Making & Breaking, 1: Cultural Production and Social Change (2019)

1 July 2019, dusan

“The first issue of Making & Breaking delves into questions on the role of cultural production as a contributing force for emancipatory social transformation. This is an urgent and difficult question today, given the ways through which much cultural production lubricates neoliberal operations since the 1980’s (especially it’s spurring of inequality); including the plight of critical practices whose modes of antagonism are frequently subsumed. As a result of decades-long policies, many systems of cultural production increasingly mirror or inadvertently participate in ideological machines supporting the status quo, foreclosing on just resource distribution, human well-being, not to mention our very planet.

It is against these tendencies that Making & Breaking probes modes of cultural production that engage with questions of social transformation. How can our current models for understanding art and cultural production be refashioned, and reconceived to live up to the claims of contributing to debates on social betterment? How can they help to redirect libidinal energies, that are often today co-opted by what Mark Fisher termed digital machines of “consciousness deflation”, to take on new formulations of futural desire and attachment? How does the category of human experience figure in our global plight, in view of the impersonalization that comes with increasing complexity?

In the first issue of Making & Breaking artists, curators and theorists reflect on these questions across a wide spectrum of cultural production and geographies.” (from the Introduction)

Contributions by Dulcie Abrahams Altass, Benjamin Busch, Florian Cramer, Katherine Cross, Max Dovey, Rhian E. Jones, Arjen Mulder, and Patricia Reed.

Edited by Sebastian Olma and Patricia Reed
Publisher Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (Caradt), Avans University, January 2019

Issue launch

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David Blamey, Brad Haylock (eds.): Distributed (2018)

22 June 2018, dusan

“The power of knowledge lies not only in generating ideas, but also in controlling their dispersion. For those who would seek to influence others, the dissemination of ideas is paramount. For those looking to protect the fruits of intellectual labor for reasons of profit or ethics, distribution is something to control. Either way, distribution is a key concern across the spectrum of cultural production, particularly at a time when digital networks have facilitated an unprecedented access to audiences.

Bringing together contributors from a variety of backgrounds, Distributed presents the act of distribution as a subject of significant social and economic importance and argues that it merits serious creative consideration. From the attention-seeking impulse of the “influencer” to the democratization of art via books, performances, videos or sound, the increased urge to disseminate is explored here as an elemental phenomenon of our time.”

Texts by Ahmed Ansari, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Justin Clemens, Alex Coles, Jonathan Lindley, Neil Cummings, Arnaud Desjardin, Markus Miessen, Sean Dockray & Benjamin Forster, Billie Muraben, Patricia Reed, Adrian Shaughnessy, Freek Lomme, Eva Weinmayr, et al.

Publisher Open Editions, London, 2018
ISBN 9780949004093
252 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

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Aymeric Mansoux: Sandbox Culture: A Study of the Application of Free and Open Source Software Licensing Ideas to Art and Cultural Production (2017)

7 July 2017, dusan

“In partial response to the inability of intellectual property laws to adapt to data-sharing over computer networks, several initiatives have proposed techno-legal alternatives to encourage the free circulation and transformation of digital works. These alternatives have shaped part of contemporary digital culture for more than three decades and are today often associated with the “free culture” movement. The different strands of this movement are essentially derived from a narrower concept of software freedom developed in the 1980s, and which is enforced within free and open source software (FLOSS) communities. This principle was the first significant effort to articulate a reusable techno-legal template to work around the limitations of intellectual property laws. It also offered a vision of network culture where community participation and sharing was structural.

From alternate tools and workflow systems, artist-run servers, network publishing experiments, open data and design lobbies, cooperative and collaborative frameworks, but also novel copyright licensing used by both non-profit organisations and for-profit corporations, the impact on cultural production of practices developed in relation to the ideas of FLOSS has been both influential and broadly applied. However, if it is true that FLOSS has indeed succeeded in becoming a theoretical and practical model for the transformation of art and culture, the question remains at which ways it has provided such a model, how it has been effectively appropriated across different groups and contexts and in what ways these overlap or differ.

Using the image of the sandbox, where code becomes a constituent device for different communities to experience varying ideologies and practices, this dissertation aims to map the consequent levels of divergence in interpreting and appropriating the free and open source techno-legal template. This thesis identifies the paradoxes, conflicts, and contradictions within free culture discourse. It explores the tensions between the wish to provide a theoretical universal definition of cultural freedom, and the disorderly reality of its practice and interpretation. However, despite the different layers of cultural diffusion, appropriation, misunderstanding and miscommunication that together form the fabric of free culture, this dissertation argues that, even though feared, fought, and criticised, these issues are not signs of dysfunctionality but are instead the evidence of cultural diversity within free culture. This dissertation will also demonstrate that conflicts between and within these sandboxes create a democratic process that permits the constant transformation of the free and open source discourse, and is therefore something that should be embraced and neither resisted nor substituted for a universal approach to cultural production.”

Includes an anthology of proto-free culture licenses, 1998-2002 (pp 382-452).

PhD Dissertation
Supervisor: Matthew Fuller
Publisher Centre of Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2017
xxxviii+486 pages
via author

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