There is so much confusion and misunderstanding about all these elements because they manifest and materialise differently at several levels, via a process of rationalisation that leads to the fragmentation of cultural freedom into new codes of meaning, the ideological and emotional nature of which can be contradictory to or incompatible with each other. As a consequence, free culture ends up being simply many different things at once:
- A toolkit for artists to expand their practice and free themselves from consumerist workflows;
- A template for political statements against authorities of any kind;
- A novel creative legal and technical framework to interface with and support existing copyright law practices;
- A lifestyle, and sometimes fashionable statement to go along with the marketing of all things free and open;
- An economic model that tries to reconcile the legacy of radical anti-property art practice with the reformist nature of social critique;
- An aesthetic in the sense of an audiovisual language, like meme culture, but also a number of novelty appropriative frameworks ranging from semionauts to circulationism.
Aymeric Mansoux, Sandbox Culture (2017) - p.377