[ISEA2010] Paper: Anita Mckeown – Diggers and Dreamers of the 20th and 21st Century: Creative Commons, Open Source and Digital Folkore


The Digital Britain Report (2009) and European regulations raise concerns about ownership of the net and the impact on its potential as a ‘common land’. Are these new regulations 21st century enclosure acts? If accessible territory is carved up and owned by the few, why should we care?

In 1649 Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers utilising common land aimed to promote communal and collective production and laid the foundations for the concepts embedded within FLOSS / Creative Commons practices. Winstanley’s vision of an egalitarian society came to him in a dream yet despite this mystical associations his vision should not be considered less valid. I suspect Tim Berner’s Lee and other early Internet and open source pioneers would have much in common with this 17th Century visionary’s ideals.

  • Anita McKeown (UK) is Creative Director of ASU and an interdisciplinary artist living and working in South London. Her current research considers the potential of artists’ interventions to develop and sustain public intimacy with place and how technology can contribute to this process.

Full text (PDF) p.  101-103