Kosmopolis and Web 2.0 for independent authors

by Andy Oram

It was flattering to get 25 attendees to a workshop on Web 2.0 in Barcelona. The workshop had been scheduled for 11:00 in the morning on a Saturday, which is early for Catalonians. (Barcelona is a city where you can walk the streets at 11:00 at night and run into a group of 50 people out roller-blading for fun.)

I had been invited to talk about Web 2.0 at Kosmopolis, a unique conference on the arts I will expand on a bit later on in this article. I took advantage of the open-ended subject to speculate wildly about the future of the arts, and wrote an article directly aimed at the conference with the title Characteristics of new media in the Internet age (best accessed through its wiki).


Oliver Luker
2006-10-24 08:18:54
On Saturday afternoon I sat through consecutive talks, including the one you mention involving Chris Crawford, on which more below. From game developments, to a gentle slide presentation of the spaces in russia, to a detailed description of the nature of adaptation - we ended with Jostein Gaarder's spirited performance.

You're absolutely correct in your view that the structure can lead to a circus atmosphere. Crawford's gesticulations and alarmingly ill-thought out views were presented in a manner best suited to primary school, and Gaarder appeared intoxicated by what one ought best assume to be fame. That said, it is precisely this juxtaposition of content and its absence that seems to draw the crowds. We may beat our breasts over the juggernaut of society as spectacle, and yet we might be better employed analysing the need of idle minds to be made to laugh in place of acting constructively.

The danger with applying such a view to Kosmopolis is, of course, that its range of offers is so broad that there is not only 'something for everyone', there is content that it can take two hands to get to grips with. Certainly, this 'going beyond the routine' is something that we could do with a great deal more of.