Inscrição do Estudio Livre no Prêmio APC Chris Nicol

Sobre o Premio

Formulário de Inscrição

  • Name of the initiative

Estúdio Livre

  • Person filling in the form


  • Name and Relationship to the Project



  • Project developer (name of organization, group or individual)

Estúdio Livre Community

  • Email of project developer


  • Language of Application * (é a linguagem em que foi preenchido o form, não a do projeto)



  • Contact Person Name (if different from above)


  • Website address of the project (if available)


  • Describe in brief the project in question *

Estúdio Livre is a digital community that gathers in a collaborative environment. This environment is composed of a wiki-based website and some file-sharing and streaming services, which emerged from the combined perception of people with the most varied backgrounds about the need for research into – and deeper knowledge of – the use and development of free (as in freedom) media. Based on the perspective that one of the biggest innovations of the digital world is to be found in the new means of production of which free software is the best example, we created a collaborative community that focus on exchanging knowledge about multimedia production. The methodology proposed tries to break the barriers between producer and consumer, fostering a collective intelligence, as well as changes in aesthetic, economic and social paradigms in our contemporary "spectacle" society.

All the tools in the environment are constructed based on free software, open knowledge and technological appropriation. The stimulus for interaction comes from workshops, media labs, free archives, user manuals, forums, personal blogs, research groups, discussions taking place in a mailing list and other differentiated tools for collaboration. Our focus is the proccess of constructing such a community, and not the products generated by it.

  • When was the project initiated


  • Who are users of your project?

Portuguese speakers that want to learn more about multimedia production using free software. People that speak other languages and are interested in translating and creating this kind of documentation. Artists that want to share their works and achieve greater autonomy with the use of free software. Groups that want to stream their actions in realtime as audio or video feeds.

  • What is the promotion of your project and what is the uptake by users (tentative numbers of users if available, feedback you had etc.)

Nowadays we have around 15 people responsible for the development, maintenance and administration of the site, discussion lists, request verification and organisation of the information. This group, that we call the hacklab, is made up mainly of more experienced users, programmers, system administrators, musicians, videomakers and producers who have been using free software for some time.

In the mainling list we have 220 subcribers and in the website we have 4342 users registered who focus on the use of licenses which allow the sharing and re-use of codes as a huge trump card for the sustainability of a more interdisciplinary community, which combines art and science. Stimulating this model of production encourages a space in which science can operate more innovatively and art can become more involved in improving its techniques.

The community involved in Estudio Livre realizes that the use of free software in creative processes is a way to improve the circulation of cultural 'goods'. For in such a way, the mentor group, in a partnership between the Brazilian government, non-profit making organizations and civil society, is delivering an interactive environment to support the whole process of implantation of the Pontos de Cultura (Cultural Hotspots). Each of which , through an interface to, are becoming mediactive in the network. The feedback loop will mean that the terms user and developer cease to exist and it is culture itself which influences the direction of the collective.

  • Outline the main contribution of the project to the community

Reference documentation and distribution of any kind of free/open media works.

    • Developers: Art and Science

The use of licenses which allow the sharing and re-use of codes is potentially a huge trump card for the sustainability of a more interdisciplinary community like Estúdio Livre, which combines art and science. Stimulating this model of production encourages a space in which science can operate more innovatively and art can become more involved in improving its techniques.

One of the big problems with the dehumanisation of technologies is the failure to question the mechanisms of repetition built into the interfaces of industrial software. In most cases, artists see the computer as a closed box which ends up dictating aesthetic paths linked to standard interfaces, and ties the cultural producer to a blind dependency on new products and formats launched by the industry.

In the case of free software, production follows a rhythm of requests and mutual collaboration in which the developers receive immediate feedback from the artists, who thereby gain more advanced knowledge about the development of their tools since they are no longer trapped within the cycle of industrial secrets. This encourages the deepening of knowledge for the shaping of a personal way of using technology, and the potential for customising the production processes grows, bringing with it also a greater interest in science and the methods which make this possible.

