[ISEA2011] Paper: Aymeric Mansoux – My lawyer is an artist: free culture licenses as art manifesto


One of the main mechanisms behind free software relies on a set of rules that prevent improvements and changes to become inaccessible. Building up on these principles, artists and designers are now creating works as free software art, open source art or “art libre”.These works are distributed using free culture licenses and offer the same freedom as free software in terms of appropriation, study and modification. In this presentation, I will show that due to the explicit rules provided by these licenses, what is often introduced as a new form of artistic freedom of production and distribution, is in fact a networked evolution of constrained art creation that finds its root in the works and experiments from artist collectives such as Fluxus, the Surrealists and OuLiPo; artists and designers exposing these mechanisms at the root of their creation are in fact turning legal documents into artists’ manifestos.

  • Aymeric Mansoux (FR) is an artist, musician and media researcher. In 2003, he founded GOTO10 with Thomas Vriet, a non profit organization and artist collective, with the goal to promote the use and support of free software in electronic music and media art creation. Aymeric has been active in the collective until 2010 and initiated several projects such as: ‘make art’, a yearly international no nonsense festival for software artists using and writing free software; ‘Puredyne’, a popular live GNU/Linux distribution for media art and design and the ‘FLOSS+Art’ publication, the first collection of essays on FLOSS and digital art production. Hi latest collaboration is ‘Naked on Pluto’, a Facebook game that deals with issues around centralized, commercial, black box social networks. Since 2009, he is core tutor and co-supervisor of study for the networked media branch of the Media Design and Communication Master of the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (NL).  Aymeric is also a PhD student at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths,  University of London (UK), researching online art and design communities, free culture licenses and distributed collaboration. puredyne.org   

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