Luis Fernando Medina Cardona



Open collaboration practices in software culture and its impact in the networked society




Collaboration practices have been present since the early days of computer software development. Even though the concept is mainly linked with the so called Free/Open source software movement, which appeared in the 80s decade, several collaboration practices can be seen in the history of computing, with such a diverse examples as the original concept of programming and the stored program in the first digital computers in the late forties or the idea of an open network and the following release to the public domain of the World Wide Web specification by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. On the other hand, in the software driven society which we are living in, the impact of the software metaphors can be noticed in the media hype with the term “open source”, where terms as “open source politics”, “open source food”, “open source design” among others are appearing increasingly in the general discourses. This two observations arise the following question: How software metaphors and practices, particularly the ones involved in collaboration, evolved and became a central idea transposed onto other fields? The question lies o the intersection between computer science, particularly software engineering and the socio-cultural impact of software in the networked society.


The research goal of this project is to address the main issue exploring the evolution of collaboration artifacts and methodologies in software development (in the triad computer-software-networks) in order to deduct its main features and the problematics related with translating this features onto the realm of materiality. By means of a case study, in which “the open source-alike discourse” can be seen, the pros and cons and challenges of collaboration practices in an hybrid networked but also physical environment can been assessed. The so called “maker movement” and its approach of open hardware, 3d printing, fast prototyping and DIY ethics has been selected as being a close example where the software aided collaboration practices manifest themselves in a non exclusively software driven activity.


Advisor: Prof. Dr. Georg Trogemann

Field: Experimental Computer Science


Personal Background:


Systems Engineering BSc. (Universidad del Valle, Cali-Colombia) and Magister in Systems Engineering (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá-Colombia). After working in environmental government agencies as part of multidisciplinary research groups, started to teach at the School of Cinema and Television of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (National University of Colombia) in the field of art and new technologies, basing his classes and research practices on the topics such as free software/culture, hacktivism, alternative media, street art and radio. Currently pursues Doctoral studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Georg Trogemann.