D E S C R I P T I O N

O F

W W W . O - O . L T

I N S T I T U T I O

M E D I A

Project has been designed as an attempt to transfer an institution into the Internet and study its functioning in the Web. An academic institution was chosen, since at the present time we have the broadest experience of the activity of such institutions. We also wish to explore the relation of a physically limited and virtual spaces. In a real space and time the functioning of an institution is restricted by its premises and the regularity of activity, which is necessary for the interactivity and existence of that institution. In a virtual space it is restricted by technology and the quality of connection. The Web makes it possible to avoid the expropriation of the physical location - it is replaced by a “site” in a server - the quantity of magnetic memory.

This project was started by writing a manifesto and drawing a scheme of the institute. A graphic drawing (image) is clearer and less ambiguous. We chose a manifesto because of its compact and expressive form. The Internet radio, magazine and mailing list depicted in the scheme are being considered as continuous projects. A chain of these projects is INSTITUTIO MEDIA* - a mediating institution. +The basic aim of this institution is not original - to create new data - projects, communication links and a data bank. We are only changing the place of action. This change is also an object of our interest.+

The crisis of academic institutions described by J.-F. Lyotard was based on the emergence of a new medium that became a mediator between the accumulated information (data banks and archives) and the user (student). Therefore a professor’s situation has radically changed: he/she no longer has the monopoly of a mediator (and commentator at the same time). If you work as a catalogue compiler or information collector - reteller, i.e. do mechanical work, you can be substituted by a machine. It will do your job better. If you produce new knowledge, it can be found in data banks. It is no longer necessary to visit certain places to obtain information.Information is not limited by a physical location and form. The chain of mediators started to break up (being replaced by a quicker one). On the other hand, transmitting (and partly data production) is a new form of narration, if information is being selected and transmitted it in a certain way. Therefore listening to an old-type professor can be considered aesthetic - although you can obtain the same information elsewhere and in a quicker way (an exception - if the professor does not write), but you can admire (or not admire) the means and quality of transmitting. Choosing a mediator has become a matter of psychological and aesthetic comfort also.

As always, we can recall ancient Greeks - peripatetics, their walks and discussions in small groups (it started already in Plato’s Academy). A mobile group of thinkers used to walk in a garden without clear limits and an obvious structure, probably except the network of paths. None of them was only a listener or a narrator. Listening was merely a means of participating in a conversation. An interlocutor became a listener and a narrator in turn. One can act in the Internet in a similar way - both in real and unreal time. To create structures and communities whose nucleus is in the Internet, able to survive without large financing and premises, but comparable to those existing in a physically limited space by the quality and quantity of data. Since in the Internet you can pretend to be anybody you wish, choose means of narration, and compile your image from excerpts of other narrations. To present yourself as either a unique or regular data basis. Institute data basis would be a kind of memory important to the identification of the institution. It is a collection showing the consistency and reasonableness of data selection rather than taste and education.

INSTITUTIO MEDIA basis consists of the text, audio, video (writing/sound/image) and links sections, and a search system. The first component of the data basis already requires to be precisely complemented. The contents and the form of search depend on each other. The structures of data bases also become a kind of data transmitting. Not only what kind of data you receive, but also in what way you receive it becomes important. In this respect the form of interpreting data is a search system as well. However, data without selection and structure turn into noise. For that purpose we are going to create a logical and convenient search system (data basis interface) that will act as a mediator. Indispensable to an institution’s functioning is not a building and administration, but a communications network, without which neither a group nor a data basis would function. +Since a pure form of an institute is a group of researchers who analyse problems and produce data.+

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* The Latin name INSTITUTIO MEDIA - the intermediate institution - suits to define both a social action and the character of activity in the Internet.

Previous scheme. The scheme of the institute in the site www.o-o.lt had been aesthetically processed.


Kestutis Andrasiunas

                          ~ (Virtual)Input/Output                         
                          |                                               
                      ____|___________________________________________    
                     |    |                                           |   
    ____________     |    |    I N S T I T U T E  B O D Y             |   
   |Direct      |    |  __|________           _____________________   |   
   |social      |----|-|Internet   |---------|Electronic  | Mailing|  |    
   |action      |    | |site       |         |journal     | list   |  |
   |(lectures,  |    | |___________|         |____________|________|  |   
   |festivals,  |    |    |      |            ________________        |   
   |_etc.)______|    |    |      |___________| Data bank      |       |   
    _____________    |    |                  |________________|       |   
   | Internet    |   |____|___________________________________________|
   | radio & tv  |________|                                         
   |_____________|