Cyberspace is still uncharted territory. Independence declarations and cowboys formulating in the data space show that clearly. By its very existence, the electronic space is redefining economic structures and promises new virtual territories that will "digital territories". The question is how these economic and political developments affect our interpretations of global information. How do these information flows affect real life conditions?

Pop~tarts interprets the emergence of new data areas based on the theories of saskia sassen, professor of urban planning at columbia university, and demonstrates them with artistic internet projects.

Pop~feature about ingo gunther’s project refugee republic. Saskia sassen’s article on the new centrality in the telepolis focus ie "city on the net".

Refugees excluded!

More and more net users determine their digital territory and their virtual home in the data space as self-evidently as one determines one’s homepage or the "home"-key on their keyboard.


Diplomatic nsk passport

Artists, who are often the first to move into new mental territories, are now also increasingly becoming the ones imposing fashions and lifestyles. Many have quickly taken up the new possibilities of electronic landscapes. Artificial states and virtual republics include new economic opportunities and personal freedoms. Such digital territories are a practical implementation of real existing problems in the geopolitical data space. Also the change of the understanding of the real geographical space and claims to it are multi-edged. Political borders are obviously still dependent on national interests. However, these are increasingly determined by economic strategies and are often deliberately generated. The gulf war has shown this in frightening reality. Other examples are the developments in the former yugoslavia, the former soviet union and the gdr. An ill-defined political and economic entity still controls the lives and futures of the people in these areas and affects their individual living conditions.

In her most recent lectures in vienna and graz, saskia sassen criticized and clarified the conditions of non-territorial state formation. Like urban development, it can be seen as not bound to geographic but to economic conditions. The masculinized concept of land grabbing is increasingly transferred to electronic space.

Except for the belgian chantal mouffe, who is among the "paradoxes of democracy" works, sassen is one of the few female thinkers in this context. Sassen clarifies the concept of the city and its importance in the global economy

…Telecommunications has affected and altered the economic function of [international] cities.

Saskia sassen

What becomes important in the context of electronic space is that a state can function like a company. This is a consequence of the globalization of communication, production of information and the financial market based on data flows as a new basis of the state capital. The control and centralization of power take place in the service metropolises, which need the presence of refugees in blue work clothes to provide the services necessary for the economy.

Artistic states are not only an image for a model of thought, which is transferred to the electronic space for better orientation. On the internet we are currently witnessing a digital gold rush. Companies, nations and individuals are staking their claims, personal electronic territories, as gold diggers once did. Today, as in the past, economic interest pays.

In the meantime, more than 70 "micronations", electronic small states, listed on the internet.

These network states are real self-governing entities and registered as companies. They are not fictitious constructs, not fantasy entities. Some net art projects also lay claim to real territory in data space.

The theme of the "micronations", which are created out of economic, theoretical or artistic interest, can be treated by several artistic examples:

Visit these states or even become a netburger!

Virtual embassy nsk – new slovenian art refugee republic – ingo guenther rr at t0 west bank industries nomad territories invisible embassy of seborga


nsk pass exhibition

A member of irwin, the visual arts department within the art group nsk (new slovenian art) will exhibit at the opening of the hamburg exhibition discord sabotage of reality on 28. Nov. 96 travel passports.

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