Lucky Dragons, an experimental music/art group based in Los Angeles, is the moniker given to “any recorded or performed or installed or packaged or shared pieces made by Luke Fischbeck, Sarah Rara, and any sometimes collaborator.” Blending an organic approach to electronic music with a background in the arts, everything Lucky Dragons produces is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing others to share what they have made as well as rework it (much of their music is available for free download on their website). We recently caught up with the duo to learn more about their music and motivation to use CC. We also touched upon their experience participating in the Into Infinity project, their associated projects Sumi Ink Club/Glaciers of Nice, and what their plans are for the future.
Can you give our readers a bit of background on yourselves? How did you get involved with music and art? What is Lucky Dragon’s background as an artistic outfit?
Fischbeck: lucky dragons started as a “band” in the loosest form possible around eight years ago, as a way to structure our activities as a group in an easily understandable and distributable way, making recordings or books or videos or performances and putting them out into the world. for the most part, we have definitely used the existing structure of independently produced music to do this, but as this structure has been changing so much in our lifetime, we have been keen to look for new and positive paths and models, trying to contribute to a new definition of “band” that includes contexts such as public art, the gallery system, museum programming, blogs, and small-press publishing.
Rara: My entry into making music was initially through making videos and composing sound to go with a moving image until I became more and more engrossed in the production of sounds and the potential of music to bring people together in a very concrete way, forming transient communities and generating equal power-sharing situations. It’s interesting now to alternate between music and art contexts, to slip in and out of each world and to borrow from each various modes and identities. I enjoy slipping into a “band” identity that confuses authorship and opens up the project to various collaborators, even going so far as to dissolve the separation between myself and the audience during the performance. I’ve always thought of the role of the artist as more diffused and inclusive, it can include sitting on a stage and playing a modified kalimba for half an hour or it can include an everyday situation like having a conversation with a stranger. But somehow the means of distributing art in the world are not as inclusive and wide-ranging as music distribution. Music has a tradition of self-publishing and cheap distribution that I find very inspiring; it’s easy to produce something that is accessible to everyone and easily shared when operating within the form of a musical group.2 Comments »
Author Kelly Link, renowned for her work in a variety of literary genres, is specifically noteworthy to the CC community for her decision in 2005 to release Stranger Things Happen, her first major collection of short stories, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. In a recent interview with The Nation, Link addressed this decision:
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As a reader, I really prefer a book, an object. But I also really like the idea of being able to give stuff away for free. Up to a certain extent, the more you make something available, the more people pass it around. There are many, many, many more downloads of the collection, but sales for the physical book have never gone down. During the first year it was available online, the sales went up. It works the same way a library does.
One of the things about the Creative Commons is that it also meant that the stories, in terms of ideas or narrative, are up there and available to people who want to make other things out of them. A couple of the stories have been made into plays. Somebody took one of the stories and made an experimental music piece from it. I think she turned the prose of the story into a kind of Morse code and then set that into a score for cello. A lot of people have done podcasts of the stories. When I write, I’m constantly drawing from fairy tales or books that I love. This was a way to make the stories available to a larger community and enter into a larger conversation.
President-Elect Barack Obama and his staff have been posting photographs to his Flickr photostream since early 2007. Their most recent set from election night offers an amazing behind the scenes look at a historic point in American history.1 Comment »
Photo by Joi Ito
Etsy, the ever-wonderful “online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade”, just posted a great podcast featuring new media theorist Henry Jenkins on their blip.tv channel and their wonderful blog The Storque. Jenkins discusses fan art, a topic that is not only dear to his heart but also essential to a organization like Etsy which thrives off the ingenuity of their community. All of Etsy’s podcasts are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making them easily shareable and reusable.No Comments »
APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)’s Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) has released all their wiki content under CC BY-NC-SA, including their Education Network (EDNET). EDNET is the hub of APEC’s education activities in the pacific rim. Its goal is “to foster strong and vibrant learning systems across APEC member economies, promote education for all, and strengthen the role of education in promoting social, individual, economic and sustainable development.” The priority areas of EDNET are
- Career and Technical Education
- Learning Each Other’s Languages
- ICT and Systemic Reform
Hi-Q, the hugely successful Romanian pop group, announced the first CC remix competition in Romania. Hi-Q’s unreleased song “Eu+Tu=Iubire” (“Me+U=Love”) will be included on the band’s upcoming album.
