Abstract- Creative Networks: Frictionless or Regulated?

Musicians remixing each other, programmers hacking together an open code project, and activists organizing grass-roots campaigns depend on easy access to each other's time and labor. While networked creativity usually results from massaging one perspective or artwork against another, this frisson ironically depends on frictionless networks to supply the artistic material for such transformations and recombinations. Unfortunately, media giants have little interest in encouraging the unimpeded circulation of culture. TimeWarnerSaurus and Microsoftus Rex aren't interested in frictionless ecosystems; they want to slow down or halt the evolution of new species of small-scale producers who can flock when there's strength in numbers yet turn on a dime when necessary. This presentation for Collaborative Practice/ Networking (V) would survey the history of attempts by digital dinosaurs to employ copyright, patents, and other obstructions to new media evolution, as well as to survey some of the end-runs light-footed artists, musicians, and activists have engineered around broadcast flags and RIAA summonses--from tools for embedding open licenses in music files to an online environment for sharing art and code to a semantic search engine for remixable art and video. The discussion would also extrapolate the consequences for creativity of both frictionless and regulated network futures.