As for scientists, in this environment they find an enormous incentive for creativity and breaking down the distances between scientific technique and the artist, bringing the awareness that producing a code or designing an interface or machine can be a technique loaded with communicative intention and as playful as making brush strokes on a canvas or strumming a guitar. A much less technocentric vision of scientific work is stimulated, bringing back the figure of the inventor and adding poetry to the mix.

    • Artists and Cultural Producers: Collaborative Means of Production

Without a doubt, the way free software is produced represents one of the most successful models ever known of organic and participatory management of collective work. The idea of producing collaboratively, using internet-based interfaces for editing code, version control, discussion forums and email lists, stimulated the construction of systems which are today so proficient for certain application niches that they have overtaken proprietary applications, such as in the case of web servers. This happens because there is also open dialogue between the various parties – this is a more direct and intelligent way to solve problems and implement innovations than in a closed approach in which the parties isolate themselves from everything, cloaked in secrecy.

This vision has had a great influence on how artistic production is seen at the beginning of the current century e3b532ad6f0fb0596c456cdd2e18ae9e. It became clear that artistic production could reach its audience directly, without intermediaries and without needing to conform to the aesthetic and marketing demands of distributors (in many case retrograde assumptions, which hamper creativity). This brought with it a better, and more organic, understanding of the artistic field of action. On the other hand, it also generated the need to look again at the question of how this authorship is recognised or remunerated since any consumer could potentially be a distributor or even a collaborator in this production.

One of the solutions proposed and encouraged by Estúdio Livre is support for collaborative production through the use of licenses for sharing. Just as the free software developer shares his or her code using licenses such as the GPL 1, the cultural producer, through licenses such as Creative Commons 2, gives the public the prior right to redistribute his or her work, with or without charge, and therefore makes them a partner in the creative production. In this way, a relationship is established in which consumption and production are parts of the same cycle, in which the great profit is the knowledge acquired and the establishment of social networks. Sooner or later, these same social networks will become partners in initiatives for mutual sustainability, creating a chain of production flows which breaks down cultural and geopolitical barriers, making possible autonomous niches which are much more self-referential and aware of their directions and more capable of reflecting their socio-economic influences and the role of their production.

  • Tell us in what your project differs from other similar FOSS projects (as well as proprietary software projects, if relevant) *

There was no reference for research and documentation projects for free and open media production tools in portuguese at the time this project was started in Brasil. Nowadays, we can provide that easily through our website, workshops, lists, weblogs, events etc.

  • What is the long-term vision of the project? Please include information on training and documentation development related to the project

The aim is to create a scenario for participatory cultural and technological production, which can generate less alienated reflections than purely entertainment-driven consumption. Achieving greater awareness of the social role of everyone involved, who come to see themselves as part of an independent, open and collective process. We call this aim Estúdio Livre Phase Two, which sets out to produce something capable of causing the impact that the film “City of God” had on the history of Brazilian cinema, but with the differential of using free software and the process of methodological sharing, following in the steps of the film “Elephants Dream” which was the world's first open source film and met with critical acclaim.

We are foccusing on a imersion meeting of the hacklab team as we think that the face-to-face experience is fundamental for the integration of the community. Also we are planning to distribute scholarships for open research for the descentralization of systems like ours, we want to invest in a server network so we can be independent from the server donated by the Ministry. Our plan is to develop a distributed platform based on BitTorrent as a file sharing protocol so as to create a distributed system that will guarantee that Estúdio Livre's platform services will be freely available to all, for ever.

  • Explain the major lessons that you've learned, new challenges that you have had to face as a result of the project and, where appropriate, how you would have done things differently

We learned and still are learning how to network, in abstract and concrete basis. We did had crisis through this years, but somehow we managed to overcome. What worked was the strenght of the will of the community envolved and the partnerships. What did not work was our lack of defining some structural goals since the beginning. That's what we are trying to do in the moment.

