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 WORLD-INFORMATION.ORG                                                                          h t t p : / / w o r l d - i n f o r m a t i o n . o r g

 World Summit on the Information Society   World-Information City
 TUNIS | 16-18 November 2005               BANGALORE | 14-20 November 2005                                                                                              WORLD-INFORMATION CITY

Not too many cities have the distinction     cinema halls are broken down to give
of becoming words that are a part of         rise to new shopping malls cum multi­
language, and more                                                     plexes, and the
often than not when Bangalore symbolises the emergence current pride of
this distinction is of India as an IT superpower.                      joy of Bangalore
given to cities, it is                                                 is a huge shop­
generally as a pejorative. Thus, to be       ping mall called The Forum, boasting
‘sent to Coventry’ was an honour given       of a multiplex with Gold Class seats
only to criminals. The latest entry to the   which cost Rs. 500 (€ 9,30) per head.
list of city words is Bangalore, and in
the unofficial dictionary of the global      Unlike a city like Mumbai where the
information order, ‘to be Bangalored’        divide between the worlds of the urban
signifies the loss of one’s job in the first elite and the urban poor is still tied
world, through Business Process Out­         together by railway lines and the sheer
sourcing (BPO) to India or any other         narrowness of the city, in Bangalore
developing country.                          one can often forget the fact that there
Not content with its recent sobriquet,       are more than 700 slums accounting
Bangalore however intends to transcend       for almost 40 % of the population. The
its Bangaloreness, and instead aspires       relationship of these cities to their na­
to be Singapore. Thus all the official       tional location, which once made them
self representation of Bangalore posi­       hospitable sites for the poorer sections
tions itself as the Singapore of India,      who came there in search of livelihoods,
and this metaphor is not only at the level   has now completely changed.
of the symbolic, but also through the
various joint ventures between the Gov­      This urbanism in India has become a
ernment of Singapore and the Govern­         significant theatre of elite engagement
ment of Karnataka, as well as between        with claims of globalization. Consump­
a number of large private companies in       tion, "information" society and the new
Singapore and Bangalore. It is also not      economy, spatialised imprints of the
surprising that the Master Plan for the      media industry like multiplexes/malls,
proposed IT corridor, a massive plan to      and lifestyle and suburbia go hand in
create a corridor covering 7,500 hec­        hand with the cries of urban decay and
tares of land has been prepared by           pollution, and managing populations
Jurong, a Singaporean                                           that are increasingly
company.                                                        restless in the new
There is little doubt that
in the past ten years,                                          Co-existing parallel
Bangalore has attained                                          with these spectacular
almost a mythical sta­                                          global visions are also
tus as the Silicon Valley                                       networks of local
of India and emerged as one of the           economies, always lacking the infrastruc­
important nodes for the global flow of       tural provisions and state backing unlike
services, serving as the back end of         the IT companies, but equally mobile.
many corporations across the world.          This city weaves in its core the ‘unor­
Bangalore symbolises the emergence           ganized’ and ‘unplanned’ growth of the
of India as an IT superpower, and has        city, both economically and spatially. It
become a global city working in virtual      is here that the urban poor comprising
time with the US in terms of the provi­      a quarter of the city reside and carry
sion of IT enabled services. If dams         out trade in conditions that make a
were the most important symbols of           decent living standard unattainable.
post colonial India’s entry into the mod­    While the older illegal city of slums and
ern, the IT industry would represent the     squatters has been in existence for a
most important symbol of India’s entry       while, in the past ten years there has
into the global or into the new modernity    been another layer that has been inte­
marked by the pre-eminent position           grated into the experience and narration
given to knowledge based services.           of this illegal city. The proliferation of
                                             non-legal media practices ranges from
Bangalore now positions itself as the        pirated VCD's, DVD, MP3's to grey
pre-eminent ‘information city’, the ‘net­    market mobile phones and pirate book
work city’ and the                                                   sellers on the
‘Biotech’ city, and In Bangalore one can often forget the streets informs the
h a s a c t i v e l y fact that there are more than 700 slums tactile practices
worked to shed its accounting for 40 % of the population. and imagination of                                  WORLD-INFORMATION EXHIBITION
sleepy image as                                                      the illegal city. This
the Garden City or Pensioners Paradise.      is the other information city that exists,               The staging of Bangalore as a node through                                  How can we reflect on these contradictory
Besides, with the kind of urbanization       and it is certainly not unique to Banga­                 which we can explore various sites of informa­                              aspects of our cities and produce multiple
that one has seen in Bangalore in the        lore.                                                    tion politics offers multiple possibilities. The                            narratives and contingent ways of looking at
past decade, the only gardens that one                                                                project is designed to harness the collaborative                            reality, so as not to become locked into simple
is likely to see are the software parks.     The Media Market                                         energies of various disciplines, including artists,                         dichotomies between the corporate solutions
The growth in the upwardly mobile pro­
                                                                                                      media practitioners, software programmers,                                  and activist reactions?
fessional class in Bangalore has also        Media Markets represent a fascinating
                                                                                                      urbanists, and designers amongst others to                                  The exhibition is a dispersed show across
resulted in significant changes in the       aspect of the other information city. In
                                                                                                      investigate the idea of the world information                               different sites from Russell Market in Shivaji­
built up form of Bangalore. All the older    cities like Delhi a large number of these
                                                                                                      city.                                                                       nagar through Tasker Town to Cunningham
architectural forms are flattened to allow   spaces actually originate in the master
for high-rise apartments, most of which      plans of urban renewal where each of                                                                                                 Road. It is designed in such a way to facilitate
are high walled and have their own           the markets are imagined as early non                    While contending with the city as an informa­                               site-specific works, but also to allow for inter­
security. The only non-rich who can          spaces much like many of the malls of                    tion city is a part of this challenge, contesting                           action with different publics. The exhibition is
even enter these places are the people       today. But with the electronic revolution                the claim that it is only a global city and is not                          also stretched between these three points in
who work as domestic workers, garden­        of the eighties, there is a massive trans­               continuously being informed by the past is an                               the city (Russell Market, Cunningham Road,
ers etc. Old media spaces such as            formation of these spaces, and today                     equally important aspect of the exhibition.                                 Cubbon Park) so that the experiences, sights,

