At the intersection of Open Source and Popular culture, artistic practice extends beyond the visual into the platforms, languages, and metaphors of the web. The Free Art and Technology Lab emerged in 2007 as a reaction to the institutionalization of digital creative practice, with the desire to establish a foundation of open sharing.

“The Free Art and Technology Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. The entire FAT network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, musicians and Bornas are committed to supporting open values and the public domain through the use of emerging open licenses, support for open entrepreneurship and the admonishment of secrecy, copyright monopolies and patents.”

The artists in the group are culture hackers and creative coders. They work in a loosely collaborative manner, focused around the public website where browser extensions, software copycats, interventions and hacks are released on a regular basis alongside articles, commentary and other projects produced by the members. These projects – often times released as ‘speed projects’ which encourage reproduction, remixing and reaction on a highly distributed scale – represent a collection of work which speaks to the group’s core ideals.

The members remain connected through backchannel exchange via email and IRC. The technologies and practices of the individual members vary dramatically, which further supports the defining principles of the F.A.T Lab. This requires that the group remains diverse in its collaborative style with some members working closely together on projects on an ongoing basis, others only occasionally chiming-in with feedback or resources. New members are added as a consensus of fit is identified by the members, allowing the group to grow, ebb and flow along with the digital stream.