Aymeric Mansoux, Marloes de Valk – FLOSS+Art

Aymeric Mansoux

Mute Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-1906496180, UK, 2009, English
Advocacy of FLOSS model in culture is a nodal strategy for change, and is important to keep in mind what the two editors Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk state in the introduction: “software industry no longer sells software: it sells licenses.” Starting from here their proposed path through all the art-related issues of free software results as a rich end empowering experience. The collection of essays is the most exhaustive ever published including the analysis of FLOSS and music, video, theatre, graphic design, typography, libraries, licenses, live coding, you name it. This dense book with twenty-four authors is really not an apology of FLOSS models for the sake of an ideological battle. On the contrary, for example, the needed open mind and will to switch operating system, plus the consequent investment of personal time, is not underestimated. But the amount of analysis, practices and stimuli emerging while reading is amazing as a whole new world discovery. Among the others the book includes the seminal Transmediale award winner text “All Problems of Notation Will be solved by the Masses: Free Open Form Performance, Free/Libre Open Source Software and Distributive Practice” by Simon Yuill, that exemplary and critically analyze the FLOSS paradigm through history and philosophy enhancing its fundamental freedom of production quality. So it’s a sort of manifesto, chorally written sometimes reflecting the same FLOSS defects (redundancy and enthusiasm) and its unmatchable virtues, but giving serious hope for its pervading potential in every art sector.