Here

From Mondothèque

Revision as of 11:49, 18 March 2015 by FS (talk | contribs) (Created page with "<div class="intro">Under Construction!</div> == We don't live in that kind of world == title "We don't live in that kind of world" 300px The story I...")

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Under Construction!

We don't live in that kind of world

title "We don't live in that kind of world"

300px

The story I am about to tell is a succession of messy entanglements between corporate patronage and faltering local governments.

In short: how a band of nepotist POLITICIANS squandered the archives of a culturally significant UTOPIAN, where tricked by a global MEGA-CORPORATION, and now are throwing an expensive party to celebrate their public failure under the motto «Investing In Your Future».

Of course, there is a lot more to say.

With friends and colleagues from Mons, Brussels and elsewhere we watched the slow-motion tragedy unfold with astonishment and increasing frustration. It started by simply archiving the stream of newsletters, press releases, pictures and videos, and grew into a project that we're preparing as an unofficial contribution to Mons 2015:

title "mondotheque.be"

The story I am about to tell is set it in the murky social and political landscape of post-industrial Wallonia, 30 minutes by train from Brussels. But of course similar ones could be told from the perspective of other places.

8189a781-7f84-469e-b8d7-d9db2213c17a google-bus2.jpg

Otherwise said, none of the events are themselves exceptional but I think that is exactly the trouble.

The Radiated Library

Bruxelles-1900 .jpg

An almost cosmopolitan CAPITAL at the turn of the 19th century. The CAPITAL is flourishing since most of the revenues from the colonies end up here in one way or another. Scientists, business people, political activists and artists travel from all over the world, to discuss new ideas at the numerous international venues and platforms that are being established. In the nearby REGION, mineworkers strike and poverty rules.

128755-050-1C853B18.jpg

As a young man, THE UTOPIAN started to think about a system that could represent the multiple networked relations between objects of various formats with various objectives.

8-schema.png

The Universal Decimal Classification system that he designed explicitly mapped multiple relations between multi-media objects (so not just books) and allowed for constant transformation and modification.

17mund.1-650.jpg

In that sense it has a different spirit than the Dewey Decimal Classification system that was developed around the same time in the United States.

Wright classification.jpg

THE UTOPIAN was imagining his universal information structure by making 'symbolic links' from document to document, a system that looks surprisingly similar to what we now might call a 'Semantic Web'.

A concrete example of how this might have worked:

showtext "0 Generalities 1 Philosophy; Psychology 2 Religion; Theology 3 Social Sciences 4 [Vacant] 5 Natural Sciences; Mathematics 6 Technology 7 The Arts 8 Language; Linguistics; Literature 9 Geography; Biography; History"

showtext "51 + 53 = Mathematics and chemistry 63:30 or 31:63 = Statistics relating to agriculture 339.5 (410/44) = Trade relations between the United Kingdom and France 35 94(410)“19”(075) = History of the United Kingdom in the 20th Century Textbook\n\n Alex Wright: Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age (1913)"

THE UTOPIAN compared his idea of an ever-growing, ever-expanding connected index of all human knowledge to a hyper-showtextual collective book:

showtext "From individual books, collective books are created. Instead of an encyclopedia limited and determined by a certain date, The Universal Book of Knowledge would be an unlimited work, always up to date, always growing, concentrating, absorbing, synthesizing, systematizing every intellectual product from the moment it is born.\n\nTraité sur la documentation, Paul Otlet (1913)"

Or as THE JOURNALIST Alex Wright noted almost a century later:

showtext "It takes a meta-application like Google or Yahoo! to discover the broader relationships between documents (usually through some combination of syntax, semantics and reputation). But those relationships, however sophisticated the algorithm used to determine them, remain largely unexposed to the end user, never becoming an explicit part of the document’s history (…) Otlet’s vision holds out a tantalizing possibility: marrying the determinism of facets with the relativism of social networks.\n\nForgotten forefather: Paul Otlet, Alex Wright (2003)"

THE UTOPIAN envisioned a Radiated Library, integrating telephone, radio and cinema to make all of the interconnected knowledge available to the world

Multi otlet.jpg

In the documentary 'The man who wanted to classify the world' THE FILMMAKER animated this drawing to explain the concept of the Radiated Library as a kind of proto-computer:

mplayer -fs 'otlet_traite_sm.mov'

But for this vision to become a reality, much work had to be done. First helped by his wife and other volunteers, later by hired staff, millions of index cards were produced, one by one.

