White and Simpson are artists with a background in sonic, DJ, and open source practices, and have worked together on the Open Music Archive since 2005. The project locates, digitises, and archives music and sounds that are not under copyright, and thus are free to use in the public domain.
The Open Music Archive is situated within the current discourse surrounding notions of authorship, ownership and distribution, reanimated by a porting of Free/Libre and Open Source software models to wider creative contexts. The Open Music Archive concerns itself with the public domain and creative works which are not owned by any one individual and are held in common by society as a whole.
The project directly addresses the more practical ramifications behind the ideologies of Open Source and tendencies of archiving, emphasising information and access around unenclosed resources and their ongoing use in newer cultural forms.
Previously, the Open Music Archive have been commissioned by Gasworks to produce Declose, a DJ scratch tool made up of out-of-copyright samples, which was launched on 27th March 2008 in a DJ night at Mother/333. This project was part of Disclosures.
A rare copy of the first and only Jordanian produced film, Struggle in Jarash (1957) became the basis of the Open Music Archive's research while at Makan House. The outcome is a distribution project of a re-edited version of the film with audio-commentary by young Jordanians, a new direction for OMA's research and a development of their work with out-of-copyright material.
About Makan House
Makan is an artists-led cultural space founded in the spring of 2003 in Amman, Jordan. Makan provides a dynamic space for expression and interaction amongst young emerging artists in Jordan. It gives them opportunity to network and exchange ideas hoping that would be translated into art projects and performances both within and around the organisation.