cubotto is an alliance of archives. It's a tool to gather, edit, exchange and publish audiovisual contents in a participatory way.
So, what is it?
Cubotto is a free open source software for organizing and using collectively a large amount of audio-visual material (audio, video, photo, text). It is also a strategic path for the creation of an independent international and decentralized infrastructure. A network of low cost home servers. We have been working for several years on the development of a software that combines archival needs and practices with the needs and possibilities of broadcasting. The change we are working on aspires to break the unidirectionality of any medium, to make clear and always traceable the source of audiovisual information, to allow this information to remain as an open format, criticizable and re-editable, and to make its changes always traceable through a history of its revisions.
Cubotto is an occasion to build relationships between self-organized people and a challenge for overcoming the audiovisual format as a closed standard.
The logic of centralizing data for commercial exploitation on behalf of large companies is certainly what can be defined as a status quo in the field of media sharing. This implicates the creation of expensive proprietary infrastructures aimed at expropriating and monetizing personal information. Moreover, the slow diffusion, especially in the south of the world, of high speed internet connection makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to share entire audiovisual collections that would anyway be deposited in servers that give no possibilities of access or control and that are, in any case, provided with interfaces that limit user interaction in viewing and commenting.
We are committed to changing this dynamic in a completely new and unexplored way that finally allows the viewer not only to see but to instantly intervene in what they are looking at, transforming a linear, unidirectional, and unalterable flow into a space of creation, collaboration, and collective criticism.
The distribution of the software that we intend to optimize allows the construction of a server, even on low performing machines, and the consequent organization of its materials in a few steps, with the possibility to assign user licenses, to form working groups, allowing a participated creation of metadata, editing and streaming via its own multi-channel network. Each server can publicly expose itself through an index, sharing its cultural resources and, with a logic of mutuality, also internet broadband and computational processes. With the introduction of hyper-videos, we want to reach a form of publication where each cut that makes up a movie is also a link pointing to the whole archive resource from which that cut (or photo or sound) was drawn. Retracing the source, the user can edit the montage by selecting other tracks from the archive and even republishing a new version.
We think, design and develop so that every element, both cultural and technical, is informed by the concepts of openness and cooperation, and by the logic of mutual benefit. We believe that such results can only occur in an international dimension and through the transparency of logic - the idea and code -, of sources - shared stories -, of economies - time and money invested -.