[-empyre-] Introducing Matthew Stadler: New Economics for the Social Text

morgan currie morganecurrie at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 02:27:48 EST 2010

At this point it seems like a good time to introduce Matthew Stadler,
a writer from Portland, Oregon, who has also been deeply involved with
print and digital publication, as the former literary editor of Nest
magazine and also co-founder of Clear Cut Press, among several other
ventures that have in common a focus on "publication in its fullest
sense." On Publication Studio's website, Matthew says publication is
"not just the production of books, but the production of a public.
This public, which is more than a market, is created through
deliberate acts: the circulation of texts; discussions and gatherings
in physical space; and the maintenance of a digital commons. Together
these construct a space of conversation, a public space, which beckons
a public into being."

Toward this end Matthew also organizes social get-togethers and a
user-driven digital commons in tandem with book production and
circulation -- basically taking print beyond the page in the same sort
of feedback relationship that is evident between AAAARG and the Public

In relation to this discussion of networked distribution, piracy,
silos that leverage old-style copyright, and critique of the free, it
seems worth bringing him into the conversation to talk about one of
his more recent projects, Publication Studio. This is an on-demand
"book laboratory" that seems to work within a gray zone, a functioning
space of practice that might be an alternative to older economies of
print, but one where everyone gets paid money for work. As he
described it to me:

"We are actually making a couple deliberate changes to rights,
including the non-exclusive rights (writer/artist retains control and
the publisher simply gets permission to make their edition) and
'bootlegging' books with writers whose regular publishers are
effectively embargoing their texts."

I'm hoping Matthew will jump in here and describe his project for us.
I'm especially curious to know how digital technologies allow new
modes of dissemination and new economic opportunities for writers and

More information about the empyre mailing list