Naked Code

Posted by Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 6:03 a.m.

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  • Pall Thayer | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:18 a.m.
    I see it as very positive. They ensure that the fruits of their
    funding will potentially benefit many artists (and others) rather
    than just the grant recipient.

    Can you tell us what grant it is?

    Pall

    On 22.2.2006, at 08:03, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose
    > their code in order to receive financial support?
    >
    > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants
    > because of they required that the code/technology be open sourced.
    > Please don't assume that I am suggesting that open source is a bad
    > thing. Its the requirement that I find a strange and upsetting trend.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > http://www.smileproject.com

    --
    Pall Thayer
    p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    http://www.this.is/pallit
  • MTAA | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:19 a.m.
    Great subject.

    I'm curious what grants made this a requirement... I think Eyebeam
    does for their residencies, are there others?

    I think it's a great thing. I've never been a funder of art, but I
    would guess that folks that run organizations that fund art see their
    mission as a sort of way to make a gift to the culture at large. They
    fund artists, dancers, writers and etc so that works get made and
    enter the culture. If one is funding new media, one way to have this
    gift make even more of an impact is to require that any software
    developed for the project becomes open source.

    There is a downside however. New media artists are a crafty lot.
    Sometimes their work has multiple purposes; software developed under a
    grant from a cultural institution could be a seed to build a business
    venture or vice versa. Perhaps this business venture would require
    that the code be closed, if that is the case then you could exclude
    some very talented programmers and artists from the grant procedure.

    It's good that some new media funders are requiring it, but it
    shouldn't be everyone. Creative Capital doesn't require it and I don't
    think the Rockefeller new media grant requires it either.

    On 2/22/06, Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their
    > code in order to receive financial support?
    >
    > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants because of
    > they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please don't assume
    > that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the requirement
    > that I find a strange and upsetting trend.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > http://www.smileproject.com

    --
    <twhid>www.mteww.com</twhid>
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:31 a.m.
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  • Rob Myers | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:44 a.m.
    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their
    > code in order to receive financial support?

    No, I think it's a very good thing. Now we just need to get traditional media
    grants to require that preparatory work for applications be copylefted and
    we're almost there. ;-)

    - Rob.
  • Jim Andrews | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:47 a.m.
    Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their =
    code in order to receive financial support?

    I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants because of=
    they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please don't assu=
    me that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the requireme=
    nt that I find a strange and upsetting trend.

    Jason Van Anden
    http://www.smileproject.com

    Hi Jason,

    There are various reasons why one might not want to make ALL of a project=
    open source. One might want to use code that's proprietary. Or one might f=
    eel that some of the code is neither of any use to anyone and/or it's spag=
    etti or not readable or whatever.

    But to make some part of a project open source, perhaps even a relatively=
    small part, seems like it could be interesting and hopefully useful also.

    I'm not interested in perusing a 300 page code project that's unreadable =
    (or even one that *is* readable), but reading something short, sweet, and u=
    seful, I'd like that. Something I wouldn't mind stealing. Something with in=
    teresting code ideas.

    An insistence that the whole thing be open source, erm, that'd be kind of=
    constrictive.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Pall Thayer | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 8:04 a.m.
    >
    > I thought you would see it that way ~ here are a few questions:
    >
    It's my 'thang' :-)
    >
    > How do you see this benefiting other artists? Examples?
    I think that anything that reveals the processes and methods employed
    by artists can potentially benefit other artists. You don't have to
    keep re-inventing the wheel.
    >
    > Does this mean that you think that all funded work should require
    > its code be open?
    We should never say that "everything should be this way". Diversity
    is always a good thing. But I definitely don't see this as a negative
    requirement. Of course, ideally, funding wouldn't come with any
    strings attached.

    Pall

    >
    > I would prefer not to discuss which grant - but there have been
    > more than one - all have been listed here on Rhizome over the last
    > year.
    >
    > jason van anden
    > smileproject.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > On 2/22/06, Pall Thayer <p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca> wrote: I see it
    > as very positive. They ensure that the fruits of their
    > funding will potentially benefit many artists (and others) rather
    > than just the grant recipient.
    >
    > Can you tell us what grant it is?
    >
    > Pall
    >
    > On 22.2.2006, at 08:03, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    >
    > > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose
    > > their code in order to receive financial support?
    > >
    > > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants
    > > because of they required that the code/technology be open sourced.
    > > Please don't assume that I am suggesting that open source is a bad
    > > thing. Its the requirement that I find a strange and upsetting
    > trend.
    > >
    > > Jason Van Anden
    > > http://www.smileproject.com
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Pall Thayer
    > p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    > http://www.this.is/pallit
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jason Van Anden
    > http://www.smileproject.com

    --
    Pall Thayer
    p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    http://www.this.is/pallit
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 8:21 a.m.
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  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 8:47 a.m.
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  • Rob Myers | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 9:32 a.m.
    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > Here are some cost/benefit analysis thoughts on the subject:
    >
    > 1.) Overhead: aka documenting the code. As Jim Andrews points out, open
    > source is only useful to others if the code is legible and well documented -
    > which requires extra effort on its creator's behalf. This is work. Perhaps
    > its selfish - but golly, what a drag.

    If your code is unreadable to others it will be unreadable to you soon,
    and this
    will be more work for you if you ever want to show the work again for another
    grant.

    > 2.) What is the benefit to the artist? Is it a good thing to enable others
    > to easily create derivative works based upon your labors? Am I being funded
    > to be a teacher or an artist?

