[-empyre-] Olive Oil

kim collmer kcollmer at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 6 18:12:17 EST 2010

Elephant's Dream was promoted as an open source animation project which led many to think this meant an open source creative project but it was just the tools and the files (which is still something but not what I thought).  I think people like the idea of open source projects because it sounds hip and new and then they misuse their meaning, but perhaps this wasn't a misuse, just a misunderstanding. Like you say, it needs clearer definition.

Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie, made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license.

The coding practice you describe sounds very positive and productive. Perhaps someday a project like this really could evolve within the creative arts. I know people are trying. Some friends of mine just made a "Super! Power! Rock Opera" opening in Berlin this weekend with video edited from you tube submissions. I wouldn't call it open source by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a fun example of people making creative work from many different locations (decentralized) with an "end product" so to speak. I know there are many, many examples like this out there, this is just one of them.


From: "marloes at goto10.org" <marloes at goto10.org>
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Sent: Mon, April 5, 2010 11:27:09 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Olive Oil

> Quoting christopher sullivan <csulli at saic.edu>:

> see there is method to my olive oil madness, it does open up some doors.
I guess my beef about decentralization, is when it is described as the
only possible evolution of creative work. It is a mode, and a valid one,
but not the only avenue.

Decentralization has many different meanings and implementations in 
different fields. In the field of collaborative (software) development,
decentralization through a distributed code repository actually means
artists/coders are not building one central project/cathedral together but
are free to copy or fork it (or part of it) and can choose to take parts
and build something new, contribute to the main project, simply own the
cloned project, etc.

> Cathedrals, like all great wonders of the world, where built by
> slaves. I love to walk in them though. My films are more like the one  
carving in the corner, that is part of the cathedral, but there are of 
course other vouces in my carvings, but I do control them very
> much..There is room for many models of creative work, and democracy do
not have to enter every aspect of life, or art. I play guitar, but
watching Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler play together, is a pleasure in
audience, I do not have to jump on stage..

I agree, you do not have to jump! It does not make sense to talk about
decentralization or distributed systems in creative processes when 
referring to solo artists (perhaps only when talking about distribution of

creative output). The context was collaborative practice (and such  
practice naturally only makes sense for certain types of work).

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wTVLIZaxMk&feature=related
> an open source worst case scenario is the very odd Elephants dream. the 
result of decentralization to the point of creating an animation like,
narrative like, creation that ends up being about nothing.

The movie is made by a core team of 6 (selected) people. It was not
produced in a decentralized way at all as far as I know. The "openness" of
the movie only refers to the (mostly) open source tools used in its
creation, not the way the content was developed. I guess this is another
example of "open" being a really confusing and wrong word to use in front
of anything else except door. It is very fashionable though (but
seriously, it means nothing unless you define it clearly).


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