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Sam Muirhead

Sam Muirhead headshot

I grew up in the shelter of Rangitoto island by the Waitematā harbour of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, though I was born in Catalonia, and my roots stretch back to England, Argentina, Ireland, Scotland and France.

I spent 8 years in Berlin, before I moved back to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2018, and now live in Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington, within the rohe of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika .


Since 2012, under the name Camera Libre, I have been making video & animation about civic technology, commons-based collaboration and activism — using only Free/Libre Open Source software and releasing my work under open licenses.
I’ve worked with Wikimedia Deutschland, Open Knowledge Foundation, Edgeryders, United Nations Development Programme, Āhau, Fab Labs, Australian Research Data Commons, Prototype Fund, Syrian Archive, OuiShare, Goodnature and many more.

Pre-COVID, I was running hands-on creative workshops in lots of different countries, to make collaborative zines and visual art, and help participants to explore remix and co-authorship (see Selected Talks & Workshops). Now I'm working out if a similar experience can be achieved online instead...

I was a 2019 Mozilla Fellow, working with the international Creative Commons network on remixable illustration for activism.

I participated in Mozilla Open Leaders as a Project Leader (with Cut, Copy & Paste) and then a Mentor for Beyond Activismo (Santiago/Berlin) and Educational Video Center (New York)

In 2015 I took part in POC21, a 5-week collaboration camp for sustainable open source hardware, and made the documentary Proof of Concept: 100 Geeks, 5 Weeks, 1 Future.

With 5 others, I co-founded the Open Source Circular Economy movement in 2014, building a network of activists, artists and events in 100+ cities around the world, advocating for a collaborative, transparent, sustainable approach to creating a zero-waste ‘Circular Economy’. My work here was in community building, process design, writing articles and documentation, and as a spokesperson.

In 2012-13 I lived a Year of Open Source, applying the collaborative, commons-based practices from the Free Software world to every other part of my everyday life, from sew-your-own parametric underwear, to digitally manufactured furniture, free culture music, and beer that comes with its own recipe — I documented the process in blog posts and videos over 12 months.

Languages (spoken or programmed)

As well as my time in Berlin living and working in German, I spent almost a year in Latin America, but the Spanish I gained there comes a little slower these days. I speak English, German, Spanish and Te Reo Māori (in order of fluency).

I write code in HTML, CSS, SVG, JavaScript , Python and shell scripting.

Selected Talks & Workshops

  • Ford Foundation New York, USA, 2019
    • Presentation: Drawing on the Commons – Digital Co-Creation for Activism
  • HBK Saar (University of Arts) Saarbrücken, Germany, 2019
    • Short Guest Course: Design for Participation
  • Creative Commons Global Summit Toronto, Canada, 2018 & Lisbon, Portugal, 2019
    • Workshop: Design for Remix
    • Workshop: Translating Images, Not just Text
    • Workshop & presentation: Launching CC-Create, a network platform for artists
  • Wellington ZineFest Aotearoa NZ, 2018
    • Workshop: Cut, Copy & Paste
  • Mozilla Festival London, UK, 2017 & 2018
    • Workshop: Cut, Copy & Paste
  • Open Source Design Summit Berlin, Germany, 2017 & Tirana, Albania, 2018
    • Workshop: Cut, Copy & Paste
    • Presentation: Diffing SVG
  • DiVersions Workweek Brussels, Belgium 2017
    • Invited participant - collaborative projects & research interviews at Royal Museum of Arts & Culture
  • EXPO 2017 Astana, Kazakhstan, 2017
    • Presentation: How an Open Source Circular Economy works
  • Commonwealth Conference on Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change London, UK, 2017
    • Invited participant
  • Circular Economy 100 Berlin, Germany, 2017
    • Presentation: Open Source for a Circular Economy
  • Open Knowledge Online, 2015
    • Webinar: Video Production for Advocacy
  • UNDP Spot The Future Tblisi, Georgia & Yerevan, Armenia, 2014
    • Workshop: Resources in Commons
  • Elevate Festival Graz, Austria, 2013
    • Presentation: Open Source Everything
  • Maker Faire Rome, Italy, 2013
    • Presentation: From Zero to Maker in One Year
  • Open Design/Shared Creativity Barcelona, Spain, 2013
    • Presentation: Open Source Underwear?
  • Hochschule Mannheim Faculty of Design Mannheim, Germany, 2013
    • Mannheim Masters Guest Lecture: Year of Open Source