Wright indexation.jpg

Paul-otlet-secretaires.jpg

The first cabinets of the Universal Bibliography (Répertoire Bibliographique Universel) in 1895:

Wright 1895 bibliography.jpg

Paul-otlet-mlle-poels-fichiers.jpg

... and here they are again around 1910. Apparently you could telegraph to The Universal Bibliography to have your search executed, and against a reasonable fee the results would be sent back to you.

Le Palais Mondial

Tumblr mu37awUJT11rinrk9o3 1280.jpg

It is 1913. Thanks to the tireless support of THE POLITICIAN and by patronage of THE KING, Le Palais Mondial has opened it's doors to the public. Occupying the entire left-wing of the magnificent buildings erected for the world exhibition at Parc Cinquantenaire, the prolific UTOPIAN can now display his ever-growing collection of millions of objects, documents and fiches. Far away in THE REGION, the First World War is about to break out.

Tumblr mabb7fPJAv1qhe01n.jpg

With respected friend THE POLITICIAN, THE UTOPIAN worked day and night to make their shared dream a reality. As a spatial materialization of the Universal book, Le Palais Mondial aimed to bring all the world's knowledge together, classified according to the Universal Decimal Classification system.

Mondial4.jpg

Infrontofmondial.png

Mundaneumteam.png

When THE POLITICIAN won a Nobel Prize for Peace in 1913, he donated half of the prize money to Le Palais Mondial. Also THE MEGACORPORATION decided to support THE UTOPIAN project with substantial funds.

mplayer -fs -ss 00:05 -endpos 01:50 'Andrew Carnegie au Musée International.mp4'

Even if the exhibitions were worlds away from the visual and graphic finesse of the well-known UTOPIANS from Vienna, thousands of people would visit the rather eclectic displays.

Besides a place for gathering, disseminating and organising knowledge, THE UTOPIAN and THE POLITICIAN envisioned Le Palais Mondial as a platform for international exchange. It is here that they organized the International Conference of International Associations, a meeting where the Union of International Associations, later United Nations, was established.

Palaismondial.png

When in 1914 world War I broke out, both sons of THE UTOPIAN were sent to the battlefields nearby. His oldest son is taken prisoner but manages to return after the war. His youngest son is reported missing but his body is never found.

THE UTOPIAN was heartbroken but intensified his work by extending Le Palais Mondial into a whole city of knowledge, The Mundaneum.

2919380315 ace106c949 o.jpg

Unfortunately, Post World War I Belgium has lost interest in his work. THE UTOPIAN interested a superstar ARCHITECT to design plans for The Mundaneum city but could not convince any high placed POLITICIAN, neither in Belgium nor abroad, to realise his grand ideas. Eventually Government support dried up and the endless display rooms became hard to maintain with nothing else than his personal funds.

And things got worse.

1934-affaire-palais-mondial.jpg

In 1934 the publicly accessible rooms at The Mundaneum are closed to make place for the Royal Museum of Art and History. THE UTOPIAN tried to resist the eviction by posting himself in front of the door but it did not help. He was forced to move The Mundaneum to his own home at Rue Fetis.

Ruefetis.png

In 1941, the German occupiers decide that also the extensive archives and card catalogs should be cleared out of the Cinquantenaire. It is moved to the former anatomical theater in Parc Leopold, a derelict building just a few blocks further on.

Otlet boeken.png

Three years later, THE UTOPIAN dies. The archive starts a long journey around various buildings, garages and temporary storage places.

mplayer -fs -ss 17:11 -endpos 0:53 'xgvfqc_l-homme-qui-voulait-classer-le-monde-3-3_news.mp4'

The association 'Amis du Palais Mondial' remained committed to take care of the archives, stored in the Parc Leopold. In 1968 a SCIENTIST rediscovered them, and with it the full extent of THE UTOPIAN project. THE SCIENTIST published the first biography of THE UTOPIAN, entitled "The Universe of Information: the Work of Paul Otlet for Documentation and International Organization".

