We’re just back from the intense 4 days of the Live Performers Meeting 2009 where REFF (RomaEuropaFAKEFactory) held its new showcase.

LPM2009 really has been full of surprises, and we were more than happy to share the spaces of the Brancaleone with over 300 video artists from all over the world. From live video to electronic modding, up to incredible workshops and performances.

REFF curated the first day of the meeting, focused on “Digital Freedoms“.

Many people, groups and associations joined in the event.

Starting from Russel Carrens of myRMX, which we invited as an example of an effective business model enacted through smart usage of open licenses for music. This young startup (it didn’t exist 6 weeks ago) is creating quite a stir with its mobile application, allowing users to create remixes starting from the musics and samples of young artists, who get regularly paid and wonderfully distributed. “We want to make music an open process” is what Russell says about the project.

And then Brett Gaylor and Perpetual Art Machine.

Brett is a film maker up to really exciting projects. His OpenSource Cinema allows people to collaboratively create movies  and that’s what he’s doing with his documentary “RiP: a Remix Manifesto”, telling the tale of mashup artist Girl Talk and describing the worldwide situation on creativity and intellectual property. RiP was shown during a workshop that explained how video artists could join in and submit their content to the project, contributing to the final version of the movie and getting their name and art shown around the world. (and for all of you videomakers reading: the process’s still open, and you’re all invited to join, here

Perpetual Art Machine was invited as a beautiful and effective example of the ways in which open processes for cultural promotion can turn into forms of art. PAM, founded by Chris Borkowski, Aaron Miller, Raphaele Shirley and Lee Wells, is an art project that created an online platform through which artists could promote and showcase their video productions. All the works are collected into a complex installation that, when exhibited, allows visitors to browse and live mix all the videos, creating one enormous and emotional performance.

“As a pam member who’s work has been accepted in to the project we encourage you to list these exhibitions on your artistic resume”

This statement, written under the impressive list of PAM exhibitions, says it all: an open, cared-for, project, actively promoting videoarts and creating beautiful emotions.

[coverage on national television]

We invited PAM at the REFF roundtable, and we were trying to get their installation here, but no money and time were available, so we agreed on getting the installation here on November, at REFF’s final event. PAM’s videos were showcased at the LPM2009 on a simpler dedicated setup for the whole duration of the meeting, attracting quite an interesting audience.

REFF’s roundtable was quite hard to organize. A series of problems with our internet provider made the network practically unusable, so we had to give up trying to get the remote guests connected to the conference (Brett Gaylor, Raphaele Shyrley, Marco Fagotti of Anomolo Records and Simona Lodi of Piemonte Share Festival). But the live discussion proved quite interesting, seeing a lively debate rise up among the invited guests: Jaromil, Leo Sorge, Rossella Ongaretto, Russel Carrens, Lorenzo Imbesi, and Alessandro Ferrante, coming to the festival to bring us the voice of the Cultural Department of Rome’s City Administration. The debate turned out to be quite intersting, effectively expressing the tension among the need for access to resources needed to promote and sustain arts and creativity, and the surge of energy coming from the opportunities offered by new media and technologies: administrations trying to find the best ways to provide infrastructures and support, enterpreneurs leveraging new ideas and practices, creatives looking far ahead, with design, peer to peer practices and radical approaches providing fresh ideas to the whole ecosystem. A tough situation, with the parties involved having somewhat of a hard time talking to each other, seen their different backgrounds and perspectives, but a truly significative encounter opening up dialogues and confrontations.

The meeting went on, and REFF’s info point was visited by hundreds of people. In the exhibit, all the works currently submitted to the competition have been showcased, using a dedicated computer on which people could navigate the website and see/read/hear the submissions and ask questions to the ones of us that constantly attended the exhibit.

We also created a small installation, for the delight of the people at the meeting. TCDTT (Throwing Copyright Down The Toilet) featured a toilet and a simple interaction mechanism: when you flushed it, thousands of copyright protected images were mixed automatically together, creating totally original new works. Thus proving the point of the inadequacy of current intellectual property laws and practices.

Some of REFF’s partners also performed live at LPM2009, such as Nephogram, with their beautiful REFFlex Animazon, or as the guys from MuVideo.

The last day of the festival saw the AHA network meet at the LPM for the preAHACamping, the meeting on Art Hacktivism. Another pre-meeting will take place at the Hackmeeting in Milan, to prepare an event in November/december 2009.. but you’ll hear about that really soon. :)

And that’s all! :)

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