Exp Int Readings #01: Open-Source Thinking

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//              Before the advent of the Internet, creators had their works protected by laws such as the Seldon and Ford copyright patents that helped to uphold the ownership of their works by legal means and prevent idea theft. An absolutist propriety code could be exploited by larger and more powerful companies or individuals (as with the Microsoft and Gates mentioned in Sida Vaidhyanathan’s essay Open Source as Culture-Culture as Open Source,) limiting the concentration of expertise to themselves.  The limitations placed on idea sharing resulted in inefficient economic decisions. True ownership over material is also difficult to determine since “No one fully owns a book”, as Michael Walman says in his ‘Handbook on the Economics of Copyright’.


The introduction of open-source culture (OSC) by groups like Linux, liberated the restriction on human intellect capital by encouraging creators to give up ownership of their works completely or partially; in order for open collaboration and peer production to thrive. While licenses still exist to partially protect the intellectual property of creators, they promote the sharing of material in order to inspire and give birth to more innovative derivative information goods. With OSC, the notion that creators are solitary workers is no longer valid since it provided an opportunity for artists to utilise avant-garde platforms that transcended the physical boundaries of an artist. Such works, such as The Shredder, Glyphiti utilised the ‘metamedium’ that the platforms provide and incorporated interactivity, such that the participants or audience could determine the outcome of the artwork, instead of the artist, as showcased in Randall Packer’s article on Open Source Studio.


The code for the Linux operating system kernel was given away for free and has given rise to many distributions like the Steam OS (gaming) and Ubuntu (mobile devices) that support a myriad of software.


The Shredder by Mark Napler (mentioned in Randall Packer’s article) disrupts the format of a website and gives the audience ownership over this work since the participants are able to choose the website that they would like to enter to ‘shred’. Also, the webpage being ‘shredded’ is displayed in real-time, as such, the results of the ‘shredded’ websites will always differ, making each outcome a unique creation by the participant.



This online interactive artwork ‘Glyphiti’ by Anthony Deck features a wall of glyphs. Each glyph can be freely altered by any visiting person to their liking. The aggregation of all the personalised glyphs then form the entirety of the glyphiti (much like how graffiti is done on actual walls in real life). I personally left my own pac-man drawing there.




(1) Vaidhyanathan, Sida (2005) “Open Source as Culture-Culture as Open Source,” The Social Media Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2012

(2) Packer, Randall, Open Source Studio, IEEE Spectrum, 2015

(3) http://www.potatoland.org/shredder/shredder.html

(4) http://artcontext.org/glyphiti/docs/index.php

(5) Watt, Richard, eds. Handbook on the Economics of Copyright: A Guide for Students and Teachers. , (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014)doi:

(6) What is Linux? by The Linux Gamer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFFNiMV27VY

#02: \\TELE-STROLL// (micro-project)


(Had to post this as a video because I was having trouble embedding the live video into my post!)

Posted by Yue Ling Tan on Tuesday, 23 January 2018


So Francesca and I were paired up for our first micro-project and we decided to do a “Journey to the East/West” video!
Our live performance is a juxtaposition between where we live in Singapore (and we ACTUALLY do stay at opposite sides of the country), and it serves the purpose to show that even if we are physically located at different parts of the country, our living habits and environment around us are extremely similar. Our brainchild showcases the both of us having a stroll around our neighbourhood on a boring Sunday and learning about each other’s living spaces.

The process of making this live performance was memorable, and I believe the both of us were quite taken aback by the level of difficulty this task poses. When planning for the performance, we decided to focus on the types of actions we could include that could utilise and include interactivity within the realm of the ‘Third Space’. After collating our ideas, we came up with the mini storyline that is our brainchild. Initially, we assumed that it would be fairly simple to carry out the live but it was only after various takes and practice that we were finally able to complete the performance successfully, which, rather than just a simple live broadcast, was more alike to a performance on stage and made this micro-project a very peculiar experience. Coordination between both parties had to be practised to be more refined and it took a lot of communication to include the appropriate elements and to execute them at the right timings, bringing social art to the next level.