Otlet ARCHIEF.png

More than 40 years later, THE SCIENTIST relates the experience of finding the archive of THE UTOPIAN in Parc Leopold:

mplayer -fs -ss 0:29 -endpos 1:00 'PaulOtletl_inventeurd_internet_.mp4' <-SUBTITLES FR

The resurrected Mundaneum

1990s. The former mining REGION is the home-base for the ambitious POLITICIAN. Since the last coal mines closed in the 1960s, THE REGION has had the highest unemployment ratio of THE COUNTRY. The Socialist Party to which THE POLITICIAN of course belongs, has been in power since time immemorial. For THE REGION the future does not look any brighter and poverty rules.

Bio l.jpg

In the 80s, the archives of THE UTOPIAN (or what was left of it) had been moved from Parc Leopold to a garage somewhere in THE CAPITAL. An official CARETAKER was assigned to develop plans for a museum on the -2 level of Metro station Rogier, which unfortunately did not prevent the steady decay of the collection. There are unconfirmed rumors that posters and photographs from the collection were turning up on flea markets, or that once a door in the Metro station was left unlocked so that passers-by would could grab handfuls from the archive.

Nord 2008.jpg

In the mean time, THE POLITICIAN was assigned by the Socialist Party to oversee the French-speaking Community's Ministry of Education and Audiovisual Policy. Later he became Minister for Communications and Public Undertakings, Minister for Economy, and eventually Minister for Telecommunications and Foreign Trade.

Dyn006 original 590 820 pjpeg 38869 4617a9959a034f147c85f3bbc778a0b7.jpg

The Socialist Party had two competing fractions. One fraction resided in the east part of THE REGION, the other in the west. THE CARETAKER belonged to the east fraction; THE POLITICIAN was born and bred in the west. So, a game of arm-wrestling began.

The lengthy fight involved bailiffs and public mud throwing but eventually THE POLITICIAN succeeded in taking the archive out of the hands of his competing party member, and in 1993 'Les Amis Du Palais Mondial' signed a contract to hand over the responsibility for the archive to a newly created association, The Mundaneum. The collection (or what was left of it) was moved from THE CAPITAL to a 19th century department store in THE REGION.

THE REGION hired two well-known SCENOGRAPHERS to design the display of the patrimony. In the following two fragments they explain how their design decisions were inspired by 'the contrast between the archaism of the files and the many networked connections that the internet makes possible':

mplayer -fs -ss 1:20 -endpos 1:46 'schuiten-mundaneum.mp4'

mplayer -fs -ss 4:14 'schuiten-mundaneum.mp4'

Frederic Raevens Mundaneum.jpg

Dc5c67d4eb1a93fb354edd9c7b3e12de-1361537453.jpg

Mundaneum2.jpeg

In 2003, ten years after the opening of The Mundaneum, THE JOURNALIST published a blog-post entitled 'Forgotten Forefather'. He portrayed the work of THE UTOPIAN as somehow foreshadowing The Internet, and presented THE UTOPIAN as a forward-thinking intellectual, rather than 'the man that missed his date with history' as THE SCENOGRAPHERS had suggested.

His blog-post was my first encounters with the work of THE UTOPIAN. With a few friends we visited The Mundaneum, realising that since it is opened, it had been frozen in time; it seemed nothing had moved in 10 years.

Verrouille.jpg

showtext "To our amazement, there was no ‘interface’ of any kind to disclose the rows of cards, to sketch the historical conshowtext and origins of the collection, or even to mention what kind of museum the visitor is entering. No explanation, guided tour, catalogue, legenda: nothing (...) Apart from the original index on cards, which one is not allowed to touch, an accessible database of the collection does not exist and has never been developed any further than a dummy page on Mundaneums’ website. The ‘Munda.web’ computer space in the building is nothing more than a basic cyber cafe.\n\nhttp://routes-routines.constantvzw.org/?p=51 (October 2004)"

Crystal Computing

8641518 PhoDoc3 03866654 jpg 0ML18G9C.JPG

2005. The industrial site is strategically positioned. It has access to clean water sources, is located next to the main power grid and has sufficient access roads. The inhabitants of THE REGION speak the same language as their big neighbour, but fortunately here POLITICIANS are eager to provide the kind of incentives that a MEGA-CORPORATION expects.

The latest attempt from THE POLITICIAN to shift the economic situation in his REGION, was "The Marshall Plan for THE REGION". His investment and development scheme was designed to 'step up the efforts taken to put THE REGION back on the track to prosperity'. So far it had not resolved the economic and social problems in THE REGION. But then, a curious reference is found to a company called "Crystal Computing":

site 'http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/50.4706/3.8615'

Later, journalists learned that Crystal Computing was in fact a shield company and the investments were made by the well-known MEGA-CORPORATION, wanting to remain discreet about the location of its future datacenters.

