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2010-11-30
SET IDEAS FREE! OPEN SOURCE LIFE

The use of "Copyleft; All Wrongs Reserved" (1976; source: wikipedia)

Readings for Artworkers is a series of seminars at the Free/Slow University of Warsaw. This time we will deal with another incarnation of the idea of open software in the form of open source life. Can open source principle become a lifestyle? Is open source life an idea and a practice that has the power to undermine the present status quo, based on restrictive right of ownership. Is it just another utopia, or a genuine, alternative way of creating common good?

Open Source – the movement for free and open software emerged as a protest against the policy of privatisation and disabling access to software codes through patents and copyright. It soon transformed into a broader resistance movement against appropriating knowledge and limiting access to it, embracing copyleft and creative commons, among others. Today the idea of free and open code also extends to other domains of human activity. Activists and artists have recast it as a formula with a subversive flavour to it: “Open Everything”... The idea of open source life is used by small communities conducting exchange through the institution of “time bank” or barter, by initiatives aimed at sharing ideas and tools in educational space or in conceptual architecture as well as by numerous projects in the broadly understood field of art.

HOST
Teresa Święćkowska, Aleksandra Hirszfeld

SUGGESTED READINGS
David M. Berry, Copy, Rip, Burn. The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source, Pluto Press 2008, Chapter 3: The Concept of the Commons, pp. 79-98: PDF
John Thackara, "Open Source Life" (and: Andreas Hirsch, "Why Should We Live an Open Source Life?"), in: Repair Our Society: PDF
Teresa Święćkowska, Wolne oprogramowanie i Open Access . Utopie internetowe, czy fenomeny informacyjnego kapitalizmu? In: Spotkania z utopią w XXI wieku, ed. Piotr Żuk, Warsaw: Oficyna Naukowa 2008, pp. 130-142: PDF