Freedom, Creativity and Risk in the Media Arts Conference

Starting Date: 09-28-2005
Ending Date: 10-02-2005

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
United States
Pre-Conference Workshop Keynote & Plenary Sessions Panels & Tracks
Evening Events Tours Commissioned Works Get Involved Closing Party & Awards Ceremony

Download a PDF of the Conference Schedule.

Independent filmmakers, media arts center staff, programmers, broadcasters, new technologists, archivists, educators, youth media makers and leaders, telecommunications experts, community producers, new media artists, cultural critics, activists, policy makers, and media funders will assemble for 5 days to:
Network with peers and exchange ideas
Discover new opportunities using digital technologies
Discuss, debate and showcase creative expression
Conference Overview

It's been 3 years since NAMAC's last convening and it feels more urgent than ever for the independent media community to assemble, plan, share, educate, conspire and take some liberties with our previous ways of thinking about our field. Join us in this call to action to put new meaning to the media arts as a practice of freedom, creativity and risk.

Colleagues and others in affiliated fields will offer best practices and strategies to nurture new leaders, welcome artistic developments, and galvanize the position of independent media as a tool for insuring an engaged and informed citizenry.

Creatively envision a plan for our future full of calculated and crazy risks for a brilliant next 25 years. The spirited, independent yet collaborative Philadelphia media community is primed to welcome you! Have fun, take some liberties.
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Pre-Conference Workshop
Wednesday, September 28 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
MacAllister Hall, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St
What Price Media Consolidation?

Presented by the Center for Creative Voices in Media and hosted by the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Studies at Drexel University this half day conference will bring leading members of the media reform movement together with leading independent commercial and non-commercial media creators to explore present and future threats to free expression and the ability of independent media artists to create and distribute their works. Confirmed speakers include: Michael J. Copps, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; Chellie Pingree, President, Common Cause; Andrew Jay Schwartzman, President, Media Access Project; Danny Goldberg, CEO, Air America Radio, and former top music executive; Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy; and Alyce Myatt, independent media consultant, former PBS and MacArthur Foundation executive.

This pre-conference workshop is FREE. But seating is limited and registration is required. Reserve your seats by e-mailing to or by calling 215-895-0352.
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Keynote & Plenary Sessions
Click here for complete keynote and plenary descriptions.

The Conference will begin on Thursday, September 29 with Lani Guinier and Nolan Bowie presenting a joint keynote address followed by a vigorous conversation on the democratizing power of independent media. Guinier is the Bennet Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, a former civil rights lawyer and noted author whose work investigates democratic theory, educational equity, and issues of race and gender. Bowie is Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and a Fellow of the Shorenstein Center and the Information Infrastructure Project at the Kennedy School. His primary policy concerns are issues of equity and access to information and information technology for all people, including those whose voices are too often underrepresented in policymaking discussions.

Each day will include a lively plenary discussion to set the tone for the day and take on one of the themes of Freedom, Creativity or Risk, Confirmed speakers include: media pranksters, The Yes Men; youth media mentor and filmmaker, Spencer Nakasako; feature film producer and music industry exec, Lisa CortÚs; Executive Director of the Youth Leadership Council, Malkia Cyril, visual artist, Pepon Osorio; founding board member of NPR, Bill Siemering; Communications professor, American University, Pat Aufderheide.

And on Thursday, September 29 over lunch, the writer of the recently released Deep Focus, Andrew Blau of Global Business Network and a special guest will discuss this topical survey of the media art center field. Then all will use it as a jumping off point for interactive roundtable discussions.
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Panels & Tracks

To interpret the themes of freedom, creativity and risk we divided daily sessions into 3 main tracks - Activism, Ingenuity and Content & Commentary. Panel topics will highlight success stories of the democratizing force of independent media and how to insure its future as the technology shifts below our feet. Sessions on the future of the Internet will propose new rallying cries and models for artistic creation and innovation, new curatorial practices, and methods of distribution and preservation. Discussions about the growing media justice movement will present ways to work across race, class, age and gender and create a framework that views communication as a fundamental human right. Best practices for fair use and peer-to-peer file sharing and creative examples of gaming and blogging will show how everyone can be an independent media maker and offer interpretations as to what this means for our field. And there will be daily Tool Kits and Youth Media sessions shaped with the specific needs of administrators and practitioners in mind.
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Evening Events

Every night of the conference there will be screenings and informal gatherings both in and out of the hotel. Stay tuned for more exciting additions. See our events page for more info.
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On Friday, September 30 at 3:15 pm buses will leave from the hotel and fan out across the city on guided tours of several distinct corners of Philadelphia. Each tour will visit a particular neighborhood and stop at one or more media arts organizations or cultural gems. Tours will run approximately 2 and 1/2 hours. You are strongly encouraged to sign up for these tours in advance when you register for the conference as space is limited. Click here for complete tour descriptions.
Tour 1 - West Philly Indy Media Tour
Tour 2 - Avenue of the Arts Walking Tour
Tour 3 - Scribe Video Center's Precious Places Community Oral History Tour
Tour 4 - Eastern State Penitentiary Tour
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Commissioned Works

Watch where you sit, it may be a video installation! Through out the conference there will be on and off site video installations, hands on demos and presentations. Check back for updates on other invited artists.

The Termite TV Collective members Dorothea Braemer, Meg Knowles, Michael Kuetemeyer, Carl Lee and Anula Shetty are taking liberties at the hotel and creating these interactive installations or Living Documentaries including The Life Story Project, a collection of personal histories, memoirs and desires of people from all over the country told in 5 minutes, and Evolving Audience where the viewer is the creator, is the performer in this interactive automated multimedia installation.
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Get Involved

And if that's not enough there are even more ways to get involved. Sign up for a Show n' Tell or Speed Geeking Session. Sign up for an individual meeting with a funder. Participate in the pre-conference online salon to get the conversation started.
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Closing Party & Awards Ceremony

Saturday, October 1, is shaping up to be a memorable night celebrating NAMAC's 25th anniversary and honoring this year's NAMAC Award recipients. Details.

It's time to celebrate with old and new friends, honor our peers, and dance! All festivities will take place at the new World Cafe Live! Experience first hand this unique new partnership between a commercial concert venue/restaurant and a non-commerical radio station. Evening will include live music, video mixing and tours of this spectacular facility
Geographical Scope: National

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