    You are being paid to contribute to the cultural wealth of the community.

    > 3.) My code is my code. I love my code - I mean love it. I like to tinker
    > with it, play with it, do whatever I please with it. What if I don't want
    > to share it?

    Don't apply for public funding then.

    > Its mine.

    Hardly. If scientists or painters took this view we'd be stuck with medicinal
    leeches and cave art.

    > As far as I am concerned - I share the output - the
    > process belongs to me. (For the record, I have made some of my code publicly
    > available - not that anyone was really that interested).
    >
    > These are mostly personal - but so is making art. Why is new media
    > different? I am not sure that because we create using a readable language
    > it should be a requirement that we share it.
    >
    > Is the art not enough?

    Only part of the art is not enough, and paying for a romantic creative
    genius to
    deign to share a few leftovers from the feast we provide is not a good use of
    funding.

    - Rob.
  • Rob Myers | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 9:34 a.m.
    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > So in a perfect world, funders would require painters to document how they
    > applied the strokes and mixed the paint, so that others can create
    > derivative works from this?

    You've heard of preparatory work. The details of a work's preparation
    are vital
    for scholarship, renovation, and yes derivation. Cartoons, sketchbooks, rough
    work, notebooks (some artists do keep them) are all useful.

    This isn't alchemy.

    - Rob.
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 10:39 a.m.
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  • Pall Thayer | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 10:47 a.m.
    > Is the art not enough?

    That's my point. The art isn't enough. If I find the work truly
    compelling. I want to see how it's done. What's involved. I don't
    want to be mystified. Of course, often I can more or less see what
    processes and methods are involved, but not always and in those
    cases, secrecy is a big turn-off. To me, it's just like when I see an
    interesting painting. What I do after admiring it a bit, is go closer
    to see how it's painted. I'm sure there are people who enjoy being
    mystified. Imagining that the artist is a magician capable of
    performing unexplainable acts. But as a fellow artist, I want to know
    what's going on. If I were a painter, I would go visit other
    painter's studios, grabbing glimpses of their work and methods along
    the way. It's not that easy in our online community of netartists. So
    I propose sharing source code as an alternative. I personally fail to
    see the benefits of NOT sharing code.

    Pall
    >
    > jason van anden
    > www.smileproject.com
    >
    >
    > On 2/22/06, T.Whid <twhid@twhid.com> wrote:
    > Great subject.
    >
    > I'm curious what grants made this a requirement... I think Eyebeam
    > does for their residencies, are there others?
    >
    > I think it's a great thing. I've never been a funder of art, but I
    > would guess that folks that run organizations that fund art see their
    > mission as a sort of way to make a gift to the culture at large. They
    > fund artists, dancers, writers and etc so that works get made and
    > enter the culture. If one is funding new media, one way to have this
    > gift make even more of an impact is to require that any software
    > developed for the project becomes open source.
    >
    > There is a downside however. New media artists are a crafty lot.
    > Sometimes their work has multiple purposes; software developed under a
    > grant from a cultural institution could be a seed to build a business
    > venture or vice versa. Perhaps this business venture would require
    > that the code be closed, if that is the case then you could exclude
    > some very talented programmers and artists from the grant procedure.
    >
    > It's good that some new media funders are requiring it, but it
    > shouldn't be everyone. Creative Capital doesn't require it and I don't
    > think the Rockefeller new media grant requires it either.
    >
    > On 2/22/06, Jason Van Anden < jason@smileproject.com > wrote:
    > > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to
    > expose their
    > > code in order to receive financial support?
    > >
    > > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants
    > because of
    > > they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please
    > don't assume
    > > that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the
    > requirement
    > > that I find a strange and upsetting trend.
    > >
    > > Jason Van Anden
    > > http://www.smileproject.com
    >
    >
    > --
    > <twhid> www.mteww.com</twhid>
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
    > subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
    > 29.php

    --
    Pall Thayer
    p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    http://www.this.is/pallit
  • Lee Wells | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 11:11 a.m.
    Sometimes they make you give them some of the art.

    On 2/22/06 10:21 AM, "Jason Van Anden" <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:

    > So in a perfect world, funders would require painters to document how they
    > applied the strokes and mixed the paint, so that others can create derivative
    > works from this?
    >
    > jason van anden
    > smileproject.com <http://smileproject.com/>
    >
    > On 2/22/06, rob@robmyers.org < rob@robmyers.org <mailto:rob@robmyers.org> >
    > wrote:
    >> Quoting Jason Van Anden < jason@smileproject.com
    >> <mailto:jason@smileproject.com> >:
    >>
    >>> > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their
    >>> > code in order to receive financial support?
    >>
    >> No, I think it's a very good thing. Now we just need to get traditional media
    >> grants to require that preparatory work for applications be copylefted and
    >> we're almost there. ;-)
    >>
    >> - Rob.
    >>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >

    --
    Lee Wells
    Brooklyn, NY 11222

    http://www.leewells.org
    http://www.perpetualartmachine.com
    917 723 2524
  • MTAA | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 11:58 a.m.
    I think that drawing analogies btw sketchbooks or whatever and source
    code is deeply flawed.

    I can't think of any analogies that would work btw traditional art
    making... except perhaps, a mold for a sculpture? original template
    for a print?

    That may work but most artists working in those mediums wouldn't dream
    of allowing those things to be let loose in the wild since forgeries
    would be produced.

