Friday, 4 April 2008

Day 1 - Starting out with the Workshop

With the start of the workshop, 'Below the Sealevel' was officially kicked off. Facilitated by Jaromil, rastafari artist/programmer/activist, the four day workshop will introduce its, pre-dominantly female, pre-dominantly from the art-scene, participants to the applications and philosophy of 'Freedom of Creation', or, creating and using free software.

Jaromil in action

The first workshop proved to be an introduction to the reasoning underlying the open-source movement, besides its technological transparency. Jaromil explained how software could be likened, really, to a set of orders for communication. As communication structures our everyday life, it would make sense that the way this is created and used, should be as accessible and public as possible, and not just in the hands of commercial stake-holders. A prime-example of this kind of reasoning put into practice is, a community of young hackers, or, digital artisans, creating and sharing free software and ideas. Some of the software applications that been developed here for instance, are Hasciicam; an application enabling more primitive PCs to show live video on the web (for a more detailed and technologically correct explanation, check out this tool yourself!). Other examples of the software that have been created by the community at dyne include MuSE, a radio-making application, and FreeJ, a tool to make and create video-interface.

The workshop & participants, in the dark.

Many more open-source applications and creators were mentioned, as everyone enthusiastically dove into the topic at hand. The websites that were mentioned, and may be of use to anyone else interested in free software and the linux-community, are mentioned in a list below:

  • : the original movement behind free software, started in 1984
  • : aforementioned community, providing free software amongst others
  • : a much needed website offering manuals to the many free software tools created, making it accesible to the less technically literate amongst us

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