People, 1. -  3. October 1998
Lisa Haskel
Abstract: On one level, Syndicate is an electronic network, but only in the sense that its core mechanism is electronically based. However, its day to day reality is that it is a network of individuals working in many different localities with a number of shared concerns. Syndicate should not be taken as representative of anything beyond itself, or a reproducible model in any way, beyond the fact that its primary resource is the individuals that comprise the network and their knowlege, skills, connections, interests and resources.

In this important respect, Syndicate mirrors and reflects the local media cultures in which most subscribers also participate.

If syndicate illustrates anything else, it is the uncontainability of any network. Its strength is in the breadth, depth and variety of other networks - local, national and international - with which it is intermeshed. Syndicate shows how individuals, carrying with them different skills and expertise, migrate across sectors of cultural production and across local, national and international contexts. Arguably they move with as much if not more effectiveness than their "products".

Diversity, flexibility, strong and distinctive local activity and the opportunity to travel and meet people underpins the Syndicate network and is the basis of its culture. On one hand, barriers to movement of people and sharing resources between EU and non EU countries must be minimised. On the other, fostering such "international" activity must be seen as inseperable from supporting small-scale, emerging, local and experimental intiatives where such individuals work and ideas, working processes and innovative projects develop.

Biography: Lisa Haskel is an organiser, adminstrator and commentator in the field of media art and new media practice. Since 1985 she has organised public events that aim to promote discussion around the implications of media technologies within broader culture and to set media art practice in this context. She currently works part-time at the Arts Council of England where she is responsible for new media within the visual arts. She has been a subscriber to the Syndicate mailing list for more than two years.
Institution: Syndicate is not an institution but a network of individuals with a number of shared interests and concerns. Syndicate was originally set up to enable information sharing and networking between and across those working in the former-communist countries of central and eastern Europe, and those in "western" Europe who were interested in the potential of increased access to the full diversity of European media culture. Syndicate is an internet mailing list which circulates information and texts to around 300 subscribers. Crucially, however, Syndicate subscribers also meet and work together at occasions and on projects that may or may not come under a "Syndicate" banner.

panel 2 debate 1