From Creative Commons to Creating Commons

Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder,  November 2017

First published in German in: Blickpunkt. Zeitschrift der IG Bildende Kunst, Wien, Herbst 2017, Nr. 44, S.22-25)

The traditional order of culture – with clear positions for artists/authors, works and audiences, mediated by producers, publishers, gallery owners, and so on – has finally come into crisis as a result of digitization. The new order, however, is still unclear and highly controversial. The first round of the dispute focused on the field of copyright law and thus on the control of circulation. In the current round, everything revolves around central platforms and their structures of order, access and value creation. As producers of culture, artists are at the heart of these upheavals. While many are busy supporting the content industries in enforcing stricter laws – supposedly in their own best interests – a few others see themselves as engineers of a new order and experiment with the development of their own forms of social production and circulation.

Continue reading “From Creative Commons to Creating Commons”

Von Creative Commons zu Creating Commons

Die traditionelle Ordnung der Kultur – mit klaren Positionen für KünstlerIn/AutorIn, Werk und Publikum, vermittelt durch ProduzentInnen, VerlegerInnen, GaleristInnen etc. – ist durch die Digitalisierung endgültig in eine Krise geraten. Wie die neue Ordnung aussehen wird, ist nach wie vor unklar und höchst umstritten. Die erste Runde der Auseinandersetzung wurde auf dem Gebiet des Urheberrechts und damit über die Kontrolle der Zirkulation ausgetragen. In der aktuellen Runde dreht sich alles um zentrale Plattformen und deren Strukturen von Ordnung, Zugang und Wertschöpfung. Als ProduzentInnen der Kultur stehen KünstlerInnen im Zentrum dieser Umbrüche. Während ein Teil beflissen ist – vermeintlich im Eigeninteresse – die Rechteindustrien bei der Durchsetzung strikterer Gesetze zu unterstützen, verstehen sich andere als Ingenieure einer neuen Ordnung und experimentieren mit der Entwicklung eigener Formen von sozialer Produktion und Zirkulation. Continue reading “Von Creative Commons zu Creating Commons”

5) Ubu

General Description

Ubu is a web repository for avantgarde art, founded by poet Kenneth Goldsmith in 1996. It is making available cultural resources, which are out of print, or “absurdly priced or insanely hard to procure“. It is „a distribution center for hard-to-find, out-of-print and obscure materials, transferred digitally to the web.“

Ubu has been starting from a repository of visual and concrete poetry, later sound poetry, growing in diverse directions, and it is constantly evolving.
Its understanding of what counts as avant-garde art and therefore can be included in Ubu is very open and apparently based on a broad interest and on opportunities.

It is difficult, and maybe inappropriate, to find a precise terminology of the nature of Ubu. It has aspects of a collection (its curated nature), but also hosts complete archives (Aspen Multimedia Magazine (1965-1971), provides space for projects (365 days project with obscure findings in aural recordings), and sections to other otherwise overlooked aspects (electronic music resources, featuring documents about methods and techniques of electronic and experimental sound – not aesthetics).

It also features curated sections by scholars and researchers in the field (ubu /editions), and offers anthological perspectives.

The content is not presented in a consistent taxonomy model, and cross-section links are offered or not.

In its diversity, it is like a negative space of traditional institution’s work. What is gone missing by public and private archives and libraries (whatever the cause) – can be found here.


4) monoskop

Monoskop is a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.

General Description

Monoskop is a wiki, blog and a repository aggregating, documenting and mapping works, artists and intiatives related to the avant-gardes, media arts and theory and activism. Initially it focused on Eastern and Central Europe.

Built on a Wiki that everyone can contribute to and scrupulously curated by its spiritus movens Dušan Barok, it provides both an exhaustive, indexical overview of those fields and provides digital access to rare historic finds.

In parallel to the wiki, Monoskop maintains a blog repository featuring daily releases of books, journals or other printed archival material, some freshly digitized by Monoskop and some contributed by the users, authors and publishers.