Open Source City

Open Source City Live from Ross Dalziel on Vimeo.







- a micro-festival of open source practice in the production of media art and music
Mello Mello and Static Liverpool
17 - 22 June 2008
Visit the workshop wiki here:

Liverpool has a strong history of doing innovative things with electricity, from the birth of the power grid (Sebastian Ferranti) to the early computer games industry (Psygnosis, Ocean, ZTT). Liverpool also has a formidable musical legacy inevitably centred around the pop phenomenon of The Beatles but which spans every musical genre from classical to electro.

Open Source City tips its hat to Liverpool’s pioneering spirit by offering a programme of workshops, masterclasses, talks and concerts that shed light on the growing impact of Free/Libre Open Source Software on the creative practices of today, in particular in media art and music.

FLOSS offers opportunities to developers and users at every skill level to participate in the creative process, starting from the writing of code all the way up to the final mix ofyour masterpiece. These are tools that have the power to bring people together through creativity, collaboration, knowledge sharing and, importantly,technology. So, how will Open Source play a part in the music and art scenes of the future? Maybe the answer lies in your hands….take part.

Please download the booking form to take part in workshops and masterclasses.


Open Source City is supported by Liverpool Culture Company Ltd. as part of the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme.
Also supported by P H Holt Charitable Trust.

folly logo 08 logo Supported by PH Holt Charitable Trust

static tao




From a Tin Can Antenna to a Mesh Network

presented by Rui Guerra

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Tuesday 17th - Thursday 19th June, 10.30am - 4.30pm - FREE

Participants will learn how to connect several computers (laptops and old PCs) to create a wireless network. Participants will build their own antennas and use open source software to configure the network. As an exercise several buildings (TAO buildings?) will be wirelessly connected creating a mesh network of free internet in the center of Liverpool. The process will be throughly documented allowing others to recreate it in their own neighborhood.

It would be useful...

...ifyou have some basic experience with Linux, but not essential. Also, someexperience with a soldering iron would be handy.

If you have itplease bring...

...a laptop computer.



Creating Open Source Projects - with the Random Information Exchange Alpha 0.2

presented by Will Scrimshaw and Dominic Smith of Polytechnic

Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD

Friday 20thJune, 10.30am - 4.30pm - £25

Are you a musician, painter, or bedroom DJ? Come along and learn how using Open Source tools can help you develop unique and original projects. We will be exploring ways to develop your own projects working as part of a development team, and setting up a Random Ideas Exchange Bureau.

Throughout the day the team will explore the R.I.E.B.tool chain and examine the philosophy of redistribution, derivation and modification that underpins open source practice. At the end of the day the team will have the skills and understanding to actively engage with Open Source software and its communities of users and developers.

Software covered by this workshop:

A brief introduction to Open Source operating systems,and creative uses of Open Source web development tools.

It would be useful.... previous experience required!

If you have it please bring....

....a laptop computer.



Making Music with Pure:Dyne

presented by Rob Canning and Heather Corcoran of goto10

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Saturday 21st June, 10.30am - 4.30pm - £25


pure:dyne has been created to provide a complete and ready made environment for media artists, musicians and developers who are looking for a free operating system dedicated to realtime audio and video processing. pure:dyne comes with all the free audio classics like Ardour2, Hydrogen, Audacity, and a handful of graphic editors including Gimp,Inkscape and Blender. Participants will have hands on practical session using these essential pieces of software covering tasks like sound editing,sequencing and multi tracking.

The workshop aims to bring forward the immensepossibilities of making music with open source software and give an essentialoverview to the participants.

This workshop is part of the pure:dyne for everyoneproject, a national project designed to make pure:dyne more accessible throughspecial events with partnering media arts centres across the country, supportedby Arts Council England.


Software covered by this workshop:

Audacity, seq24, Hydrogen, Ardour, Jack, Pure data.

It would be useful.... have some previous experience of making music with computers.

If you have it please bring....

....a laptop computer with wireless capability and headphones


Take part in both "Creating Open Source Projects" and "Making Music with Pure:Dyne" for the special price of £40. See booking form.


Video Sniffin

presented by Stuart Bowditch and Terry Slepcevic of Mediashed

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Friday 20th June & Saturday 21st June, 10.30am - 4.30pm - £40

Everywhere we go today CCTV cameras are watching what we do and how we do it. So why notturn it round and watch them, watching you!

A day of hijacking and hacking the local wireless networks in your area. By picking up the public signals broadcast by CCTV cameras you can create your very own television studio within buildings, shopping centres and streets of every town. We'll show you how to ‘sniff' your local area and how to capture CCTV footage to camera.

