Hello Aymeric, Armin, Jon, Some brief comments to the discussion, I will try to (at least partly) answer Aymeric's question as well - > > Yet in your original post, you are "zooming" into a precise moment in > time: > >> By the turn of the millennium there was a lot of excitement about the >> possibilities of media art and free software and open content. The >> tone >> had been set by the Wizards of OS conference in Berlin 1999, to my >> knowledge the first event to ask "how can methodologies from free and >> open source software development be applied to other domains, such as >> content production and media art." > > This is precisely within this particular time range that my question > was > framed. In your opinion, what is it concretely that artists and > intellectuals found attractive in free software and open content? > Despite all the proto-copyleft practices they might have been been > experiencing with, what is it in the free software copyleft that > suddenly seems to be so exciting and novel from an artistic > perspective? > Firstly, about the specific time period of late 90s / early 2000s - I thought that this was a very interesting time period, in the sense that the potential of social / networked media had not really been discovered by mainstream media and big corporations but there was a lot of grassroot activism and technology development going on in that domain. Some years ago I started to work on a piece of text that would describe some of the key characteristics of this era and through many twists and turns in my research process I ended up reading a lot of texts from the 1920s and 30s. I've mostly studied a Finnish author Olavi Paavolainen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olavi_Paavolainen) and the group around him called Tulenkantajat ('The Flame Bearers'). In short - Olavi & co were curious about the difference between the reality presented in the official media (books + newspapers) and the reality in flyers that were posted around the cities and given from hand to hand. They were also inspired by the writings of D.H. Lawrence and the fact that since his 'explicit' texts were not published by companies, he was just publishing and disseminating the books himself and there were pirated copies of his books sold in many stores. They were also inspired by Georges Duhamel, who in his book Défense des Lettres was concerned about the fact that various image and sound based medias and 'machines' would take the place of books in the society. I won't dive deeper into this direction but the basic point I wanted to make is that the 'Roaring' 20s might offer an interesting comparison point to 'Dot Com Boom' 90s, in terms of technological / cultural development and the political climate. I'm currently reading some of Rodchenko's own writings, comparing them with contemporary texts about 'hacker ethics'. And to comment more specifically Aymeric's question about why copyleft license has been popular amongst artists - For the past 10 years I was involved in organising Pixelache festival (I've just left that post) and we often had discussions about what are uniting factors of Pixelache participants.... and in my opinion the best answer we came up with was that people share a similar 'attitude' or 'approach' to how (creative) work should be done, and how this should also affect the logic of our organisations and even our societies. Some thoughts related to this came out from Digital Craftsmanship seminar we organised in 2009 (http://www.juhuu.nu/?p=31). Also the wikipedia definition of Critical Design (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_design ) is related to this. About this attitude - I recently visited mobilityshifts conference in NYC (mobilityshifts.org) where Florian Cramer gave a presentation (the presentation was recorded, the recording are going to be online soon, I hope). Florian compared the content and aesthetics of Occupy Wall Street and Steve Jobs memorials - the messages and aesthetics were strikingly similar. The main point of his talk (which dealt with education) in my understanding was that the characteristics of 'rebel entrepreneurs' / 'activist investors' and 'resilient' / 'struggling' activists are both embracing the idea that as individuals we have to learn to survive in tough conditions, that we have to have control over the tools we use, that we need open structures that can adapt to new situations. Florian's presentation was a kind of 'warning' for activists - that we should be more specific about what structures should become more open and in what way. So, finally, to get back to Aymerics question... The reason(s) why artists want to use copyleft might be: 1 - Since there has been a great genuine transformation in information technologies, some artists might find that using copyleft gives some concrete positive benefits (I think this group is a small minority) 2 - Artists might find copyleft licence to be a way to associate their work with certain discourses / attitudes / organisations / people, so instead of a licensing model it's used as a kind of brand 3 - Artists might use copyleft in the hope that it's a better way to protect their work from commercial exploitation (and most of them have nothing to loose since they are not generating income via copyrights anyway) The options (2) and (3) are related to Florian's presentation - there are currently tons of artists/designers out there who don't have a way to make their living in the traditional domain of copyrights and big companies, and therefore they are (more or less desperately) associating themselves with all kinds of 'open' and 'collaborative' labels, tools and platforms.... In some cases this is the best solution, in some cases people should fight for the steady jobs and structures that exist and not be willing to work for free and/or in unbearably flexible conditions. Best, Juha. .: [log in to unmask] :: www.juhuu.nu :: +358 40 570 96 17 :.