RE: [-empyre-] meanings of meanings of exchange
Dear Felix, Jon, et al,
Sorry to have abandoned the discussion. The ideas of open source,
transparency and rhizomatic development bring a really interesting
perspective and range of possibilities to the development of artistic
practice especially in electronic art. I think the backup.lounge lab project
really offers an important indicator for future development and the "opening
up" of art practice. Of course it brings with it endless areas of discussion
and debate about how best to proceed or what meanings are revealed on
I used open source software as a comparison to the processes that might
emerge in a potential open source art arena, and will continue to do so as
it seems like a useful way of elucidating the issues at hand.
Rhizomatics - the GPL and LGPL licensing system used in open source software
has allowed or encouraged a complex branching of software projects into
application specific / personal / and project based versions, leading to
often chaotic strata all inheriting in some way from the original code base.
I'm sure one can see how a collaborative art project might spawn and branch
organically in this way with the infusion of new ideas, and idiosyncratic
approaches. However, there has also been a strong normative force in open
source software that allows reliable, predictable platforms like GNOME to
evolve. I wonder how this might exhibit itself in the art arena?
Transparency - I think the techniques and methods involved in art production
will be of primary interest to the collaborative practitioners themselves,
just as the source code is of interest to software developers. The general
user is only interested in the functionality of the software. I am not
suggesting that an art audience is not interested in the process of
production or that they are merely consumers. In fact what really interests
me in the open source approach is the engagement of everyone in art practice
and the overthrow of conventional modes of production and consumption. We
cannot escape the everyday small scale vectors of knowledge/power, but we
can all engage as producers, consumers and mediators. We can engage
creatively when we share and exchange ideas. The notions of ownership are
blurred, and questions of the ontological status of the work are even more
This falls very short of a complete response, time is at a premium at the
moment. I look forward to watching the debate unfold.
> Felix wrote:
>> It is very interesting to read that you are almost only
>> referring to the meta-level of code production (I will
>> use the term "code" in the following because we may use
>> this as a substitute for artistic artefacts also, still I
>> personally like to keep in touch with the collaborative
>> art space rather then drifting away to where we came
> Felix, do you mean drifting away from the "code production"
> aspect of the definition of Open Source that arises out
> of/from those theorypractices? Drifting away from "computer
> culture"? Drifting away from "computer science"?
Yes. Our project had NOTHING to do with computer science or open source code
production. We only utilised (de-contextualised) the theory of open source
and its natural results being both transparency and establishment of
collaborations for the art realm. We invited filmmakers, video artists,
sculptors, designers, also computer artists and choreographers,
food-artists, media activists...(hope everybody feels included here).
We were/are of the opinion that within open source theory there are many
ideas useful for the art world. The attempt of the lab was to explore the
possibilities of the translation process (computer science -> art).
> Felix wrote:
>> But: The system definitely will shape the information
>> because it influences its structure (take the rhizome
>> model as one example).
> Are you referring to rhizome.org and/or more generally to
> D&G's rhizome models and it's various permutations
> throughout networks and discourses?
I am referring to the rhizome model (nothing to do with rhizome.org). Many
networks use this model to organise information, i.e. www.nic-las.com does.
At backup we were discussing possible ways to document the lab online and to
create a platform for further discourse. We did not want to use the rhizome
model for our documentation because we demanded a system that applies less
structure to the input.
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