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Social Safety Netz

By Rhizome

Tired of waiting for net art's signal to register on the radar of established arts funders, Netznetz has taken matters into their own hands. This group of Viennese net art mavens has convinced their local arts commission that software art should be funded the way it's made: through self-organized networks of distributed activity and collaborative effort. More than 100 net art groups will join forces in developing 'social software' that will channel available funding in a 'guaranteed and dispersed' way within 'elastic' parameters -- a continuous project altered daily, as American minimalist sculptor Robert Morris once described his work. The FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) principles behind the current upswing of social software development propose that sharing is the most politically relevant and efficient way to do anything. Netznetz extends those principles to the thing most free software innovators are wary of sharing: money. The blog world was buzzing with news of Netznetz, this week, and Wikipedia has already published an entry on the project. Some kind of precedent is surely in the making. - Marina Vishmidt

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