Google71.jpg

Google211.jpg

showtext "Dans une ambiance où tous les partenaires du «projet Saint-Ghislain» de Google savouraient en silence la confirmation du jour, les anecdotes sur la discrétion imposée durant 18 mois n’ont pas manqué. Outre l’utilisation d’un nom de code, Crystal Computing, qui a valu un jour à Elio Di Rupo d’être interrogé sur l’éventuelle arrivée d’une cristallerie en Wallonie («J’ai fait diversion comme j’ai pu !», se souvient-il), un accord de confidentialité liait Google, l’Awex et l’Idea, notamment. «A plusieurs reprises, on a eu chaud, parce qu’il était prévu qu’au moindre couac sur ce point, Google arrêtait tout»\n\nLibre Belgique (27 april 2007)"

In an atmosphere where all partners in the project "Saint-Ghislain" by Google quietly savored the confirmation-of-the-day, the stories about the enforced discretion that lasted 18 months, did not disappoint. In addition to using a code name, Crystal Computing, which resulted in Elio Di Rupo one day being interrogated about the possible arrival of a glass factory in Wallonia ("I did what I could to divert the attention!" he recalls), a confidentiality agreement was signed that bound Google, AWEX and the Idea company to secrecy. "On several occasions, we were nervous, because we knew that if there was any hitch at this point, Google could have stopped everything".

mplayer -fs 'Datacenter_Google_in_Saint-Ghislain_op_Street_View_-_YouTube.mp4'

THE KING descends to THE REGION to join THE POLITICIAN.

Media xl 938761.jpg

12650488.jpg

408525.jpg.h170.jpg

In 2010, THE MEGA-CORPORATION held a Community Day. They wanted to celebrate the fact that their Datacenter was now fully operational. Of course THE POLITICIAN was invited as a guest of honour.

300px

300px

300px

mplayer -fs -ss 1:22 -endpos 03:32 'GoogleOpenDay-ElioDiRupo.mp4'

A 1000 jobs

Google-datacenter-places-07.jpg

A few years later, sunset over the datacenter. THE REGION can still not believe it's luck that the THE MEGA-CORPORATION has set up in the area, even when it only takes a handful employees to keep the high-tech facilities running and grants permission to build a second data center. The contemporary reincarnation of The Mundaneum appoints a new DIRECTOR. THE MEGA-CORPORATION shows its satisfaction with the comportment of THE REGION by discreetly supporting local cultural initiatives, and The Mundaneum is one of them.

The appointment of THE DIRECTOR had little to do with his expertise on the work of the UTOPIAN, or his knowledge of archiving or documentation. It had a lot to do with his importance for local politics in THE REGION. Obviously THE DIRECTOR belongs to the same party as the POLITICIAN. Here we have him sitting next to the THE MANAGER of policies for the European department of THE MEGACORPORATION:

R2 002.jpg

THE POLITICIAN has not sit still either. He has launched a new plan. The Creative REGION Action Plan will "transform the economy of THE REGION through the emergence of a wide‐spread innovation and creativity culture".

Cwed13cp.jpg

Simultaneously, THE POLITICIAN gained the title 'Cultural Capital 2015' for his REGION. It's theme, not surprisingly: 'THE REGION, where technology meets culture'.

mplayer -fs 'googleinmons.mp4'

Did someone say a 1000 jobs?

showtext "Beaucoup de show, peu d’emplois: Pour son data center belge, le géant des moteurs de recherche a décroché l’un des plus beaux terrains industriels de Wallonie. Résultat : à peine 40 emplois directs et pas un euro d’impôts.</b> Reste que la Région ne voit pas les choses sous cet angle. En janvier, a appris Le Vif/L’Express, le ministre de l’Economie Jean-Claude Marcourt (PS) a notifié à Google le refus d’une aide à l’expansion économique de 10 millions d’euros. Motif : cette aide était conditionnée à la création de 110 emplois directs, loin d’être atteints. Est-ce la raison pour laquelle aucun ministre wallon n’était présent le 10 avril aux côtés d’Elio Di Rupo ? Au cabinet Marcourt, on assure que les relations avec l’entreprise américaine sont au beau fixe : « C’est le ministre qui a permis ce nouvel investissement de Google, en négociant avec son fournisseur d’électricité (NDLR : Electrabel) une réduction de son énorme facture. »\n\nLe Vif, April 2013"

THE MANAGER used to work in the communication department of The Mundaneum.

