What are the OXcars
More than anything else, the oXcars are about attitude, a way of being in the world.
The kind of attitude that recognises the fact that things have changed thanks to the efforts of all the pioneers who have spent years working to propose and produce a new paradigm for the production and diffusion of knowledge, the tenacity of those who defend it as a right, and also the natural way in which society is using new technology as well as defending this right.
The idea of the oXcars is to spotlight this situation; to break some of the taboos surrounding it; to act as a bridge between all the hard background work and the general public who don’t always get to find out about it; and to do this using all available channels, even those of the mainstream media.
This is our job. It’s what we do. We create tools for empowerment.
This is our contribution to the movement in general, and it is made possible by its mix of different perspectives—“nerd”, legal defence, software development, blogs, everyday creative work, and platforms for action—as well as different habits and attitudes that come together to cultivate and share this philosophy so that it can keep growing and continue to belong to everyone, both to those who invent it and those who discover it.
Our starting point is the strategic belief that there is a need to draw attention to these practices, and give them value in society. The oXcars make an effort to include very different realities side by side because we think it is important to recognise the talent and contributions of each individual. Only then can we provide a solid response, one that comes in so many forms and that is so ubiquitous that it is not in danger from any attack.
The oXcars are yet another experience of collective creation with origins in a network of people with similar ideas who have been working together for some time. They arise from our everyday practices in which we see how fundamental rights are constantly threatened. They take shape and emerge as a practical tool, as a way to call for the seven urgent measures which are detailed in the charter for innovation, creativity and access to knowledge, citizens’ and artists’ rights in the digital age.
The oXcars involve the following inputs as part of the effort to reach and stimulate people’s minds and imaginations:
The ironic definition of the oXcars as “The First Non-Competitive Awards in the History of Culture” draws attention to the fact that applying competitive criteria to the cultural sphere distorts its very essence. By highlighting different aspects of artistic creation, the “Gala Ceremony” shows that culture exists thanks to all the complementary approaches that work together, side by side.
Infinite ways of doing things
With the participation of over 100 projects, the oXcars reaffirm that there are infinite ways of constructing a shared culture.
It’s a great show. Nowadays, it’s possible to produce high-quality culture without the involvement of the cultural industry, and to reach as many or more people as anyone working inside the industry.
Learning is via coping. Sampling in the DJ culture it is natural too. Digital information is the memory of our times.
When they say they protect artists, in reality it’s repression:
The oXcars Gala aims to show that, as in other periods in history, new research developments for the benefit of the community are being held back by powerful lobby groups that defend their own interests. It’s important to bear in mind that these defamatory and repressive practices are no historical exception (so it’s not exactly a matter of having to wait for centuries before realising they’re an aberration!). Copyright is usually wielded as the “weapon” of the digital Inquisition. The earlier Inquisition persecuted important discoveries like the printing press and others that allowed people to think for themselves because these inventions were a threat to its monopoly over “truth”. Defending this monopoly tooth and nail, copyright legislation, is nothing other than the digital Inquisition
There’s no reason to fear:
Cultural industry lobbies instil fear into hearts and minds through threats they concoct by distorting morality and the law. There is no rational basis for this ploy. Their legitimacy is all bluff. People should know this. Calling their bluff empowers people and, with the oXcars, we disobey glamorously. This is how it should be done. (Note: the tools for legal disobedience that were launched at the oXcars are available on the X.net Web page so that they can be used and disseminated).
Another philosophy of authorship
The Net has produced a culture for and by the Net. The Net produces a new popular and shared culture where each person’s talent is appreciated and acknowledged within the total sum of shared talent.
With our grand Karaoke Symphony we demand indemnity for lost income with everything that has been stolen from the public domain.
A non-profit event
People tend to confuse free, open culture and free-of-charge culture. Since, like it or not, we live in a capitalist society, we believe that it isn’t strategically intelligent to go along with the pauperist idea that creators of free culture can’t make a living from their work, if that’s what they wish. Hence, everybody who participates in, or has worked to put together the oXcars receives fair payment, like any “artisan” who is remunerated for his or her work. We don’t need to wait until capitalism is overthrown in order for shared culture to work. The groups or organisations that are part of Xnet receive public funding or are funded through membership fees. The oXcars are non-profit events because all ticket-office funds are reinvested to cover their costs and no surplus is generated.
The current financial crisis has shown that we are living in a system in which we are all expected to protect the interests of the banks and the big multinationals in the hope that, one day, they’ll let us work for them in return for a few crumbs of their profits. The philosophy of free culture, inherited from the free software movement, is the best empirical proof that a new kind of ethics and a new way of doing business are possible. It has already created a new operational form of production based on crafts or trades, where the author-producer doesn’t lose control of production and doesn’t need the mediation of big monopolies. And it works on the basis of autonomous initiative in solidarity with others, exchange in accordance with each person’s abilities and opportunities, democratisation of knowledge, education and the means of production, and a fair distribution of earnings consistent with the work carried out.
In times of crisis, creativity is the answer… The oXcars, something you can trust.
The oXcars are testimony:
We’ve reached a consensus on points and specific demands by means of which to challenge the powers-that-be, unceasingly and from all the different fields. These points represent a continuation of the work from whence the oXcars first emerged in July 2008.
Foundational Manifesto of the oXcars, greed breaks the sack, July 2008.