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[AE] Ars Electronica

Ars Electronica is a festival with a conference embedded in it as one of dozens of tracks. It’s held in Linz, Austria, a beautiful city on Danube. Artists, geeks, academics and others gather, this year to discuss “A New Cultural Economy.” [Note: I am live-blogging, writing badly, making mistakes, missing stuff, and just generally going wrong. The conference is streamed, I believe]

This morning, Joi Ito, the conference “curator,” welcomes us. He talks about AE’s valuing of artists as those who (especially in Europe, he says) push technology forward by imagining uses. He shows a stack: Ethernet (computers), Internet (network), Web (content), and knowledge (Creative Commons). It took ten years to generate enough user-created content to be worth searching for, he says. But now we’re there. But we need to unlock the knowledge we’ve created via tech, open licensing, and the Semantic Web. We need to get past the copyright holders vs. the pirates bifurcation. We need to look at nuance and at the hybrid projects. And that’s what we’re going to do at AE, he says.

He argues against the idea that amateur vs. professional means good vs. excellent. Amateurs have access to high-quality tools and do what they do out of love. How do we adapt our culture, economy and government to adapt to a generation that would rather produce and remix than consume?

[This is a very rough overview of Joi’s remarks.]

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