NICE - NETWORK INTERFACE FOR CULTURAL EXCHANGE

NICE is The Network Interface for Cultural Exchange in the field of new media that facilitates information exchange and collaboration between the media centres and labs in the region of the Baltic Sea and North-East Europe, and integrates these activities into wider European media cultural contexts.

The NICE network supports local initiatives and develops co-operation between the members. The network functions as a mediator between the local initiatives and other networks and institutions, inside and outside the region.

The NICE Network was founded in November 1999 during the Baltic Sea Media Space meeting, which took place in the framework of TEMP - Temporary Media Lab project in Kiasma, Helsinki. The aim of TEMP meeting was to create common ground for new media cultural initiatives in this region.

REAL AND VIRTUAL REGION:

The real geographical circumstances (North-East part of Europe) were used as the starting point in establishing the network. Within the virtual network the possibilities of collaboration increases and the concept of geographical and historical territories is not decisive factor of co-operation within the network.

The network aims to co-operate with other networks and institutions dealing with new media cultural issues, and working towards developing new cultural policies, networking strategies and tools (A-Network, ECB, Interfund, Locative, Xchange, noborder, r23.cc, and others).

MAIN AIMS OF THE NETWORK:

To establish, support and develop new media centres and media labs.
To discuss and develop models and principles for new media centres (media labs) and virtual networks outside.
To collaborate in projects like joint servers, exhibitions, events, common research. To share and exchange information and resources.
To develop common financing and funding strategies.
To conceptualise new media culture.
To work towards new cultural policies.

NETWORK TOOLS:

The network is facilitated by the members. The members share responsibilities for the practical work necessary.
The network runs shared art servers and maintains web site and mailinglist.
The network can negotiate applications on behalf of the whole network or a consortium of members.

PRINCIPLES AND MODELS:

The network members are aware that different initiatives have different priorities depending on local conditions and their interests. The list of principles (below) has been identified as being key activities for development of both -- emerging and already established new media centres, media labs and virtual institutions:

1. To provide access to working facilities for artists and non-profit new media producers.
2. To create meeting places - virtual or/and real - for new media culture activities
--- by maintaining a real physical space, co-operating with institutions or organisations in order to use space, or by setting up virtual platform.
3. To initiate projects or events in the new media culture field
--- web-based projects, online activities, commissions, festivals, exhibitions, shows, performances, conferences, meetings, parties and other social gatherings.
4. Engage in educational activities
--- co-operation with schools, universities, academies and educational organisations. The means can be workshops, courses and training programmes, artists. talks, presentations, counselling, advisory services;
--- developing of new educational methods relating to the new media culture field.
5. Production and distribution of material concerning new media culture
--- publishing and distribution of the results of projects or events, or be a project in itself.
6. Research and development
--- software development, hardware applications as well surveys of social and political aspects of new media.
7. Engage in new media cultural policies
--- critical discourse through media, meetings, writings as well as lobbying and other methods of influence on cultural policies locally, nationally or internationally.

MEMBERSHIP:

Membership is open to artistic and cultural non-profit initiatives that share the aims and principles the network has identified.