Set up projects that integrate/include talks and/or hands-on training in e-cultural management
In the eyes of Turkish e-culture actors, the Dutch digital culture ecosystem seems to have the most institutionalized cultural infrastructure in Europe. Organization is one of the key skills that is missing in the art and culture field in Turkey. Artists and cultural professionals often learn by trial and error. The most interesting expertise the Dutch digital field can bring to Turkey is organization models, education models, and ‘business models’ for art and culture. This can best be done during a project, not by a project solely focused on this. So rather than designing a training with the direct purpose to increase management capacities, review any given project idea and discuss with Turkish partners what aspect of the management of that project is of interest to them, what tools do they think can be useful to them? Be open to share management info. Have talks during projects about: How can an artist initiative start and stay sustainable? What are the best practices for running a non-profit art space? How to leverage the digital collaboration tools to support your organization? What are the best practices in presenting digital art? How to keep your organization learning while growing? How to collaborate with established organizations such as universities, government, and large foundations? How to find and manage cultural funds?
Bring actors from both countries in the digital field together
The actors of art and culture ecosystem in Turkey seem to take high risks. They have to be practical and quick to be able to get things done in Turkey’s low budget high risk ecosystem. So it could be valuable for the art and culture professionals in Turkey to exchange their experience based knowledge with the ones in Netherlands. The Netherlands have several old and established e-culture institutions that could send out open calls for projects (practically managed by the Dutch) to e-cultural actors in Turkey that can bring diverse actors in the Turkish digital scene together. Offering e-culture people from Turkey a visitors program in the Netherlands is very important to increase both collaboration between Dutch and Turkish people active in e-culture and to help develop the field in Turkey.
Focus on artists that comment upon the techno-social environment
The general public and some activist groups are concerned about the government’s internet censorship and copyright acts. General critics of digital culture particularly deal with authorship, copyright, surveillance, remix, virtualization of body, database / archiving, hybrid identities, network mapping, network building, and online communities.
Internet censorship is also the top concern in debates amongst e-culture people. Other topics discussed by e-culture people include authorship, digital labor, internet economy, interactivity, and urban informatics.
There are a lot of interesting examples and relevant (local and global) issues from Turkey and the Netherlands that Dutch and Turkish e-cultural people can discuss.
Focus on (debates on) databases, archives, info graphics and mappings
There is a trend in Turkey (mostly Istanbul and one project I know of in Izmir) to make databases, archives, info graphics and mappings of all kinds by cultural actors from various disciplines. Some seminars about the cultural implications of this kind of activity, critical input by e-culture people and an analysis of the sustainability, methodologies and techniques used would be welcome. In 2010 Mediamatic organized some workshops on mapping and info graphics in Amsterdam and such type of projects would be meaningful in Turkey as well. Projects also are advised to put the maintenance and sustainability of such databases, archives and mappings on the agenda.
Support any activities that bring actors of the digital subcultures together
If the aim is to create more partnerships between the Netherlands and Turkey in the field of e-culture, it may be a good idea to also fund Dutch e-culture organizations that organize a project in Turkey without a Turkish partner. The main aim of such projects needs to be to bring together various e-cultural actors and form sustainable networks.
Digital media, art photography and video are very popular with the latest cohorts of students and youth in Turkey. Because there are at present very few outlets for these graduates to show their work it can be expected that the coming wave of digitally literate youth and graduates will face problems finding jobs and showing their work. The Netherlands could be helpful to set up projects or structures that may absorb these youth.
Educate digital media educators
Some e-critical mass needs to be build in Turkey, in order to guide the coming wave of youth and design and communication designs graduates that are computer-addicted towards critical artistic production in digital media. There reportedly is a lack of digital media educators on all levels that focus on something else than technique. Bilgi VCD Communication design & design, Sabancı Faculty of arts & social sciences (FASS), Yıldız and Izmir economy university Graphic Design & new media departments may be visited by and connected to Dutch partners. Educator to educator exchanges are seen as the best way to reach more students and for exchanging knowledge and ideas. In Turkey the hierarchic distance between students and professors can be large, so exchange amongst equals (student-to-student, teacher-to-teacher) may overcome some inhibitions that arise from this power-gap.
Stimulate internet collaboration because it is cheap, sustainable and international
Overall, the increase in sustainable collaboration in the e-culture field should be a priority because it seems underdeveloped on all levels. Internet collaboration has a few characteristics than other cultural disciplines lack: it does not rely on expensive and logistically challenging transports of goods and people, which makes it relatively cheap. Online collaborations can also be maintained and continue for a longer period of time and potentially be meaningful to larger audiences in both countries