Posted:Jun 30, 2007

Advances in the Openness of Art Information

We are proud to announce the release of our first subtitled videos of DIVVY/dual&#8217;s first symposium <i>Is Open Source Art Possible?</i> held in September 2006.

The 3 and a half hour symposium, that brought together critics Hiroo Yamagata and Kiyoshi Kusumi, and artists Takumi Endo and Noboru Tsubaki, is available here with both English and Japanese subtitles.

For DIVVY/dual, a long-term project initiated by NPO Gadago aiming at opening up art norms and practices through media technologies, this is a self-referential achievement. We are trying to model a schema where both art works (content and system) and their surrounding information (discussions, descriptions and related works) can be collectively nurtured. With the ubiquity of Open Contents on the Web such as Creative Commons licensed works, the ‘enclosure’ model of creativity is gradually losing credibility. Rather, an economy of shared creativity is growing, and this release of DIVVY/dual’s video documentation is a part of this trend. The diversity of the agents involved in this single collaboration can be seen as a proof of this tendency: the videos were originally shot and captured by the NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]’s archival team HIVE, then uploaded to dotSub as Creative Commons licensed files, then transcribed and translated by members of NPO Gadago, host of the DIVVY/dual project, all with Mozilla Japan’s generous sponsorship.

In short, this achievement represents the following:
– Hearing impaired are now able watch the symposium without having to rely on printed materials.
– There is more opportunity for this kind of art information to be spread widely, as the video archive is open to anyone to translate the subtitles into a wide range of languages.

This is a small but important step for the domain of art information, as it greatly widens its openness through a participatory process. And, in a way, it can also contribute to the revival of linguistic diversity, as non-English languages can reclaim their presence on the web.

This is the fruit of an open-source model transcription and translation process, all made possible by the New York based web service ‘dotSub’, that offers a browser-interface where anyone can easily tackle video subtitling and translation, just by writing one line after another. dotSub just won the Award of Distinction at the world’s most famous media art festival Ars Electronica 2007 in the newly established ‘Digital Communities’ category. Indeed, dotSub is growing to an impressive scale: the number of videos translated is increasing massively, with content ranging from alpha-vloggers like RocketBoom to United Nations Development project.

We invite anyone to add their language to the mix: you don’t even need to contact us to start translating our videos, but we would be happy to welcome you as a member of our projects.

Last but not least, I wish to thank the TAB writers and editors who contributed tirelessly to the transcription and translation: Chihiro Murakami, Lena Oishi, Ashley Rawlings and Tomomi Sasaki.

# DIVVY/dual is currently continuing the development of its first series ‘TypeTrace’ for an open-source release.

# Related Links:
1] DIVVY/dual
2] TokyoArtBeat
4] Mozilla Japan

This article’s text is licensed under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial license. You are free to reuse it on your own domains for non-commerical purposes, with the following credit:
BY: Dominick Chen for TokyoArtBeat ( / DIVVY/dual (









Dominick Chen

Dominick Chen

Born 1981 in Tokyo. Citizen of the Sixth French Republic (not the current one, but the next). Originally from a Media Arts &amp; Design and Contemporary Arts study background, he is currently conducting research into massive micro creativity through online media technology as a Fellow Researcher of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the University of Tokyo, Initiative in Interdisciplinary Information studies (iii). Also committed to developing a freer Internet culture, he is the Public Head of NPO Creative Commons Japan, and served as member of the International Advisory Committee for Ars Electronica 2007's Digital Community category. Parallel and on-going projects include: - <a href="">HIVE</a>, the open video archive for NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] - <a href="">DIVVY/dual</a>: open-ended art practice platform - <a href="">pri/pro</a>: electronic circuit developed by Ryota Kuwakubo