Announcing: README 100: Temporary software art factory
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README 100: Temporary software art factory

Call for proposals: Deadline August 8, 2005

Readme festival in the year 2005 aims at supporting the production of software art projects and texts critically engaging with software art. Readme 100 will support up to 6 projects and up to 6 articles on the competition basis. Each project will get a budget from 500 to 3000 euros (depending on the project complexity) and each article - 500 euros. The completed or close to completion works and texts will be presented at the off-line event scheduled for November 4-5, 2005 in the State and City Library of Dortmund, Germany. Completed works will be honorably published at Runme.org repository.

Proposals for projects and texts should be sent to og {at} dxlab.org and inke.arns {at} hmkv.de no later than August 8. Readme 100 only supports new projects and texts. The decision will be publicly announced on August 15, 2005. Please prepare the material in whatever format you see fit. Make sure you include the concept / outline (around 1 page of text -approx. 1.800 characters), a short CV, links to your previous projects, the estimate budget, and any material you find appropriate.

Different ways of software art production, including self-employing, hiring, using open source solutions, interfacing with IT economy sector and educational/cultural institutions.

Besides ways of production common for art and open source, we suggest to consider outsourcing solutions (more details on Readme website) as they are proven to be efficient and adequate for the modern globalized economy.

Factory - idea and location:
Readme 100 wishes to use the potential of the idea of production. Software art is often produced using conventional software production models; sometimes pragmatic software tools get regarded in terms of software art and vice versa: software art projects get used and sold as tools. One could hire an Indian programmer to code a piece of software art; one could get rich from selling well-advertised unconventional software, one could discover that an author of a conventional software piece always felt it was something "different". Readme temporary software art factory would like to focus not only on the product itself, but on the way of its production, and experiment with different models of production in relation to art, including outsourcing, work within IT companies or self-production.

Readme 100 regards texts as essential parts of the production process; critical texts are welcome to be produced at the temporary software art factory.

What makes Dortmund particularly interesting as a venue for Readme 100 is the fact that the city and the whole region of the Ruhrgebiet is in full transition from a former heavy industrial city (coal, steel) to a city/region focusing on new technologies.
This setting symbolises exactly the transition from a fordistic / industrial production model to a post-fordistic / post-industrial one. The fordistic production model is represented by, e.g. Hollerith calculating machines, machine processing, "mechanization takes command", batch processing. The post-fordistic, globalization-related model which started to evolve in the 1970s, is characterised by upcoming concepts of timesharing, offshore outsourcing, borders transparent for capital but not for human resources, the introduction of object oriented programming languages, the increasing networking of computers and the first multimedia computers. The "temporary software art factory" as a concept relates both to the originally fordistic calculating machine, the networked, interactive medium that emerged from it, and globalized modes of production.

Readme 100 is hosted by Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund, Germany, and is organized by Inke Arns, Olga Goriunova, Francis Hunger and Alexei Shulgin. The organizers will also form a selection committee together with Amy Alexander and Alex McLean from Runme.org.

Readme is a travelling media art festival with a focus on software art. Its mission is software art development and critical contextualisation. Readme is closely related with Runme.org, the software art repository.

Readme festival history:
2002, Moscow. Beginning of formation of self-reflecting scene. Generating the first definitions of software art.
2003, Helsinki. Launch of Runme.org, the software art repository. Introduction of software art categories. Accumulating projects in the database.
2004, Aarhus. Further development of critical discourse: Software Art and Cultures Conference. Runme-Dorkbot city camp - a face-to-face meeting of "people doing strange things with software".

Why is the festival called "Readme 100" if it is just the forth edition:
4 equals 100 in the binary numeral system; we use this system here for the reason of beauty of the title.

Readme 100 is supported by:
-Ministerium fuer Staedtebau und Wohnen, Kultur und Sport des Landes NRW, "OffScene"
-Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, Dortmund
-LesArt Literaturfestival, Dortmund
-Kulturbuero Stadt Dortmund


Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund