Digital culture, networked culture

ART-idea’s Director, Diane Dodd attended this years edition (2013) of the Iberoamerican Congress in Zaragoza (Spain), 20-22 November 2013.  This was the 5th Congress meeting and had as its theme Digital Culture and Networked Culture. More than 1,400 registered attendees with 12 Latin American official delegations, 174 speakers, 21 panels, 20 digital experiences, 21 projects of cultural entrepreneurship as well as live streaming. Some of the videos of the presentations that took place in the auditorium of the Conference Centre can now be seen on Youtube.

The 1st edition of the Iberoamerican Congress took place in Mexico City (Mexico) in 2008 on the theme of cinema and audio-visual arts. In 2009, São Paulo (Brazil) was the city chosen as the host under the slogan “Culture and social transformation.” Medellín (Colombia) hosted the 2010 edition, designating the Ibero-American musical scene as its central theme and in 2011, the Congress was organized in Mar de Plata (Argentina) focussing on the relations between culture, politics and popular participation.

The congress in Zaragoza aimed to cover some of the great challenges posed to the more traditional world of culture by the web 2.0 revolution, as well as, to showcase the countless possibilities this new context also offers the cultural sector. Networked culture and the facilitation of relations between institutions, initiatives and countries geographically far apart provided by new technologies was also a key aspect.

Areas discussed included digitalisation as:
– an attention diverter from real issues, real culture and direct experiences;
– a way to reach new audiences and advertise products and services;
– a tool for co-creation and new interaction with audiences;
– a way of taking culture into people’s homes;
– something that could/should appeal to the 2nd (more glamorous) life of citizens;
– a space that should be inclusive (just as important as audience development in physical spaces);
– a new genre with its own characteristics

The varied and multiple uses of digital technology as a tool, a communicator and an arts expression generated much discussion.

And, in conclusion, despite all its frustrations and challenges, digitalisation is here to stay…

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