    Forgeries don't seem to be what Jason is weary of.

    On 2/22/06, Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    >
    > Hi Rob,
    >
    > The tone of your email sounds like you are a little disturbed with my tone -
    > hopefully this will clear things up:
    >
    > > jva> 1.) Overhead: aka documenting the code. As Jim Andrews points out,
    > open
    > > jva> source is only useful to others if the code is legible and well
    > documented -
    > > jva> which requires extra effort on its creator's behalf. This is work.
    > Perhaps
    > > jva> its selfish - but golly, what a drag.
    > >
    > > rm> If your code is unreadable to others it will be unreadable to you
    > soon, and this
    > > rm> will be more work for you if you ever want to show the work again for
    > another grant.
    >
    >
    > I don't agree with you that if my code is unreadable to the public that it
    > will eventually be unreadable to me. I have the benefit of accumulated
    > experience and an intimate understanding of my own process.
    >
    > jva> 2.) What is the benefit to the artist? Is it a good thing to enable
    > others
    > jva> to easily create derivative works based upon your labors? Am I being
    > funded
    > jva> to be a teacher or an artist?
    >
    > rm> You are being paid to contribute to the cultural wealth of the
    > community.
    >
    > Am I not already doing this by creating the work of art?
    >
    > jva> 3.) My code is my code. I love my code - I mean love it. I like to
    > tinker
    > jva> with it, play with it, do whatever I please with it. What if I don't
    > want to share it?
    >
    > rm> Don't apply for public funding then.
    >
    > I didn't - which was partly my reason for bringing up this topic.
    >
    > jva> Its mine.
    >
    > rm> Hardly. If scientists or painters took this view we'd be stuck with
    > medicinal
    > rm> leeches and cave art.
    >
    > No question I have personally benefited from looking at the sketchbooks of
    > Picasso, Leonardo and Van Gogh, or watching film of Pollack painting, or
    > listening to numerous interviews with artists. None of these artifacts of
    > process require the amount of effort that deliberately documenting source
    > code for public consumption requires. It is not as if I do not contribute -
    > I regularly exhibit art work publicly that I rarely get financially
    > compensated for, I have published articles I do not get paid to write, and I
    > invest time in public discussions such as this to encourage thought about an
    > art form I am devoted to.
    >
    > jva> As far as I am concerned - I share the output - the
    > jva> process belongs to me. (For the record, I have made some of my code
    > publicly
    > jva> available - not that anyone was really that interested).
    > jva>
    > jva> These are mostly personal - but so is making art. Why is new media
    > jva> different? I am not sure that because we create using a readable
    > language
    > jva> it should be a requirement that we share it.
    > jva>
    > jva> Is the art not enough?
    >
    > rm> Only part of the art is not enough, and paying for a romantic creative
    > rm> genius to deign to share a few leftovers from the feast we provide is
    > not a good use of
    > rm> funding.
    >
    > I think my response to leeches and cave art above covers this.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > http://www.smileproject.com

    --
    <twhid>www.mteww.com</twhid>
  • Jeremy Zilar | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 12:09 p.m.
    I think that once you liberate the code, you put yourself in a place
    where you are forced to become more creative and move beyond the
    original idea.
    There are 2 ways to think about this: you can hold on to your idea, and
    it will only grow out of your own experiences with it. Or you can let it
    go, and be inspired by how other are using your creation.

    At the root, it comes down to respecting the idea. If it is not ready to
    be shared, then it should not be shared. Once it is ready, I think you
    have to let it go, and enjoy it's effects on the world around you. This
    is true for any medium. It is about having respect for your idea. I
    agree, it is a very hard switch to make, especially with code, because
    it feels like people can copy what you have done much more easily than a
    painting. You can always get a Creative Commons License on it that
    specifies that the person interested in using part of, or all of your
    code, contact you first - but that it is open to use.

    The greatest thing about technology is that it fosters collaboration of
    ideas.... and to think that collaboration is not part of your process,
    then you had better not look at the source code of a nice site/piece
    ever again, or for that matter, stop thinking about process altogether.
    Code is about copying & pasting - it is remixing what the person before
    you has done with what you have done. This is also true across all mediums.

    How well have you taken the ideas of the past, remixed them, and made
    them new again?

    I think it is also important to look at why your piece is successful.
    Does your piece rely on you knowing something about programming to fully
    enjoy the piece? If your piece relies on the fact that you made some
    genius little script to 'wow' the viewer, then that leads me to think
    that your code could be considered part of the art.

    these are just a few ideas...

