[-empyre-] Publishing In Convergence, an Introduction

morgan currie morganecurrie at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 03:44:35 EST 2010

June, 2010

“How can the book find an adequate outside with which to assemble in
heterogeneity, rather than a world to reproduce” Deleuze and Guattari.

Despite the recent hype around ebooks, the future of publishing remains
uncertain. The growth in markets for electronic distribution has resulted
in a messy and highly competitive ecology of digital rights management
systems, conflicting file formats and devices, and an online book market
driven by new players such as Google and Apple. Meanwhile, pirate networks
for ‘liberated knowledge’ have opened other avenues for delivering content
(whether legal or not), while the open access movement has increasingly
consolidated as a legitimate alternative to corporate publishers. These
are the realities of media convergence as perpetual crisis, or at least an
ongoing entanglement of interests, and a situation full of potential for
the future of the book.

This month on -empyre-, we invite a general discussion on the topic of
publishing in convergence. Against a background of economic transition,
what possibilities currently exist for advancing and scaling new models
for writing, collaborating, distributing, reading and interpreting
knowledge? What potential affordances can be extended to style, format,
design, and dynamic content? Are there novel architectures allowing
collective authorship, including the mediation of presence? How could
‘networked book’ experiments shift from being a novelty toward an accepted
genre of publication? Is it possible to overcome peer review? How can the
production of theory, educational resources, art and literature evolve?


WEEK ONE: Distribution
Sean Dockray
Emmett Stinson

WEEK TWO: Print and Pixels
Joost Kircz
Simon Worthington

WEEK THREE: Open Access
Paul Ashton
Gary Hall
David Ottina and Sigi Jöttkandt

Femke Snelting and Pierre Huyghebaert
Andrew Murphie and Mat Wall‐Smith


Paul Ashton is Assistant Professor in Publishing, NMIT, Australia. He has
multiple years of experience in scholar-led publishing initiatives as
director of the independent open access publishing house re.press,
co-editor of the open access journal Cosmos and History and co-founder of
Open Humanities Press. He is contributing editor to The Praxis of Alain
Badiou (2006) and The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of
Thinking (2008).

Sean Dockray is an artist in Los Angeles. He is a co-director of Telic
Arts Exchange (http://telic.info) and has initiated a handful of
collaborative projects including a school (The Public School), a theory
text-sharing website (AAAARG.ORG), and an architecture radio show
(Building Sound). He has contributed writing to X-TRA, Bidoun, Fillip,
Volume, and Cabinet magazines, and his video and sculptural work have been
exhibited at Gigantic Art Space, ESL, the Cheekwood Museum, the Turtle Bay
Museum, and the Armory Center for the Arts. "The Public School (for
Architecture)" in New York, a project in partnership with the architecture
group, common room, was recently awarded a fellowship from the Van Alen
Institute. With fellow collaborators in The Public School, Caleb Waldorf
and Fiona Whitton, Sean is organizing a 13-day seminar at various sites
throughout Berlin this July, called "There is nothing less passive than
the act of fleeing," which will discuss the promises, pitfalls, and
possibilities for extra-institutionality. Sean studied architecture at
Princeton University before receiving his Masters in Fine Arts from
University of California Los Angeles.

Gary Hall is a London-based cultural and media theorist working on new
media technologies, continental philosophy and cultural studies. He is
Professor of Media and Performing Arts in the School of Art and Design at
Coventry University, UK. He is the author of Culture in Bits (2002) and
Digitize This Book!: The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access
Now (2008) and co-editor of New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory
(2006) and Experimenting: Essays with Samuel Weber (2007). He is also
founding co-editor of the international open access journal Culture
Machine, series editor of Berg's Culture Machine book series, director of
the cultural studies open access archive CSeARCH  and a co-founder of Open
Humanities Press.

Pierre Huyghebaert <http://www.speculoos.com> Exploring several practices
around graphic design, he currently drives the studio Speculoos. He is
interested in using free software to re-learn to work in alternate ways
and collaboratively on cartography, type design, web interface, schematic
illustration, teaching and book design.

Sigi Jottkandt is the author of Acting Beautifully: Henry James and the
Ethical Aesthetic (2005); First Love: A Phenomenology of the One (2010),
and a contributing editor to The Catastrophic Imperative: Subjectivity,
Time and Memory in Contemporary Thought (2009). She was part of the
original founding collective (with Joan Copjec) of the journal Umbr(a) at
the Center for Psychoanalysis and Culture,
University at Buffalo. Currently co-editor of the open access journal S:
Journal of the Jan van Eyck Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique (The
Netherlands), she is also a co-founder of Open Humanities Press.

