A Guide to Atrocities in Art, or alternatively, the Guide to ‘Art’ Shopping.

“The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion“. Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), German critic, philosopher. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, sct. 12 (1936; repr. in Illuminations, ed. by Hannah Arendt, 1968).

Exposed atrocities are the norm of contemporary public experience. The public outcry, as experienced in instances of the TRC and display of homemade video’s on national television, is the public’s realisation of a collective neglected past and present; the realisation that they can contribute when they see the so-called workings of the matrix and the realisation that systems of closed sources disempower.

 By making the source code available to the public, the public are able to make use of systems of thought that the individual combats or is unable to offer. For example, Microsoft locked the source code to their software operative system – Windows. The result has been that they have developed a system that has left holes of frustration for the end user – naked gaps of blacked out thought. It is not surprising that there is a growing interest in an alternative open source system – Linux. Now our task here is not to promote any semi-functional computer operative system over another, but rather, to observe that systems that allow for open source interpretations and contributions are able to grow more rapidly and contribute more meaningfully to further developments within that system. A system that is open and allows experts, at different locations and times, to re-create and re-generate the system ends by removing the concept of shock and surprise, the concept of newness, incompleteness and separateness – meaning in the raw sense is continually re-established.

We are at a time in history when the so-called, engineer’s plans, are brought out for interested persons to contribute to in one-way or another. This is not the logical effect of Capitalism or the ideology of Marxism. Rather, a growing realization that the source code needs to be made public in order to give the collective contribution a chance to form the overall structure.

The approach of opening the source code was thought to lead to confusion and a neglect of responsibility, but the fact is that the open source approach has led to a way through the gaps of consciousness that fertilises new ideas and growth.

So, when you buy that gift make sure that the source code is visible or you may find that you invested in something that is valueless.

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