“All problems of notation will be solved by the masses: Free Open Form Performance, Free/Libre Open Source Software, and Distributive Practice”
Simon Yuill (uk)
Winner of Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2008
Simon Yuill’s text entangles a few stories of artistic practices and experimental projects, that of the Scratch Orchestra, Black Artists’ Group, hacklabs, livecoding, and Logo Labs, as well as a story of UNIX and FLOSS to provide routes out of the contemporary dilemma of ‘capitalisation of creativity’ and extracting surplus value from practices whose very aim at the first place was to build alternatives to capitalist systems of ownership, power and legitimation. Commercial success of FLOSS production model and its ‘happy’ incorporation, along with capitalisation on communication, sharing and collective creation, into contemporary forms of digital economy, sets up a monotonous picture of ‘total’ subsumption, interpreted most often through the key terms of Autonomist Marxism and via different disciplinary routes, among which, possibly, economic and law are mostly promulgated.
Yuill suggests a cultural critique of this urgent problematic. His central concern includes reading of live performance, of the contingent, of the collaborative and ‘distributive practices’ into the understanding of production and politics of code, which provides a basis for drawing parallels between open source models in software production and experimental models in art practices. Yuill’s profound enquiry answers to the determinist projects with artistic elegance. Yuill focuses on experiments with notation, improvisation, ‘noise’ and collectivity – all core politically informed and informing elements of contemporary production, to unfold the dimensions of the alternative at the borderlines of art, open source principles, code, and change.
** Cascade pattern