                                                                             CONTINUED ON LAST PAGE                                                                                                                     CONTINUED ON LAST PAGE


they are all seen as zones of IP wilder­               where one could get compilations re­          demand for grey ware. At the heart of                       For those who are less interested in the
ness where piracy and illegality are                   corded in the eighties and early nineties.    this extension of the visible has been                      question of legality v. illegality, and as­
rampant. In Bangalore, the names of                    These compilations were highly prized         the production of media commodities                         suming that we don’t have to go through
the various markets also signal to inter­              amongst music lovers, and intricate           outside the legal property regimes of                       the exercise of detoxifying the usual
esting networks of globality and desire,               systems of sharing and peer to peer           globalization.                                              accounts of piracy, there is a wider
which are very different from the global               distribution were in place, both for the                                                                  range of interesting issues that can arise
aspirations of the elite. The main media               sharing of information on which music         Copy culture and non-legal distribution                     in this other information city from ques­
markets in Bangalore include ‘Burma                    was available where,                                               networks have been                     tions around the production networks,
Bazaar’, ‘Honk Kong Bazaar’, ‘Singapore                as well as the music The proliferation of non-legal media          central to the spread                  the distribution nodes, the question of
Bazaar” and ‘National Market’, speaking                itself. Most of these practices informs the tactile practices of the media, in a                          livelihood, forms of circulation. As a
to interesting sets of connections. Since              c h e a p c a s s e t t e and imagination of the illegal city.     way that distinctions                  cinephile, I am particularly fascinated in
most of the grey market electronic prod­               stores ran without                                                 between the tech­                      the changing dynamics of the aesthetics
ucts usually originated from South East                any legal problem since copyright had         nological and cultural seem blurred in                      even within the pirate markets, there is
Asia before being indigenized and pro­                 not been as big an issue then as it is        daily life. A significant section of the                    an entire world of film for instance that
duced in India. In recent times, the ru­               now.                                          urban population derives their media                        has opened out in Bangalore as a result
mors of the Chinese take over have                                                                   from these networks. Using the tactics                      of the circulation of non Hollywood
been the more interesting phenomenon                   At the level of the everyday, the old         of the fragmentary city, the pirate net­                    foreign films, independent films, docu­
and the promise of cheaper electronic                  prohibition and regulation on the social      works have frustrated every effort of the                   mentaries, experimental films. I am inter­
goods has sparked off a new series of                  life of commodities have proved ineffec­      proprietary enforcement regime to con­                      ested in the question of how in a country
make-shift bazaars which all call them­                tive, urban residents are now assaulted       trol them.                                                  like India where censorship still prevails
selves, rather generically, “China ba­                 with a deluge of cultural products, cas­                                                                  severely for cinema, the grey market
zaars” selling everything from cheap                   settes, CDs, MP3s, VCDs, cable televi­        However with the increased visibility of                    emerges as the domain in which free
locks, emergency lights, toy cars to DVD               sion, grey market computers, cheap            these media spaces and the special                          speech can circulate without restriction.
players.                                               Chinese audio and video players, thou­        attention paid to them by copyright                         If on the one hand there is a shrinking
                                                       sands of cheap print flyers, and signage      enforcers, in recent times there has                        of older cinematic spaces (the recent
A number of these media markets are                    everywhere. What is remarkable here           been a shift from centralized markets                       closure of Plaza, Bangalore’s oldest
also what enables the creation of a                    is that the preponderance of these prod­      that served as the main distribution                        theatre to make way for a mall), there
market for the legal producers of con­                 ucts comes from the grey or informal          areas for non legal media commodities                       is also at the same time a massive ex­
tent. Much before the official entry of                sector, outside the effective regulation      to more fragmented and decentralized                        pansion of new media spaces which
players like Magnasound in India, the                  of the state or large capital.                neighborhood spaces where media                             dot not have the same claims upon a
appetite for sixties rock was met and                                                                commodities are available. Just as in                       public as older media forms did.
created through places like Free School                India today has the world’s second            the eighties the audio cassette moved
street in Calcutta. Most of the cassettes              largest music market, a large film indus­     the idea of the media commodity from                        Once we remove our legal lens, the
