Official Opening LiWoLi 09

What is LiWoLi ?

LinuxWochen Linz is an event that takes place in conjunction with Linuxwochen Austria.

Since 2001 "Linuxwochen Austria" exists as a loose fusion of different initiatives that organize events in Austrian cities under this umbrella. From the beginning, the main focus has been and continues to be on promoting different Linux distributions as free operating systems, Free and Open Source Software, along with a broad range of interesting and tech topics, including security issues, business models, server issues etc. Of course it has always been a meeting place for mostly tech guys and some girls, who exchange and share their knowledge, but it also brings these issues to a broader public.

servus.at as a local initiative and one of the main organizers of this year's event has been a partner for the Linux-Linz event since the beginning, especially in introducing activities around producing art and culture into this context.

But where is the Linux in Linz this year?

Well we have still the penguin hanging outside on the Art University. And we are also using Linux on every machine available during the event. Peter, my colleague, even installed Ubuntu on brand new media-sexy iMacs. He said that it was no fun for him. So he did what a classical Mac consumer would probably never do – he installed Ubuntu on an iMac.

Yet this year's event focuses primarily on people who are producing art and/or culture using or creating free and open source software or even hardware. Of course participants or interested people running non-free operating systems are welcome too.

The emphasis of the event involved a process of active people who have been interested in shaping the event in this direction as well as supporting the growing interest in and activities of structural changes of the Institute of Time-based Media here at the Art University.

Together with GOTO10, who are active contributors this year, we worked on spreading our Open Call. With their help we tried to reach artists who are familiar with a sense of openness and freedom in dealing with technology in the context of producing art and culture.

We were very fortunate to be able to merge the event with activities around HAIP goes HAIP, which also brings in artists and creative engineers, who specialize in arts and multimedia art practices based on open standards.

Considering that there were not masses of people participating in this free event full of interesting workshops, it might seem that implementing the ideas or maybe the utopia of a "free society" in a daily practice of producing culture and/or art dealing with technology is sometimes, at least from my perspective, a hard job. And there are many many different reasons for this.

Some of them I would like to address here. And I am sure you can come up with many more and maybe you all can add a comment on this later on...

- Its a matter of education and culture

-People never learned what it means to have real control over the things the use.-

-They trust what they buy.

- A lot people, including "even the artists", do not understand that "free" in the sense of this context does not mean "gratis".

- We are in the midst of a culture that is consuming and not making. People may use Open Source or Free Software without knowing or wanting to give back something. Perhaps they think they don't have to.

-A lot of people who use Free and Open Source Software compare everything with non-free / proprietary software or what they are familiar with.

There would be so many things to add here. Maybe I can find a way for all of you to be able to comment on that as well. I hope that we will have lively discussions here the next two days as well, and also that we are able to leave some traces at the Art University.

Before we start with the next lectures, of course I want to thank the Art University again for hosting, supporting and collaborating with us. We are also grateful to Treibsand, who simply stated, here we are supporting the content of the event and providing food for the people who come.

Of course we thank the funders who gave us money so that we could pay travel expenses, sleeping places and at least a small fee for all of you. In comparison with the European Capital of Culture with a budget of 70 million for one year, this is just peanuts, of course.

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