Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Open Source Curating

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, October 20. 2007 • Category: Musings

I've noted of late that the term "open source" gets bandied about quite a bit, not just in technology-related industries, but also increasingly in the art world. To be sure, some systems in the art world, including curatorial processes, are very open and transparent. Is it stretching it a bit, however, to relate this transparency and receptivity in the art world to the "open source" movement, a crusade mostly associated with software that you can download for free and possibly manipulate before sharing your evolution of the product with others?

Open source (appropriately, as defined by Wikipedia) " a set of principles and practices that promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create software content through incremental individual effort or through collaboration."

OK, so that's our basic definition. The Wikipedia article goes on to state: "The open source model of operation can be extended to open source culture in decision making, which allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, in contrast with more centralized models of development [...] ." If we agree with this, that does seem to answer our question about the use of the term - it can be applied as a model to nearly anything. What, then, have been the interesting examples of late that cause me to go trawling on Wikipedia for definitions of open source? Let's look at them one by one:

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