OPEN SCORES. How to Program the Commons. Exhibition catalogue

The exhibition OPEN SCORES brought together a series of practices through which artists articulate their specific forms of digital commons. From online archives to digital tools/ infrastructure and educational formats, the projects envision a (post-)digital culture in which notions of collaboration, free access to knowledge, sustainable use of shared resources, and data privacy are central. For the exhibition, each of the projects created a unique score to present their practice.

Participants:
Dušan Barok (monoskop.org), Marcell Mars & Tomislav Medak (memoryoftheworld.org), Sebastian Lütgert & Jan Gerber (0xdb.org), Kenneth Goldsmith (ubu.com), Sean Dockray (AAAAARG), Zeljko
Blace (#QUEERingNETWORKing), Ruth Catlow & Marc Garrett (furtherfield.org), Laurence Rassel (erg.be), Marek Tuszynski (Tactical Tech), Michael Murtaugh, Femke Snelting & Peter Westenberg (Constant), Stefanie Wuschitz (Mz* Baltazar’s Lab), Panayotis Antoniadis
(nethood.org), Alessandro Ludovico (neural.it), Eva Weinmayr (andpublishing.org), spideralex, Sakrowski (curatingyoutube.net), Creating Commons.
Curated by Creating Commons
(Shusha Niederberger, Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder)

Unlearning Copyright in Artistic Practice

Lecture by Shusha Niederberger at Zurich University of the Arts, MFA Symposium „HOW TO: Copy Paste and Rights“, 20.11.2019

Copyright addresses the artwork as property, but as works of art it belongs as well to the cultural sphere, which has since the Renaissance become to be seen as a public good. And indeed, the role of copyright has been for a long time to balance these two interests. The digital has challenged a basic assumption about the nature of goods: digital goods are not scarce anymore, because they can be copied without difference to the original. This has changed a lot for both the cultural sphere, where cultural goods circulate with a speed and reach unknown before, but also for copyright, which is turning to hard- and software in consumer electronics to keep the digital goods controllable, all the while new powerful cultural industries of networked services are reorganizing the ways we access and consume digital cultural goods.

How do artists deal with these dynamics? In my talk, I will discuss digital and digitally informed artistic practises dealing with this two-sided nature of cultural production and distribution, and explore the aesthetic consequences of these strategies.

Institutional Practice: Interview with Peter Westenberg

Peter Westenberg is an artist and a member of Constant, an artist-run organization in Brussels, active in art and technology.

In this interview, Peter discusses the possibilities of licensing in artistic contexts to think about the future context of one’s work. He explains the format of situations, a way of working collaboratively across disciplines Constant has been developing over the years. How do institutional practices like organizing events and developing formats relate to artistic practice and aesthetics? And how can that practice be situated in the discourse about the commons?

Interview conducted by Felix Stalder, 4 March 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Negotiating Space in Culture and Technology. Interview with Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett.

Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett are the co-founders of furtherfield, an artist-led organisation and community platform located in Finsbury Park, North London. Furtherfield asks critical questions about art and technology, and addresses today’s important questions through exhibitions, labs and debates across many platforms and spaces.

In this interview, Ruth and Marc look back on how they started from an online community and grew into a multidimensional space for different practices in and through technologies and art culture. They highlight the importance of communities and public space, and how they reflect their concerns in their curatorial practice in today’s techno-political situation. They explain how furtherfield is working as a community-driven institution, how formats and subjects are developed, how they position themselves in the cultural landscape, and how they manage to get funding. Alongside these insights into the inner life of furtherfield they provide a detailed discussion about the importance of data as a commons, how this discussion is related to historical events, and what an informed, critical mindset could achieve for the future of us all.

Interview conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, September 15, 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Commoning Infrastructures. Promises, challenges, and the role of art. Lecture by Daphne Dragona

Lecture by Daphne Dragona, Thursday 13.09.2018, at HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)

Cultural scientist and curator Daphne Dragona talks about alternative community-based network systems and the role art can play in their development.

