Showing posts with label public availability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public availability. Show all posts

Monday, April 14, 2008

art & generalized open source (2)

king (1982-2001), wood, iron, plastic - dreamer, thinker, chesspieceking, 1982-2001

just having written about images being publicly available, i was contacted by an image research studio, working for a major educational publisher. they want to use a picture of the above sculpture in a textbook on art for secondary school, in a paragraph where chess-pieces-as-works-of-art are examined.

so this touches immediately on the current discussion. however, (especially since the sculpture has not yet been sold) i think few will disagree that in order for artists to pay their bills, they should ask for some (pecuniary) recompensation for the use of their art work, at least for commercial use.

still, wouldn't one want to give everybody the opportunity to see any (worthwile) work of art, even be it only a reproduction? a less elegant solution is to make available freely (and still restricted by copyright- the necessity of which i will comment on later) only low-res images. this is widely practiced, see most artists websites. better in my eyes would be to have generalized open source: high quality images available freely to the non-commercial public. but then the artists would somehow need to be assured of income in some other sense.

actually, a similar situation occurs in university science - or does it? well, at least university scientists generally are employed by government(-funded institution). their income therefore is mostly reasonably assured. and in this way much of science is paid for out of the public's pocket. but nonetheless, most current science results are not really freely accessible. scientific publishers like kluwer, springer, elsevier etc. charge quite highly for access to scientific articles. but they don't pay scientific authors a dime (really). scientists are supposed to be happy when their article is accepted for publication, since this gives (peer) ranking. as anyone who follows the news can gather, the profits of these companies are often staggering. universities pay heavily to have subscriptions (both for their libraries and for electronic access for individual researchers). the general public wishing to access scientific results which it already paid for, is left with a significant financial barrier.

the moral of this to me seems that closed source gives power to a small number of people (in this sense usually some sort of elite) who are naturally extremely reluctant to `open up'.

and, letting some art cat out of my bag as promised: this seems to describe to me extremely well the situation with modern art and its curators, be it museal or gallerial or institutional.