[-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network

Hands, Joss Joss.Hands at anglia.ac.uk
Tue Jan 24 12:20:44 EST 2012

Dear Smita, Marc, Simon and everyone.

Many thanks for inviting me to join this fascinating, rich and varied debate - I must confess so much so that frankly I'm not sure where to start. I am not an expert, or anything like it, on IP or collaborative authorship or open models but the context in which these issues have come up certainly raises questions close to my own research interests, which I guess is where I might be the best placed to offer a couple of initial thoughts that I don’t think have been directly addressed so far. One area which I have reflected on in some of my writing is the character of publicness in a digital and networked environment. It strikes me that the move into collaborative approaches that aim to overcome the notion of a single author (and all the baggage that entails) and ownership as a meaningful and useful legal concept (whatever the broader implication for subjectivity, economics, and society) raises real questions with regard to politics, as a process of making public.

To publish, as a process of crossing a clear boundary between a private and public forum,  that is to ‘make public’ assumes a distinct arena into which one can place private thoughts. This borderline has up until ubiquitous distributed computing rested with formal or quasi formal intermediary institutions that act as filters or gatekeepers - or in other words, publishers. Such a policing is indeed necessary to justify the very existence of pubic life as a distinct arena that ‘represents’ us, and in that sense is the essence of the democratic life of the bourgeois state. However, as the cost of publishing has been reduced to something close to zero for a good number of individuals and organizations, capital, and its concomitant bourgeois state, have significantly diminished in their ability to filter and legitimate the work of a professional class of public intellectuals and cultural critics. The presence of such gatekeepers is also needed to enable the creation of value sufficient that a class of public intellectuals can a) make a living and b) make themselves distinct from everybody else for whom public life only exists to the extent that they are consumers and/or processors of public knowledge or public reason. Yet now this process seems largely reversed, in that the filtering process takes place after ‘publication’.One clicks though to a recommended blog post as readily as story in The Guardian if it comes well recommended. One of the implications of the ‘massification’ of the Internet as discussed by Tiziana in an earlier post, is precisely the generalization of this post-public filtering. On the surface this suggests a form democratization, open publishing platforms, or even Twitter and such like, enabling anybody to chip in, in that sense I wonder to what extent this erosion - if developed far enough, can become a real radical and challenging political moment, simply in its undermining of a privileged realm of ‘representation’?

However, I also wonder just as FLOSS in the realm of economics, as Dimit and others have argued in earlier posts, can readily be recuperated by capital, so - perhaps - new forms of what might be referred to a distributed publicness, can be readily recuperated by the ‘post-publication’ filtering mechanisms put in place to enable them to be manageable and shared, given the broader context of neo-liberal definitions of choice as little more than a market of ideas. In particular automated reputation systems that contribute towards power-law distributions in scale-free networks, clustering around ever more dominant hubs. In that regard for me the compelling question that this raises is whether the shift from an official policing of the boundary of publicness, towards an algorithmic cybernetic policing, indeed the disappearance of the notion of ‘public’ as meaningful term at all, requires a recalibration of thinking about publishing? Or its value as a term at all. This must also include ‘open’ publishing given that publishing itself is a concept that still contains a trace of the process of a filtered ‘making public’ and perhaps is becoming an oxymoron . Though at this point I’m a bit too tired to think this through properly. But I do also think this in itself requires a re-engagement with the key question of subjectivity, political subjectivity in particular, again an issue raised by Tiziana. What can it mean to express political agency, to ‘act’ or to make oneself present in the sense that Hannah Arendt uses it, in this context? One to sleep on I suspect. Apologies for a rather incoherent post but hopefully I can pick up some more of these points, and some more developed reflections on previous posts, in the next day or two.

Cheers, Joss

From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] on behalf of SK Edinburgh [skheriaedin at gmail.com]
Sent: 23 January 2012 09:39
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: [-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network

Hello everyone!

 A warm welcome to this week’s guests: Marc Garrett and Joss Hands.

Thanks to Simon, Penny, Tiziana, Dmitry, Salvatore and Adam as well all other discussion contributors for their thought-provoking comments in the last two weeks. I have, as a lurker, really enjoyed the comments, examples and references.

My research interests are in exploring and investigating artists’ and users’ perspectives on creation, dissemination and exploitation of new forms of content and their relationship with authorship and copyright.

