New Media Workers across Asia and Europe

From: July 08, 2010 To: July 11, 2010

Chen Hangfeng, Beautiful New World (2008)

New Media Workers across Asia and Europe: Research Platform for Interregional Collaborations


The central concept that frames this initiative concerns the conditions of labor and life among new media workers in Asia and Europe. Inviting new media practitioners from Asia and Europe to collectively analyze and discuss their work practices with artists and civil society organizers provides an innovative means of tracking transformations in the web-based industries and encouraging dialogue between the regions. In Europe, images of new media practitioners as either exploited precarious workers or free creative spirits abound, but have these same stereotypes proliferated in Asia? What are the cultures of creativity and work that frame these practices? Bringing together various actors whose intellectual, artistic and social expressions confront these questions is highly relevant to policy making that seeks to address the changing relations between culture and economy as well as the ongoing transformations of borders and regions.


7 July: Organizer's meeting, arrival of participants

8 July: 1.30-6pm - Interviews with participants, Goethe Institute

9 July: 10.30am-5.15pm - Seminar at Goethe Institute

9 July: 6-8pm - Public screenings of videos from participants, Goethe Institute

10 July: Field research

11 July: Field research, interviews and film screenings



Venzha Christ

Mauricio Corbalan

Chen Hangfeng

Maurizio Lazzarato

Geert Lovink

Anja Kanngieser

Angela Melitopoulos

Brett Neilson

Ned Rossiter

Shveta Sarda

David Teh

Soenke Zehle

Manuela Zechner



7 July

Organizer's meeting, arrival of participants


8 July

Interviews with participants, 1.30-6pm, Goethe Institute, 101 Cross Tower, Fu Zhou Lu 318, crossroad Shandong Lu

20.00 - Dinner: Guyi (No. 87 Fumin Road, near Huashan Road  富民路87号,近华山路 - 62495628) 


9 July

Seminar at Goethe Institute, 10.30am-6pm

9.45 - Bus arrives at no. 70 Donghu Lu

10.15 - Arrive at Goethe Institute, 101 Cross Tower, Fu Zhou Lu 318, crossroad Shandong Lu

10.30 - Introduction: Soenke Zehle and Ned Rossiter

10.30-11.00 - Participant introductions


11.00-12.30 - Round Table 1: Chen Hangfeng, David Teh, Shveta Sarda. Discussant: Ned Rossiter

Framing questions: How does the economization of new media work shape the aesthetics, values and culture of production in Asia and Europe? How does service labour define the urban, social and cultural geography in cities across Asia and Europe? How might we see connections or common conditions between service and so-called creative labour? Is there any political potential or analytical traction to be gained from the production of the common? What are some of the dynamics of movement that define the migration of labour (both low- and high-skilled, foreign and domestic)? How might such mobilities be registered and what analytical purchase does that offer? (i.e. what are some of the cartographic methods through which movement is made concrete?).


12.30-13.30 - Lunch


13.30-15.30 - Round Table 2: Venzha Christ, Mauricio Corbalan, Geert Lovink. Discussant: Soenke Zehle

Framing questions: What is the impact of intellectual property regimes (IPRs) on the circuits of production and distribution across Europe and Asia as geocultural regions? Do IPRs construct the borders of regions in distinct ways? And how do piracy networks contest such border regimes? What are some of the key commonalities/differences in the open source/peer-to-peer cultures in Asia and Europe?


15.30-15.45 - Break


15.45-17.15 - Round Table 3: Anja Kanngieser + Manuela Zechner, Maurizio Lazzarato, Angela Melitopoulos. Discussant: Brett Neilson

Framing questions: Does precarity mean anything at the level of labour organization among cultural workers in Asia? Europe rests with complacency in the false belief that it holds a monopoly on creativity and invention: 'Designed in Europe, Made in China'. But what of China and, more broadly, Asia's increasing transformation in terms of the systematic and haphazard organization of invention? When Europe is consigned as an edu-factory sweatshop that functions to generate commodities 'Made for Asia', how does that play into broader geocultural and geopolitical formations across Asia and Europe? What are the implications here for the production of subjectivity as it relates to the autonomy of creative labour and its organization?


17.15-18.00 - Informal drinks/snacks

20.30 - Dinner: Mei Lin Ge (1st Floor, World Trade Center, 500 Guangdong Road - near Hubei Road)


9 July

Public screenings of videos from participants, Goethe Institute, 6-8pm

Angela Melitopoulos + Maurizio Lazzarato

Chen Hangfeng

David Teh presents Nitipong Thinthupthai

Venzha Christ

Mauricio Corbalan

Anja Kanngieser + Manuela Zechner


10 July

Field research

20.00 - Dinner: Lapis Thai (285 Hunan Lu near Wukang Lu - 5466 3026)


11 July

Field research

14.00-18.30 - Video interviews with participants, Goethe Institute.

19.00-21.00 - Full length screenings of Assemblages (Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato, 2010) and The Language of Things (Angela Melitopoulos, 2008). Goethe Institute.

21.30 - Dinner: Yu Xin (3/F Zhaoshangju Plaza, 333 Chengdu Bei Lu, 成都北路338号招商局广场3楼 near Weihai Lu 近威海路 - 5298-0438)