Drawing on the Commons

Co-creation for activism This is a 3-min talk about my fellowship work that I gave at Ford Foundation in NYC in May 2019 – since September 2018 I had been hosted by Creative Commons as a Mozilla Fellow, which is funded by Ford Foundation – so this serves as a final report in a way. Contents Formats Video Slides & TextText only Links & Credits LinksCredits Video Slides & Text ‘The Beginning is Near’, © Alexandra Clotfelter | Booklyn Artists’ Alliance, https://booklyn.org Illustration is a wonderful medium to tell stories, or spark the imagination. ‘A Message from the Future with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’ | Image © Molly Crabapple | The Intercept, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9uTH0iprVQ Rather than just showing what exists, you can communicate the better future you’re working towards. …creating effective campaign images is often expensive and time-consuming for small NGOs or community groups. and ubiquitous stock images or generic icons aren’t always representative or relevant to the audience. An image is the perfect way to communicate… … a mood. But unlike text or data – which can be restyled, updated, or translated – images tend to be pretty inflexible. As a viewer, seeing yourself reflected in campaign imagery can be very powerful. but by default, an image will reflect the biases and perspectives of the creator. No image is neutral, and if you’re excluded, you notice. So there are a number of challenges facing any organisation who wants to create engaging and focused illustration for their campaigns. I think there’s a huge opportunity in opening up the process of creating images to a much wider range of people, and also making... read more

Huia (Lost Species)

Here’s a short looping animation, just in time for the Remembrance Day for Lost Species – I’m taking part in a pop-up exhibition tonight at Baumhaus Berlin, organised by Jenni Ottilie Keppler, together with other illustrators, poets and sculptors.’Huia (exquisite corpse)’ deals with cultural memory, and builds on two existing interpretations of the huia – which was one of three native New Zealand wattlebirds. The huia was driven to extinction before photography was prevalent, and before audio recordings could be made of its song. (The last confirmed sighting was in 1907.)

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Home = community: my open source story

I was invited to tell a story last night at Agora Rollberg – a budding community space in the old storage hall of Neukölln’s Kindl Brauerei. The event was bringing together practitioners of open source collaboration, and Alice & Simon, two of the organizers, suggested that I share how I got started down this road. I guess most people start out in open source with software, but my experience was a little different – so this is what I shared with the group:

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The Trumpocalypse (or, what to do now?)

Today has been a day of worrying about what went wrong, what everyone could have done better, how we could have stopped Trump. But we’re not going to stem this angry tide of populism simply by picking better opponents, or trying different election strategies.
Democracy does not mean a single choice between flawed candidates once every few years, it’s something that needs to be built in to every sector of society. Every system we interact with should give us information and agency, rather than isolation, coercion and inequality.

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OSCEdays talk at the Circular Economy 100

I gave a presentation at the CE100 meeting today in Berlin – it’s a relatively private event, there’s no recordings or publications of talks, so I’m posting my talk here instead, (I forgot bits and pieces in the actual talk, of course…) Together with a presentation from OSVehicle, it made up the last session of the event, called ‘Embrace Collective Intelligence through Open Source’. There had also been other presentation from OpenDesk, FabLab Berlin and Provenance, so the tech/open scene was well represented.

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Arts & Commons

On July 2nd I was invited to give a workshop at Supermarkt’s event ARTS & COMMONS: Art, Money and Self Organization in Digital Capitalism.
Together with the participants of my workshop, I wanted to discuss the co-creation of artistic work, in the mold of open source collaboration or Yochai Benkler’s term ‘commons-based peer-production’.
The form was a hands-on collaborative collage workshop to get us on-topic, and give participants a taste of peer-production for themselves, followed by a discussion on how peer production of art is currently being attempted, and what might be necessary to improve and spread the process.

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How Open Source can accelerate the Circular Economy Shift

It’s hard to know where to start. After all, our linear economy is reaching its own end-of-life, and ‘designing’ new economies has never really worked that well for us in the past. The challenge is really about enabling an ecosystem to emerge which effectively (re)uses materials and resources, and rebuilds economic, social and natural capital.

When we look at the circular economy field now, it’s dominated by large corporate players – and we do need these businesses taking on responsibility and leading with their considerable research, manufacturing and marketing clout. But redwoods and rhinos don’t make a whole ecosystem, there are many more parts to be played. To live up to the rhetoric and develop a real circular economy we need diversity of size, of focus, of motivation, and perspectives.

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Open Source ≠ DIY

As Open Source Hardware becomes more widespread, so too do misconceptions about it. One common confusion we see is using ‘open source’ interchangeably with ‘Do-It-Yourself’ – though these are very different concepts.

When we advocate for a future where open source is the default for the products and systems around us, we’re not saying that you will get up in the morning, solder together your open source toaster, then go about your day building and taking apart every object you come across.

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Interviewed by SourceCode Berlin

Marc Fonseca Rendeiro and Wikimedia Deutschland have started an in-depth podcast about open source people and projects in Berlin! Subscribe! download! rejoice!

Marc interviewed me recently about all sorts of things I’ve been up to in the last couple of years: open source in video, our experience with Open It Agency, making my own open source clothing and an introduction of our new initiative, Open Source Circular Economy Days.

Check out the interview on Sourcecode Berlin, or you can download the podcast.

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