Regine Debatty ha entrevistado a dos de sus "senior partners" Amber Frid-Jimenez and Brent Fitzgerald en Worldchanging y we-make-money-not-art. La tres c del proyecto podrían parecer a muchos una provocación, pero son más bien una declaración de intenciones. Openstudio pretende demostrar empíricamente que la visión tradicional del mundo del arte es demasiado estrecha al centrarse sólo en la primera c (creatividad), mientras se olvida de la segunda (colaboración) y, en muchas ocasiones, desprecia o le resulta extraña la tercera (capitalismo).
Se puede percibir claramente el trabajo de John Maeda, una de las leyendas vivas del PLW, en este proyecto, como se comenta en la entrevista tanto por sus experiencias en generación colaborativa de código creativo ("Back in the old pre-wiki days he had a great class exercise in which one by one each student sat at the computer and modified a program, cumulatively producing a unique piece of creative code") como por la influencia del mundo de la gestión empresarial en los proyectos artísticos ("he imported some of the vocabulary and paradigms from the business world into this research").
En la entrevista se explica el objetivo de Openstudio, que proporciona herramientas para que los artistas creen dibujos que pueden compartir e intercambiar en un mercado electrónico. Openstudio es un sistema abierto donde los usuarios pueden establecer sus propias condiciones de uso de sus obras, incluyendo precios, licencias y tipos de exhibición y uso permitidos. El proyecto permite experimentar con la sostenibilidad económica de la creación artística y, de este modo, explorar modelos alternativos a los habituales basados en la subvención pública o el apoyo filantrópico. Por otra parte, pretenden extender el modelo a otros ámbitos relacionados, como la generación de piezas de código para software creativo como Processing.
Brent: OPENSTUDIO is web + art + community + economics. It is an open-ended experiment that couples a very simple drawing tool with an economy of artists, curators, collectors, dealers and viewers. Members can create and modify drawings, set prices and licenses, exchange and exhibit work, view financial records, and commission one another. It is a conceptual foundation from which we're continuing to develop further work in creative tools, collaboration, licenses, participatory media, law, and trust.
Amber: Your new drawing is saved into your private inventory, which you can access from the browser. From there, you can set a price for your drawing and put it in your public gallery. Once your drawing becomes public, it is automatically displayed on the OPENSTUDIO home page. This gives the community a chance to see and hopefully buy the new work. The latest transactions are also displayed on the home page, so anyone can see at a glance what the community is buying.
On the homepage it says that Openstudio is an "Experiment in Creativity, Collaboration and Capitalism". That is an interesting statement since the c-word (the latter) is rarely so openly used in conjunction with art. What is your current assessment of how the art world works and where is it flawed in your opinion?
Amber: OPENSTUDIO is not intended as a direct critique of the existing art world, although it does loosely mimic a 'real' economic system. In the physical realm, art dealers and galleries determine the value of most works of art. It is flat, so the community determines the value of the drawings. Over time people learn what sells and what doesn't without institutional mediation. You can also build on the work of others. When you buy a piece of work, you can buy the right to use it as the basis for a new drawing. You can buy a piece and modify it and save it as your own. Each piece retains its history, which promotes collaboration in a way that is not necessarily encouraged in the physical art world. In this way, OS plays with formalizing the act of appropriation inherent in digital works of art.
Let's stick with the economic aspects a bit: You also work on something called OpenCode which is intended to be a platform where code-snipplets for Processing can be dealt in the same fashion as in OPENSTUDIO. Do you think such a micro-economy could be a viable alternative to today's way of buying and using software or of certain commodities in general? How does this relate to the strictly non-commercial approaches in the open-source/knowledge universe?
Amber: OpenCode is a project that Kyle Buza and Takashi Okamoto developed over the Summer and Fall. OpenCode is a natural extension of the ideas that we worked with in OS. Since Kyle sits next to me, I asked him to respond: OpenCode was originally designed to leverage the OPENSTUDIO economic model. Before completing the implementation, we began to be contacted by educators interested in using the system as a component of their courses. When used in this context, an economic infrastructure becomes less interesting. In addition, we began to feel that there was something less personal and revealing about the types of code purchased by an individual. We believe that these types of subtly revealing actions are what make OS interesting, and may not apply to the production of code.