Delphinejenart.jpg

She has now become assistant-director of The Mundaneum. She manages public and private funds. This includes managing the partnership with THE MEGA-CORPORATION.

Ten years after his first blog-post on THE UTOPIAN, THE JOURNALIST has decided to make him the subject of his next book. When he is invited for a panel in the World Science Festival, next to THE EVANGELIST who is on the payroll of THE MEGA-CORPORATION, he can't resist to point out the importance of 'his' forgotten forefather, THE UTOPIAN.

mplayer -fs -ss 1:50 -endpos 1:02 'The_Televised_Book_Or_the_Real_Web_1.0.3gp' <-SUBTITLE FR

"An analog ancestor to THE MEGA-CORPORATION", there you have it.

Does anyone really believe that the Internet was invented in THE COUNTRY? It does not really matter. But the MANAGER could not have dreamt of a better way to get media attention for The Mundaneum because so far, it has been difficult to get attention for those dusty cabinets. Also THE MEGA-CORPORATION seemed happy to discover from a fellow American that it had historical roots in a francophone part of Europe.

Affiche40x60 internet-histoire-belge web72.jpg

site 'http://www.mundaneum.org'

THE MANAGER did not hesitate to drive the point home with an exhibition called 'Renaissance 2.0: Travels to the origins of the web'.

mplayer -fs 'Renaissance 2.0 _ Voyage aux origines du web.mp4'

The Mundaneum almost gets away with this exhibition that uncritically celebrates a direct connection between the oeuvre of the UTOPIAN and the MEGA-CORPORATION.

This time, THE JOURNALIST (of course invited to attend the opening of the exhibition) attempts a slightly less instrumental reading of the work. He adds a mild parental warning:

mplayer -fs -ss 0:03 -endpos 0:59 'Renaissance2.0-LaparoleàAlexWright.mp4' <- SUBTITLE FR

Others are less diplomatic:

showtext "A la mémoire souillée de Paul Otlet par son propre Mundaneum Google Larry Page et Sergei Brin sont littéralement mis aux antipodes du projet porté par Paul Otlet et Henri Lafontaine. Ils n’ont strictement aucun point commun. Aucun. Les premiers pavanent dans le classement Forbes des plus grandes fortunes mondiales. Sans originalité, ils exploitent les données personnelles comme Exxon Mobil ou Texaco exploitent le pétrole. Au moins ces derniers ne masquent-ils pas leurs réelles motivations.

Papy Spinning http://www.webcontentspinning.com/a-la-memoire-souillee-de-paul-otlet-par-son-propre-mundaneum-et-google/ (April 2013)"

To the soiled memory of Paul Otlet by its own Mundaneum. Google's Larry Page and Sergei Brin are literally presented as the antithesis of the project developed by Otlet and Henri Lafontaine. They have absolutely nothing in common. Nothing. The first strut in the Forbes 500. Without any originality, they exploit personal data like Exxon Mobil or Texaco operated oil. But at least they do not they mask their true motivations.

For THE POLITICIAN, a new era has begun. As newly appointed prime-minister he has not forgotten that the interests of THE REGION and THE MEGACORPORATION converge. He visits the construction site of the second data center and this time THE POLITICIAN made sure that the international press was present. The results were even better than expected.

Google-belgium-primeminister-di-rupo.jpg

The official agreement

Google 49.jpg

2013. Headquarters of the MEGA-CORPORATION in THE CAPITAL, looking out at the same Parc Leopold where the archive of THE UTOPIAN once stranded. THE POLITICIAN is attending the celebration of the cooperation agreement between THE MEGA-CORPORATION and The Mundaneum. Because THE POLITICIAN has just been appointed Prime Minister of THE COUNTRY, he draws a decent crowd. The ceremony starts with the screening of a video: 'THE UTOPIAN, the man who dreamt the internet'

mplayer -fs 'Introduction au Mundaneum - Paul Otlet, visionnaire.mp4'

