TransHackMeeting in Oslo
Last week I made my first ever visit to Norway, or rather Oslo, for the second biennial TransHackmeeting. This encounter emerged from various national meetings held particularly in Italy since 1997, where hackers, activists, digerati and the curious meet for three days of seminars, screenings, discussions and workshops. What distinguishes these events from other tech camps is that it is entirely self-organised by the participants – there are no facilitators, organisers or spokespeople. Internationalization was driven by the existence of contacts with hacker networks in countries like Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, and the desire to have an event where experiences and political problems could be shared beyond borders.
Humla, a hacklab and infopoint in the Hausmania complex in Oslo was the venue for this edition and I enjoyed myself immensely, although the endless daytime exacerbated my existing problem of nocturnality. Talks that i attended and liked included a detailed look at audiogalaxy, GMP3 dump, migrating medium sized organizations to free software and a breakdown of the FLOSS technical set-up behind G8.tv, recently emplyed in the coverage of events in Rostock. On the non-technical side there was a cyberpoetic film “Booting” on the development of sentimental relations between a user and her machine; a marxist take on the politics of hacking with historical comparison to the sabotage of the loom in the 19th century by Johan Soderberg (whose book will be out soon); and an account of “Jam”, a Norwegian program where Adbusters mavericks went to work subverting children’s minds, were subsequently shut down, and then awarded a major prize.
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