How Europe can save the Internet

When the French MEP Kader Arif stepped down last week from scrutinizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, declaring that he "would not participate in this charade", it was the culmination of eight years of political lobbying, back-room deals and undemocratic conniving that now threatens to undermine the entire global Internet economy.


Two weeks ago, I stood in Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco with a group of Internet entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and journalists. Among them were Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr; Ron Conway, the legendary Silicon Valley VC; and nineties pop-rapper MC Hammer, now a startup entrepreneur.

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Semiconductor's commanding performance

Congratulations to Semiconductor, winner of last night's Samsung Digital Art+ Prize Award.


The work, Magnetic Movie, scoops the £10k first prize, with the second prize of £5k going to LuckyPDF.

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Up with the Assange

"So, tell me, Vladimir - if I may call you that - WHAT MAKES YOU TICK?"

Assange by Cea, CC licence

This and other golden moments are likely to be featured in a new chatshow series which Julian Assange is hosting for English-language Russian news station Russia Today, available on all of the digital platforms in the UK.

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Samsung Digital Art Prize comes to a head

The first Samsung Art+ Prize awards are about to be announced, by judges and by You The Viewers.

Samsung Art Prize

With the works showcased at the BFI until this evening, the awards are being announced tomorrow. The winner of the public vote receives a Samsung "Series 8 Smart TV", a beast which we only hope that they have space for.

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An ecology of mind

A true polymath, Gregory Bateson is well-known for his work in cybernetics, with Steps to an ecology of mind perhaps his most famous work: a collection of essays on anthropology, epistemology, and evolution.

Gregory Bateson, still from trailer

A film all about Bateson, called An ecology of mind and made by his daughter Nora, is shortly to be screened at the University of Westminster as part of a UK-wide tour.

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The future of the future

Contemporary culture is as much a product of its past as its future. The comforts of who we were are challenged by the anxieties of who we could be.

Leila Johnston, Chris Heathcote (photo by Matt Cottam) - reproduced with permission of the authors

In conversation to discuss these concepts and their relevance to culture, advertising, and society, are Leila Johnston and Chris Heathcote.

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Web museum takes shape

Work  has begun on the National Media Museum's gallery to explore the social, technological and cultural impact of the Internet and the Web. Opening on 30 March, Life Online is the world's first purpose-built gallery which explores these concepts.

Photo by courtesy of National Media Museum

With content ranging from historic analyses to specially-curated work, there's a lot to cram in to the £2m space.

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Gary Day-Ellison: Images of 2011

As the year closed, I asked this question on my blog:·What image made the most impact on you in 2011?

Gary Day-Ellison.Photo by courtesy of Gary Day-Ellison.

It was a simple question, which I elected not to expand on. There were no rules, but reasons for the choice were invited.

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Cultural coding

CultureCode is "... a series of free events designed to create an opportunity for North East cultural and digital communities to work closely together, increasing their understanding of each other's work and the mutual benefits of collaboration."

Come hell or high water by Akuppa John Wigham, CC licence

Taking place in February and March, CultureCode comprises a number of events, which all take place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne... and it's all free.

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A place is a space we give meaning

New magazine folio calls itself an "exhibition space on paper" and presents the work of several artists per issue. With print undergoing rapid and tumultous change, it's undoubtedly an interesting time to launch such a product.

Image supplied by courtesy of Paul Bailey / folio magazine

Editors Merve Kaptan and Charlie Coffey, artists themselves, commissioned graphic designer, lecturer, and co-founder of agency We Draw Lines Paul Bailey to produce "A place is a space we give meaning", a special work which explores the content within folio issue zero. How do we experience three-dimensional, sculptural, time-based and de-materialised work within a physical, two-dimensional environment? We invited Paul, Merve and Charlie to discuss the challenges of print and how the work came into being.

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The streets of your mind

Artist and former Imperica interviewee Max Dovey's new project, Yourhomepage, transforms Google Street View into a place where memories are explored – where we lived, the streets that we grew up in, and the areas which shaped us.

Max Dovey

We invited Max back to talk to us about his new project, and how Google Maps and Street View are being used to interrogate and reawaken our memories.

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What's happenin'

Out of the Arts Council England / NESTA / AHRC digital R&D fund has come Happenstance, a new project which "... aims to change the way arts organisations use technology."

Pic c/o Happenstance

The project will fund six residencies at Sheffield's Site Gallery, Bristol's Spike Island, and at the Lighthouse in Bristol. Each residency is funded to a total of £9k for twelve weeks.

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The beginning of the end

Coming to The Albany in London's West End in February, The Event is Leila Johnston's "series of preparatory meetings ahead of the 2012 apocalypse."

Leila Johnston. Photo by courtesy of Leila Johnston

The proposition of Leila's events is based on the now-well-recognised prophecies of the Mayans - and others - that the world will end in 2012. If that's the case, then hopefully we can get this event snuck in before the planetary shit goes down.

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Animal magic

Gardens and Zoos is a the title of a presentation that BERG's Matt Jones gave to In Progress, last month's event on new ideas and projects from It's Nice That.

Gardens & Zoos, copyright BERG

It's packed with commentary and thought - covering frying pans, dogs, houseplants, Siri, connected products, actor-network theory, Star Wars, the Palm Pilot, robots... oh, and everything.

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Intuition and ingenuity

Friends of Imperica Patrick Tresset and Anna Dumitriu have started a campaign on Indiegogo to fund and promote Intuition and Ingenuity, a touring art exhibition based on the life of Alan Turing and taking its name from Turing's own writings on mathematical reasoning.

Alan Turing by Patrick Tresset


2012 has been designated Alan Turing Year, marking 100 years since the birth of the great man (23/06/12 to be precise).

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Cave chatter

American artists Brad Troemel and Jonathan Vingiano have concentrated on a particular canvas for their art: the browser. Blind Mist, a collection of audience-input images, and Surfcave, an aggregator of images picked up through a browser plugin, are two recent examples.


They're captured in conversation by the folks at Bad At Sports.

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Ask Mel Croucher

Mel Croucher is a true pioneer in the history of video games in the UK. He is the founder of (in)famous software house Automata, whose work throughout the early 1980s is now considered to be pioneering in its use of multimedia and transmedia. The prize of Pimania was a golden sundial, hidden in an English hillside; Deus ex Machina came complete with a game-synchronised soundtrack featuring performances from Ian Dury and Jon Pertwee, among others. 

Mel Croucher. Photo by courtesy of Mel Croucher

Mel has been a guest of Imperica in the past and we're delighted to welcome him back for a reader Q&A.

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TCP/IP... with a Lego train set

Got a train set, an Arduino board, and some imagination?

Train with key by the_glu, CC licence

French hacker Maximilien has combined all of these to produce a working variant of TCP/IP through a Lego train set.

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Click watching

Bill Thompson and Gareth Mitchell are recording the BBC World Service show Click in January... in front of a studio audience.

Bill Thompson. Image by courtesy of Bill Thompson.

So, if you're free on the evening of 10 January and able to get down to central London, you can join them at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House.

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Into the next dimension

2011 seems to be the year where 3D printing really took off. Flexible, quick, and increasingly affordable, it has become a manufacturing and prototyping technique that is now a realistic option to designers and manufacturers, with 3D printshops springing up as a result.

Héloïse Parke. Photo by courtesy of Aram Gallery

London's Aram Gallery is celebrating the growth of 3D printing by opening an exhibition which focuses on work created and produced with a 3D printer. Called Send to Print / Print to Send, the exhibition showcases work by notable designers and organisations, as well as including examples of the role that 3D printing plays in the design process, particularly in prototyping.

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