Hi and not overprolonging this - picking up on this thread of discussion
between Marc and Martin as well as perhaps a newly felt nostalgia for the
90s I was reminded of something James Wallbank said at the Moot in another
panel this week about how he would be saying more or less the same thing he
first said at Next Five Minutes in 1999 - I asked him afterwards about this
given the level of shift in terms of access to technologies since then and
he said nothing much had changed. I have therefore dug out the following
link and see that of course it was visionary and maybe this is what we are
missing these days and looking back to try to find. .
The Moot was conceived initially by the AHRC as a 'fair' to encourage
people to get their hands on stuff rather than just listen to presentations
- it was focussed at the outset on the digital humanities where actually
there is a new level of excitement about some of what is being discovered
or revealed. This mood may be what is reminding some of us of early days of
excitement in what is now ubiquitous 'new media' culture. The idea of a
village fayre was realised in the Hackspace which I was invited to help
curate which allowed for proximity and juxtaposition (eg The British
Library were beside Active Ingredient - the Makers Guild beside university
of Southampton and Graeme Earl...body>data>space was beside the Open
Knowledge Foundation and British Museum with its virtual autopsy scanner
etc). I guess it was hard to get round all the stalls as well as sit
through numerous panels....something to feedback to AHRC when they do an
evaluation. I would refute seeing this stuff as mere tools...but that is a
much longer discussion. Tomorrow I am going to hear James Gleick speaking
at the RCA and no doubt will run some of these thoughts through my mind for
some days to come.
So to summarise - the Moot was seeking to be a decentralised, idiosyncratic
event which was nevertheless organised by a research council. It's
generally agreed there were too many panels (intellectuals often revert to
type) but nevertheless they threw up some ideas which hopefully can be
addressed in other fora in future. Time for Another Next 5 Minutes? (not my
idea but there are some who are mooting it).....
On 22 November 2012 16:51, Martin John Callanan (UCL)
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hi Marc
> There is certainly a lot of art currently being produced that can as easily
> be produced to the same or higher standard using open source programs, and
> be done cheaper with older hardware. There is even things which can only be
> done with open source software.
> But to suggest this as the only solution, in my opinion, discounts too
> much. It creates restrictions on the Artist. It would be to keep the artist
> as amateur and hobbyist.
> Example, for an artist to work at the level of cutting edge science, for an
> artist to inform science, requires access to that same hardware and
> software. Stuff that can't be made in a garage, it's stuff made by
> the collaboration of nation states and taking the whole career's of world
> leading experts.
> Software, be it open source or not, remains a tool: a abstraction of the
> computer, to allow its manipulation. To make to function how I want more
> easily than writing machine or assembly code.
> Photoshop may not be the image editing software I'd design, but it works,
> or I can make it work. I don't need to make Photoshop to edit images.
> A Raspberry Pi may work to play video files, but there will be times when
> you have to spent ten times the money on a Brightsign player with
> it's propriety s/w. If an artist isn't actively involved in the development
> of open source s/w, then I don't see there is a difference in them using
> open or not.
> We are still talking about acquired tools. A recycled computer makes better
> use of finite resources, but it remains an abstraction as much as a shiny
> new one. The artist hasn't mined the minerals and etched the chipset. The
> old and new are the same to the artist: a tool.
> On 22 November 2012 16:07, marc <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Hi Lindsay,
> > Looking forward to hearing about your experience at
> http://319scholes.org/in New York...
> > At Furtherfield, all the tech we use is now recycled and reused. We are
> > completely open source, this includes the set up of the exhibiting space
> > and administration. Control over one's tools of creative production is
> > as significant as having control over one's creative ideas. And, media
> > as an art practice, has gained various attributes which allow processes
> > self-autonomy. There is something about working with technology and the
> > Internet that changes our perception of the world, and how we operate in
> > it. Other than the world becomes less definable as nations and states. It
> > evolves into a way of engaging and understanding other things, other
> > worlds, other possibilities; touching on aspects of being able to re-edit
> > 'source' materials, whether it be hardware, software or code, and
> > this knowledge with its learned experiences into, real-life situations.
> > This philosophy or tech orientated agency I feel is (as Access Space do),
> > now one of the most significant factors of being aware of contemporary
> > social contexts, and integration of ecological responsibility needs full
> > support by all art venues and institutions right across the board.
> > So, regarding your approach to open source philosophy, I am wondering how
> > it's working at the moment and how is this (if at all) challenging those
> > artists who come your venue expecting to use propriety software?
> > Wishing you well.
> > marc