[NetBehaviour] "Open Source Culture"

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun Apr 3 14:40:59 CEST 2011

On 03/04/11 09:17, Aymeric Mansoux wrote:
> @rob: "Open Source culture / Free Culture tends to get mixed up with
> appropriation art, collaborative art and other ideas". Can you point to
> a text that develop this specifically,

Well there's my essay at the end of FLOSS+Art, the expanded "Open Source
Art Again". :-)

> or maybe elaborate a bit?

I mean it in two senses:

Firstly, artists tend to use philosophical and political ideas more as
inspiration or metaphors than as rigorous and binding definitions. If an
artist says that they're working in an Open Source way or they are
inspired by Free Software, they may just be intending to collaborate
with people or appropriate work in ways that don't fit the Open Source
Definition or the Free Software Definition.

So in this way the ideas tend to get mixed up as they are not used
accurately, and so their meaning drifts into other areas.

There's nothing wrong with that, artists must be free to work creatively
with concepts. It can be frustrating when people are *almost* there but
are using a non-free licence or saying that they are sharing or freeing
work when they are obviously not, though.

Secondly, artists who are interested in Open Source or Free Culture tend
to be also interested in more general ideas of collaboration,
appropriation, and free speech. When they talk or write about what Free
and Open culture mean to them, they tend to also talk about
appropriation, collaboration, anti-censorship and other vitally
important ideas.

So in this way the ideas tend to get mixed up as people have wider
interests and don't single out Free and Open culture as a single topic
of discussion.

There's nothing wrong with that, indeed to promote Free Culture it would
be very silly to limit ourselves to copyright and licencing issues.
Those are important, more so than people generally realise, but chilling
effects on free speech come from many more sources.

- Rob.

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