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A Thematic child theme for the Wikipedia Illustrated project.

Wikipedia Illustrated

While we're celebrating the explosion of open source software and collaborative projects like Wikipedia, visual art has not been enjoying similar levels of passionate and generous online contribution. Open culture have developed inspiring text-based collaborative models, but have yet to develop successful models for open collaboration on visual culture. Wikipedia Illustrated seeks to develop such models. Through a book featuring 26 illustrated articles, a blog that follows the production and a set of workshops we hope to develop a methodology for contributing creative-commons licensed illustrations to Wikipedia.

The creative workshop and the panel discussion organized by the 2011 Transmediale festival will both address the questions at the heart of this project. Is the visual aspect of Wikipedia so lacking and dated because it could only use freely licensed images? Or is it that images have to become "historical" to become removed, objective, factual, and therefore applicable to the Wikipedia guidelines? Is the Wikipedia project really inviting visual artists to contribute their work to the commons? Or is visual work inherently less collaborative? As the project evolves it exposes the myths and biases behind these questions and reveals the surprising and complicated dynamics of open culture.
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