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Title: Models of open source production compared to participative systems in new media art
Author: Smith, Dominic
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 8307
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2011
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The term 'Open Source' has in the past decade been used very loosely in relation to art and social practices. This research compares the production processes of Open Source software production with those of participative new media art projects. The contextual review examines the behaviours of computer scientists from the 1960s onwards, including hacking, interaction over computer networks and shared use of computers when they were a scarce resource. Collaborative environment strategies for persohat-success are traced onto free software, FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) and open source. Licencing and copyright are examined in relation to distribution. The development of participative art projects is also traced, in relation to new media, and these ethics of authorship, freedom, sharing and distribution. The research compares certain political and social ethics between software and art. It identifies different levels 'openness' and different kinds of hierarchies within production systems, including hierarchies of skill, approval, gatekeeping, and time. Interviews with key open source practitioners help to identify these hierarchies. As part of a practical body of research, a series of participative projects were developed by the researcher. These included both on line and physical space participation, including the Random Information Exchange series and Shredder. These were designed to test the various principles of open source within a new media art context. Through the successes and limitations of these projects, the elements of a project that are necessary for it to be to be classed as open source were identified. The findings of the research describe important differences in hierarchical structures of projects' production and distribution, and identify key elements including the 'ownership' of projects over time, and the importance of differentiating the 'instigator' role from the 'developer' role.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available