It is time for users to engage in this quest and test their talents in order to produce a song just the way YOU would like it to be. The voices are released under the Romanian CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, and the challenge is hosted by eOk.ro.
The vocal tracks can be downloaded on Hi-Q’s profile page. The contest ends November 10 with plenty of prizes along the way from Tuatara.ro, Microsoft and Dj Super Store.
Hi-Q was one of the parteners for the CC Romania launch in September. It is the most popular pop band in Romania, known for its twelve year success in combining music, television and radio, and for its sustained support of social campaigns.1 Comment »
Ryan Cartwright, creator of webcomic The Bizarre Cathedral, recently posted an insightful and thought-provoking piece on why he uses a CC BY-NC-SA license on all Bizarre Cathedral comics. From Cartwright:
[B]y restricting some freedom in distribution, it protects greater freedoms for the end-users. This is why I chose CC-BY-NC-SA for the Bizarre Cathedral.
- BY because I want people who receive one cartoon to be able to enjoy the rest here at FSM.
- SA because I want everyone to enjoy the same access to the strips
- NC because I want people to enjoy these at no cost. I am paid for creating them, so I want them to be enjoyed at no cost.
Cartwright wrote the piece in response to criticism centered around the argument that his license choice (CC BY-NC-SA) was “non-free.” We’re always interested in this sort of dialogue, so insight like this – as well as insight from those critical of our licenses – is invaluable.1 Comment »
Lab Waste is a short documentary that focuses on the seemingly unavoidable problem of laboratory created waste. Bioscience labs need sterile and untouched materials to experiment with in order to keep their results accurate. As such they are unable to reuse their materials, which are most often only used once. From Lab Waste:
We’ve all been told to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to our households. But in the lab, unless there is an underlying money issue, this rarely comes into play. In cell biology or molecular biology labs the emphasis is on working sterile, quickly and reproducibly. So companies have been selling all these incredibly useful products to life science labs: sterile plastic tubes of all shapes and sizes, single wrap multi-well tissue culture plates, sterile plastic dishes, sterile pipettes. All these products make it a lot easier to do the required work. I can’t even imagine how you could work in a cell culture lab without them, but they do create a lot of waste.
I made this video as a creative outlet and to try and raise some awareness of all the disposables in the lab, and give some mild suggestions on how to reduce the pile of trash by a tiny amount. Every bit helps, right?
The interesting CC story behind Lab Waste is not only that it is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license but also that the creator, Eva Amsen, used CC-licensed images found on Flickr in the piece. Some of these images were released under a CC BY-SA license, meaning that including them in a CC BY-NC-SA work would violate the original works’ SA condition.
As a result, Amsen contacted these photographers individually, asking them permission to use their works outside of their chosen (CC BY-SA) license – a permission they granted to her. This is a great example of how CC licenses still have flexibility to work outside of their original terms through creator-to-creator contact. We refer to this ability often in discussions on the licensing potential of non-commercially licensed works – this is another example fit to illustrate that point (via WorldChanging).No Comments »
Netwaves Records, a netlabel that focuses on genre-oriented compilations, just released their first album, Electro 1. Focusing on music that ranges from “electro-pop” to “electro-clash”, Electro 1 has been released under a CC BY-NC-SA license. this means it can be freely shared and remixed as long as proper attribution is given, the resulting and original works are not sold, and any derivative works are shared under the same license. Download it here for weekend listening.1 Comment »
Epic FU, the web-based art/tech/music/culture show we recentlly profiled as a Featured Commoner, just posted a great episode that includes an interview with CC’s Creative Director Eric Steuer. For those who are familiar with CC there isn’t a ton of new information on what we do but for those who are new to CC, the interview acts as an awesome primer. The episode is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and Steve Woolf, one of Epic FU’s founders, posted a related entry about CC on the Epic FU blog to complement the piece.1 Comment »