Wikis, Wikipedia and the arts

In the last semesters my students worked a lot on wikis and Wikipedia to support collaborative knowlegde creation. I enjoyed them very much discovering and experimenting with the software tools, as well as researching the potentials of wikis for learning, education and teacher training. The latter was seen as an entrance and a way of dissemination i order to transfer the issue of wikis to any subject in school education.

However, I was wondering how wikis and wikipedia can be used for the development of media art practice exploring the potential as a medium for the arts – rather than using it simply as a tool or resource. What are the opportunities opening up for the arts through wiki spaces and Wikipedia and the culture of participation?

Wikiartists is a blog on a project to invite “people throughout the networked world to become wikiartists by collaborating in creating web-enabled peer-produced artworks. ‘MERIWIP’ is an exemplary wikiart project in which anyone from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea can participate.”
In the context of wikis and arts, I came across the following participatory “Wikipedia Art” project:

wikipedia art

“At 12pm (PST), Nathaniel Stern and I launched the “Wikipedia Art” projects, along with numerous collaborators, including Brian Sherwin, Patrick Lichty and Jon Coffelt.

We [want] you to participate in this intervention on Wikipedia which asks questions of legitimacy, authority and verifiability in the contact of a conceptual art projects.

We’ve posted a new entry on Wikipedia called “Wikipedia Art.” This page is the manifestation of the work of art; alter its composition, and you become a collaborator in the art’s formation. The catch is that Wikipedia, the world’s free and editable encyclopedia, has enforced standards of quality and verifiability. All Wikipedia articles, and each fact written in them, must cite “credible” external sources: interviews, blogs, or articles in “trustworthy” media institutions.

Wikipedia Art is birthed, survives and transforms itself through public performance and communal intervention. It is continuously reconstituted and redefined in a participant-driven write+cite+edit process that we call “performative citation.”

Wikipedia Art MUST BE written about extensively both on- and off-line, and these writings will in turn be included as part of the work, on its Wikipedia page. This serves the dual purpose of verifying the piece – which is considered controversial by those in the Wikipedia community, and may occasionally be removed from the site – as well as transforming it over time.

Here are three ways you can join the collaboration:

(1) Write a text, blog entry, essay or any other form of thoughts about the project
(2) Edit the Wikipedia page itself, citing a published text (even your own!)
(3) Pass along this call for participation to others

Link to the project:

Initial interviews and essays
Wikipedia Art — a virtual fireside chat

WikiPedia art? — by Patrick Lichty

This has QUICKLY turned into a discussion about articles for deletion

We invite you to join in the debate,

Scott Kildall,“

via NetBehaviour

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