In 1996 Sheffield arts group Redundant Technology Initiative financed their involvement with
information communication technology with one simple decision: as a
matter of policy they would only use technology that they could acquire
Their next problem was to reanimate their growing stockpile
of trash computers. Choosing Linux, the free operating system, enabled
them to create exciting digital arts projects that drew in volunteers
and attracted more donations of old equipment.
Redundant Technology Initiative has exhibited artworks across
Europe, in venues as diverse as a cybersquat and an underground fortress, as well as
in prestigious galleries like Tate Britain and Germany's ZKM. The group sees its
exhibitions as part of a larger art process, in which the audience gets involved
with recycling, participation and creativity.
In 2000 RTI opened "Access Space" the UK's first Free Media Lab - an open-access digital
reuse centre where participants can learn, create and communicate online. Because the capital cost
of the lab is next to nothing, the project is highly sustainable, and upgrades are free!