"how to" in autonomous art (metadata)

Operating systems analogy

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For better understanding of art operating systems here is an analogy running between computer operating systems and art operating systems:

Operating system



GNU Linux

How it works?

Low customization, no possibility of self improvement – only professionals can adjust.

No need to adjust, what you get is what works, if something stops working, get a new one.

Highly customizing – everyone can improve, community based.


Consumers, gamers, incognizant users…

Young urban professionals.

Autonomists, anarchists, geeks, enthusiasts.

What is it based on?







Open source


Hard-core neoliberal market.

Upper-class market of aesthetics.

Exchange markets.

What is the relationship?



From many to many

Work and labour

Classical capitalist exploitation system.

Exploitation based on ideology of style.

Sharing work flow, gift economy, high precarious element.


Depending on huge advertising machine, monopolistic and unsustainable.

Depends highly on amount of people using it – small amount of professionals make it sustainable.

Sustainable on many levels: adoptable, recyclable, high level of customization and localization.

Waste and recycling

Large amounts of e-waste created by advertising stronger, newer and better equipment cyclically. Old equipment is not recycled.

Smaller amount of waste due to longer life span. Motto is “futurists don’t look back”, so there is no recycling involved.

Opens up awareness and according actions to possibilities of recycling and reusing: software for older machines, less resources needed.

Analogy to art system

Profit based art system concerned with traditional gallery/museum model with pseudo-development.

Elitist, aesthetics regarded as “something beautiful” system, where highly professional independent actors run art system based on novelty.

Always changing, concerned with medium as much as with message, sustainable, localized, exchange makes it work, collaborative, always work in progress.

Diagram shows art operating system with working in autonomy and dependant one in reference to computer operating systems.

Click to enlarge


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