Take the title 'deep europe' with a pinch of salt. The V2_East/Syndicate is a network of people and institutions who are involved in media culture and media art in Europe and who want to create contacts and an infrastructure for projects and cooperations. The network started out as an 'East-West initiative' almost two years ago, but has since reached a stage where those symbolically laden terms mean less and less. With its mailing list, website http://www.v2.nl/east and regular meetings, the Syndicate is becoming an important tool for fostering ties within the media art community and a platform for discussing the changing role of media culture in the 'new Europe'.
Kassel is both a former outpost of the pseudo-Western world and a hallmark of a post-war modernism. Even eight years after the fall of the Berlin wall, the cultural maps of Europe are shifting heavily. There are still many things to see, learn and do, and conversations to be had, before we will be able to make sense of the new distances between Berlin and Warsaw, Paris and Moscow, Vienna and Belgrade, Kassel and Eisenach.
The new lines that run through Europe are historical, political, cultural, artistic, technological, military. The role of the EU and its institutions, the notion of Mitteleuropa, old and new ideologies, messianic NGOs and late-capitalist profiteers contribute to a cultural environment in which we have to define new strategies and new tools, whether as artists, activists, writers or organizers.
'Deep Europe' will offer an opportunity to further develop ideas which have emerged around the V2_East/Syndicate initiative over the last 18 months, to discuss them among the Syndicalists and with the dX public. There will be ample opportunity to represent in video, slide and WWW presentations what we have in mind when we say 'European media art and culture', and to concentrate on some of these issues in texts and audio-visual productions.