Towards a Permanently Temporary Software Art Factory by Javier Candeira
Full title: Towards a Permanently Temporary Software Art Factory (Notes for the Sustainability of Software Artifacts) Packaging and distribution of free software art is the main focus and wish of this article. It was comissioned by the software art factory Readme 100 in Dortmund 2005 and is included into the resulting publication: Readme 100 [...]
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Towards a Permanently Temporary Software Art Factory

Javier Candeira is issuing a call to arms, leaping into the role of evangelist for the packaging and distribution of free software art wish great energy. He offers three primary goals for this project. First, to allow and promote code sharing between artists and therefore increase their productivity. Second, to facilitate software art distribution of easily installed packages. Finally, to aid conservation of software artworks through community maintenance of these packages.
Candeira's vision is compelling, one of a community helping each another freely, sharing their work openly and preserving their work for future generations. Further, his arguments are persuasive, instilling a sense of urgency, artwork being lost to bad licenses and ineffective distribution mechanisms.
In the style of a FAQ list, Candeira goes through many possible objections to Free Software Art, particularly those potentially held by software artists themselves. This forms a tightly argued, combative piece, using forthright language of evangelists from the wider free software world to head off many potential counter-arguments before they can be made.
So while Candeira's work leads towards a project with clear aims and direction, it leaves a great deal of room for dialogue of greater breadth and subtlety. Many software art mantras, such as "release early, release often" simply may not apply to software art. Further, not all artists are so interested in wide distribution of their work, or in other people being able to pick through their workings, and gentler encouragement and debate may be required before they join a free software community. Indeed we might consider many culture clashes between existing free software communities and the free software artist community that Candeira encourages here.
But even with these doubts and more on our minds, we must look on with hope that something of great interest and worth can come of such a project. Reading between the lines we understand that Candeira is working towards a software art orientated sub-distribution of the Debian linux distribution. We wish him well.

Alex McLean

by admin, posted 15 Feb 2006


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