The programme section LifeTouch followed two basic principles: the first was to use the internet as a means to present the full scheme of the programme and activities,which were part of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Maribor 2012, to the entire world. The part of the Maribor 2012 cyber spacedesigned for the LifeTouch programme strand was designed to become a laboratory for a new type of media experiment, an experiment that connects and gathers ECoC Maribor 2012 – related contents from other media sources. The idea was to createa foundation of the multi-layered mosaic about the happenings on the programme schemes of national (mostly the national television channel, which shares a special commitment toward the public interest in the project) and regional media.
Thisway, we wanted the part of the LifeTouch site to become first and foremost gathering grounds for media content about ECoC. The basis would then be expanded, upgraded and rounded into proper from by means of active participation, coordination, and focused operation of multimedia centres in Maribor and its partner cities. Last but not least, our own minimal production capacity was established by cooperating with faculties, as well as faculty mentor who are regarded as the best experts in the country. This allowed us to become faster, more responsive, dynamic, provided us with a greater dimension to research the media itself and, of course, to have live feedback of on going ECOC Maribor 2012 activities. It should be noted that, from a sustainable process development perspective, a group of highly qualified young individuals will remain in Maribor, who will have significantly improved and perfected their knowledge and acquired new experience in media production and journalism. The section contents of LifeTouch also featured the project Reševanje vojaka MARŠa (Saving Private MARŠ). Radio MARŠ is a sore spot of the Maribor student and alternative scene, which is rapidly sinking without being thrown any life lines. The section LifeTouch not only warned about and presented the problems of the radio from multiple perspectives, but also designed a creative project solution by means of close cooperation. In the stage of “saving” the radio itself, the radio station MARŠ broadcasted its program live through the internet portal LifeTouch, where it presented different subjects of the ECoC in themed broadcasts, reports and live reports. This way, the project rounded up the multimedia character of the LifeTouch internet portal and began its own story of the phoenix rising from the ashes.
The second part of the program cycle LifeTouchwas the publication of (auto)reflections, which were divided into two sections. The first part of the contemplations was aimed at following and (auto)reflecting on the programme, events and contents offered by ECoC Maribor 2012. A group of advisors and creative producers for specific art fields, as well as numerous experts on social, ecological and other issues, guaranteed an in-depth look at virtually all fields of human activities and ideas. At the same time, they represented a gateway to some of the most influential names in the country and abroad. In the first stage, their reflections were available in the section Blogs and You – LifeTouch. This presented an opportunity to contact the authors, ask questions, express opinions, and much more. Since this was a cultural project, expression of opinions was subordinate to a basic cultural norm, which is sorely lacking on the internet. The author of the opinion had to identify him or herself by name.
The second part of the reflections was related to contemplations of wider cultural and geopolitical contexts that affected and determined the areas of the eastern cohesion region, including the ECoC area, as experienced throughout history and today. The subproject thus completed the first stage of our mission. In the sections perspectives and reflections – LifeTouch, a wide international network of famous names had already been formed. Even as early over six months before the official start of the ECoC Maribor 2012, famous contributors such as Peter Nadas, Peter Esterhazy, Agnes Heller, Miljenko Jergovič, Robert Perišić, Aleš Debeljak, Igor Grdina, Zoran Kanduč, Andrej Nikolaidis, Teofil Pančič, Tatjana Greif, just to name a few, had agreed to take part in the project. They were invited to deliberate on the (non)cultural existence here and now, on the culture of (non)communication, individual and collective fears and numerous other questions related to or determining our lives in the present moment. The web of reflections and contemplations was expanded as early as 2011 and served as a stepping stone to new options, networking and expansion in 2012.