Rob Myers
Since 2003
Works in United States of America

Rob Myers is an artist and hacker based in the UK.

I have been creating images of the contemporary social and cultural environment through programming, design software and visual remixing since the early 1990s. My work is influenced by popular culture and high art in equal measures. My interest in remixing and sampling has led to my involvement in the Free Culture movement. I have been involved in the public consultation regarding the Creative Commons 2.0 and CC-UK licenses. All my visual art is available under a Creative Commons license.

My interest in programming has led to my involvement with the Free Software movement. I developed the Macintosh version of the Gwydion Dylan programming language compiler. All my software is available under the GNU GPL.
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Manifesto Of The Day

Start a weblog. Place a downloadable image on it in a common format
(SVG, PNG, Gimp, PhotoShop) placed under the Creative Commons
Atrribution-Sharealike license. Let people modify and re-upload the
image using the comments mechanism (censor uploads that don't preview,
offer help if people get this wrong). Collaborative art.

After a while upload a new image as a new topic and begin the process
again. Use elements from the previous work or make a call for new
images. Encourage an accompanying discourse (or at least discussion).
Take the work somewhere. Make shared objectives.

Art & Language's 1970s Indexes provide a good historical
counter-example to the whimsy of Exquisite Corpses and Mail Art for
collaborative artwork. The net can be studio and gallery
simultaneously. Work can be done this way. More, it should be done this
way. This is culturally urgent. The relations of production,
distribution and consumption as well as the creation and extraction of
value must be changed.


Re: Welcome to Distributed Creativity--Week 3

On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, at 03:03PM, <> wrote:
>When communities open themselves up to sharing their resources with the world at large, they also open themselves up to exploitation by special interests.

This is why GPL-style "share-and-share-alike" licensing is so vitally important. You reap what you sow. If you exploit you must contribute, so you yourself may be exploited, even by the very people you seek to exploit.

Corporate raiders fear the GPL because it ties value extraction to value creation.

>How can communal protocols and trust metrics address the incursions of such interlopers in a way that is consistent with a community's egalitarian ethics?

They cannot. Any given ethical system can be ironised to make defence offence (I won't mention Godel). Protection of egalitarian ethics may need to be extra-egalitarian. Ouch.

The person who believes their view is superior is a problem for the person that believes all views are equal. Self-oppression, so common a prescription in the Left, is no moral high ground. It assumes an unassailability it does not afford.

>Does the creative subversion of an open community help us imagine stronger models for such communities, or merely undermine them?

If a community feels it is being subverted it can fork. :-) This is a frontier, not an apartment block.

Wired had an article on open source design the other month. For art I worry that the results will be "consequences" rather than plussing. We don't have the tools (unless collaborative, downloadable, Creative Commons-licensed SVG blogs take off or Common Content start providing CVS logins). Successful Open Source Art projects, like successful OS Software projects, need strong leadership, strong identity, strong shared interest, strong social and technical rewards, and strong acceptance criteria. I've been writing about this on my weblog recently...

- Rob.


Re: artist favorite wine...

On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, at 03:58AM, atomic elroy <> wrote:

>Nobody understands me....

How do you mean?

- Rob.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sociology of the Fading Signal--Can You Hear Me Now?

On 21 Nov 2003, at 03:07, Jean Haefner wrote:
> On Thursday, November 20, 2003, at 04:17 PM, mark cooley wrote:
>> in this way perhaps the rhetoric around technology is even more
>> disturbing than religious rhetoric because it allows for the infinite
>> expansion of capital.
> you should live in the bible belt...they fight about whether THEY are
> the buckle of the belt

Religion puts no limits on the expansion of capital. Indeed a deity
could declare/make any given material or activity valuable, thus
increasing capital at a rate unimaginable by technological means.
Technology limits the expansion of capital by insisting that you expend
some on material things.

>> it is interesting to see the debates around biotechnology for
>> instance - many oppositional arguments focus on biotech disturbing
>> god's plan, whereas many scientific arguments for biotech center on
>> a (supposed natural) progression of human's control (through
>> technology of course) of nature.
> the Hubble telescope has or should have upset many ideas about where
> we stand in the universe

"Control of nature" was, roughly speaking, something given to humanity
by God in the Old testament. I have never met anyone who believes
biotech is natural, but I've met many who think that having unmodified
crops pollinated by under-tested modified crops is a) Not good and b)

>> both are essentialist positions but i am wondering which is better or
>> worse - in terms of reproducing the ideology of capitalism. hmmmmm?
> money is god's reward

Industrialised capitalism is a product of C19th Protestantism (work
ethic). Technology is *not* essentialist because it recognises the
artificiality of its artifacts, unlike religion which is generally
underwritten by divine revelation. Individuals may romaticise or
essentialise technology, but that can happen with anything. And
capitalism is its own reward, however it chooses to hide its face. :-)

- Rob.


Opening Art

I'm about to apply a Creative Commons license to my back catalogue and new work (everything that doesn't use -er- found images), and digging through my archives I found an unfinished license drafted for an abandoned project from 2001 which I present here for your amusement. It's inspired by the BSD and OGL licenses. IANAL so don't try to actually use it - you wouldn't try to use heart transplant instructions written by an artist would you? :-)

"Open Arts" logo:

The Open Artwork License V1.0 (Draft)
The following text is Copyright