I’d like to focus this week’s discussion on intellectual property, economics and open models of writing and publishing. Collaborative authorship does not sit very well within the copyright framework (Seville 2006) and open-source models focus on sustaining collaborative production within the boundaries of existing IP regimes (Biagioli 2011). It’d be interesting to explore thoughts (and experiences) on IP and development of open models of writing and publishing; how does it hinder and can it help, ever?; the motivations behind the use/development of open-models and the value attributed to such use; role and meaning of collaborative authorship for the participants. While several points in relation to these have come up in a number of posts in the last two weeks, it’d be great to develop them a bit further!



On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM, Simon Biggs <simon at littlepig.org.uk<mailto:simon at littlepig.org.uk>> wrote:
> Welcome to the third and last week of this discussion about open source writing and publishing on empyre. Firstly I would like to thank Adam Hyde, Salvatore Ianconesi, Penny Travlou, Tiziana Terranov and Dmytri Kleiner for the dynamic discussion they have established over the past two weeks, as well as all empyre members who have posted emails to the thread. I hope everyone can remain engaged as we move into the third week.
> To recap the theme: in a globalised and highly mediated context we wish to focus empyre discussion on how writing and publishing are currently evolving in the context of global networks. We hope to engage a debate about open models of writing and publishing and gain insight into how changes in notions and practices of authorship, media, form, dissemination, intellectual property and economics affect writing and publishing as well as the formation of the reader/writerships, communities and the social engagement that must flow from that activity. Specifically, we wish to look at examples of open publishing, whether they be FLOSS manuals, copyLeft or CopyFarLeft or other publication models, in order to look at new methods for knowledge making and distribution. We also wish to consider how communities of shared-value emerge through such initiatives and how their members are able to identify themselves to one another and others.
> This week's facilitator is Smita Kheria and our guests are Joss Hands and Marc Garrett.
> Marc Garrett is an activist, artist, writer and co-director/founder (with artist Ruth Catlow) of internet arts collective http://www.furtherfield.org (since 96) and the Furtherfield Gallery & social space in London. Through these platforms various contemporary media arts exhibitions and projects are presented nationally and internationally. Marc also hosts a weekly media arts radio programme on Resonance FM, co-edited the publication "Artists Re: thinking games" and is editing a new publication "Conversations As We Leave The 21st Century". He is currently undertaking a PhD at Birkbeck University, London.
> Joss Hands is a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University where he is Director of the Anglia Research Centre in Digital Culture (ARCDigital). His research interests are at the intersection of technology, new media, politics and critical theory. His focus has been in two main areas. The role of technology in providing an arena for the expression of dissent and the organisation of resistance movements and the role of technology in more formal democratic procedures, specifically the role of the Internet in contributing towards the development of deliberative democracy. He has recently completed a book on digital activism, "@ is for Activism: Dissent, Resistance and Rebellion in a Digital Culture", published by Pluto Press.
> Smita Kheria is a lawyer and lecturer in law at the University of Edinburgh. Her focus of interest is intellectual property law and issues around authorship, especially concerning artists' practices with new media. Smita is an associate of SCRIPT: the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology and is Supervising editor (Intellectual Property) for SCRIPT-ed, the journal of Law, Technology & Society.
> best
> Simon
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk<mailto:simon at littlepig.org.uk> http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk<mailto:s.biggs at ed.ac.uk> Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/ http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Email has been scanned for viruses by Altman Technologies' email management service<http://www.altman.co.uk/emailsystems>

EMERGING EXCELLENCE: In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, 
more than 30% of our submissions were rated as 'Internationally 
Excellent' or 'World-leading'. Among the academic disciplines now rated 
'World-leading' are Allied Health Professions & Studies; Art & Design; 
English Language & Literature; Geography & Environmental Studies; 
History; Music; Psychology; and Social Work & Social Policy & 
Administration. Visit www.anglia.ac.uk/rae for more information. 

This e-mail and any attachments are intended for the above named 
recipient(s)only and may be privileged. If they have come to you in 
error you must take no action based on them, nor must you copy or show 
them to anyone please reply to this e-mail to highlight the error and 
then immediately delete the e-mail from your system. Any opinions 
expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily 
represent the views or opinions of Anglia Ruskin University. Although 
measures have been taken to ensure that this e-mail and attachments are 
free from any virus we advise that, in keeping with good computing 
practice, the recipient should ensure they are actually virus free. 
Please note that this message has been sent over public networks which 
may not be a 100% secure communications 

Email has been scanned for viruses by Altman Technologies' email 
management service - www.altman.co.uk/emailsystems 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20120124/e01aa023/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list