Free Culture UK Launches

Free Culture UK has launched with some cool campaigns and a mailing list:

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Back In the UK

I’m back home now.

I’ll post more about the trip, and release paintr and the new version of draw-something soon. But I need a rest now.

T Minus Four

I’m sat in the gallery typing this.

The software has been installed after some last minute hacking to make sure it runs well unattended on the gallery’s hardware. paintr and draw-something are projected on the gallery walls. 1969 is being displayed as slideshow on four lcd monitors. Prints of four pieces from Canto and three colour pictures by draw-something make up the rest of the show.

I’ve spoken to local radio and television, plugging CC as well as my own work, and a few people have wandered in to see what’s happening already. The private view is in four hours…

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HOWTO Make Kid’s Board Books

Via Make:

Board Book

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Code/Encoding and Words Made Flesh

Good discussion of code/encoding, and link to an interesting book, at GTA:

confusion of codes

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Rob Myers: HOWTO

I have a show at Gallery o3one in Belgrade starting next Wednesday:


I’ll be showing paintr, draw-something, my recent remixing work such as 1969 and Canto, and talking about Free Culture, Free Software and art.

Supported by the British Council.

British Council

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The Livecoding Language Of Choice: Scheme

Scheme is a member of the Lisp family of languages. Lisp is almost fifty years old, and it’s still the most advanced programming language there is. It’s also one of the simplest: the only rule you have to remember is that (everything goes between brackets). These are both features that make Lisp good for implementing any new style of programming. Such as livecoding.

Livecoding is the creation of music or animation by programming live in front of an audience. Dave Griffith has a system called ‘fluxus‘ that I’ve mentioned before. Notice all the brackets around the code, that’s a hallmark of Scheme:

 Software Fluxus Images Spasm

And here’s Andrew Sorensen and Andrew Brown performing using ‘impromptu‘ in Brisbane. More brackets:

P7140292 1

Scheme beats languages like Ruby or Lua because you don’t have to remember any syntax, and it beats Python because you don’t have to fiddle with the whitespace. fluxus keeps track of your brackets with a syntax highlighting editor, so you have the twin benefits of structured code and something other than your brain keeping track of the structure.

Forget flash-in-the-pan languages like ActionScript or Processing. Real hackers use Lisp. 🙂

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BSD/GPL, Negative and Positive Liberty

At Manik‘s suggestion I’m reading Isaiah Berlin’s essays on Liberty. Berlin describes two kinds of liberty; negative liberty and positive liberty. Negative liberty is essentially the freedom to lead one’s life without interference or coercion. Freedom from slavery. Positive liberty is the freedom to pursue one’s own ends and realise one’s potential. Freedom to create.

Berlin’s is a liberal freedom as opposed to more radical conceptions of freedom. The Freedom of Free Software is a liberal freedom, and so Berlin’s consideration of freedom may be useful in considering Free Software.

The major Free Software licenses are public domain fig-leaf licenses such as BSD, and copyleft licenses such at the GPL. Negative liberty is the freedom that the BSD license gives. Positive liberty is the freedom of the GPL.

In his essays, Berlin considers the limits of, and the disastrous historical consequences of misrepresentation of, both modes of freedom. But I think this simplistic comparison (BSD == negative liberty, GPL == positive liberty) is illuminating because it gives a historical context to the appeal and the dangers of both licenses.

And it gives yet more weight to the argument that BSD sucks. 🙂

Do read Berlin if you’re interested in Free Software or Free Culture.

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Tom Moody Work at Futuresonic

Tom Moody has a piece at Futuresonic:


But I won’t be able to get to Manchester that weekend as I’ll be in Belgrade…

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Wiki Explosion

On The Commons on wikis:

Wiki Explosion

Wikitravel’s an excellent resource and has been around for a while now, long enough that it had to manage the upgrade from the 1.0 to 2.0 Creative Commons licenses. Evan, who runs Wikitravel, is one of the regulars on the CC lists.

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