came from south east Asia even then,                   try with global dreams, a majority grey       the showroom to the market, there is a                      possibilities of the other information city
and it is interesting that there were                  computer market, hundreds of thou­            similar move where the non legal media                      are endless.
classifications of originals and copies                sands of tiny phone and word process­         commodity is moving from specialized
even within the grey market. Thus a                    ing shops and cyber cafés. And as if          spaces to the more quotidian and banal                      Lawrence Liang
cassette which had been smuggled into                  from the ruins of urban planning new          market spaces competing with vegeta­                        Alternative Law Forum
India from south east Asia would be an                 media bazaars, which supply these net­        bles, household goods etc. In cities like                    For the full text of this essay, please check
original, while a copy of it made in India             works, have emerged existing in the           Mumbai one sees a number of these                  
would qualify as a pirated copy, even                  cusp of legality and non-legality. Every­     media commodity sellers sharing spaces
though technically they were both pirat­               day a guerrilla war is raging, between        outside railways stations with other
ed copies. A number of the media mar­                  new intellectual property raiders, the        hawkers.
kets in Bangalore served as spaces                     police and unceasing neighborhood

   WORLD-INFORMATION EXHIBITION                        Information City enable us to think about some
    CONTINUED FROM TITLE PAGE                          of the larger contemporary questions around              WORLD-INFORMATION.ORG
sounds and smells along the way are part of            globalization?
the show, and is simultaneously being informed                                                           World-Information.Org was initiated by the Institute for New Culture
and broadened by the media and art projects.           • What happens when questions of identity,        Technologies / t0, Vienna and has a wide range of international
Rather than taking away the public from the            performance and labor merge, as in the case       experts, theoreticians and practitioners in its advisory board. Since
city into a white cube gallery space, the exhi­        of call center workers? How do we look at         the launch of the project under the patronage of UNESCO as a main
                                                       the peculiar experience of the city of ‘sleep     theme of the European Cultural Capital 2000 in Brussels, World-
bition seeks to situate the works in the city.
                                                       workers’?                                         Information.Org staged its extensive exhibition and conference
We would also like the exhibition to act as a                                                            program in Vienna, Amsterdam, Belgrade, and Novi Sad and presented
space for initiating future dialogue on issues                                                           at various European cities like London, Berlin, Munich and Helsinki.
of information politics from various avenues           • What are the kinds of conflicts taking place
of practices and disciplines.                          in the designing of the world information city,   Who owns the Internet? How does it really work? In what ways do new technologies transform
Some of the questions/themes addressed by              and in reshaping it around impossible visions     society? What is the impact of these technologies on daily life, work, culture and politics? How is
the exhibition are the following                       of Singapore, Shanghai or London?                 public opinion created? How do new information technologies reshape the very idea of the city?
                                                                                                         These are some of the important question that will be debated at “World-Information City”, World-
                                                       • Are there ways to examine the similarities      Information.Org’s Bangalore program.
• What does it mean to speak of a World
Information City? What are the conditions              and disjunctures between the nature, archi­
                                                                                                         "World-Information City" is a joint effort of European and South Asian civil society a global
and possibilities through which a city positions       tecture, and design of information politics and
                                                                                                         cooperation rooted in the diversity of Bangalore's Information Society projects and realized in
itself vis-à-vis the global through its relationship   their relation to the architecture and design     collaboration with Alternative Law Forum and Mahiti, Bangalore, as well as Sarai, Delhi, and Waag
to technology and information?                         of the city? Can, for instance, the metaphor      Society, Amsterdam. "World-Information City" focuses on cultures of Open Networks in technology
                                                       of the enclosures be used as much to under­       driven information societies and on issues of Intellectual Property and access to information.
• How do the official narratives of the informa­       stand digital processes as also to the built
tion city reconcile with other kinds of claims         up form of the city?
to the city? How does this official image relate
to the other information city, marked by non-          • How do new information technologies re­
legal media flows, fuzzy spaces of media               shape the very idea of the city, of planning
circulation such as cyber cafes, pirate media          and of design?
                                                                                                                                                   This info-paper has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union
markets?                                                                                                                                           as part of the project 'Towards a Culture of Open Networks' (
                                                                                                                                                   under the aegis of the E U-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme

