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The British artists group Mongrel engages with social groups and individuals that normally have restricted access to digital media for creative expression. In addition to their projects in the UK they have projects running in Jamaica, South Africa and India. This movie focuses on their digital workshop project, the MediaShed in Southend on Sea, 65 km east of London, where anyone can come to seek knowledge, use computers, suggest projects and attend lectures. And where everything is free.
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Artists Group - Mongrel
Project - Media Shed
Director - David Valentine
The title of the film, Free Media, reflects Mongrel's belief that free access to technology and knowledge is a question of democracy and creativity. To realise this philosophy they collect and recycle technology, computers and open source softwares. They also offer free advice to make it possibe for anyone, from any background, to work with a range of digital media forms.
"Free-media is best thought of as a means of doing art, making things or just saying what you want for little or no financial cost by using public domain software and recycled equipment. It is also about saying what you want "freely", using accessible media that can be taken apart and reused without unnecessary restrictions and controls - "free as in free speech". Mongrel.
Mongrel are represented in the collections of Tate Gallery in London, Centre de Pompidou in Paris and ZKM in Karlsruhe.