Commercial activity, exchange and capitalism, was: Re: [matilda] gigspace collective related-proposal

gavin at gavin at
Tue Oct 11 17:35:24 BST 2005

It's really cool to see such positive engagement with the issue.

I like the free software stuff, but I think maybe with the 
diversity of practices at matilda (gigs, artworks, speakers...) 
finding ways to make them practical (ie-financially viable) whilst 
still offering alternatives to capitalist social relations might 
require more than a one-size fits all solution. Though Chris' 
suggestions are well worth investigating to give us ideas, I don't 
think we should try and find one systematic solution for all our 

This means letting collectives find a diversity of solutions. I 
feel basically there needs to be a bit more trust. Not everything 
should need to be ratified at a Monday meeting. Like, we'd trust 
the gig collective to put on an event in a DIY way, and not veto it 
out of fear it might not be. If we went along to the gig, and there 
was something we weren't sure about afterwards, it'd be good to 
approach them (and perhaps not on the internet) with a positive 
proposal and maybe develop new ways of doing things. This doesn't 
mean we can't offer critique, but that it should be a bit more 
constructive, and less interfering (from a distance and without 
getting , than it has been.

This is basically what Helen said with respect to the Art05 event. 
Let's just try and it and learn from it. Matilda is an experimental 
space for finding alternative tactics to fight capital and ways of 
living in, but against, it.

On Tue, 11 Oct 2005 05:14:57 -0700 Chris <chris at> wrote:
>On Tue 11-Oct-2005 at 11:28:11AM +0100, Helen and Nick
>> All the same arguments apply to selling artwork made at
>> matilda. But again why not trust people and lets see
>> what happens rather than closing down this opportunity
>> for artists before they start. I am not overly stressed
>> by people getting a few quid in their pocket to pay
>> bills, avoid work, have a good night out when there is
>> so much more to be angry about. It's a grey area, but
>> lets at least burn brightly in a hive or creative
>> activity that may be imperfect before we burn out with
>> nothing achieved but a management quagmire.
>I totally agree with Helen.
>But you might want to stop reading this email at this
>point... ;-)
>I think everything should be free (free as in gratis and
>free as in freedom) and available in abundance, however
>capitalism isn't going to go away tomorrow... (which is a
>In principal I'm not opposed to things like, the Cafe
>charging for cups of coffee, gigs that you pay to get
>into, art work for sale, books for sale, a t-shirt
>collective printing t-shirts and charging for them etc...
>These things are not really capitalism (where is the
>capital?) but I do think they are commercial activity.
>I guess the following example won't make much sense to
>many people but these are examples that I know best...
>With Free software is is OK to charge (as much as
>possible) for it:
>And in addition I don't really have a problem with large
>amounts of Capital being invested in Free software (it
>absorbs it with few problematic side effects) because it
>doesn't effect the freedom of others.
>I don't like the Non-Commercial use clause that the
>Creative Commons licenses have as an option:
>  Noncommercial. You let others copy,
>  distribute, display, and perform your work — and
>  derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial
>  purposes only
>  Examples: Gus publishes his photograph on his website
>  with a Noncommercial license. Camille prints Gus'
>  photograph. Camille is not allowed to sell the print
>  photograph without Gus's permission.
>Because, for example it could prevent all the above
>mentioned activities that could happen at Matilda that
>would involve commercial exchange.
>The SSF wiki we have been using has all content under the
>Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license:
>Applying terms like this to electronic things is
>relatively easy, making actual physical stuff Free (free
>as in freedom initally, free as in free beer also if
>possible...) is a bit more complicated... but I think this
>is essentially what is needed here...
>PS More on this stuff here:
>   - Philosophy of the GNU Project
>   - Free Software & GPL Society
>   - Free Software and Market Relations
>Aktivix -- Free Software for a Free World
>matilda mailing list
>matilda at

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