[NetBehaviour] "Open Source Culture"

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Wed Apr 6 21:47:42 CEST 2011


On 06/04/11 11:39, Aymeric Mansoux wrote:
> my question was driven by a
> broader interest in the way art and politics are being mixed up, and of
> course remixed, for the best and the worst in copyleft art.

In my opinion the important thing about copyleft as a practical
political measure, that both its left and right wing critics tend to
fail to engage with productively, is that it is reflexive. It applies
only to the work that it applies to, and the people who create and use
that work have the freedom to work with it as the users of that work.
That is, as hackers, or as artists, or as some other identity other than
as robust individuals or proletarians.

As politics it is the politics of being free from the politics that
prevent you being free as a hacker or as an artist.

This means that copyleft is more like a medium than a political agenda:
it enables the creation of certain kinds of art rather than demanding
particular subject matter or content.

It is, in various interesting ways, form.

> I'm starting a PhD at Goldsmiths that is quite focussed on this issue and
> my approach is to see the license as if it was an art manifesto. I am
> doing so in order to "reverse engineer" the artistic intention behind
> copyleft art and see why, how and under which circumstances it can or
> cannot work. 

How it cannot work is an interesting area. In art, we are all
collaborating anyway as individuals, so we don't necessarily need to
wikify (to borrow Evan Podromou's term) art in order to promote free
culture. On the other hand, the opportunities of collaboration are great
if good models can be found. This means the Linux Kernel model rather
than the Early Wikipedia model, which tends to lead to chaos.

> I hope to be able to share some early texts about that in a few months. 

I look forward to seeing that!

- Rob.

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