Joost Kircz is a scientific researcher and professional in academic
publishing, specializing in the design and implementation of electronic
publishing experiments and products. During 16 years at Elsevier Science,
he held various positions, including publisher of the distinguished
physics programme (under the North-Holland imprint). Taking an
interdisciplinary approach to science and publishing, he has developed
research agendas for the 'Communication in Physics' program of the
Foundation Physica, hosted at the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute of the
University of Amsterdam. He has also been affiliated as senior scientist
with the Intelligent System Laboratory Amsterdam (ISLA). In 1998, he
founded Kircz Research Amsterdam (KRA), an independent research and
consultancy company in Publishing. From April 2004, he has held the
position of visiting scientist at the Information and Language Processing
Systems Group of the University of Amsterdam, and is currently part-time
Lector (professor) Electronic Publishing at the Domain Media, Creation and
Information of the Hogenschool van Amsterdam (University of Applied
Sciences Amsterdam). See also:

David Ottina is an IT professional, free culture advocate and a co-founder
of Open Humanities Press.

Femke Snelting <http://snelting.domainepublic.net/> is an artist and
designer residing in Brussels, developing projects at the intersection of
design, feminism and free software. Together with Renee Turner and Riek
Sijbring, she forms De Geuzen <http://www.geuzen.org/> (a foundation for
multi-visual research). Femke is member of Constant
<http://www.constantvzw.org/> and participates in Samedies
<http://samedi.collectifs.net/>, femmes et logiciels libres. With Pierre
Huyghebaert and Harrisson, she initiated the design and research team Open
Source Publishing
<http://ospublish.constantvzw.org/> (OSP).

Emmett Stinson is a Lecturer in Publishing and Communications at the
University of Melbourne. He is the President of SPUNC - The Small Press
Network <http://spunc.com.au/> and a Fiction Editor for Wet Ink: The
Magazine of New Writing. He is also a panelist on the Department of
Innovation's federal Book Industry Study Group, established by Senator Kim
Carr. His debut collection of short stories, Known Unknowns, has just been
published by Affirm Press.

Mat Wall-Smith is a media theorist and experimentalist with several years
experience in sound design and as a lecturer in media studies at
University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is currently writing a PhD about
ecologies of thought, affect and technology drawing on the philosophical
work of Brian Massumi and Bernard Stiegler. He is a member of the
Fibreculture Journal editorial committee.

Simon Worthington studied art at the Slade School (London) and CalArts
(Valencia, California). He is co-founder of the cyberculture magazine
Mute. In the area of independent media and innovative web developments, he
has pioneered projects from social web tools like OpenMute’s FLOSS web
tools OmWeb to graphic design such as the mapping projects The MetaMap
(Thanks to Bucky) back in 2001 at the famous hacker festival HAL2001. He
is currently (2007) heading OpenMute’s technology design team, leading a
variety of cutting edge web projects including; web based Print on Demand
and an online/offline alternative media distribution network. See
development zone <http://3d.openmute.org> for updates. As co-director of
the Mute organisation, he has also been involved in an extensive number of
experimental and open projects, see: <http://www.metamute.org/node/7017>


Morgan Currie was born in the United States and is studying for a Masters
degree in New Media at the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis explores
how batch digitization of print collections is changing (and challenging)
the traditional role of institutional libraries. Her related topics of
interest include digital archives, open access publishing, and
sustainability of the commons. Currently she is researching for the
Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and remains a
frequent contributor to the Masters of Media blog. Prior to her current
studies she worked for eight years as a researcher and producer of
documentary films for American public
television and GOOD Magazine.

Michael Dieter is currently completing a PhD on critical media art and
materialist philosophy at University of Melbourne, where he has lectured
in the School of Culture and Communication on digital publishing and new
media theory since 2007. His academic work has been published in M/C and
Australian Humanities Review. He is an ongoing contributor to Neural
Magazine, an assistant editor at the Institute of Network Cultures in
Amsterdam, and a member of the editorial committee for Fibreculture
Journal and Digital Culture & Education.

John Haltiwanger arrived in this world in the United States, where he has
lived in many corners. Currently he attends the University of Amsterdam
where he studies for a Masters degree in New Media. His thesis
investigates generative design in the context of typesetting with open
source software. Related interests include new futures for screenic
publishing, the potentials of new platforms for collaboration, and issues
of freedom and control both on the Internet and in flesh life. Prior to
his current studies he has worked as a librarian, lived as a media
activist at an animal rights campaign, attended hippie schools, and spent
his early years consulting as a Perl programmer.

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