Tools for liberation and instruments of interdependence: An anagram of ideas on Free/Libre/Open Source Software, art and design explored through Libre Graphics and Open Video

This research investigates Free software culture and practice in context of art and design based on Stallman’s 4 freedoms: to use, study, modify and share the source. The study aims to show how Free software innovations and aspirations are appropriated, adapted and assimilated in contemporary creative media practice and articulated in shared authorship through collaboration and interdependence.

Borrowing analytical visual methodology from Derren's Anagram of ideas on Art, Form and Film, the field is examined through deconstruction; interpolating nature of floss, floss in culture and floss culture in art and design with state of freedom and character of author, mechanics of freedom and methods of author and lastly, the tools of liberation and the instruments of interdependence. Whilst in itself, this study of intersections of Free software, arts and design an innovative way of looking at this field, the very case studies, Libre Graphics and Open Video are grounded in cross-pollination between computer science and humanities offering a unique insight into artistic freedom and freedom of expression.

Proposed methodology combines social science methods, software and media studies, design research, participatory action research, creative industries analysis and digital humanities methods such as digital publishing, image analysis and visual experimentation combined with computer science research methods, to provide a comprehensive survey and in depth overview into how interdependent these practices are. In particular, proposed methods of data collection, investigation and analysis consist of active participation, participant observation, primary research into original texts; following with Libre Graphics Meeting co-organisation; Libre Graphics software developers and users focused survey and fieldwork; practice-led Libre Graphics users workflow and content source investigation; Open Video communities archival study, survey and fieldwork; practice-led, collaborative film-making software design, development and workflow analysis; examination and comparative analysis of platforms for communication, distribution and archiving; study of Free software documentation platforms, codes of conduct, standards, version control, patenting and licensing.