Name: Başak Şenova
Interview by: Soenke Zehle
Date: 3 - 7 March, 2009
Location: Winter Camp 09, Amsterdam
On the operational logic of the Upgrade! network. Network development is based on personal relationships (30 nodes, perhaps 33 by the end of 2009). All members are linked to (art, academic) institutions; local nodes link up to Upgrade! International. Nodes are not individuals, but systems or networks (Upgrade! Istanbul works with Nomad, offering it a platform for meetings, art and content production within digital culture, including the first digital culture archive in Turkey); there is no standardization of formats and platform, but curatorial principles do exist. International meetings help find common denominators and establish collaboration, but p2p collaboration among nodes also occurs as members (many of whom are artists and curators) are already friends and now that collaboration will work. Upgrade! does not offer an "Upgrade! Identity" to affiliated artists, but promotes sharing. Language differences do not overshadow collaboration; the common language is English, but local solutions and multilingual websites exist, other software-based tools are being developed. Other conflicts relate to the difficulty of creating new nodes in Gaza or Cairo, but such projects also promote acquaintance with these geographies.
Read the blogpost of the final presentation of Upgrade! here: