Creatives and Lawyers

Yet somehow it works…

I’m just back from a few days in Lisbon where I was attending an excellent Creative Commons summit. When I explain Creative Commons (the organisation) to anyone, I usually find myself talking about two different elements of the organisation. Firstly, there’s the policy people, the legalites, the wordies. Then there’s the creatives, the just-makin-for-the-sake-of-it’s, the curious. But somehow a summit of all these folks together works very well, in fact – it’s makes for a very interesting mix indeed.

A remixed Lisbon skyline – Voronoi – by Bryan Mathers – CC-BY-SA

Postage Stamp Remixer Machine

My session at the summit focused on participatory artwork. It’s chief tool being the Fabulous Remixer Machine. I had created a Postage Stamp remix tool, and in the making of it had got quite distracted by paper textures, printing colours and the limitations of cross-browser SVG filters.

A collection of remixable stamps

Sure enough, people attending the session got into the swing of it, and together we created a patchwork of stamps – or indeed a collection – from their different perspectives.

It being the first time I’d been in Lisbon, I thoroughly enjoyed wandering it’s streets, and in particular was very taken with the cobblestone texture that adorns many of the streets in the old town.

A CC postage stamp remixed in the style of a Lisbon street
Voronoi by Bryan Mathers CC-BY-SA

And as I found out, it’s a bit of a boob-jiggler to ride an electric scooter over this sort of terrain – though a whole ton of fun!

An eclectic mix of keynotes

On the first evening of the conference, while we were all still hungry and paying attention, we switched venues to a theatre downtown. The six short keynotes were dynamite – each one very different from the last – gathering up a range of issues and insights. I thoroughly enjoyed it – and it wasn’t long before my ipad was out as my scribbling tried to keep pace with what was being shared.

A real highlight for me was the magnificent “Theft – a history of music” by James Boyle & Jennifer Jenkins – who were simply on fire on the stage with their interplay, cartoon visuals and audio clips. Their work comes in Graphic Novel form (CC licenced download don’t you know!) and is absolutely beautiful. I know my kids will be all over it too…

Even though it was great to catch up with a load of known faces, I come away from the summit with lots of new acquaintances, a bundle of thoughts still brewing in my head and due to meeting some CC folks from Tanzania and Kenya, even managed to revisit the wisdom of some Swahili proverbs. And one of these I will leave you with.

Haraka haraka haina baraka. (Hurry hurry has no blessing)

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