Olia Lialina, Dragan Espenschied (eds.): Digital Folklore: To Computer Users, with Love and Respect (2009)

13 July 2019, dusan

“Technical innovations shape only a small part of computer and network culture. It doesn’t matter much who invented the microprocessor, the mouse, TCP/IP or the World Wide Web and what ideas were behind these inventions. What matters is who uses them. Only when users start to express themselves with these technical innovations do they truly become relevant to culture at large.

Users’ endeavors, like glittering star backgrounds, photos of cute kittens and rainbow gradients, are mostly derided as kitsch or in the most extreme cases, postulated as the end of culture itself. In fact this evolving vernacular, created by users for users, is the most important, beautiful and misunderstood language of new media.

As the first book of its kind, this reader contains essays and projects investigating many different facets of Digital Folklore: online amateur culture, DIY electronics, dirtstyle, typo-nihilism, memes, teapots, penis enlargement, …” (from the back cover)

Contributors: Cory Arcangel, Julia Böger, Manuel Buerger, Helene Dams, Dragan Espenschied, Jörg Frohnmayer, Mark Grimm, Christopher Heller, Yunchul Kim, Dennis Knopf, Stefan Krappitz, Florian Kröner, Tobias Leingruber, Olia Lialina, Leo Merz, Bernadette Neuroth, o+ro, johannes p osterhoff, Isabel Pettinato, Michael Ruß, Alexander Schlegel, Bert Schutzbach, Siegfried Zielinski.

Publisher Merz & Solitude (Merz Akademie & Akademie Schloss Solitude), Stuttgart, 2009
Reihe Projektiv series
Designer Manuel Buerger
ISBN 9783937982250, 3937982256
287 pages

Reviews: Pau Waelder (Furtherfield, 2010), Kevin McGarry (Rhizome, 2010), Regine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art, 2010), Alessandro Ludovico (Neural, 2010), Richard Schwarz (The Gap, 2010, DE), Marie Lechner (Libération, 2010, FR), Stefania Bercu (Masters of Media, 2010).

Book website
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (27 MB)

Clemens Apprich, Felix Stalder (eds.): Vergessene Zukunft: radikale Netzkulturen in Europa (2012) [German]

23 October 2018, dusan

“Mitte der 1990er Jahre ist in Europa eine vielfältige Netzkultur entstanden. Während die US-amerikanische Szene den Cyberspace als Raum jenseits der Politik imaginierte, waren die europäischen Netzpioniere darauf bedacht, die Möglichkeiten des Internet für neue politische und kulturelle Initiativen in der realen Gesellschaft zu nutzen.

Anhand von Zeitdokumenten, aktuellen Textbeiträgen und Interviews geht dieser Band erstmals auf die kritische Haltung europäischer Netzkulturen ein. Die Beiträge liefern so wichtige Referenzpunkte zur Gestaltung unserer techno-kulturellen Gegenwart jenseits von Facebook und Google.”

Publisher transcript, Bielefeld, 2012
Kultur- und Medientheorie series
ISBN 9783837619065, 3837619060
348 pages
via ResearchGate

Reviews: Verena Pizzini (kulturrisse, 2012), Leonhard Dobusch (Netzpolitik, 2012), Werner Reiter (The Gap, 2012), Martin Schmitt (sehepunkte, 2013).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

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)