    -jeremy

    Pall Thayer wrote:
    >
    >> Is the art not enough?
    >
    > That's my point. The art isn't enough. If I find the work truly
    > compelling. I want to see how it's done. What's involved. I don't want
    > to be mystified. Of course, often I can more or less see what
    > processes and methods are involved, but not always and in those cases,
    > secrecy is a big turn-off. To me, it's just like when I see an
    > interesting painting. What I do after admiring it a bit, is go closer
    > to see how it's painted. I'm sure there are people who enjoy being
    > mystified. Imagining that the artist is a magician capable of
    > performing unexplainable acts. But as a fellow artist, I want to know
    > what's going on. If I were a painter, I would go visit other painter's
    > studios, grabbing glimpses of their work and methods along the way.
    > It's not that easy in our online community of netartists. So I propose
    > sharing source code as an alternative. I personally fail to see the
    > benefits of NOT sharing code.
    >
    > Pall
    >>
    >> jason van anden
    >> www.smileproject.com
    >>
    >>
    >> On 2/22/06, T.Whid <twhid@twhid.com> wrote:
    >> Great subject.
    >>
    >> I'm curious what grants made this a requirement... I think Eyebeam
    >> does for their residencies, are there others?
    >>
    >> I think it's a great thing. I've never been a funder of art, but I
    >> would guess that folks that run organizations that fund art see their
    >> mission as a sort of way to make a gift to the culture at large. They
    >> fund artists, dancers, writers and etc so that works get made and
    >> enter the culture. If one is funding new media, one way to have this
    >> gift make even more of an impact is to require that any software
    >> developed for the project becomes open source.
    >>
    >> There is a downside however. New media artists are a crafty lot.
    >> Sometimes their work has multiple purposes; software developed under a
    >> grant from a cultural institution could be a seed to build a business
    >> venture or vice versa. Perhaps this business venture would require
    >> that the code be closed, if that is the case then you could exclude
    >> some very talented programmers and artists from the grant procedure.
    >>
    >> It's good that some new media funders are requiring it, but it
    >> shouldn't be everyone. Creative Capital doesn't require it and I don't
    >> think the Rockefeller new media grant requires it either.
    >>
    >> On 2/22/06, Jason Van Anden < jason@smileproject.com > wrote:
    >> > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose
    >> their
    >> > code in order to receive financial support?
    >> >
    >> > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants
    >> because of
    >> > they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please
    >> don't assume
    >> > that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the
    >> requirement
    >> > that I find a strange and upsetting trend.
    >> >
    >> > Jason Van Anden
    >> > http://www.smileproject.com
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >> <twhid> www.mteww.com</twhid>
    >>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Pall Thayer
    > p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    > http://www.this.is/pallit
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • mez breeze | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 2:22 p.m.
    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > Here are some cost/benefit analysis thoughts on the subject:
    >
    > 1.) Overhead: aka documenting the code. As Jim Andrews points out, open
    > source is only useful to others if the code is legible and well documented -
    > which requires extra effort on its creator's behalf. This is work. Perhaps
    > its selfish - but golly, what a drag.

    n.credibly disappointing.orientation.

    [u.r.discoun.ting(le): slip.pages+uberness.of.the _accident[all.code]]

    > 2.) What is the benefit to the artist? Is it a good thing to enable others
    > to easily create derivative works based upon your labors? Am I being funded
    > to be a teacher or an artist?

    ur.share.share.ethic:OFF.

    [such.high.individualisationism.is.unattractive+des.truc(k.in.acollaborative.china.shoppe)tive]
    [artistic.n.deavours.may.be.n.structive//share_trajectoried]
    [cultural.stances.rn't.formed.thru.the.cult.of.the."i"]

    > 3.) My code is my code. I love my code - I mean love it. I like to tinker
    > with it, play with it, do whatever I please with it. What if I don't want
    > to share it? Its mine. As far as I am concerned - I share the output - the
    > process belongs to me. (For the record, I have made some of my code publicly
    > available - not that anyone was really that interested).

    "I" "I" "I"

    _such.ego.manifestering.reduces.collaborative.input+any.adjusting.2.non-capitalistick-tocking_

    how.do.u.learn.thru.such.self.glorification.parameters?

    > These are mostly personal - but so is making art.

    + the output of making.art? is it just for u alone?

    >Why is new media
    > different? I am not sure that because we create using a readable language
    > it should be a requirement that we share it.

    so sad this obsession with ownership. cutting of the collective
    hands.2.smite.the.code.face.

    hi-lights.political.fascistic.ends.seeded.in.greedy.liberalism.

    just.....*sigh*

    > Is the art not enough?

    Is ur ego just.2.much?

    non-I'ingly,
    ][mez][
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 3:35 p.m.
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  • Ethan Ham | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 5:01 p.m.
    Is there a bug in message board? Jason's posting text is readable when I (or rather, my project emailerosion) receives it, but is gobbly-gook here on the rhizome website.

    My two-bits worth:

    I don't have a particular problem with a grant requiring any resulting code to be open-source. It's their money, and if I don't want to open-source the code on the project I don't have to apply.

    However, I also agree with Jason sentiment that it shouldn't be a general expectation that artists who program should be automatically expected to publish their code. That seems to be confusing (as Jason suggests) the process with the result (i.e., the art).

    I don't think this is ungenerous. Frankly, if anyone wants to know how I programmed a particular project, I'm happy to give pointers, sample code, etc. But would feel more hesitant about turning over my entire source code... I certainly respect artists who feel differently, I guess it's just a matter of where one's boundaries lie.
  • Pall Thayer | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 5:08 p.m.
    Hi Jason,
    You're doing a lot of generalizing to make other's comments sound
    absurd when they really aren't.

    Are you really afraid of derivative work? Can you honestly say that
    your own work isn't in some way derivative? That's just the way the
    artworld works and has always worked, and it's a good thing.

    Sure you love your code. I love my code, but when I release it, I
    hope that it will be of use to someone. I hope that someone will
    create derivative work. I can't imagine that someone will end up
    using it to create projects identical to anything I'm working on and
    haven't made public yet because, as you said, art creation is a very
    personal process. I just can't imagine that someone will just happen
    to be considering all of the same things that I am at the same time.

    Let's say you think your code may have some market potential. If
    that's the case, then perhaps you should be looking for investors
    rather than art grants.