• How does the idea of thinking through spe­           Namita Malhotra                                                                             The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of World-Information.Org
                                                                                                                                                   (t0/Institute for New Culture Technologies) and its partners and can under no
cific conceptual terms such as the World-              Alternative Law Forum                                                                       circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.
B A N G A L O R E , N O V E M B E R 14 – 2 0 , 2 0 0 5



           WEDNESDAY 16

               FRIDAY 18


                                                                                             WORLD-INFORMATION CITY CONFERENCE
                                                                                             17 – 20 November 2005                                                                                                                                                              WORLD-INFORMATION CITY EXHIBITION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                14 – 20 November 2005
                                                                                         The World-Information City conference in Bangalore 2005 will bring together
                                                                                         renowned European and South-Asian researchers on issues of information
                                                                                         economies and Intellectual Property Regimes related to the social dynamic of
                                                                                         emerging global information cities. The conference will look into how the city is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                World-Infostructure visualizes subject matter linked to various aspects of
                                                                                         affected by Information and Communication Technologies and the rise of electronic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the information society based on research by World-Information.Org on
                                                                                         surveillance and control.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                global communication networks, the global media market, global content
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                channels, global brain ware, global data bodies, global info rights and digital
                                                                                         Mapping interrelations of global information landscapes and urban transformations,
  WORKSHOPS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     security. Numerous information displays illustrate issues associated with the
                                                                                         of immaterial regimes and social realities, it highlights conflicts over the dominion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                development of digital media, new communication tools, and sophisticated
                                                                                         on knowledge, the implications of new information regimes on knowledge and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                technical instruments e.g. the increasing use of biometric devices. Special
  ´ Economy of the commons                                                               culture production and the zoning of the information city.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                displays will be developed relating to local issues of the World-Information
    Felix Stalder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                City Bangalore
  ´ Open sound workshops                                                                 Questioning the obsession over intellectual property rights and the new limitations
    Full disclosure and digital art – why programming matters                            imposed on digital information exchange, it explores arguments for the "Information
    Chris Kummerer                                                                       Commons", a democratically regulated information space with public accountability.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                WORLD-INFORMATION CITY EXHIBITION
    Interactive digital audio workshop                                                   This requires a vibrant culture of "Open Source", based on a plurality of agents
    Ralf Traunsteiner and Wolfie Christl                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The exhibition is s dispersed show across different sites from Russell Market
                                                                                         in the information landscape and the heterogeneity of collaborative cultural practices.
  ´ FOSS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        in Shivajinagar through Tasker Town to Cunningham Road. It is designed in
    Mahiti                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      such a way as to facilitate site-specific works, but also to allow for interaction
                                                                                         The two day conference addresses social and political questions related to neo-
  ´ Writing on the surface of the city                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with different publics. The exhibition is also stretched between these three
                                                                                         medievalism and information feudalism, as well as semiotic democracy and the
    Student broadsheet workshop by ALF and Sarai                                                                                                                                                                                                                                points in the city (Russell Market, Cunningham road, Cubbon Park) so that
                                                                                         psychological and structural qualities of urban development reflected in urban
  ´ Electronic media monitoring                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the experiences, sights, sounds and smells along the way are part of the
                                                                                         zoning and the rise of city states.
    Marko Peljhan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               show, and is simultaneously being informed and broadened by the media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and art projects.
                                                                                         With several hundred participants expected to take part in the event, live streaming                       ART/MEDIA WORKS
                                                                                         will enable an even wider international audience to follow the conference
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exhibition Curators: Namita Malhotra, Ayisha Abraham, Kiran Subbaiah
                                                                                         proceedings.                                                                                              ´ Electricity as network
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ashok Sukumaran
                                                                                         Confirmed speakers include David Lyon (CDN), Franco “Bifo” Berardi (IT),                                  ´ On voice culture and automatisme
