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aaron's law - a tribute to Aaron Swartz

An artistic-technical project series from January 2023 to at least November 2023, initiated by the net:art coordination center in 2019.

Our ongoing project aaron's law is dedicated to Aaron Swartz, the American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist for open and free access to knowledge (* 8 November 1986 in Chicago, † 11 January 2013 in New York City).

We celebrate the spirit of Aaron Swartz from different perspectives with artistic-technical creators and partners. Together we realize various projects to go deep into his mind-blowing thoughts and understanding of the Internet (for details see the Information Pool).

For Aaron, it was impossible to develop technological innovations without thinking about the socio-political consequences. Rather, his technical innovations and projects were driven by socio-political issues.

To follow up with his legacy and the impact on the here and now we take our time: from 11 January 2023 to at least 8 November 2023.

Aaron's Work & Legacy

  • Aaron Swartz helped build the "plumbing" for modern Hypertext and was part of the committee that drafted RSS.
  • He was appointed co-founder of Reddit after the merger with his company Infogami.
  • As the technical developer of the Creative Commons team, Aaron worked on the implementation of these free licenses ("some rights reserved") around the turn of the millennium.

"Aaron's role was the computer part. Like how you architect the licenses so it would be simple or understandable or expressed in a way that machines could process it." (Lawrence Lessig, Founder of Creative Commons)

What's going on?

Take a look at our current program - and stay tuned! The event series is constantly updated.

The Internet is the great opportunity in human history to engage in constructive exchange across geographical borders. Aaron Swartz shaped and defended it with his projects and their collective and low-threshold approaches.

What is our position today?

Aaron was aware of the immense importance of the concepts of open access, open source, and net neutrality for the creative development of art and science. He resisted attempts at commercial restrictions, sometimes with spectacular activism.

Have we exhausted all the questions we could ask ourselves?

What do we want to realize?

Digital theatre, readings, exhibitions, worklabs, artist residencies, podcasts, radio features, VR projects, symposia, panel discussions, film screenings, reseach projects, concerts, multi-site performances, ...

Would you like to participate?

This project is work in progress. Artistic-technical professionals, net-based art producers, interdisciplinary researchers and software developers, National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), Internet providers, art and cultural institutions, festivals, venues, … are invited to join in. If you are interested, please contact us!

The Internet is an infinite resource for sharing knowledge and connecting creatively around the world. Commercial desires are infinite as well.

Which infrastructures are sacrosanct, which approaches exist, and how do we deal with them?