FREE?! investigates one of the great paradoxes of our times: While the fast paced development of digital media and the Internet has made the sharing and reuse of cultural products, like movies, music, books as well as their tools of creation, extremely easy. Yet at the same time, this same technological development allows intellectual property law to increasingly enclose culture behind privileged walls, thus tightly controlling and policing its access. Meanwhile, the debate that opposes the rights of authors and file sharing has been stifled into a virtual trench warfare.
Is there a way out?
FREE?! attempts to answer this question by looking at the alternative offered by the free culture movement, both exploring its potential and the obstacles it encounters.
The concept free culture refers to all forms of cultural expressions that have been deliberately ‘freed’ by their legitimate authors from the limitations that current intellectual property law, such as copyright, impose on them. Free culture promotes the free distribution of works and tools to create the lowest threshold possible for the access and transformation of culture for an audience as broad as possible. To do so, free culture operates as a nested territory, in which different forms of cooperation and collaboration establish working environments and modes of production that are based on sharing and exchanging knowledge. This requires a new approach to the production, financing, distribution, and appreciation of culture. It is in this particular context that FREE?! explores the potential and limits of this alternative.
Project concept: Aymeric Mansoux & Eric Kluitenberg
FREE?! is organised by Kennisland in cooperation with the Willem de Kooning Academy, the Piet Zwart Institute, WORM, Creating 010, V2_ and The New Institute. FREE?! Is made possible with support by the Culture Programme of the European Union and the Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industrie.