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M-CULT
http://www.m-cult.org

The newly founded (in 2000) association M-Cult represents media cultural practitioners in Finland. It brings together individuals and organisations by providing a platform for collaboration, information exchange and networking. M-cult acts on behalf of the field within governmental bodies, international networks and the European Union. Media culture is understood as media art, media cultural research and culturally driven production within new media.

The association follows closely to the economical and political developments of media culture in the society and policy making and actively proposes initiatives within those sectors. The association advises its members by organising services, education and through providing contact information of experts.

The association m-cult improves the awareness of media culture by organising seminars, exhibitions and other events and actively disseminates information of events and important issues within its field of activities. The association improves the general working conditions of media culture by enhancing possibilities for production, distribution, business development, and critical discussion. M-cult works closely with policy makers and other organisations in the field to construct policies for media culture.

To reach these goals, the association will plan and set up a Finnish Center for Media Culture.

CENTRE FOR MEDIA CULTURE IN FINLAND

The main goal of m-cult is to set up a Centre for Media Culture in Finland. During the year
2000 a feasibility study will be started to write out a plan of activities, physical location, funding and organisation of the centre. Very important for this process is to construct a network for collaboration. The centre works through collaboration with existing organisations.

The functions of the centre have been drafted according to a five-fold model: Information dissemination, Events, Support- and distribution services, Production and Research.

Information dissemination
The centre gathers information about the practitioners, services, events and organisations within the field of media culture. By using e-mail lists, dedicated web pages and databases information is disseminated widely across the sector. m-cult does PR for Finnish media culture to make its production, research and actors known nationally and internationally. m-cult crosses disciplinary boundaries and enhances communication within media culture.

Events
The centre organises, independently and in collaboration with Finnish and international partners, media cultural events such as seminars, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and competitions. A key component of the events is audience development: research and experiments in interfacing with new audiences for media culture.

Support and distribution services
Within media culture, the centre provides expertise in questions of production, financing, distribution, and legal aspects. Different services are launched to support also product development and business in the field of media culture. In collaboration with national and international partners, m-cult supports distribution of media cultural products and projects.

Production
The centre runs a new media production and experimentation laboratory with both high-end and low-end technologies and thus provides a production environment necessary for the R&D of culturally driven new media content. It also provides residencies for artists and researchers. The lab will be utilised by both individuals and collaboration projects, which may involve SMEs and educational units.

Research
The centre advances media theory and cultural critique of new media by organising debates, seminars and conferences, by publishing national and international writing from the field, and by actively commenting national and international policies that the field of media culture is concerned of. In collaboration with higher education units, other organisations and businesses in the field from Finland and abroad, m-cult carries out research and development projects within the field of new media cultural content production.

contact:

Tapio Mäkelä
researcher, University of Turku
head of development, Meteori Books Inc.
(http://www.meteori.com)

Minna Tarkka
professor, Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki
(http://www.mlab.uiah.fi)