Former BB guestblogger Johannes Grenzfurthner reports on an unusual development in how the Vienna government funds net.art/culture projects. The Commissioner For The Arts, a member of Vienna's Social Democratic Party, is supporting a consortium of more than 100 net.art groups, called Netznetz, in the development of a reputation-based software system that the group will then use to help decide how to distribute the grant money it receives from the government. From Johannes's post at the monochrom blog:
The new funding system strives for guaranteed and dispersed distribution of funding in the sector while the parameters of the distribution are meant to remain flexible, providing a dynamic scope. The aim is to encourage project-based collaborations by distributing various smaller grants. Therefore, everybody who is involved in the sector is subject to the principle of permanent reconfiguration of the system and the network...Link
The beneficiaries of the so-called 'network grants', a yearly spending account for approximately 20 groups, is to be evaluated with the aid of a social software tool -- a reputation system currently under development. Even before it has been coded, criticism as well as scepticism and fear start pouring into the media sphere. While even computer veterans criticise the alleged blind trust in a 'computer program', so-called left circles brand it as 'too neo-liberal' as the structure strives for 'collaboration instead of institution'.
netznetz is preparing a protoype in the course of a programming 'sprint' this week and is inviting international experts for an upcoming symposium in autumn 2005 in Vienna.