Practices of commoning are driven by affect, a sense of new possibilities and a desire to respond to existing asymmetries of power. In the case of network infrastructures, asymmetries usually refer to issues of access, as well as to the surveillance and commodification of circulating information. Wishing to oppose the structures of the sovereign corporate systems of communication, different examples of alternative networking have emerged in the last two decades. Initiated and built by artists, activists, and other network practitioners, these infrastructures manifest a desire for accessible, user-owned and controlled systems, that respect the needs of different territories, communities and users.

What can we learn from the recent history of alternative and radical networking? What are the promises and challenges of the commoning of infrastructures in times of increasing socio-politcal divides and conflicts? When does commoning need to be readdressed and which forms of learning and doing might be of help? Turning to examples coming from the fields of art, this presentation will examine how the poetics and imaginaries of counter-infrastructures can assist in re-imagining the way we relate to each other and to the world itself.

Daphne Dragona is a Berlin-based theorist and curator. Since 2015 she has been part of the curatorial team of transmediale festival. She has worked with different institutions for exhibitions, conferences, workshops and other events. Dragona has been working in the field of digital and urban commons since 2009, having curated Esse Nosse Posse: Common Wealth for Common People (EMST 2009), Mapping the Commons, Athens (EMST 2010), Off-the-cloud zone (Transmediale, 2016) and “… An Archaeology of Silence in the Digital Age”, solo exhibition of Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud (Aksioma, 2017). She holds a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens.

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Publishing as Commons Practice, Interview with Alessandro Ludovico

Alessandro Ludovico is the co-founder of neural, a printed magazine established in 1993 dealing with new media art, electronic music, and hacktivism.

This interview focusses on two things. First, Alessandro reflects on his experience of how print publications changed over the last 25 years and their potential in a fully digital universe. They are now less about providing access, but more about providing a filter and stability against the very dynamic overflow of information. The second major theme of the interview is the “temporary library”, a collaborative practice to create short-term specialized libraries in the context of cultural events (festivals, exhibitions, etc.). After the event, they are donated to established libraries, thus contributing to making underrepresented aspects of (digital) culture available in the long-term.

Interview with Alessandro Ludovico, conducted by Felix Stalder, 16 September 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Mz Baltazar’s Laboratory, Vienna

Mz Baltazar’s Laboratory is a trans*feminist collective of artists and researchers, founded 2008 and running a space with various activities in Vienna. Its activities compromise of workshops, gatherings, talks and lectures. It hosts a reading group and organises and joint activities in the field of art, technology and feminist practice.

Self-description:

Mz Baltazar’s Lab aims at generating a culture of fearless making! An environment that fosters creativity, activism and provocative thinking! We try to build an accessible, inclusive, open, safer and radical space, from which to evolve as people and as community. Open Source Technology is at the root of our philosophy, it enables us to share and collaborate without restrictions. We need this space to experiment with things as gender, hardware or our selves.

We identify as intersectional feminists, and we come from a variety of educational backgrounds. The lab is intended as a safer space for people who have traditionally been excluded from or have felt unsafe in spaces where science is taught, or technology is being used, and we invite those people (women, and trans* individuals) to participate or give workshops that bring together technology, art, and have a critical understanding of social structures. Our exhibitions and events are open to all audiences, and are intended to support women* in the broad sense of the political terms, and those who work on feminist issues, empowerment, and overturning patriarchy.

As a collective we are more or less fluid in our composition. Some of us travel a lot, others need to take care of families and friends, and almost all of us have some paying job. We therefore are flexible and try to support each other in whatever journeys we set out on. We come from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and some of us have lived in Vienna longer than others. Working on, in, and with the collective is a fruitful experience, and a challenge, and we are always happy to meet people interested in working with the collective in whatever capacity they can.

