Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Renaissance 2.0: the CAV revolution!

Renaissance 2.0: the CAV revolution!
(in french here)

Fatal meeting

It all began on a winter's night just like any other. The contents of the net parading endlessly across my screen like so many connected individuals. A click here, a click there, just the usual. And then this bizarre meeting, this inexplicable feeling of « déjà vu » yet somehow so « different ». It is the story of this « meeting » and its consequences that I must now confess to you.

She is called « My life ». At the beginning I didn't suspect anything, even with a name like that .... Despite her successive changes of appearance, I tracked her, then trapped, undressed and penetrated her with my piercing ears to better understand her: the truth is indeed out there ....

« My life » is a CAV (Creative Artistic Virus), one of the first numeric specimens of an emerging renaissance. I prefer to tell you straight away, « My life » and her companions are and will remain totally free. I am writing to you with butterflies in my stomach, even if the CAVs are still in an embryonic state, is humanity, for the first time, at the dawn of a CARVMC???!!! (Creative Artistic Revolution via Mass Collaboration)

The source

The story of the CAV « My life » began in Brooklyn in June 2003. There, lost in the mass of 2.5 million other souls, lived Colin Mutchler, a young and slightly idealistic artist. At a first glance, Colin, with his guitar and camera seemed to be an inoffensive young man. And yet ....

In the era of internet and its networks, our Colin wanted to open himself up to the world. Held back by his largely walled and linear environment, fed on the vertical, preformatted media, Colin became strangely but progressively conscious of « the Oracle » (network name: CC or « Creative Commons).

Far from the mainstream media, Colin began his OWN journey, discovered HIS life and composed HIS piece of guitar music, which he called « MY life »..... Nothing out of the ordinary you say, and yet .....

To share « My life », Colin chose the internet site opsound.org which gathers music under one of the most liberal Creative Commons licences: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Convicting evidence:
Photo of Colin Mutchler, an innocent young man?
The piece of music « My life »
An oracle called « Creative Commons »

The first mutation

One month later, Colin received an unexpected e-mail from one Cora Beth, a young American violinist evolving in a completely different environment. The latter thanked him for having published his music under a CC licence allowing derivative work. Having discovered the guitar of « My life », Cora had had an irresistable desire to sensually merge her violin with it and since the licence invited it.... She called this first mutation « My life changed ».

Convicting evidence
: Music « My life changed »

It was on closer examination of this licence that I really understood its « life potential »: this licence allows not only « free diffusion » but also « modifications » as long as these satisfy the same conditions. Subsequently, we find here a potential specific to life: reproduction (« free diffusion »), inheritence and mutation (« modifications ») and the « virality » of life (the new creations should also allow reproduction and mutation).

And so, in reality, under the cover of opsound.org, hides an immense planetary catalyser to accelerate the copulation of the CAVs! Any artist can place his offspring there, nature (CC share-alike licence), other artists and time will do the rest ....

The propogation of the CAV « My life » is a textbook case and will, from now on, continue to develop inevitably far beyond the American borders.

The globalisation of the CAV « My life »

December 2004, while Christian families were preparing for Christmas, a new victim of the CAV « My life » was detected in the land of the rising sun in the person of rjmarshall (his network name).
My investigation taught me that he is an English sound technician and musician. Looking for work in London, he instead found himself in Japan, teaching English to the Japanese: a language and culture that he didn't know. From his Nippon base, he also frequented Opsound.org and discovered there « My life » and « My life changed ». Like Cora Beth, he soon had the same symptoms, the infamous UCI (Uncontrollable Creative Impulses).

With his penchant for pop/rock, he added a more modern aspect and a rythmic base with his synth. He called his Creative Crime (CC) « Our lives are changing ».

Convicting evidence
: Music « Our lives are changing »

I admit to having been intrigued by his use of the plural first person (« Our »), so I dug down deeper than usual. I then understood that the CAV had greatly evolved: we were no longer in the presence of a simple mutation but of a multiple inheritence!

As part of his Asian escapades, rjmarshall had, in effect, integrated 3 other CAVs of diverse origin, scarcely recognisable in « Our lives are changing »: a piece from Yosuke Hayashi, an outlandish japanese guy; a piece from « Zeezebra », a German puredata addict; and an interview with an anonymous man in the hottest quarters of Amsterdam.

