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

PDF, PDF (7 MB)

Rasa Smite: Creative Networks: In the Rearview Mirror of Eastern European History (2011/2012)

27 September 2012, dusan

Creative Networks explores the dawn of the Internet culture in the age of network society from the perspective of Eastern Europe. From a theoretical angle the networks are introduced and interpreted as complex socio-technical systems. The author analyzes the development of these networked self-organized formations starting off with ‘virtual communities’ of ‘creative networks’, which emerged during the early phase of the Internet, up to the phenomena of today’s online ‘social networks’. Along with the translocal case studies of Nettime, Syndicate, Faces and Xchange networks (as well as with the other important facets of the 1990s network culture in Europe), the author studies also local community networking case of alternative and digital culture that evolved around E-Lab in the 1990s in Latvia. By focusing primarily on the network culture of 1990s, this study reflects those changes in the social structure of today’s society that are occurring under the process of socio-technical transformation.

The book is based on a dissertation by Rasa Smite, with the title “Creative Network Communities” and was defended in Riga Stradins University, February 2011.

First published in Latvian in Riga: RIXC and Liepaja: LiepU MPLab, 2011.
Translated by Linda Vebere
Publisher Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2012
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License
ISBN 9789081857505
160 pages

publisher

PDF

Adrian Mackenzie: Wirelessness: Radical Empiricism in Network Cultures (2010)

15 November 2011, dusan

How has wirelessness—being connected to objects and infrastructures without knowing exactly how or where—become a key form of contemporary experience? Stretching across routers, smart phones, netbooks, cities, towers, Guangzhou workshops, service agreements, toys, and states, wireless technologies have brought with them sensations of change, proximity, movement, and divergence. In Wirelessness, Adrian Mackenzie draws on philosophical techniques from a century ago to make sense of this most contemporary postnetwork condition. The radical empiricism associated with the pragmatist philosopher William James, Mackenzie argues, offers fresh ways for matching the disordered flow of wireless networks, meshes, patches, and connections with felt sensations.

For Mackenzie, entanglements with things, gadgets, infrastructures, and services—tendencies, fleeting nuances, and peripheral shades of often barely registered feeling that cannot be easily codified, symbolized, or quantified—mark the experience of wirelessness, and this links directly to James’s expanded conception of experience. “Wirelessness” designates a tendency to make network connections in different times and places using these devices and services. Equally, it embodies a sensibility attuned to the proliferation of devices and services that carry information through radio signals. Above all, it means heightened awareness of ongoing change and movement associated with networks, infrastructures, location, and information.

The experience of wirelessness spans several strands of media-technological change, and Mackenzie moves from wireless cities through signals, devices, networks, maps, and products, to the global belief in the expansion of wireless worlds.

Publisher MIT Press, 2010
ISBN 0262014645, 9780262014649
255 pages

publisher
google books

PDF (updated on 2012-7-15)

Fibreculture journal 18: trans (2011)

14 October 2011, dusan

It is now perhaps a commonplace that digital, networked and informational media are extremely transient. They diversify in form and function at a dizzying rate. At the same time, they transit and fuse “social” and “natural” differences in a manner which reconfigures all the worlds involved. It is also perhaps a commonplace to suggest that some established powers have found it difficult to come to grips with this (although this is perhaps beginning to change). For many, from seriously challenged newspaper proprietors to established media disciplines, it might be time to pause for breath, if only for a moment—to regroup and adapt established practices and ideas, to count the survivors from among the old media worlds of just a few years ago.

While occasionally sympathetic, issue 18 of the Fibreculture Journal questions this approach. If we pause for breath, it is to take in the new air. This issue draws on the accelerated evolutions of media forms and processes, the microrevolutions in the social (and even the natural sciences) that dynamic media foster, even the way in which “new” media lead us to reconsider the diversity of “old” media species. Summed up simply here under the sign/event of the “trans,” this issue catalyzes new concepts, accounts of and suggestions for new practices for working with all these processes.

Articles:
Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders: Other Ways Of Knowing: Embodied Investigations of the Unstable, Slippery and Incomplete
John Tinnell: Transversalising the Ecological Turn: Four Components of Felix Guattari’s Ecosophical Perspective
Vince Dziekan: Anxious Atmospheres, and the Transdisciplinary Practice of United Visual Artists
Kristoffer Gansing: The Transversal Generic: Media-Archaeology and Network Culture
Christoph Brunner and Jonas Fritsch: Interactive Environments as Fields of Transduction
Troy Rhoades: From Representation to Sensation: The Transduction of Images in John F. Simon Jr.’s ‘Every Icon’
Michael Dieter: The Becoming Environmental of Power: Tactical Media After Control
Simon Mills: Concrete Software: Simondon’s mechanology and the techno-social
Fenwick McKelvey: A Programmable Platform? Drupal, Modularity, and the Future of the Web

Issue edited by Andrew Murphie, Adrian Mackenzie and Mitchell Whitelaw
Publisher: Fibreculture Publications/The Open Humanities Press, Sydney, Australia, October 2011
ISSN: 1449 – 1443

PDF (PDF)
PDF (EPUB)
View online (HTML articles)

New Network Theory: Collected Abstracts and Papers (2007)

17 May 2011, dusan

On 28 – 30 June 2007, the Institute of Network Cultures and Media Studies, University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, organized the international conference New Network Theory. The object of study has shifted from the virtual community and the space of flows to the smart mob. When the object of study changes, so may the distinctions that dominate, particularly the schism between place-based space and place-less space, both organized and given life by networks. New Network Theory explored contemporary network theory that suits and reflects the changes to the objects of study that come to define our understandings of network culture – a post-Castellsian network theory, if you will, that takes technical media seriously.

themes: network theory, the link, locative media, networks and subjectivities, networking and social life, art and info-aesthetics, actor-network theory and assemblage, networks and social movements, mobility and organisation, anomalous objects and processes, and the global and the local.

speakers: Katy Börner, Wendy Chun, Noshir Contractor, Florian Cramer, Rob Stuart, Jean-Paul Fourmentraux, Matthew Fuller, Valdis Krebs, Olia Lialina, Noortje Marres, Anna Munster, Warren Sack, Alan Liu, Ramesh Srini-vasan, Tiziana Terranova, Siva Vaidhyanathan, and many others.

organiser
conference website

PDF
Three additional papers (Verheij, Cramer, Goriunova)

Recent comments
Recent entries
More resources