Sources:

Beaudoin Rachelle: Dear Arduina: An Interview with Miss Baltazar’s Laboratory, in: Journal of Peer Production, Issue# 8 Feminist (un)hacking, 2016 http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-8-feminism-and-unhacking-2/art-essays/dear-arduina-an-interview-with-miss-baltazars-laboratory/

Stephanie Wuschitz’ PHD at Visual Culture Unit, Architecture Dept., University of Technology Vienna: “Feminist Hackerspaces. A research on feminist space collectives in open cultures”, http://grenzartikel.com/projects/?p=1307

Stephanie Wuschitz / Cindy Lin: The Nenek Project (2014-2018),
Investigation in the cultural tradition of women organisation as a background to Lifepatch (citizen initiatives in the arts, science and technology) Yogyakarta, Indonesia, http://grenzartikel.com/projects/?p=1319

Interview

Feminist Hackspace. Interview with Patricia Reis and Stephanie Wuschitz
Conducted by Shusha Niederberger, 1 March 2018

furtherfield, London

Furtherfield is an artist run space founded in 1996 by Ruth Catlow and Marc Garret in London. It features a broad range of activites about art, technology and media, both in its space and online. Its program includes exhibitions, workshops and a variety of events, different communication channels and distributing content in diverse forms – from online posts, interviews to books.

At the heart of Furtherfield is a concern for exchange and community and they are incorporation this concern in everything they do.

Self-description:

“Furtherfield connects people to new ideas, critical thinking and imaginative possibilities for art, technology and the world around us. Through artworks, labs and debate people from all walks of life explore today’s important questions”

Sources:

Ruth Catlow: Situating the Digital Commons, http://ruthcatlow.net/?works=situating-the-digital-commons

Penny Travlou: Ethnographies of Co-Creation and Collaboration as Models of Creativity, https://elmcip.net/critical-writing/ethnographies-co-creation-and-collaboration-models-creativity

furtherfield: “Do It With Others (DIWO). Participatory Media in the Furtherfield Neighbourhood”. Di Rimini, Francesca (Eds.): A Handbook of Coding Cultures. Sidney: d/Lux/MediaArts and Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2007, p. 21–28.

www.furtherfield.org

Interview

Negotiating Space in Culture and Technology. Interview with Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 15 September 2018

constant, Brussels

Constant is an artist-run organisation founded 1997 in Brussels. It is working in collaborative situations of groups of artists and researchers working together for defined periods of time. Often these settings are collaborations with other institutions, and take part at other places. This is only partly due to the absence of permanent place, but also reflects some of the core practices of the organisation, which could be described in an interest in collaboration, translation, negotiations, explanations and the care of shared resources. Constant is thus not a space, it is an organisation.

It features different formats of working together (cyclic exhibition projects, reading groups, publishing, exploration of open source tools, research, workshop, education and all kind of inventive formats that go between and beyond).

Constant’s program is concerned with media, technology and artistic practice.

self-declaration:
„Constant is a non-profit, artist-run organisation based in Brussels since 1997 and active in the fields of art, media and technology.

Constant develops, investigates and experiments. Constant departs from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Constant loves collective digital artistic practices. Constant organises transdisciplinary worksessions. Constant creates installations, publications and exchanges. Constant collaborates with artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers. Constant is active archives, poetic algorithms, body and software, books with an attitude, cqrrelations, counter cartographies, situated publishing, e-traces, extitutional networks, interstitial work, libre graphics, performative protocols, relearning, discursive infrastructures, hackable devices.“

Sources:

Laurence Rassel: Notes from Field-Workers, in: Art & Research, a Journal of Ideas, Contexts and Methods, Vol. 2, Nr. 2, Spring 2009

http://www.constantvzw.org/

Interviews

Experimenting with Institutional Formats. Interview with Laurence Rassel
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 4 March 2018

Institutional Practice. Interview with Peter Westenberg
Conducted by Felix Stalder, 4 March 2018

Forms of Ongoingness. Interview with Femke Snelting and spideralex
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 16 September 2018

Ecosystems of Writing. Interview with Michael Murtaugh
Conducted by Shusha Niederberger, 15 September 2018