Convicting evidence:

The rjmarshall site with his witness statement on the CAV « My life »
The « music » of Yosuke Hayashi and his site
The music of Zeezebra and his hiding place and a photo taken during infiltration
Interview of the anonymous man recorded by Chris Dooks


At this stage, six artists were implicated in the family line « Our lives are changing » of the CAV « My life », and this was only the beginning ...

Probably to overcome his Asian solitude, rjmarshall allied himself with two other Opsound regulars (Andrew Vavrek in Seattle and John Holowash in Ohio). Together they form Tryad. From this trio, « Our lives are changing » was going to mutate again .... On the music side, John Holowash abandoned himself to his sampling and producing impulses, whilst Andrew Vavrek added a semi-angelic dimension with his lyrics and vocals... They would baptise their new offspring « Our lives change ».

Convicting evidence:
Music « Our lives change» and its characteristics
Andrew Vavrek's site
John Holowash's site
Tryad.org, the trio's site

I went back to the source, starting from Tryad's version, to make my French audio report on the « My life » affair. I was also obliged, when publishing my file, to put it in a « derivative format » under the same licence. Frankly, that didn't worry me; I kept it to myself and didn't tell the other artists implicated in this affair.

My official report, in French, of 13 March 2005:

Format Mp3, 25 minutes, 22 Mo: my_life_to_tryad_story.mp3
Format Ogg, 25 minutes, 22 Mo: my_life_to_tryad_story.ogg

A personal affair

Then, out of the blue, Vavrek's mail came and I understood that I was completely screwed, that life would never be the same again. Some extracts of my remixed voice now found themselves in another CAV! An audio remix of the CAV « Language of my reality », produced by Tryad's John Holowash.... At the source of this CAV, a poem written and read by .... Colin Mutchler. The circle had closed and yet it's only the beginning ....

Today our artists continue to create with total freedom! I cannot help myself from following their tracks on the network, but even there I find my limits - the propogation has now also become physical ... Not content with propogating numerically, Colin Mutchler is going from university to university spawning new CAVs with his freeculturetour.org !

Convicting evidence:
The remix of « Language of my reality » by John Holowash
The remix project « Language of my reality » by Colin Mutchler
Colin Mutchler assaulting American students (freeculturetour.org)

Emerging future

For my part, I already feel the first signs of UCI (Uncontrollable Creative Impulses). Who knows where this story will end .....?

One thing is sure, even though still at a primitive stage, the CAV revolution has inevitably begun. As in spring, they are sprouting everywhere. Even more so than the P2P, the CAV revolution will be the worst nightmare of the vertical mono-neural mono-culture.

Welcome to a world of creativity and musical diversity for everyone and by everyone
Welcome to the Renaissance version 2

When you come into close contact with a CAV, you'll become one of us..... in fact, how is « your life »?

This document is under CC-by.

Some comments (taken from my old blog):

# 2005-4-17 @ 10:04:36 pm
vavrek: most excellent writing! thank you so much. can't wait to see where things go from here.
# 2005-4-18 @ 2:04:41 pm
Colin Mutchler: Very cool. Thanks for putting our stories in such eloquent form. Keep it going...
# 2005-4-19 @ 11:04:00 am
rjmarshall: Beautifully crafted summary of the fantastic things going on here. Many thanks. Roll on the CARVMC!!!

Thursday, 5 January 2006

About this blog

Internet and Communication tools connect millions of individuals.
A critical mass of "amateurs" of all kind collaborate with "tools to think with", share knowledge, create projects.

This blog is mainly about witnessing and exploring these horizontal and emergent ways.

What does "Pro'Am Revolution" means ? In an official report for the British government one can read:

" From astronomy to activism, from surfing to saving lives, Pro-Ams - people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards - are an increasingly important part of our society and economy.

For Pro-Ams, leisure is not passive consumerism but active and participatory, it involves the deployment of publicly accredited knowledge and skills, often built up over a long career, which has involved sacrifices and frustrations.

The 20th century witnessed the rise of professionals in medicine, science, education, and politics. In one field after another, amateurs and their ramshackle organisations were driven out by people who knew what they were doing and had certificates to prove it.

The Pro-Am Revolution argues this historic shift is reversing. We're witnessing the flowering of Pro-Am, bottom-up self-organisation and the crude, all or nothing, categories of professional or amateur will need to be rethought.

Based on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of Pro-Ams and containing new data about the extent of Pro-Am activity in the UK, this report proposes new policies to support and encourage valuable Pro-Am activity."


This Blog is the continuation of a previous one where you can find "old posts" (not present here) :