About the Lab

The Laboratorium for Research in Experimental Aesthetics was founded in March of 2000, when I acquired the domain name. I don’t think I understood that “Laboratorium” really was the German (or Dutch or Indonesian) for “laboratory;” it was just a catchy word that captured my sense of the site.

I thought of the Lab as a place for experimentation, culture-jamming, critical thinking, artistic risk-taking, and the creative use of computers. I believe in the promise of redemptive technology, in new wine in old bottles, in unexpected connections, and the profound joy of understanding.

At the time, I’d never heard the term “weblog,” and had no idea that I was writing one. There are definitional issues, of course: by the time I got to the third entry, I’d stopped organizing my posts around links, and even by the end of the first week, the essay format had come to dominate.

It’s been a long journey. I’ve stopped blogging twice, only to start up again; I’ve experimented with XML, mailing lists, wikis, and several iterations of homebrew content management systems; I’ve had dark nights of the soul over trivial issues of hypertext theory. This version should be stable, well, until it isn’t stable any more. Then something else will take its place.

The Laboratorium is powered by Movable Type, as supplemented by John Gruber’s wonderful Markdown and SmartyPants, plus several small plugin-assisted hacks of my own devising. The star icons on my reviews are derived from Mark James’s beautiful Silk icon set, which he has generously made available under a Creative Commons license. The live comment preview uses WMD.

Except as otherwise noted, everything on this site was written by me, James Grimmelmann, and I retain the copyright to it. Anything I have written here is available under a Creative Commons License. The full technical details are encoded in XML in every page here; the full legal version is also available.

In brief, you can do almost anything you like with my words, as long as you follow one simple condition. You can copy my writings, distribute them, stage public readings, translate them into foreign tongues, perform merciless line-by-line MSTings of them, and generally use them as you see fit in the pursuit of your own creative vision. However, you must identify me as the author. (I would appreciate it if your reuse were to link back to the entry you are reusing, but I understand that this may be impossible in some media.)

If you don’t like these terms, write me. I’m happy to consider any other arrangement you’d like to suggest. These are just the terms I’m willing to sign off on for anyone, anytime.

Share and enjoy.