RIXC, the Centre for New Media Culture (1)
was founded in May 2000 by three cultural organizations in Latvia: E-Lab - Electronic Arts and Media Centre Riga, (2)
Locomotive International film and video studio, and the International Baltic Centre for Human Education. The main people involved in developing the RIXC program - Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Ieva Auzina, Normonds Kozlovs and the team at Locomotive International - are extremely active media artists, theorists and curators who have been instrumental in establishing local and international media art networks in the Baltic region. Among their projects are Xchange - International Net.radio network, (3)
NICE - Network Interface for cultural exchange (4)
in the region of North-East Europe, Riga net.Radio OZONE, (5)
the annual new media festival in Riga. The primary focus of these projects is acoustic space within electronic and digital networks.
"The acoustic dimension of electronic media offers an opportunity that is different from visual experience. Sounds can change the quality of a space in a very powerful way-audio environments work more directly. Exploring the impact of sound in electronic environments can broaden our understanding of the electronic space of networked environments." (7)
Despite the social and political constraints that these people faced in Latvia, they have managed to build a solid reputation within international media art communities, especially in matters of Net radio and streaming. Through collaborations with organizations such as the Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Alberta, Canada) and De Balie (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and through listservs, conferences, workshops, underground club nights and content-rich magazines, they have reached a vast audience and encouraged others to explore the social and artistic possibilities of sound and communication through digital and electronic networks.