Fermenting Openness

Lampooning the Free Software doxa, "Free as in speech, not as in beer," the Danish inteventionists Superflex have tested the distinction, and the refreshing aftertaste is that the two terms are far from mutually exclusive. Their Superbeer is produced and distributed in line with the Open Source principles of making the recipe available and realizable by all, like some works of Conceptual Art. But as we know, a commodity being free doesn't mean it can't be sold. What it does mean is that it cannot be enclosed in the thicket of proprietary regulations that ruin it for everybody else. Superflex are known for superimposing the methods and cultures of other disciplines (engineering, urbanism, development) onto an art/activist context. The symbolic provocation of Superbeer is welcome, and we look forward to seeing it on the Supermarket shelves. - Marina Vishmidt