    Art grants always come with strings attached. That's why you apply
    for some and not others. But it looks to me like most of us consider
    the open-source string, a noble one rather than an inhibiting one.

    I think that deep down, this really touches on the questions of why
    we make art and who for (did someone already mention this?). Aren't
    we all perpetual teachers and students? Isn't that the whole idea
    behind maintaining a community such as we have on Rhizome? We feed
    off each others ideas. We learn from each other, we teach each other
    and we influence each other. This has been going on for several
    years, yet there's still a lot of diversity in the work being created
    by our community. If I generalize on your comments the way you've
    been doing with other's, then by now, we should all be caught up in
    such a tight circle of derivative work that it should be nearing the
    point of being identical. But that's not the case.

    Pall

    On 22.2.2006, at 17:35, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > I think I was just scolded but somehow I feel honored by the mez post.
    >
    > From mez and jeremy's posts I gather that if I prefer not to expose
    > my code I am either incredibly selfish or insecure. That the
    > artist who chooses to create art that requires programming has the
    > added responsibility to the community of sharing your code - and
    > that if you are unwilling to comply you should be disqualified from
    > receiving funding.
    >
    > Doesn't this give more value to the code than the resultant art?
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > www.smileproject.com

    --
    Pall Thayer
    p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
    http://www.this.is/pallit
  • mez breeze | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 5:49 p.m.
    > From mez and jeremy's posts I gather that if I prefer not to expose my code
    > I am either incredibly selfish or insecure. That the artist who chooses to
    > create art that requires programming has the added responsibility to the
    > community of sharing your code - and that if you are unwilling to comply you
    > should be disqualified from receiving funding.

    --qs break.down--re:guard.ing.my."assessment":

    Q: how du u n.tegrate the use of communally.disseminated.n.structive.data [ie
    using a programming language not constructed.by.u with functions not.structured
    by u] with ur need 2 own.ur.own.code?

    A: <n.sert here pls>
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 6:31 p.m.
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  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 6:52 p.m.
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  • Ethan Ham | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:15 p.m.
    Mez Breeze asked:

    > Q: how du u n.tegrate the use of
    > communally.disseminated.n.structive.data [ie
    > using a programming language not constructed.by.u
    > with functions not.structured
    > by u] with ur need 2 own.ur.own.code?

    > A: <n.sert here pls>

    I think making art is giving back to the programming community whose waters I swim in. It was mentioned once or twice that some New Media projects transformed into commercial ventures. That must be a huge exception (and I'd love to hear any gossip about such occurances). Making art seems a pretty bad route to take if you're interested in making money.

    For my own part, the money I spend on projects is probably twice what I bring in via grants, etc... and that's aside from the fact I left the lucrative software industry to take a teaching job in order to have more time to make art. (I'm certainly not whining about that--I love my life).

    Aside from that, I think I'm contributing to programming language, etc. On my current project I submitted several bug reports as well as added to Flash Action Script's live documentation. Plus the project uses a nifty little (Windows) utility for communicating via the serial port that I'm going to put into the public domain once I have a moment. And of course anyone who uses a .swf decompiler can see the client code on project.

    I think the public domain, creative commons, open source, etc. communities are great... and in the right situations I contribute towards those ends. My wish, however, would be to be considered generous when I contribute rather than stingy when I don't.
  • mez breeze | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 7:28 p.m.
    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > A: Am I to assume this same logic is what compels you to use your "own"
    > language to express your "self"? Does an author who uses words created
    > communally by his culture not have the right to own his story? Am I
    > generalizing again?
    >
    > j
    >

    j,

    ....am more.than.happy.2.chat. re:_self_x.pression.motivators + logic _after_ an
    actual response 2 my ini.[*]ial Q.....am x.tremely curious as 2 how u
    n.ternalise ur code.ownership claim[s] whilst m.ploying programming languages
    not.developed.by.ur.own.self.

    chunks,
    ][mez][
  • Ethan Ham | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 8:01 p.m.
    Mez Breeze wrote:
    > Q.....am x.tremely curious as 2 how u
    > n.ternalise ur code.ownership claim[s]
    > whilst m.ploying programming languages
    > not.developed.by.ur.own.self.

    Hope I'm not being too persumptuous to answer questions you're posing to Jason, not me, but I'm finding this a very thought-provoking discussion.

    I think there's a difference between tools & applications. People who write programmings tools want them to be used to write programs... that's there intention. However, the applications created using those tools aren't necessarily meant to be used as a programming source. I really don't see a conflict there.

    And frankly, allowing for proprietary uses of programming languages, etc. is a benefit to the language. It would be easy enough for a language to come with a licensing requirement that all uses of it be open-source--but that would greatly hinder the life of the language.

    In my current project's case, my project would be very vulnerable to hacker-vandals if I had to make my server-side code available.

    Ethan
    www.emailerosion.org
    www.ethanham.com
  • Eric Dymond | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 8:14 p.m.
    If I develop a web service, which keeps the code online, but invisible from the client, I would not make the code available. Even though that code is an essential part of the web work.
    There would be obvious risk factors involved (port addresses and IP numbers, database usernames, passwords and directory and file permissions, for instance in an online java xmlrpc web server I am working on will not be given openly to the public)
    So I agree with Jason, some code can be made *open source* but for many running apps, there are good reasons to keep the code safe and secret. Not everything can be exposed to the wild.
    Eric
  • Eric Dymond | Wed Feb 22nd 2006 9:21 p.m.
    I can add that I believe, most of the institutions and well intentioned organizations are deeply out of touch with current technologies.
    For most of them they are used to dealing with stand alone apps that don't require networked elements, and if they do , they are simple action scripts or basic cgi programs.
    The art technologies have evolved past the technical knowledge of the granting institutions, and the pace is accelerating.
    Comment your code well, but keep it to yourself.
    Maybe a pseudo-code model, UML diagrams would be enough for them.
    Eric
  • Rob Myers | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 3:21 a.m.
    Heya Jason. Thank you for your considered response.

