Our friends of Mediamatic and Partizan Publik recently launched the Amsterdam Biennale last friday, which is the first crowdsourced, user generated biennial in the world. In fact the biennial is an exposition coming with a broader project entitled Mediamatic Travel. This travel project is a contemporary open source travel network with yet 66 participating guides from over 20 different countries. How does it work? On the Mediamatic Travel website guides present themselves as well informed and specialized local agents. They all have some sort of specialism in the fields of contemporary art, media, architecture, or technology. This means you can always find a mind-like insider to tell you some about the best things to do in an unfamiliar city. Guided tours cost 45 euros for the first hour. After this first hour the relation is free. Visitor and guide can spend a whole weekend with each other, but they don’t have to. Which is great!
This makes this approach different from initiatives such as the Hospitality Club and Couch Surfing. It’s about local knowledge in the field of art and design, and not about a place to stay, sharing ideology or saving money. Actually it’s all about sharing particular information. Before I wrote about city surfing, in other words, exploring the art of exploring. How to find the good parties, best bars, clubs and shops in a city you’ve never been to?
If you’re willing to participate as a guide in your city, contact Mediamatic or register on the website. If you want to make use of the Mediamatic Travel services you may like to look around on the travel website or order the Mediamatic Travel catalogue for 2010, which is currently only available in Dutch.