Boing Boing
Boing Boing included something I sent them in a discussion of font copyright.

Remember, kids, never take legal advice from an artist…

One-Step Logic
“There was a time but it’s long gone
Janie got a crush on the Vietcong
Burning through downtown Saigon
Me I’m sold – down the Mekong”
– ‘Dr. Jeep’, The Sisters Of Mercy.

Remember, kiddies, if the deckchairs on the Titanic had been a different colour, it wouldn’t have sunk.

Abstract Art After Courbet

One of the earliest images of Computer Art I remember from my childhood was one created using Kenneth Knowlton’s EXPLOR.

Mini-Explor was a minimal, Fortran-based version of the language from the first half of the 1970s. It’s described in an old SIGGRAPH that I downloaded a PDF of from the ACM. I’m writing a version using GNU Fortran. Here’s where I’ve got to:

Why am I doing this? It would be amusing to have a GNU Explor. And it would fight bitrot for old Explor programs. But the main reason is that it’s a learning experience like copying an old drawing or painting. I’m gaining understanding of how people saw Computer Art thirty years ago, feeling my way into that way of seeing and and that way of thinking about art. It’s a fascinating experience. The things a programming language allows you to do are the things you will prefer to do when you make work. Explor is a world of drawing pattern, copying, flipping, inverting and filtering, not of smooth curves, colour, scaling, rotating or “noise”.

Vintage Random Numbers
Via Boing Boing, a PDF of a book of million random digits from RAND in the 1950s:

Don’t just use randomness in your work. Use *classic* randomness. 🙂

Smash Global Capitalism! Spend Less Money!
Via Idle Type:

Yes, selling glossy magazines and fat books that eschew empowering analysis of economic and class relations in favour of arguing over what colour the curtain should be are not really changing the face of capitalism all that much. Or at all.

The first place that I saw AdBusters and No Logo was the graphic design bookshop on Tottenham Court Road. The prosecution rests, or would if only it wasn’t actually doing something about its own production rather than just complaining about others’ consumption.

PAGE Archive (via eu-gene)
PAGE, newsletter of the Computer Arts Society, 1969-1985:

This is something of a mother lode for the history and theory of computer art.

iTMS and CC (via cc-community, edited)
It would be great if there was a CC metadata plugin for iTunes. I don’t know how open the iTunes APIs are, though. Perhaps Apple could add it, it wouldn’t take much work (surely?) and would help with their record-company-placating DRM by showing what rights are reserved.

The rumour grapevine has it that Apple will allow the next version of “Garage band” to publish tracks via iTMS. It would be great if they would let you CC-license work to be sold. There are already CC-licensed music repositories (opsound) and record labels (loca, opsound). If iTunes allowed you to search iTMS by CC license type and metadata, that would take it even further.

Since Apple really don’t really make any money on iTMS sales, they should allow CC-licensed work to be sold. Indeed they should encourage it, as it will drive sales of garageband and iPods, which is the whole point of iTMS.

iTMS, garage Band and iTunes could provide a user-friendly GUI for buying, creating, hosting and listening to CC-licensed content, searchable and manageable by CC metadata. Since iTMS is a legal fig-leaf for selling iPods, it doesn’t matter what kind of content iTMS sells as long as it doesn’t upset the record labels. CC-licensed content is still copyrighted and doesn’t challenge anyone’s rights, so how could they object? 😉

The only problem is iTMS’s DRM, which breaks the CC licenses. Whether Apple or the record labels would accept that artists who license their work CC are within their rights to request no DRM is another matter entirely.

Minara is sticking with OpenGL; adding an intersection callback stopped the crashes. I’ve cleaned up the buffer and window code, and started working on code to support transforms using PostScript-style matrices for speed (2×3 rather than 3×3). You can also save buffers now (type x,s). The C cleanup can wait. I need to think some more about transforms, and also about dialog-style interactions with the user. Minara needs to prompt for filenames and to display colour choices and other dialog functionality. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but I do want something that will look good and be fast for power-users to operate.

Not Another License
The Open Art License , by the Open Art Network. I don’t think we need another art license. If people want a GPL-style license for art, one that requires that sources be provided, they should probably just use the GPL. GnuArt do this. If you don’t want to provide sources, the Creative Commons licenses are best. There have been other attempts at art licenses. The Free Art License has been out for a while now, and I drafted (but fortunately never used) a BSD-style art license a few years back.

Let’s not divide culture up into little content ghettos around strangely similar yet strangely incompatible licenses.