It would be useful....

....if you have experience of video editing, but other than that you won't need any previous knowledge to sniff!

If you have it please bring....

....nothing, as all the equipment for this workshop will be supplied!



Broadcasting with Jack and Icecast

presented by Daniel James of 64 Studio

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Sunday22nd June, 12.00pm - 1.00pm - FREE


The Icecast server allows you to put your own audio stream on the Internet, without the restrictions imposed by many web-based services.

There are various command-line and GUI streaming clients available, depending on the format of the stream, and whether it is live, or based on pre-recorded files. In this workshop we'll be looking at the JACK sound server and how it works with Internet DJ Console. We'll also examine the DarkSnow streaming client for live audio, which is a GUI front-end for the command-line DarkIce client.

Software covered by this workshop:

Jack, IDJC, DarkSnow, Darkice, Icecast

It would be useful....

....if you have previous knowledge of GNU/Linux but it is not essential.

If you have it please bring....

....a laptop computer and some of your own sound files. It would also be useful for you have a GNU/Linux distribution installed with the packages mentioned above.



0xA -Performing Music Live with Pure Data

presented by Aymeric Mansoux and Chun Lee of goto10

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Friday 20thJune, 10.30am -12.30pm - £15

0xA is a musical collaboration between Aymeric Mansoux and Chun Lee. Formed in 2006, they have played in many festivals and events throughout Europe.

In this masterclass, they will demonstrate the use of Pure Data in the context of collaborative live music performance, as well as leading discussions on various surrounding issues. Furthermore, they will also provide a "walk-through" of the performance environment/patches they use as examples.

Software covered by this workshop:

Pure Data

It would be useful.... have some basic knowledge of Puredata, previous experience of performing with a laptop, or an interest in laptop music in the performative context.

If you have it please bring....




Controlling SuperCollider in 3 Dimensions

presented by Simon Blackmore

Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD

Saturday 21st June, 10.30am - 4.30pm- £25

Part 1 - Using Blender and Super Collider

Part 2 - Using sensors and hardware interfaces with Supercollider

This workshop will look at how the sound software SuperCollider can be controlled by a range of spatial external applications and interfaces. The session will begin by using the Game Engine within the 3D modeling program Blender to control sounds in SuperCollider. It will then look at using some simple spatial sensors (light sensors and ultrasonic) with hardware interfaces to move away from keyboards and mice.

The workshop will advocate creatively combining various open source applications and devices using 'open sound control' protocol.

Software/hardware covered by this workshop:

Supercollider, Blender, Processing, OSC, Muio, Arduino

It would be useful....

....if you had some experience of using one of thefollowing pieces of software or hardware, but not essential: SuperCollider, Blender, Processing, OSC, Muio, Arduino/wiring

If you have it please bring....

....a laptop computer running Mac, Windows, or Linux, and some headphones.


Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Friday 20th June, 1.30pm - 5.00pm, Free

Digital Artists Handbook

Phil Chandler, folly

1.30pm - 2.00pm

The Digital Artists Handbook is an up to date, reliable and accessible source of information that introduces you to different tools, resources and ways of working related to digital art and Free/Libre Open Source Software. It not only provides artists with information about the available tools but also about the practicalities related to Free Software and Open Content, such as collaborative development and licenses. All this to facilitate exchange between artists, to take away some of the fears when it comes to open content licenses, sharing code, and to give a perspective on various ways of working and collaborating.

Linux Audio in the Mainstream

Daniel James, 64 Studio

2.00pm - 3.00pm

Free Software is finding its way into all kinds of gadgets and devices, taking over the world of high-end audio production by stealth. But will the mainstream user, who isn't a software developer, get the benefit? Daniel James shares his experience of working on the Indamixx hand-held studio project (, and offers tips for developers thinking of building their own hardware device.

Copyright and freedom - a brief philosophical tour

Tom Chance, Speaker on Intellectual Property for The Green Party

3.00pm - 4.00pm

Why should struggling artists and freelance programmers share their work? What right have they got to keep it to themselves? This talk will introduce a few different philosophical perspectives on intellectual property from the free software and free culture movements, touching on the legal and practical implications of each. Learn your GPL from your BY-SA, your Locke from your Kant, and you may change the way you work.

