Next 5 Minutes links art and politics

September 2003 -

The Next 5 Minutes festival, from 11 to 14 September in the Balie in Amsterdam, continually blurs the interface between art/culture, development, activism and media technology. It is a meeting place for artists, activists and media makers. Visitors can present their ideas and projects, both within the program and in the 'free areas'.

The intention is that visitors to Next 5 Minutes (N5M) are stimulated to come up with initiatives themselves that contribute to a better world. For example, N5M wants to show that you can do more than demonstrate on the streets. With new media you may be able to reach many more people (from a specific target group) much more effectively.

There are presentations, seminars, performances, film and video programs, discussions and installations, which are grouped around four themes. The Reappearing of the Public deals with the elusiveness of the public and studies new strategies for getting into contact with them. Deep Local focuses on media in local communities. The Tactics of Appropriation investigates the question of whether the fight for control of the TV screens has been definitively lost, now that business, government and terrorism have become extremely effective media tacticians. Finally, the theme The Tactical and the Technical deals with the political character of media technology.

Visitors with an interest in the subject culture and development can view the projects of the Bureau d' Etudes (Tactical Cartography), Archeopteryx (Packing Project) and Critical Art Ensemble (Mobile Transgenic Fast Food Test Lab).

The fourth edition of this festival is the result of the collaboration between organisations and initiatives from different parts of the world. The program is prepared in a series of so-called Tactical Media Laboratories. The laboratories are organised in a large number of cities, and will continue until shortly before the start of the festival. The first one took place a year ago in Amsterdam. There are also laboratories in Sydney, Cluj, Barcelona, New Delhi, New York, Singapore, Birmingham, Nova Scotia, Berlin, Chicago, Portsmouth, Sao Paulo, Moskou, Dubrovnik and Zanzibar. The results are published in a web journal.