From the press statement by THE MEGA-CORPORATION:

showtext "Our partnership with Mundaneum is part of a larger project to revive the memory of Europe’s computing pioneers. Europe played a crucial role in the invention of computers and the Internet, yet all too often has forgotten its innovators. 'This is a beautiful story between Google and us, which allows allows us to recognize the memory of The Mundaneum,' says The Mundaneum’s director Jean-Paul Deplus. For Google, it’s just as exciting to rediscover our own roots.\n\nHonoring and supporting Belgian Internet Pioneers.\n\nGoogle Policy Europe blog (March 2013)"

Before launching into a lenghty speech about the way the interests of THE MEGA-CORPORATION and THE REGION obviously converge and how it is imperative that THE REGION turns from coal-mining to data-mining, THE POLITICIAN diverts from his pre-written speech and adds a personal note:

mplayer -fs -ss 8:02 -endpos 0:41 'PrimeMinisterElioDiRupoVisitsGoogleBelgium.mp4'

The Cultural Institute

Google-Cultural-Institute-Crispinfo.jpg

The MEGA-CORPORATION has created it's very own Cultural Institute, and sends teams of engineers to THE REGIONS to scan any content they can lay their hands on. Our REGION has officially refused THE MEGA-CORPORATION permission to digitise the archives of The Mundaneum. For communication purposes, THE MANAGER allows the MEGA-CORPORATION to scan many documents, and hundreds of high-resolution images are published on their website.

The MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute is a spin-off of the MEGA-CORPORATION Art project, that was originally developed as one of those famous 20% 'free' time projects:

mplayer -fs -ss 01:27 -endpos 0:28 'closeyoureyes.mp4'

Amit Sood: Before I get started, I want you to have an open mind
to what you are seeing. 
And for a minute, this is like therapy,
close your eyes and forget that it is Google doing it.  
It helps, it really helps.
Just don't think about Google.
Don't think about all the stereotypes you have about Google,
just think of it as culture and art.
And then, let's talk about why Google is doing it.

site 'http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/mundaneum?hl=en'

The MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute Terms of Use state that:

showtext "the imagery is provided for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of The Cultural Institute site."

The images are not available from The Mundaneum website but exclusively available through THE MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute.

The images have no structured metadata and are not available for download. There are no links between the documents on the THE MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute and The Mundaneum on-line catalogue. You can not search the collection specifically. The images can not be embedded in other sites, unless through social media widgets provided by THE MEGA-CORPORATION.

At a conference on 'Open Culture', THE DIRECTOR of The Cultural Institute puts his audience at ease. THE MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute is just another engineering project at the service of cultural institutions.

mplayer -fs -ss 0:17 -endpos 0:40 'SteveCrossan_OpenCulture2012.mp4

Steve Crossan: My name is Steve Crossan and I run an organisation
called the Google Cultural Institute.
And this is it’s logo, which proves it is a real thing.
It sounds like The Google Cultural Institute is a very fancy thing,
some big lovely place somewhere ...
actually we are in Paris, which is quite nice.
But it is not at all fancy.
It has got a fancy name but it is not a very fancy thing at all.
Really, it is just an engineering group.
Were an engineering group at Google.
You have seen those things before: they produce things like
Google Books, and Google Maps ...
we’re one of those.
What we do is we produce products for the cultural sector.
Essentially products and services for the cultural sector.
That’s the work that we do.

THE REGION has also made an effort to digitize culturally significant documents, including some material from The Mundaneum but can't compete with the efficiency of the engineers hired by THE MEGACORPORATION.

site 'http://www.numeriques.be'

There are not many documents but they have proper meta-data and references to how to find the document in the archival institution it is kept. But while all documents of THE UTOPIAN are in the Public Domain since this year, 'Le clic droit est déactivé' (right click is disabled).

The Mundaneum is obviously not the only cultural institute struggling with these issues. Being one of the first projects appearing on the MEGA-CORPORATION Art Project and later the MEGA-CORPORATION Cultural Institute, the holocaust museum Yad Vashem insists that one of the center’s goals is to disseminate information as widely as possible.

showtext "'People need to remember that Yad Vashem’s mission statement is not about technology,' he said. 'Maybe in a world where there was money for everything, you wouldn’t need money from people like Google. But we don’t live in that kind of world'.\n\nMichael Lieber, chief information officer Yad Vashem (2011)"

Screenshot from 2014-10-30 12-44-16.png

If we don’t live in that kind of world, in what world do we live? We asked THE ARCHIVIST about the deal that The Mundaneum made with the MEGA-CORPORATION.

mplayer -audiofile 'manfroid_PD.mp3' -sub 'manfroid.srt' -ss 26:43 -endpos 03:59 'silent.mpg' -fs

Right. We don’t live in that kind of world.

