Dancing on the remains of the 20th century

I am on my way back from the still ongoing conference ‘Kreative Arbeit und Urheberecht‘ (Arbeit2.0) organized by irights.info and the HKMV in Dortmund. The conference is taking place in the phoenix-halle on the terrain of the former phönix-west iron works in Dortmund. The whole terrain is currently being developed into a nanotechnology/creative-industries/science park and this development takes place around the industrial ruin of the blast furnaces 5 & 6 of the former Phönix-west iron works, where at the hight of production in the early 20th century more than 6.200 workers produced steel.

We spend Friday's lunch-break exploring the impressive ruin by climbing up to the top of the remaining blast furnace (most of the second one has been disassembled and shipped to china where is has been reassembled), which is quite a fantastic environment to explore as you can see from this series of beautiful black and white pictures taken within the same complex). Interestingly the construction workers that where renovating parts of the ruin did not seem to care about our presence at all (as long as we would greet them with ‘mahlzeit’ that is…).

For me the ruin provided a quite apt (and somewhat cynical) backdrop for the discussions of the conference which on the first day centered around the question how creative individuals can make a living from their work in times of ubiquitous access to creative works and a ever more repressive copyright system geared at preserving the rights of ‘big content’ and inflexible collective rights management organizations. I am sure that i was not the only person who took the ruins on the horizon as evidence that even the most established branches of industry can disappear as the result of changes that happen around them…

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