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Cultural Exchange via Internet - Opportunities and Strategies
Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 12 October - 4 December, 1998

[as of December 1st 1998 the forum has been prolonged - ... open-ended]

Subject:Answer to Olu Oguibe
Date:Fri, 16 Oct 1998 09:45
Author:Pat Binder  []

Dear Olu Oguibe,

In my reference to the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale I said:
"...since its website has been lost in cyberspace ... for all of us who couldn't afford travelling, we have to believe - or not - the reviews...".
You wrote then:
" is a bit disappointing for anyone to say that if they can't find the url on the Internet, then we should rely on one review for our information on the biennale."
Maybe my English is not good enough to make my points clearly, my native language is Spanish. I am an Argentinian diaspora artist in Germany.

Regarding the Biennale's presence on the Internet - and I thought this forum focused on opportunities and strategies about the use of this medium - since I found the concept of Johannesburg pioneering for a biennale and so convincing and powerful, I spent a lot of my time promoting it among the Spanish-speaking users []. If you look in Altavista for pages in this language, from 26 search results, I did 21 of them. If you search Okwui Enwezor, from 14 search-results there are 12 and searching for Hou Hanru, the 4 results in Spanish are a product of my time. (It seemed that you haven't noticed this tiny contribution). I compiled the media coverage available on the net and I kept trying again and again to see if its official website was just down for a while or if they had removed it.

It is a real pitty, that the website of Johannesburg is no longer available, which is even more surprising for an event which seemed to be so aware of the possiblities of the new media, and which presented web-projects as part of it. Just to qoute Hou Hanru in an interview "The goal is to build a kind of bridge between the real and the virtual, so that people can perceive two aspects of the whole thing." []

Pat Binder

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Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, on the use of Internet in the cultural exchange with and between Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. 12 October - 4 December, 1998

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