We are strugling to maintain ourselves as an independent community. We do have partners that help us, but it is far from enough to develop bones for our muscles and joints. We´re growing fast, and without structure, we can easilly fall apart. So that´s why we´re applying to this prize, to achieve more autonomy and have a breath to improve our sustainability.

  • Tell us the story(ies) of a group(s) or individual(s) who are users of the project and who clearly benefit from it
Brasil is a huge country with a rich cultural history. Throughout it's history our people have suffered and celebrated this suffering. Cultural manifestations range from Carnaval, Soccer and Funk from the favelas; to the religious resistance of candomblé and it's incredible universe of rituals and archetypes, and the rituals of a tribal indian society that struggles to survive.

According to the historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, it was the slavery mentality of the casa grande e senzala (big house and slave quarters) that roots Brazilian's modus vivendi. Based on a type of political, economic and social organization artificially maintained by an external force, the Brazilian state brought more continuity than rupture with the model instated by the European colonizer.

It is in this sense that cultural, economic and social traces, molded by four hundred years of slavery, structuring itself as a repressive and controlling political-administrative machine, that Brazilian power always benefited an elite, establishing that certain attitudes of the rural patriarchy soon would be common to all the classes as an ideal conducting norm.

By forcing the urbanization of millions of workers and effectively shutting down the knowledge of our rural and indigenous population and its biodiversity, the richness of our heterogeneous cultural life against the rational systems of organization of work and life does slowly a complete depersonalization of the Brazilian people. It causes a serious lack of understanding of its role. A monoculture (agrarian, cultural etc) was stablished everywhere in the country, and this hegemony can be testified, for example, by the Portuguese language, adopted freely in all of the brasilian regions.

This inequality was historically triggered by the lack of actions and strategies that could influence the decisions related to access and use of resources capable of altering these structures, as much as propose new ones. Illegality in habitation and communication mediums are a result of this lack of compromise with these basic rights. Allied to the economic inequality and political negligence, a bureaucracy reinforces the process that triggers non-legal actions, creating many informal markets even more powerfuls.

Our dilemma it is not, and it never was, scarcity, but the mode of production and distribution of abundance, that means, the inequality - expressed as an economic inequality in the access and use of natural resources, goods and services; the symbolic inequality in the production of knowledge, identity and common values. It is this, and not poverty per se, our biggest challenge.

(some of the context text is remixed from the mimoSa project)

  • Please provide links to public information on how the project was set up and is managed and to any independent evaluations or testimonials available.

  • Your project is a FOSS initiative (YES or NO)


  • Additional information about the project
  • Who came up with the idea for the project and why was it initiated?

There is no single author. The people who will later start the estudio livre project have been getting toghether in a series of events since 2003 ( But they first came together under this name in a mailing list on december of 2004 and made its first workshop in the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. The project was initiated because of the lack of active research, development, production and documentation about free and open media tools in the portuguese language.


Submissions will be reviewed by an international working group and jury, and may receive requests for additional information.

Prize winners and finalists will be notified by October 2007. Submissions and attachments become the property of the Association for Progressive Communications, and may be publicized as part of the APC FOSS Chris Nicol Prize program.

By submitting an application to the APC FOSS Chris Nicol Prize contest, you are permitting APC to translate, distribute and publish information from your application (and any subsequent information requested by Prize officials) in any form, through the use of printed materials, ICT (including the Prize website), or otherwise.


  • Would you like to add something that could help in evaluation of the project?


  • Names and emails of people that can provide references of the project

Felipe Augusto van de Wiel (faw)
Pedro Soler
Francisco Antonio Huertas Méndez
David de Ugarte
Mario Teza
Fernanda G Weiden
Marcelo Branco
Gilberto Gil

Last modification: 01/04/2007 at 21:46, by: alex