[-empyre-] Olive Oil

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Tue Apr 6 20:56:40 EST 2010

..on Tue, Apr 06, 2010 at 01:12:17AM -0700, kim collmer wrote:
> 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. 

It manifests more commonly with creative tools rather than artworks, for sure.

There are often several phases and scales to a participatory programming
project.  The 'open source' development model doesn't assume it is mandatory to
develop every element of a software artwork publicly, from the first line of
code on. Some artists (myself included) often prefer to collaborate with friends
(pre-natal participation) and only publicly release the work alongside the
source-code when we feel our idea has been successfully implemented (post-natal

This way the actual implementation can live on, perhaps proving to be useful to
others and improved as a result. If not, then the
'socially-productive-selfishness' of such a model still applies: forking is a
form of flattery!


Julian Oliver
home: New Zealand
based: Berlin, Germany 
currently: Berlin, Germany
about: http://julianoliver.com
> ________________________________
> 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.
> http://www.elephantsdream.org/
> 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).
> Best,
> Marloes
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