    Quoting Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com>:

    > I don't agree with you that if my code is unreadable to the public that it
    > will eventually be unreadable to me. I have the benefit of accumulated
    > experience and an intimate understanding of my own process.

    This goes against current wisdom on code archaeology, and my personal
    experience. If you do not suffer this problem then you are very lucky. :-)

    > rm> You are being paid to contribute to the cultural wealth of the
    > community.
    >
    > Am I not already doing this by creating the work of art?

    What is the work of art? And what is its role and responsibilities? If
    it is to
    be more than a consumer fashion item there are issues of its maintenance and
    its position and use within the artworld and society that do not stop at the
    compiled binary.

    > rm> Don't apply for public funding then.
    >
    > I didn't - which was partly my reason for bringing up this topic.

    That's reasonable. :-)

    > No question I have personally benefited from looking at the sketchbooks of
    > Picasso, Leonardo and Van Gogh, or watching film of Pollack painting, or
    > listening to numerous interviews with artists. None of these artifacts of
    > process require the amount of effort that deliberately documenting source
    > code for public consumption requires.

    Leonardo's written note books must have required some effort. For
    artists today,
    it is at least as much his notebooks as his few surviving finished works that
    make Leonardo such a towering figure.

    During our inevitable yearly debate on whether code is art, I usually bring up
    the comparison source code == sketchbooks. :-)

    Imagine if Leonardo had destroyed his notebooks. This would not just
    have denied
    us their amazing cultural wealth, it would have seriously reduced his own
    reputation.

    This, self-interested, reason is another argument in favor of releasing source
    IMHO.

    > It is not as if I do not contribute -
    > I regularly exhibit art work publicly that I rarely get financially
    > compensated for, I have published articles I do not get paid to write, and I
    > invest time in public discussions such as this to encourage thought about an
    > art form I am devoted to.

    Car manufacturers advertise their wares as well, and they spend millions of
    dollars to do so. This doesn't excuse them from their environmental
    responsibilities (which have very little to do with the immediate
    experience of
    driving a car).

    - Rob.
  • Rob Myers | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 3:44 a.m.
    Quoting "T.Whid" <twhid@twhid.com>:

    > I think that drawing analogies btw sketchbooks or whatever and source
    > code is deeply flawed.

    Leonardo's notebooks. More comments than code. :-)

    > I can't think of any analogies that would work btw traditional art
    > making... except perhaps, a mold for a sculpture? original template
    > for a print?

    Notebooks. Preparatory sketches. All the stuff you were meant to show at art
    school to illustrate your thinking processes.

    > That may work but most artists working in those mediums wouldn't dream
    > of allowing those things to be let loose in the wild since forgeries
    > would be produced.
    >
    > Forgeries don't seem to be what Jason is weary of.

    You haven't made it in the art world until you're popular enough to be forged.
    That's what authentication committees are for. :-)

    - Rob.
  • Rob Myers | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 4:06 a.m.
    Quoting "T.Whid" <twhid@twhid.com>:

    > I think that drawing analogies btw sketchbooks or whatever and source
    > code is deeply flawed.

    Leonardo's notebooks. More comments than code. :-)

    > I can't think of any analogies that would work btw traditional art
    > making... except perhaps, a mold for a sculpture? original template
    > for a print?

    Notebooks. Preparatory sketches. All the stuff you were meant to show at art
    school to illustrate your thinking processes.

    > That may work but most artists working in those mediums wouldn't dream
    > of allowing those things to be let loose in the wild since forgeries
    > would be produced.
    >
    > Forgeries don't seem to be what Jason is weary of.

    You haven't made it in the art world until you're popular enough to be forged.
    That's what authentication committees are for. :-)

    - Rob.
  • Jason Van Anden | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 6 a.m.
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  • Jason Van Anden | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 7:37 a.m.
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  • MTAA | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 7:58 a.m.
    I'm going to attempt to reel this in a tad, i think it's gotten a bit
    off track with folks implying some communist intent to OSS and
    whatnot. Replying to the original question from Jason:

    On 2/22/06, Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    > Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their
    > code in order to receive financial support?

    Jason is 'creeped out' but in the discussion that followed admitted
    that, of course, no one's forcing him to apply for grants that require
    source code to be open. (Of course one could argue that in the US
    where the funding for arts is extremely paltry, one is almost forced
    to try to get any grants that are available and one could also argue
    that in the new media art world, where the market for the work is so
    small, grant awards are one very important way to polish one's resume,
    but I wont)

    I still don't get why he's creeped out... the only reason I am
    reluctant to os my code sometimes is because I'm a shitty self-taught
    programmer and I don't think anyone could really glean anything from
    my pathetic meat-cleaver code anyway... but nonetheless I try to do
    it. Who knows who it will help? Perhaps it will provide at least some
    amusement for someone...

