One way to gauge the characteristics of the open source model when applied
to the production of art would be to look at the outcomes of the
"backup.lounge|lab" project. Is there any evidence of what work was actually
created, either physical or virtual?
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Felix Sattler
Sent: Thursday, 6 February 2003 2:55 AM
Subject: [-empyre-] welcome to february's discussion on open
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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