Re: [-empyre-] welcome to february's discussion on open source-open art

This gets at the heart of collaborative work in general. I think there are
three basic models for such -

1 Nodes - each contributor working independently with little interaction.
An example might be Merce Cunningham's relation to his music/sound.
[a] [b] -> together by parallel presentation
2 Synergetic - working, say, with a programmer, graphic designer, etc.
[a b]
3 Assignment - working independently for later combination - for example a
film I did which was combined with a Heiner Muller play. [a] + [b] ->
together by virtue of perceived interaction.

Each participant is 'tagged' by virtue of her/his specific knowledge -
there are also combinations of knowledges. It's not until analog audio
synthesis (say) came along - voltage-controlled units with inputs - that
one began to speak of 'source' - in the sense of an information (analog or
digital) stream. So one might say there are double sources - those which
are input and those of the analog or digital control structure/patch/
matrix itself.

'Source' however also implies 'origin' - i.e. origin of the source (i.e.
'source of the Amazon' etc.) - is there a presumed hierarchy here? I'd
assume so - think of the roles of programmers/software/wizards on a MOO
in relation to non-programming users or guests -

So it would seem to me that there are problematic notions of power at

Anyway these are some of the things that came to mind -


On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Felix Sattler wrote:

> Dear empyreans and artists of the backup.lounge|lab,
> when Christina and Melinda proposed to discuss our experiences with the open
> source - open art project »backup.lounge|lab« publicly in the empyre forum I
> was very happy to be granted this possibility of extended discussion and
> reflection.
> I. Introduction
> When Alexander Klosch, Carina Linge and I developed the idea for the
> .lounge|lab our aim was not to create an art project for people who are
> involved in open source (however open source programmers where invited as
> long as their work applied to be of artistic nature).
> The theory of open source had proven to be one working model for
> collaborative work on a certain subject. Its regulations, structures and its
> ability to improve something's complexity by the contribution of many
> people's skills rather then to have individualistic narrowness made it our
> choice for the theoretical background of the lab. Furthermore it has been
> discussed widely not only within specialist forums but also in the public
> broadcasting media which makes it easier to understand our goal.
> We believe there is a lot of thrilling collaborative work happening (even
> before .lounge|lab!), we are definitely not innovators on this field. Anyway
> these collaborations mostly remain bound to the realm of artists who are
> dealing with new(er) media and networking structures. Even if these groups
> exist there are heavy differences between groups, (i.e. being more
> scientific, artistic, applied...).
> What we therefore tried to do is form a group of creatives (there is more
> than artists here) who were so different on all possible axis' (genre, age,
> experience, gender...) that they were hardly to meet outside the lab.
> To have this group examine and shape a shared physical space (which we
> though to be a good framework to hold on) was the aim of the lab.
> II. Questions
> During the process of .lounge|lab I came up with a variety of questions
> based on what we experienced while working together.
> I would very much like to start the discussion with these questions, however
> anybody might feel free to ignore these questions and pose others - or
> answer those not posed yet (remember this is an open source theory-based
> project!). They are more offers on what to talk about than guidelines.
> III. questions
> a) sources:
> 1. What does the term "source(s)" mean to an artistic environment?
> 2. Which elements of the artistic process can become exchangeable sources
> and how can they be determined -> Basically meaning "what is it I would like
> to contribute and what do I want to receive/learn from the others" (i.e.
> technical knowledge, conceptual approach, material, files,...)?
> 3. Open source code development is bound to a certain programming language
> and the knowledge of this language. The language will generalise the
> discussion/development and makes it possible to understand it.
> What kind of catalysts/interpreters may be used to create such a generalised
> environment for a collaborative art project in order we have to speak the
> same language?
> This refers also to the meaning and relations of the virtual and the tactile
> dimension. For .lounge|lab we tried to use the physical space of the
> exhibition as a catalyst everybody could understand and deal with; it might
> be worth to find out what the virtual space may offer here?
> I guess that might give us enough to start here, at least I hope so, please
> feel free to demand more (or less!) background information on the lab and
> our concepts. Anyway I am very sure this discussion here should not be bound
> to a single project but extend beyond and reflect on it.
> Thank you all for contributing!
> Felix
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
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