Article 1: At the intersection of commons and market: Negotiations of value in open-sourced cultural production

Authors:

Julia Velkova, Södertörn University, Sweden
Peter Jakobsson, Beckmans College of Design and Södetörn University of Sweden

The article was originally published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, 1-17, in August 2015.

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Abstract

This article explores the way in which producers of digital cultural commons use new production models based on openness and sharing to interact with and adapt to existing structures such as the capitalist market and the economies of public cultural funding. Through an ethnographic exploration of two cases of open-source animation film production – Gooseberry  and Morevna,  formed around the 3D graphics Blender and the 2D graphics Synfig communities – we explore how
sharing and production of commons generates values and relationships which trigger the movement  of producers, software and films between different fields of cultural production and different moral  economies – those of the capitalist market, the institutions of public funding and the commons. Our  theoretical approach expands the concept of ‘moral economies’ from critical political economy
with ‘regimes of value’ from anthropological work on value production, which, we argue, is useful to overcome dichotomous representations of exploitation or romanticization of the commons.

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