Fibre Libre

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The first Open Edition event took place on the weekend of July 25-26, 2009, at Asheville Bookworks. Participants were invited to join the project moderator for Fibre Libre, an open source papermaking workshop, in which a collaborative edition of paper was created by the group. This workshop was made possible by the Bookworks Co-Op, formerly Interlude Editions.

Participants were invited to send pieces of 100% cotton clothing to BookWorks by July 20th. Before the weekend event, the clothing was cut down, soaked and beaten into several batches of fibrous pulp: Fibre Libre. These batches of Fibre Libre became “source code” for the open source paper.

The workshop began on the morning of Saturday, July 25th, with a demonstration of the papermaking process. After the demonstration, we practiced pulling sheets together. Soon after, we began pulling Version 1.0 of our open source paper, with an agreed upon starter formula of Fibre Libre. As the workshop progressed, participants altered the code by changing the Fibre Libre formula and creating their own versions of open source paper. The resulting edition of paper is variable, dependent entirely on the choices made by participants. A detailed formula was documented for each version of open source paper that emerged from the event. The formulas will soon be posted here, making it possible for participants and others to use, study, redistribute and modify the Fibre Libre as they see fit.

In the meantime, you can view a PDF porfolio of images from the workshop, which were presented as a slide show on Thursday, July 30th, at Asheville BookWorks.

The handmade paper created during the workshop became substrate for Fibre Libre, an Open Edition artist’s book, which will be published in the fall of 2010. All participants in the workshop will be given a copy of the book upon its completion, both as gesture of thanks and in observance of the ethics of Free Cultural Works. The remaining copies will be placed in a series of library collections, making the finished artist’s book accessible to the largest possible population of users. Proceeds from all book sales will be dedicated to the Open Edition project, funding workshops and advocacy for free software in the field of artists’ books and beyond.


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