                                                                                         Ravi Sundaram (IN) as well as other distinguished scholars and activist from                                Naveen
                                                                                         Europe and India.                                                                                         ´ Down the road
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Sheela Gowda
                                                                                         Conference Editors: Konrad Becker, Lawrence Liang                                                         ´ World Info City TV
       WORLD-INFORMATION CITY CAMPAIGN                                                   Conference Co-Editor: Shuddhabrata Sengupta                                                                 Shaina Anand
                                                                                                                                                                                                   ´ Cinematographic act, comics
      The World-Information City Campaign aims to raise awareness                                                                                                                                    ALF
      on issues of the information society in the public sphere and will                                                                                                                           ´ Age/sex/location
      introduce these themes into the urban environment of Bangalore.                                                                                                                                Raqs Media Collective
      Various media interventions will be located in different parts of                                                                                                                            ´ No_Des
      the city. Along with billboards, posters, stickers and traditional                                                                                                                             Raqs Media Collective
      Indian media forms like cut-outs, banners over streets and wall                                                                                                                              ´ Straigth 8 - Film Tales Part I
      paintings, monitors and digital displays will present key messages.                                                                                                                            Ayisha Abraham (film screening)
                                                                                                                                   EVENTS                                                          ´ Dancing on glass
      Projects presented include:                                                                                                                                                                    Ram Ganesh (play)                                                                 GUIDED TOURS
                                                                                                                                                                                                   ´ Untempered – a soundscape installation
                                                                                                                                  ´ PD-Network-Jam
      ´ Delinquents                                                                                                                                                                                  Rajivan Ayyappan                                                                 ´ Cities within Cities: Landscapes of Hydras and the Global Ideal
                                                                                                                                    Sound workshops results (participants)
        Ulrike Brückner                                                                                                                                                                            ´ Synchronizations 2                                                                 Solomon Benjamin
                                                                                                                                  ´ Alpine Drone Scapes
      ´ Good questions                                                                                                                                                                               Priyanka Dilip, Divya Viswanathan, Nishita Kavadia, Umang Bhattacharyya,         ´ Village-Radio Project Number 20
        Sebastian Luetgert                                                                                                                                                                           Michael Coburn (Srishti School of Arts)                                            Ashish Sen (VOICES,
                                                                                                                                  ´ Fables of reconstruction
      ´ Drawings                                                                                                                                                                                   ´ Melrose, Bangalore
        Elffriede                                                                                                                                                                                    Christoph Schäfer (sponsored by Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore)
                                                                                                                                  ´ For four for loops and four loops
      ´ You are free                                                                                                                                                                               ´ Makrolab – Electronic Media Monitoring
                                                                                                                                    Christoph Kummerer
        Paula Roush                                                                                                                                                                                  Marko Peljhan
                                                                                                                                  ´ Thought Thieves presentation of Winner projects
      ´ Who owns your knowledge?                                                                                                                                                                   ´ The square and the round god – an idea for a universal trajectory
                                                                                                                                    Thought Thieves is a short film showcase about corporate
        Dominik Hruza                                                                                                                                                                                (in the manner of a proposal for 12 German pop songs)
                                                                                                                                    appropriation of knowledge, culture, and creativity. It is a
      ´ United We Stand                                                                                                                                                                              Hilary Koob-Sassen
                                                                                                                                    grassroots response to the Micro$oft propaganda competition
                                                                                                                                    of the same name.


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