Formal and informal encounters
It is like organizing a party. The infrastructure has to be there, one can put a lot of care into extra ingredients like food, an aesthetically-pleasing, exciting environment, music, maybe even a performance. But whether the party will rock, whether the party will become an event that people will refer to as 'meaningful' to their lives, one cannot predict. One just tries to ensure the infrastructure is as good as possible, within one's capabilities, in the hope that it will work. The better an infrastructure is conceived; the more chance it will achieve its desired goal. The question of this study derives from thinking about how to create good infrastructures in which people can act, be challenged and be satisfied.
Networked events that took place in the public domain, like the GHP and the 0+ball, were marketed as conferences and festivals. People had to show up at the door and buy a ticket to be physically present. People who attended via the network were invited by publishing the details of how to access the online environment. Networked events consist of presentations, exhibitions, performances and debates, which take place on- and offline. After gathering people from a variety of countries and practices, who all come to a particular place for the festival and 'hang around' for several days, a great number of discussions and debates take place. The assembled community acquires insights and perspectives by talking to one another formally as well as informally, seeing each other's work and debating it. It is impossible to understand the rise of digital culture without an awareness of how these thoughts and practices came into existence.