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The beginnings

The history of the Internet platform netzspannung.org starts in August 1998. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) commissioned the MARS Exploratory Media Lab at the Fraunhofer Institute for Media Communication to carry out a study investigating the feasibility of a "competence centre for art, culture and new media". In those days interdisciplinary work on art, culture and technology was not yet fully explored in Germany.
The study examined the question of how experiences of artists, scientists, and designers with information technology systems can be made sensory and meaningful for today's society. The results are based on ten key questions about the current state of media art, which were answered in detail by the electronic arts community. In this way the experiences and recommendations of international artists, curators and scientists were incorporated in the study.
These study results gave rise to a concept, entitled CAT (Communication, Art & Technology), which outlined a network for communicating art, culture and new media. The concept envisaged the network as a communication, service and work platform that would catalogue current skills and areas of interest through documentation, observation and networking, helping to shape these skills and preoccupations through core research interests of its own.
On the basis of this concept the Ministry of Education and Research commissioned the MARS exploratory media lab to set up such a network.
More on the beginnings:
› CAT History _Step by Step (link to netzspannung.org website, version 1)  
› CAT study. Volumes 1+2 (German)  
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