in an interdisciplinary manner treated contemporary cultural and social phenomena, started to appear. Among the first ones was the "" as BBS (bulletin board system) and in the 1995 was founded and it dealt with phenomena of digital culture. "Syndicate" mailing list, ,was initiated by Western European and East European cultural activists and in the beginning represented platform for idea exchange, content exchange, advertising cultural events and competitions. In the first two years, considering that the number of people gathered around syndicate was relatively small, language of tolerance was predominant. Kosovo war became first serious ideological obstacle which caused significant conceptual disagreement of syndicate subscribers. In addition to this list became field for 'ambitious' artistic self promotions and exhibitions. For example, case of legendary "Netocka Nezvanovna", which tirelessly spamed and insulted members of mailing list, became subject of certain studies in the context of avant-garde and cyberterorism. Geert Lovink connected all this to a breakdown of Syndicate mailing list in August 2000 and decision of moderator to create new spectre mailing list.

As an efficient way of content exchange, Lovink suggests weblog system where subscribers do not get hundreds of junk mails, but specify which kind of content they are interested in. As an example of efficient weblog site, Lovink gives us