October 2009

The editorial theme for the October issue of the OSBR is arts & media. While code development is often described as an art form, it is less common to see a connection between traditional arts and open source. The articles in this issue explore that connection and the nascent possibilities for content creators, user communities, and entrepreneurs.

John Bell from the University of Maine New Media department explores how open source tools and philosophies can be adapted to facilitate other forms of distributed creative endeavours. He introduces two tools developed by the Still Water Lab, The Pool and the Variable Media Questionnaire, and describes how several of the ideas used in software development have influenced Still Water's approach to making tools that support artistic production.

Karen Opas-Lanouette, editor for Ucreate Media, discusses the historic genesis of one company's development of a portal and platform system that enables creators and their fans to work collaboratively between different mediums. Her examination includes how the company met the challenges that arose and which are common to many startups.

Anthony Whitehead, Director of the Carleton University School of Information Technology, examines how open source tools and content can be used throughout the entire process of film creation. He describes many of the tools which are available for every step in the production pipeline.

Aaran Duncan, owner of Digital Deceptions, and Glenn McKnight, owner of Global Catalysts Consulting Service, explore the increasingly intersecting worlds of Social Media, mobile, and open source. They describe how Social Media has the potential to change the way communities use and create open source.

As always, we encourage readers to share articles of interest with their colleagues, and to provide their comments either online or directly to the authors. We hope you enjoy this issue of the OSBR.

The editorial theme for the upcoming November issue of the OSBR is Co-Creation and the guest editor will be Stoyan Tanev from the University of Southern Denmark. Submissions are due by October 20--contact the Editor if you are interested in a submission.

Dru Lavigne



New Media Art is an umbrella term which generically describes art forms that incorporate an element of technology that was invented, or began integration into society, during or after the 1950s. The output of the New Media Art genre ranges broadly from conceptual to virtual art, from performance work to installation pieces, and from contemplative to dynamic to interactive art, games and devices. The umbrella term has also found itself wearing different labels for the different communities that found themselves working in the medium. Commonly used terms include digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art technologies, visual effects, dynamic art, and streaming media. The term differentiates itself from "old media arts", such as traditional painting and sculpture, which are often considered cultural objects that define great works in the medium.

Trevor Barr specified some standing principles that help define new media forms using the mnemonic three Cs: Computing, Communication and Content. Any combination of these three Cs leads to technologies that contribute to the New Media Art revolution. Examples include:

  • communications networks + computing = mobile phones

  • communications networks + content = cable TV and interactive TV

  • content + computing = CD-ROM and DVD

The culmination of these Cs can be seen in Youtube, the World Wide Web, and interactive gaming. But it is fair to say that the full and complete realization of New Media Art has yet to be seen, and that it makes for an exciting future.

This issue of the Open Source Business Resource examines how open source tools, ideas and concepts have helped to shape the New Media Art world and how they are opening the doors for New Media artists. The articles cover the creation and preservation of New Media content, open source tools for creation, production, and management of New Media, and an examination of Social Media and user generated content.

Anthony Whitehead

Guest Editor


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