    >
    > I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants because of
    > they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please don't assume
    > that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the requirement
    > that I find a strange and upsetting trend.
    >

    I don't think it's fair that Jason says this trend exists but fails to
    make the case for a trend. I think I know a bit about funding for new
    media and I can think of only one that requires this: Eyebeam's
    fellowship program. If this is a *trend* then there must be more than
    ONE. What are they? Two of the biggest new media grants, Creative
    Capital and the Rockefeller new media grant (can't remember it's new
    name) don't require this.

    But even if it were a trend, which I'm not sure it is, I'm curious to
    know what'st upsetting about it? You really haven't voiced why it
    makes you so uncomfortable, except that it's yours and you don't want
    to and alluding to the notion that there could be some commercial
    applications for it. (There could be ways around it by closing off
    some of the source and using it as a component or something: black box
    it.. but that would be extra work obviousely.)

    But to be fair to Jason, he's worked on some of his code for years. It
    does seem somewhat unfair that he be forced to give up all that
    intellectual property for what could amount to a relatively measly
    amount of money. Perhaps you should look into these (mystery) grants
    more closely. Most funding agencies MTAA has worked with have been
    extremely open and liberal. They might only want you to os the code
    that was created exclusively for the project they're funding...
    --
    <twhid>www.mteww.com</twhid>
  • Jason Van Anden | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 10:55 a.m.
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  • MTAA | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 11:25 a.m.
    I think it's fair. Especially if the grants are for research projects
    as opposed to production projects.

    They two grants that I know of that require this are both research
    grants. They are funding the development of IP and being charitable
    non-profit types of orgs, want to share that IP. This seems completely
    reasonable to me.

    Other granters that fund production don't have these requirements.
    They understand that they are funding an artist to create a work and
    it would be unreasonable to require this if that would diminish
    significantly the value of the final work.

    On 2/23/06, Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    > Let's reel it in even more - eliminate the word "trend" from the discussion
    > as well as any personal feelings an artist may have that might make him
    > uninterested in exposing his code.
    >
    > By initiating this discussion I was hoping to get feedback about the logic
    > (and fairness) of requiring an artist who is applying for funding to make
    > art (that uses technology) to abide by the terms described here
    > http://www.opensource.org/ simply because the material they use (code)
    > allows this to happen.
    >
    > It sounds to me like some of us feel its fair and good - and some do not.
    >
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > www.smileproject.com
    >

    --
    <twhid>www.mteww.com</twhid>
  • mez breeze | Thu Feb 23rd 2006 12:24 p.m.
    At 02:01 PM 23/02/2006, you wrote:
    >Mez Breeze wrote:
    > > Q.....am x.tremely curious as 2 how u
    > > n.ternalise ur code.ownership claim[s]
    > > whilst m.ploying programming languages
    > > not.developed.by.ur.own.self.
    >
    >Hope I'm not being too persumptuous to answer questions you're
    >posing to Jason, not me, but I'm finding this a very
    >thought-provoking discussion.

    x.cellent + re/ply.away.

    >I think there's a difference between tools & applications. People
    >who write programmings tools want them to be used to write
    >programs... that's there intention. However, the applications
    >created using those tools aren't necessarily meant to be used as a
    >programming source. I really don't see a conflict there.

    a.purrr.sonal.n.tention.may.point.2wards.ego.projection.[read:discounting/red.ucing.tha.likelihood.of.discovery.jags.or.inventiveness.beyond.(firing.static)canon[z]..............

    am.more.n.terested.in.fragments.+/or.occulsions.....................................
    mash.mixers+re.appropos.of.|n.tentions|.2wards/against.the/an.other........
    id.folding+persona.wandering.

    _thick.memoir.cableing.nost[||neur]algia.bloody_
    http://www.hotkey.net.au/~netwurker/
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/netwurker/

    .
  • Zev Robinson | Fri Feb 24th 2006 12:56 a.m.
    >> No question I have personally benefited from looking at the sketchbooks
    >> of
    >> Picasso, Leonardo and Van Gogh, or watching film of Pollack painting, or
    >> listening to numerous interviews with artists. None of these artifacts of
    >> process require the amount of effort that deliberately documenting source
    >> code for public consumption requires.
    >
    > Leonardo's written note books must have required some effort. For artists
    > today,
    > it is at least as much his notebooks as his few surviving finished works
    > that
    > make Leonardo such a towering figure.

    to expand on this point, for Leonardo et al, there was a studio system in
    place where artists would go from the age of about 11 or 12 for a very
    rigourous training into the techniques of making art. They would know the
    technique inside and out, working with, for and beside their masters. Both
    the master and the student knew that technique, while necessary, didn't in
    itself make an work of art good. both Leonardo and Michelangelo surpassed
    their master while very young but neither they nor Picasso nor Van Gogh
    could have done what they did without access to the code, as it were.

    I'm not sure how far you can take the analogy, since one can copy and paste
    and tweak code in a way you can't with a painting. It has to do with a lot
    of other issues, whatever one's stance on them is, such as control,
    ownership, copyright, reproduction, and the ego of the artist, and sometimes
    money.

    it is worthwhile remembering that there was much more than technique/code to
    Leonardo's, or Picasso's or Van Gogh's art.

