Frank Hartmann on 3 Jan 2001 21:38:43 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] CyberCulture declaration

[When last october the political leaders of the European Union and of
Asian Nations met for the third ASEM meeting in Seoul, Korea's president
Kim Dae-Jung announced the establishing of a "Trans-Eurasia Information
Network". On the occasion of this ASEM-meeting, the Asia-Europe Forum
invited experts to discuss the non-commercial issues of such networking,
which involves quite a list of questions concerning intercultural
communication - an inssue left aside by the sometimes self-assertive
discourse on cyberspace of US-origin. Together with some cultural
workers from Europe, I took part in this meeting held in Kyongju, my
report article was published a while ago on Telepolis:
One result of our struggle with englishes, opinions, fears, censorship
policies etc. is the declaration below, whatever this is good for. /FH]


We, participants in the Asia-Europe Forum on Culture in the Cyber Age
held from 23-25 October 2000 in Kyongju, the Republic of Korea,
organized by the Kyongju World Culture Expo 2000 and the Asia-Europe
Foundation(ASEF), have agreed to adopt this Declaration in the spirit of
promoting inter-regional and cross-cultural cooperation in the area of
new media culture in the rapidly emerging Cyber Age.


Appreciating the work of the organizers for their endeavour to enable
the participants to interact and exchange ideas and experiences related
to the subject,

Recognizing that the 3rd Asia Europe Meeting held from 20 - 21 October
2000 in Seoul has agreed on several initiatives to enhance IT
connectivity between Asia and Europe,

Acknowledging that efforts by the Kyongju World Culture Expo and ASEF
have proved very fruitful in establishing networks for cultural

Agreeing, therefore, that it is of utmost importance to emphasize that
exchanges between Asia and Europe are not confined to business and
government issues, but should encompass the non-profit and cultural

Confirming that the cultural diversity among the ASEM members should be
duly respected as it is a fertile ground for expanding and enriching the
cultural networks and exchange among them,

Reconfirming that it is important to keep moral issues and ethical
considerations in the foreground, because Cyber Culture is grounded not
only in existing cultural forms but also on new attitudes shared by the

Emphasizing the internationally recognized general principles of the
freedom of expression and the free flow of information,

Recognizing that the Internet is a relatively inexpensive and effective
medium for communication with a large group of people who may or may not
share the same set of fundamental values,

Acknowledging, therefore, that this is an opportunity that must be
harnessed to optimize its potential for Asian and European countries to
share their wealth of cultures and also breed new ones,

We declare that the following recommendations be respected and


To assess the achievements of the ASEM members in Cyber Culture and
Internet specific art;

To conduct a survey of software currently available and under
development in the cultural sector with an emphasis on open source
software in order to support exchange of expertise in developing
applications for this sector according to local needs;

To create a database in Asia and Europe of different networks existing
in the cultural sector encompassing visual arts, applied arts,
performing arts, architecture, various elements of popular culture,
etc., since these networks link experts and interest groups regionally
and a database of this nature would help professionals and organizers to
interact and audiences orient themselves concerning the resources

To establish programmes to encourage dialogue mediated by cyber
technology to help explore cultural differences;

To support and monitor non-profit activities that foster training and
involvement of local users of new technology so that content production
does not merely remain in the hands of the professional media producers;

To provide a forum to safeguard the interests of cultural producers on
the Internet in terms of copyrights and intellectual property rights;

To support exhibitions and distributed forms of public presentation such
as webcast for both existing art forms and art created specifically for
the new media;

To translate key documents in the field of new media policy and critical
theory in relation to culture in order to avoid reinventing the wheel as
a useful tool for comparing local needs and expertise; and

To encourage the free flow of information and balanced dissemination in
response to the diverse and increasing demands of the citizens of the
ASEM countries.


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