[-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network

Dmytri Kleiner dk at trick.ca
Fri Jan 13 04:40:32 EST 2012

Definitely Simon. But as mentioned, this is only a tiny fringe. A small 
percentage of the total number of cultural workers, who are are 
currently working for the capitalist cultural industry.

Thus, within Capitalism, our social capacity for the production of open 
works will always be tiny in comparison to our social capacity for 
"closed" works. Is this what we mean by "There is no disconnect?"... 
that out of the entire body of our cultural productive forces, a small 
minority is able to exist as open producers on the fringes of 
capitalism? If this is the limit of our ambition, than "Free Cultural" 
is nothing more than a sort of lumpen proletariat in the cultural field.

And end even within this meagre ambition of maintaing an "open" 
subcultural fringe, there is still a "disconnect" with capitalism since 
not only will capital not fund open works, but the logic of capital 
conflicts with open practice in the space of what they perceive as their 
rightful consumer market, as we have seen in the persecution of artists 
such as John Oswald, Negitvland, DJ Dangermouse, and many others, not to 
mention the war on file sharing, etc.

Is Free Culture content to be a beleaguered, insular, fringe? Or is 
Free Culture meant to be a critique of our curent cultural industries? 
Does it aim only for it's own meagre existence? Or does it aim for the 
transformation of cultural production? If the answer is the later, than 
this ambition can not be reconciled with capitalism.

Or is Free Culture simply proposing the elimination of the popular 
cultural industries and a massive descaling of cultural production and 
employment? Even this is jousting a windmills. Capitalism will not 
accept the argument that they should just chill out and abandoned 
copyright because the culture they make sucks anyway, and that we can 
make better works with the free time of dilettantes, studends and 

If this our position? Scrap big culture? Personally, like I suspect 
many on list, I generally prefer more experimental and independent 
cultural works and wouldn't really mis Hollywood and friends. But make 
no mistake, understand that in taking such a position we are operating 
without the solidarity of the vast majority of cultural consumers and 
against the interests of the vast majority of people employed in the 
cultural industries. Which means such a position has no social power, no 
political power and no relevancy what so ever.


On 12.01.2012 18:12, Simon Biggs wrote:
> This question of who pays for the writers to write isn't very
> different as to who pays for artists. Many net artists receive no
> payment for their work but they put their work in the public realm 
> for
> nothing anyway. Some artists in other media also work this way. Many
> such artists do not look to their work to generate income directly 
> but
> indirectly - eg: having work in the public realm raises their profile
> and they get museum shows and fees for that. Then they get tenured
> academic positions in art schools because of their shows, etc... This
> economic model has something in common with the software developer
> model you mentioned Dmytri.
> best
> Simon
> On 12 Jan 2012, at 16:56, Dmytri Kleiner wrote:
>> On 12.01.2012 17:26, adam wrote:
>>> Well I think the open source ethic is well aligned with capitalism.
>>> There is no disconnect there.
>> Yet, software has different economics than cultural works. Open 
>> Source developers are paid by organisations that employ such software 
>> in production, and thus the availability of open source packages 
>> reduces their production costs, allowing them to retain more earnings.
>> The same situation occurs only infrequently when it comes to books, 
>> there may be situations where it does, i.e. reference books or 
>> documentation. I can see these being supported by organisations that 
>> are consumers of such works, but not much else.
>> So, if capital will not pay creators of open works. Who will? No 
>> doubt, some fringe can be maintained by cultural grants and simular 
>> social funds, and a wider fringe can maintain itself by working for 
>> free and earning subsistence elsewhere (or simply being rich to begin 
>> with), yet this says nothing of the great majority of books, read by 
>> millions, produced today by the capitalist industry, which offers no 
>> way to make these open books.
>> Best,
>> --
>> Dmytri Kleiner
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK
> skype: simonbiggsuk
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/
> http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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Dmytri Kleiner


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