maybe some more clarification needed ;-)
> If I can connect some dots in what you say above, then maybe the
> romantic cliché of the hacker mixed with net politics, P2P software,
> media art and the early commercial success of free software and open
> source led to the appropriation of copyleft by artists and
> intellectuals, turning it into some statement beyond the software realm.
while this is not wrong and also not such a bad thing in itself, my
posting was actually pointing to another thing, namel that there existed
cultures and practices where there are exchanges and meeting points
between hackers, artists, activists and intellectuals which are more
two-way. This goes much beyond the sort of fetishised appropriation of
the legal aspect of free software.
Artist groups such as the Situationists rallied around copyleft ideas
which they called Potlatch in the 1950s. Politicised video artists in
the 1970s invented their own social forms, such as the open media
workshop, where they shared materials and knowledge. What now exists as
'hackerspaces' had precurses in the net culture lab of the 1990s such as
backspace, bootlab, netbase, ljudmilja, etc. Some aspects of this are
covered in my article for the ambienttv.net book
In my opinion in those creative milieus of early net culture there were
multiple lines of exchanges between people of different backgrounds.
Linux and free software were important but so were other more tacit
types of knowledge and practices. Not just the artists learned from
hackers but for those also often new worlds opened up and those new ways
of referencing work and issues stand behind socially engaged practices
in media art (understood as umbrella term which includes net art,
software art, locative, etc.) which so far have not got enough support
in publications and theoretical writing.
That said, a proper commitment to only using free software by media art
organisations and a commitment to put all funded publications in the
public domain would also be good, although limited steps