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Fri software på overfladen, bag skærmen og i et kulturelt kalejdoskop: X-Devian

[Essay] Jacob Lillemose fortæller i dette essay om Daniel Garcia Andújars installation X-Devian. The New Technologies To The People System og om baggrunden for dette værk
Af Jacob Lillemose
Foto: Århus Kunstbygning

Udstillingen X-Devian. The New Technologies To The People System blev vist i Århus Kunstbygning fra 12. maj til 10. juni 2007
www.aarhuskunstbygning.dk

 
Udstillingsbillede fra Århus Kunstbygning

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Free Software on the Surface, Behind the Screen and in a Cultural Kaleidoscope: X-Devian.

akb x-devianThe New Technologies To The People® System

By Jacob Lillemose

In 1999, when the art and technology festival Ars Electronica awarded The Golden Nica, first prize in the ”.net” category, to the programmer Linus Torvalds for his development of the Linux operating system, it was pointing in general to the relationship between free software and art, and more specifically to the affinity between free software and that part of contemporary art which is concerned with software’s constantly increasing influence on social, economic and political conditions. Like Linux, this part of contemporary art works against the proprietary software industry’s standardization, repression and rationalization of the software culture, and instead explores alternate possibilities for freeing the software culture through more open, expressive and speculative processes.
On a more indirect level, Ars Electronica’s choice of Linux also emphasized another relationship between free software and this contemporary art, i.e. the idea informing both that software is not just a question of programming, but of producing culture – of understanding and using technology as a means of engaging in a social context. According to the founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Richard Stallman, free software is about ”practical material advantages” but also about ”what kind of society we want to live in, and what constitutes a good society”. 1 Stallman himself imagines an extremely collective and creative society founded on the freedom to ”use, study, copy, modify and redistribute software”. For him, the free software’s fundamental abolishment of intellectual property rights represents a chance to structurally and conceptually ”reprogram” society for the better, and this is an opinion he shares with much of contemporary art.

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Art’s price

Toma las riendas

By Daniel G. Andujar*

Artists Rights

Artecontexto, winter 2006

In the last few years, copyright has become a controversial issue. On the one hand, current information and communication technologies have generated a new social reality in which both old situations and new sceneries coexist. Undoubtedly, these transformations have also produced a crisis on the prevailing systems of distribution and cultural management. Societies have enough mechanisms to adapt themselves to their own processes, but we must ask ourselves if the current dogmatic legislative apparatus is prepared to confront these changes. On the other hand, the recent pressure that collective copyright management societies have exerted on our legislators, so as to make sure that the new laws on intellectual property will safekeep their interests, has intensified this debate. Specialists express their opinions on this subject even on the paparazzi TV shows, and of course, a few of them may suddenly show their preference for one of the options with the sole purpose of taking advantage of this situation. This is not just one more ephemeral topic. It’s in fact an open confrontation between those who control and defend leisure industries -culture’s big business-, and those who demand an urgent revision of the prevailing system and a reformulation of the notion of intellectual property in a new “free-culture” context.

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El precio del Arte

artecontexto

Daniel G Andújar

LOS DERECHOS DE LOS ARTISTAS
Artecontexto Número 12
Invierno 2006

El tema de los Derechos de Autor se ha convertido últimamente en motivo de polémica y discusión recurrente. Por un lado, las actuales tecnologías de información y comunicación, han generado una nueva realidad social en medio de la cual se desenvuelven tanto situaciones previas como nuevos escenarios. Lo que no podemos dudar es que estas transformaciones han puesto en crisis los modelos de distribución y gestión cultural dominante. La sociedades tienen mecanismos suficientes para adaptarse a sus propios procesos de cambio, pero no podemos evitar preguntarnos si el aparato dogmático y legislativo vigente está preparado para afrontar estos cambios. Por otro lado, la reciente presión que las entidades de gestión de derechos colectivos de autor realizan sobre nuestros legisladores, para que nuevas leyes sobre la propiedad intelectual garanticen sus intereses, ha intensificado aún más el debate y la discusión en torno a esta cuestión. Los especialistas en uno y otro sentido surgen como los tertulianos en los programas del corazón, y por supuesto siempre aparecen quienes súbitamente se suben a uno u otro carro con el único propósito de sacar rédito de la situación. No estamos hablando de una moda pasajera, nos estamos refiriendo directamente a una confrontación abierta entre quienes controlan y defienden la industria del ocio, el gran negocio de la cultura, y quienes reclaman una revisión urgente del sistema imperante y una reformulación de la noción de propiedad intelectual en un nuevo contexto de ‘cultura libre’.

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Language (property)

Language (property)

Daniel García Andújar – the Spanish media artist better known by his company name Technologies To The People — almost ten years ago created with Language (property) a work addressing the increasing privatization and commodification of language. A plain HTML page presents a list of sentences that have become registered trademarks and thus the property of their corporate owners. Examples include »Where do you want to go today?™« (Microsoft), »A better return on information ™« (SAP), »Moving at the speed of business™« (UPS), »What you never thought possible™« (Motorola). By giving his project the title Remember, language is not free™, Andújar anticipated the disputes surrounding ›intellectual property‹ in the following years (and increasingly evident in the second half of the 1990s with the ruthless scramble for domain names in the World Wide Web). While on the website the individual sentences are linked to the copyright notices of the relevant companies, a large-format, almost ›immersive‹, wall Presented has been chosen for the exhibition.(Inke Arns)

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