FREE AND OPEN CULTURE
Making and Meaning – Making History Project
San Francisco Art Institute, Fall, 2010
Workshop Leader: Pete Ippel
Summary: Free and Open Culture refers to a wide variety of advocates who value free access, open information, and the sharing of knowledge. As a rapidly developing movement, Free and Open Culture has its roots in computer programming and hacker ethic from the 1950s-1960s.
Developments include Creative Commons licensing, FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software), Network Neutrality, Open Government, and Copyleft.
Free Culture proponents are marked by acceptance of some general principles: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_ethic#The_hacker_ethics)
- Free access to computers
- World Improvement
Cultural Figures: Linus Torvalds (programmer, Linux), Richard Stallman (programmer, GNU), Lawrence Lessig (academic, Creative Commons), Jon Phillips (developer, Sharism, Fabricatorz), Femke Snelting (artist/designer, LGM), Simona Lodi (arts administrator, To Share Festival), Nina Paley (animator, Sita Sings The Blues), Negativeland (music), Ant Farm (art), Adbusters (magazine), The Yes Men (art)
Project: Students will spend the first sessions studying the history and techniques of the Free and Open Culture advocates and artists. There will be tutorials on a variety of software, as well as an off campus outing to practice employing the Hands-On Imperative.
“…essential lessons can be learned about the systems—about the world—from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and more interesting things.”
– Steven Levy
Students will pursue the following questions:
- What are my artistic assets?
- What is my intellectual property?
- How does copyright apply to me as an artist?
- How does decision making, production, and follow-up inform my practice?
- How can I use goal setting, affirmation, planning to my advantage? (Software versioning)
- What can I learn from business, science, and community?
- Why are concepts of a testable hypothesis and experimental constant important in art?
- How do sunk cost and return on investment apply to my artistic endeavors?
In the remaining sessions, students will be challenged to create with only the materials they have on hand – please bring an open mind and your own PORTABLE creation tools of choice to each session (mobile phone, laptop, sketchbook, notebook, watercolor, pencils, video camera, still camera, etc.).
We will be developing a collaborative community-centric studio (less) art practice out in the environment. The group will create their own art pieces in any media with strong consideration of Free and Open Culture. The end result will be an on-line repository (Mediawiki) documenting the projects. It is expected that the participants in this class will license their work under Creative Commons, and investigate the following issues:
- I create everywhere because I have the network in my pocket.
- If it’s not on the Internet, it doesn’t exist.
- Objects are not important, information is.
- I don’t need to know it if I know how to find it.
- Online, nothing disappears, and everything is gone.
- I feed the network, it feeds me.