Grow Your Own Media Lab - The Graphic Novel

James Wallbank, Access Space

4.00pm - 5.00pm

For 8 years Access Space has provided the public with the opportunity to get creative with Free and Open Source Software. As the longest running open access media lab in the UK Access Space has been asking,why doesn't everyone do this too? Rather than produce a"how to" which would be out of date in a year or two anyway, Grow Your Own Media Lab - The Graphic Novel is a "what to" and "why to". Only after organisations understand and are inspired by the opportunities of Open Source software will they be in a position to use it successfully.


Binary Jam OSC

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Friday20th June, 7.30pm

£3 / free for OSC workshop participants

the apt gets

no f***ing ideas

DJs + guests

the apt gets are a pop band that uses guitars and only Open Source software to write and perform their music. Based at Access Space, Sheffield, the apt get are three musicians (Dan, Lawrence and Jake) who inhabit the new underground of open source pop, forging songs from the contents of spam emails, the lives of forgotten computer programmers and call centre staff slaving in darkened basements, and the resplendent rays of the Sun reflecting from the glass surfaces of new build "luxury" apartment blocks.

Open Source City Live

Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD

and live stream online at

Saturday 21stJune, 7.30pm

£5 on the door /free for OSC workshop participants


Ad Hoc

Disinformation (screening)

Mark Pilkington/Thought Universe

Web Stream Boat: Simon Blackmore: Boat trips running for audience setting off before & between each set.

0xA -Chased by the operators, we started to live in the empty ghosts left by the machines. As we were growing in communities, they started to claim the ownership of our seeds.Today we defend our territories and create our own tools. What is left when the ether is gone? Will you meet me at the intersection of rows and columns? The cells are fed by tasks and processes, the vesicles carry the bits, and you just can't help to see patterns in this dataflow.

- a diverse range of sound from abstract soundscape to club

beats with generative algorithms

Ad Hoc -Ad Hoc is a reformed hacker and software engineer, who builds chaoticpermutations of familiar and unfamiliar sounds using an array ofself-built systems.

Disinformation - "Tuning down into the lowest reaches of the radio spectrum,particularly in night's shadow of the solar wind, the listener enters aworld of diverse phenomena, opening an acoustic window on a world alivewith electrical activity. VLF whistlers from lightning andthermonuclear EMP ricochet along field lines of the magnetosphere,bouncing between hemispheres of the globe; storms crackle: biostaticswhisper, hiss and sigh: televisions scream: pylons and power loopsdrone and roar: military signals, the musical pulses of navigationsystems, timecodes, and coded data broadcast deep beneath the sea. Timeand space divided, live 'vivisection' of particle physics, voices, maplines, weapons, mirrors hidden by the illusion of quiet."


Mark Pilkington is a performer and composer of electronic and electroacoustic music. Graduated with an MA in electroacoustic composition from the University of Huddersfield in the UK 2004.
Interested in fusing together digital audio/visual structures that can be manipulated from a score or improvised in real-time thus presenting performances that question traditional concepts of art, music and technology.
He has completed the Summer Intensive Electroacoustic Workshop at the Centre de Création Musicale Iannis Xenakis (CCMIX) in Paris, France 2005 and presented a paper 'Audio/Visual' composition at the BETA conference at FACT Liverpool 2005.
Composing for traditional instruments such as piano, clarinet and cello exploring the sonic qualities of these instruments via real-time computer program max/msp/jitter.
Mark also runs his own audio/visual label called ‘TUM' -
As the recording artist Thought Universe Mark performs electronic music - Skam (UK), Sonic World Service (UK), Mainline (DK), DalRiada (UK) and Recordcamp (USA) have released his music. He has performed in the UK, Europe and the USA. With live and recorded broadcasts around Europe via the EBU.




The OSC Brunch

Mello Mello, 40-42 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BX

Sunday 22nd June, 11am - 2.00pm


An open mic session for all the participants at OSC. A chance to play, jam with new colleagues and show the results of your efforts from over the weekend. Oh, and a good chance to relax and have some lovely brunch!


Webstream boat

Web Stream Boat

by Simon Blackmore

Saturday 21st June 10.30am - 4.30pm

with public boat trips sailing from OPENSOURCECITY LIVE

Part of Simon's Masterclass and OPENSOURCECITYLIVE


'Web Stream Boat' is a low-fi interactive system for navigating through live internet radio stations. The physical locations of international radio webstreams are mapped on to a virtual landscape, and users can control a physical boat rudder to navigate their way through the streams. The style of the rudder interface and movement of sound was informed by a number of boat trips taken along and around the Amazon river in Colombia. Visitors will be able to interact with the work by navigating within it.