Digital Commons

Cornelia Sollfrank is a founding member of the cyberfeminist collective Old Boys Network. The talk begins with a contextual summary of her relationship to digital commons and the city of Dundee. Sollfrank details her interest in digital tools for the production of art works, and in challenging the gendered make up of the field. She briefly touches on her work Netart Generator (1998 – ongoing) a small script that is one of the oldest pieces of functioning internet art, generating not only images and discourse but also trouble in the form of copyright issues. She describes this trouble as provoking a long-standing interest in researching the paradoxes around issues of intellectual property and led to a PhD in the area. Sollfrank relates an ongoing struggling with notions of authorship and in thinking through the social position of the artist. She relates a process of turning her initial research questions on their head, asking what can artists contribute to a free culture? This turning around led to current research on Giving What You Don’t Have a set of interviews with artists that create various infrastructures to facilitate the free exchange of knowledge, so that a lot of other people are involved and profit from the interventions. 

After this contextual summary Sollfrank continues by providing an overview of commons as a project that has emerged from an ongoing ecological crisis, closely related to a crisis of capitalism and expanding neoliberalism. Sollfrank describes commons broadly, raising a number of key questions it provokes around individuals and groups, around leadership and around what new conceptions of politics we might need to go forward? She ends with a more specific discussion of digital culture and the forms it takes, including free software, free culture and access to knowledge.  

Audio Title: 
Digital Commons
Audio Accession Number: 
MW. 003
Audio Speaker: 
Cornelia Sollfrank
Audio Annotation: 
A talk given as part of the Dundee Commons festival
Audio Location: 
Roseangle Commons, Dundee West Church, Perth Road Dundee
Audio Date: 
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Audio Duration: 
Audio Type: 
Public Talk
Audio Technical: 
Audio Recording type: 
Sound recording in the room