The evangelist descends

1382427784124 vint cerf bann2.jpg

Newsflash! THE EVANGELIST will visit THE REGION! THE DIRECTOR and THE MANAGER have collaborated with THE POLITICIANS to meticulously prepare the event. Everything is ready for the arrival of THE EVANGELIST, the great American internet pioneer, one of "the fathers of the Internet". He sold his soul to THE MEGA-CORPORATION but nobody seems to mind.

mplayer -fs 'VintonCerfinBelgium_.mp4' <- SUBTITLE FR

mplayer -ss 16:03 -endpos 1:13 -fs 'Direct Vint Cerf à Mons.3gp'

From industrial heartland to the internet age

300px

October 2014. A well-equipped conference center in THE REGION, or maybe another one. Laptops with appropriate stickers, keychains, usb-disks and tasteful snacks. Just outside are crowded industrial landscapes, carefully cultivated fields and man-made canals. Or maybe it is rural out there; Nordic, and Lutheran, a place of big spaces, big forests, and big lakes. The atmosphere is cheerful as the visitors from the Northern REGION much in common with their hosts from the Southern REGION, and vice versa.

Joining REGION to REGION, THE MEGA-CORPORATION has worked with The Mundaneum to prepare a funding application for Creative Europe. I guess you'll notice the one moment near the end of the video when the up-tempo elevator music was turned down.

In the second video, the manager explains the nature of the collaboration between THE MEGA-CORPORATION and The Mundaneum.

mplayer -fs "Mons_Where_Belgium_meets_Finland.3gp"

mplayer -ss 00:16 -endpos 15:13 -fs "From_industrial_heartland_to_Internet_age_round_2.3gp" #END!!!!

showtext "At first glance, it’s hard to think of two cultures more different than Belgium’s southern French speaking Wallonia and Finland’s southeastern lake region. Finland is rural, Nordic, and Lutheran, a place of big spaces, big forests, and big lakes. Belgium is urban, Latin and Roman Catholic, a place of crowded industrial landscapes, carefully cultivated fields and man-made canals."

showtext "And yet, both are homes to Google data centres, and when our Finnish partners recently visited Belgium for two days of workshops, they found many things in common. Both regions built their economies on big traditional industries that are fast disappearing - paper and pulp in Finland, coal and steel in Belgium. Both have big neighbors - Russia and France. And both have willpower to work with us to help jump, as our partners put it, “from the Industrial Heartland to the Internet age.”\n\nhttp://googlepolicyeurope.blogspot.de/2013/12/joining-belgium-and-finland-around-data.html"

We don't live in that kind of world

title "We don't live in that kind of world"

The story that MEGA-CORPORATIONS in unison with POLITICIANS, DIRECTORS, MANAGERS, and to some degree SCIENTISTS and HISTORIANS have been constructing is that THE UTOPIAN has invented the Internet, and by extension should be considered as a forefather of the MEGA-CORPORATION. Consequently, there is no alternative for handing our cultural heritage over to the MEGA-CORPORATION. We will be better off if we trust them to care for it, and for us, now and in the future.

300px

How dare they sell us such dystopia with the help of Otlet's own statement: "No idea is too great or foolish when it comes to changing the world"?

By showing you how Otlet's Radiated Library is being turned into THE MEGA-CORPORATION on paper, I hope we can start to think together about what story could have been told in it's place.

If no idea is too great or foolish when it comes to changing the world ...

... I am wondering what keeps us from changing it.

title "mondotheque.be"

Generique

  • THE ARCHITECT Le Corbusier
  • THE ARCHIVIST Stephanie Manfroid
  • THE CAPITAL Brussels
  • THE CARETAKER
  • THE DIRECTOR Jean-Paul Deplus, Steve Crossan
  • THE EVANGELIST Vint Cerf
  • THE JOURNALIST Alex Wright
  • THE MANAGER Delphine Jenart, Bill Echikson
  • THE MEGACORPORATION United States Steel Corporation, Google
  • THE POLITICIAN Henri Lafontaine, Elio Di Rupo
  • THE REGION Sarajevo, Wallonia (East: Namur; West: Mons), Finland
  • THE SCIENTIST Boyd Rayward
  • THE UTOPIAN Paul Otlet, Marie and Otto Neurath