Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Personal tools

You are here: Home / News / Speech and photos from Vienna

Speech and photos from Vienna

At the opening of the Artsprint at The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, I was generously allowed to give this short speech about my exhibition . See also the photos from the avant garde where art meets open source.

See the photos from the avant garde where art meets open source, or read on to learn why the science of naval architecture should go online!

Ladies and gentlemen. My name is Børge Kjeldstad and I am the artist behind the paintings exhibited in this artsprint. Besides being a painter, I am a naval architect and have also worked with open source software like Plone and Zope for years. Eventually, the elements of this broken background connected into the present series of paintings. I am not an IT expert, but at the heart of this exhibition is the Zope Fishbowl theory. The idea that everything on the internet is visible for all and from all directions, and that thus everyone has the possibility to contribute.

I made these paintings because I wanted to persuade my old naval architecture colleagues to develop their science on the internet. Just like Plone and Linux is developed. How can this be done?

Naval architecture is like any other engineering. Information is calculated by different processes and then put together. Now, if for example one of these processes was not calculating results as correct as we wanted them, and this process was in the fishbowl, then anyone with the suitable knowledge could come and improve it. Does not have to be a naval architect. Could be a mathematician, a statistics expert, or a programming expert like yourselves. My hypothesis is that this increase in potential contributors would boost the evolution speed of naval architecture science.

Let us take another example. Say you needed some piece of information about ship propellers. Then you would save a lot of time if you could find this information in an online wiki in stead of having to wait until you find the right book to buy or borrow.

Today scientific information is communicated through papers in journals and conferences. This way to share knowledge is archaic. I know that researchers are credited through this system. But developers of open source software also have ways to merit good work. That system could be adopted by the other sciences as well.

I have not succeeded in convincing naval architecture to go online yet. Either my arguments are hitherto not good enough, or the business is to conservative. I think the biggest problem is to just get someone started. I think that the first naval architecture institute that finds money to put up a wiki, and who uses for instance extreme programming to launch a suite of web based open sourced tools, will fly the colours of it's university.

So my work on convincing the naval architects is not finished, and this exhibition is a part of it. For the coming week I will sprint together with you to improve my skills with Plone, but also spend substantial time investigating the art in Vienna. Thank you for your attention.