Making History: Free And Open Culture

Basic black & white cartoon computer. Image contains computer monitor and base/case.
You can create art and beauty on a computer.
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.

Illustrates the path of software creation from source code to machine code.
Illustrates the path of software creation from source code to machine code.

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)

  • Sharing
  • Openness
  • Decentralization
  • 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:

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.

Published by Pete Ippel

Pete Ippel, the son of a dancer and a musician, was born in Oak Park, Illinois and has been surrounded by the arts since birth. He moved to Morris, Illinois in 1989 and started to participate in athletics rather than dance. After high school, Pete attended Cornell University where he received a BA in psychology and a BFA in photo / digital art making. He continued to follow his sporting dreams in the high jump, which culminated in a school record leap of 7 feet 1/2 inch in 2001. In May 2004 he attained an MFA degree in the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute. Presently Pete is a practicing artist whose work is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally. Mr. Ippel resides in Working Artists Ventura, a sustainable artist community in southern California. In addition, he teaches art, is a web developer, an active blogger, and still high jumps from time to time. As a passionate problem solver and a pragmatic optimist, Pete’s art and his life are full of exciting challenges.

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