    Zev

    Zev Robinson
    www.artafterscience.com
    www.zrdesign.co.uk
  • Jason Van Anden | Fri Feb 24th 2006 5 a.m.
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  • Jim Andrews | Fri Feb 24th 2006 5:22 a.m.
    when people want to make at least some of the code of an art project public,
    they might do so out of various motives.

    one of the more interesting possible motives would be out of curiosity about
    how the code (or part of the code) of a project could contribute to the
    piece as a work of art.

    there are various ways how this might happen.

    i suspect that we might be able to divide these ways into two groups (not
    mutually exclusive).

    the first way concerns the poetry of natural language, the poemy poetry of
    natural language, however un-poemy or tortured it might be as natural
    language. for the most part, this would be in comments and perhaps in the
    naming of the variables.

    the second way concerns the poetry of mathematics, engineering, and code
    ideas. for instance, the code idea in 'oeil complex,' discussed in
    http://turbulence.org/curators/Paris/durieuenglish.htm , is crucial to the
    poetry of the piece at all levels, but the beauty of the code idea is not
    expressed or expressable in the poetry of natural language.

    to appreciate the code idea, you do not have to understand the mathematics
    of the geometry, but if you do, there is considerably more to appreciate.

    i think it would be unfortunate were it *necessary* to expose *all* the code
    of a project, but to need to expose *some* of it may further inquiry into
    the question of how the public portion of the code of an art project might
    contribute to it as a work of art.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Zev Robinson | Fri Feb 24th 2006 5:46 a.m.
    Analogies are good ways of understanding things, and there are always diffe=
    rences in the things compared.

    as I understand it, there is an offer for some funding being made that one =
    can take or leave, no one is saying that one *has* to give all their hard w=
    ork up to the public domain. if anyone doesn't want to, or has a better off=
    er on the table.

    I'm not a coder, so I can't share anything in that realm with you, but I'll=
    share my video editing technique - I cut everything up, and then put it ba=
    ck together again.

    my point is that there is a difference between the technology and the art w=
    ith which it's produced.

    Zev

    Zev Robinson
    www.artafterscience.com
    www.zrdesign.co.uk

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Jason Van Anden
    To: Zev Robinson
    Cc: rob@robmyers.org ; RHIZOME
    Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 1:00 PM
    Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Naked Code

    Hi Zev,

    If I was smarter I would probably take T.Whid's earlier advice and lay of=
    f analogies since the mediums are so different.

    That being said ... I have taken on art and programming interns (nothing =
    like the apprentice system, but the closest experience I have had). There =
    is a big difference between publicly releasing source code and sharing it w=
    ith interns in a teacher/student relationship. The intern relationship is =
    personal - built on trust and respect. i might add that during Leonardo's =
    time, there was a transaction taking place, the apprentice's labor was in e=
    xchange for food, clothing, shelter and the modern day equivalent of an MFA.

    As T.Whid also pointed out (in so many words), this discussion may be mak=
    ing a mountain out of a mole hill since at this point, most funders do not =
    require open sourcing of technology in exchange for support.

    It seems to me it has evolved into what are the actual costs/benefits to =
    the artist and public of OSS code created to make art. I expressed some of =
    my misgivings in earlier:

    1.) the added burden proper documentation requires
    2.) questionable return for the artist
    3.) personal need to maintain a feeling of privacy

    This does not mean I cannot see the positive that can come of it. This t=
    hread has me considering how I might go about this in the future. I liked =
    the idea of posting snippets that would be useful to others. I recently wr=
    ote a very cool sound mixer in java that I would happily share if it did no=
    t require I sit down and translate it for others to be able to use (be it a=
    n API, or comments) - since I have a lot on my plate right now. Perhaps I =
    should enlist an intern to do code documentation.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Jason Van Anden | Fri Feb 24th 2006 6:54 a.m.
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  • patrick lichty | Mon Feb 27th 2006 6:16 p.m.
    This is an interesting thread.
    What's so disturbing?
    I guess the requirement for disclosure is something to be concerned
    about.
    But then, I wonder what's the concern. Is it the concern of the code to
    be appropriated by the sponsoring institution without compensation, or
    possible appropriation by colleagues? If it's a grant, compensation is
    given. In many ways, the New Media community of the 90's, of which I
    come from, more or less were pretty open with their tech - fairly open
    source.

    Maybe I'm missing something here - I don't see much art code as being
    particularly 'useful' to the private sector.

    Patrick Lichty
    Editor-In-Chief
    Intelligent Agent Magazine
    http://www.intelligentagent.com
    1556 Clough Street, #28
    Bowling Green, OH 43402
    225 288 5813
    voyd@voyd.com

    "It is better to die on your feet
    than to live on your knees."

    -----Original Message-----
    From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org] On Behalf
    Of Jim Andrews
    Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:47 AM
    To: list@rhizome.org
    Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Naked Code

    Does anyone else get a bit creeped out by being required to expose their
    code in order to receive financial support?

    I recently decided against applying for a few new media grants because
    of they required that the code/technology be open sourced. Please don't
    assume that I am suggesting that open source is a bad thing. Its the
    requirement that I find a strange and upsetting trend.

    Jason Van Anden
    http://www.smileproject.com

    Hi Jason,

    There are various reasons why one might not want to make ALL of a
    project open source. One might want to use code that's proprietary. Or
    one might feel that some of the code is neither of any use to anyone
    and/or it's spagetti or not readable or whatever.

    But to make some part of a project open source, perhaps even a
    relatively small part, seems like it could be interesting and hopefully
    useful also.

    I'm not interested in perusing a 300 page code project that's unreadable
    (or even one that *is* readable), but reading something short, sweet,
    and useful, I'd like that. Something I wouldn't mind stealing. Something
    with interesting code ideas.

    An insistence that the whole thing be open source, erm, that'd be kind
    of constrictive.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
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