[-empyre-] HYBRID BOOKWORK, Week Four - Digital Binds and the Ends of the Archive

Michael Dieter M.J.Dieter at uva.nl
Wed Feb 26 09:28:58 EST 2014

Hi empyreans,

We're now entering into the final week of the discussion of hybrid
bookwork and I'd like to introduce the last two guests, Florian Cramer
and Søren Pold. Please find their bios at the end of this email.

I'm sure that Florian needs no introduction to empyre - especially
since he's already been posting already all month anyway! - but I
really appreciate his participation, especially for conceptualizing
and articulating the current complex state of book publishing, design
and art practice in a way that no one else is really doing with such
clarity. Søren, meanwhile, has been working within the fields of
software studies and interface criticism for some time, and has more
recently begun to address the urgent stakes of tethered tablet
devices, e-readers, apps and the controlled consumption of books from
the perspective of experimental media aesthetics and arts practices.
I'm stoked to have them both in the mix this week!

It's been a great discussion so far, there's been a lot of insights
and observations that I really need to follow up on - if not through
posting this month then certainly off list - but please take up the
opportunity to contribute or pose any questions over the next few

Indeed, there's already lot on the table, and I'd like to keep things
reasonably open in terms of discussion, but I suppose one theme that
that has returned over and again is how the perception of cultural
capital or prestige around the book as media form has been mobilized,
subverted and perhaps transformed through these disruptive business
models, infrastructures, modes of digital production and experimental
practice. There's quite a few issues that arise from this dynamic,
including archival concerns, a fetishization and nostalgia for the
printed page, the emergence of new amateur aesthetics, and also now
familiar patterns of exploitation, surveillance and analytics.

I'm sure that Florian and Søren have some thoughts about this, or
related topics on hybrid publishing, so I'll simply leave it here and
welcome them to empyre list!

Thanks again,

- M.


Florian Cramer is currently director of Creating 010 at Hogeschool
Rotterdam, an applied research centre for the creative industries in
the Rotterdam region and reader for the impact of new media on art and
design disciplines for Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. He's been
a participant observer of experimental arts and media, and writer on
the fringes of literature, computing, art, music and film. He also
works as the dean of the Parallel University of WORM, a
Rotterdam-based venue for off-mainstream arts. He has recently
published the book 'Anti-Media: Ephemera on Speculative Arts', nai010
publishers, Willem de Kooning Academie, and Institute of Network
Cultures, 2013.

Søren Bro Pold is PhD and Associate Professor of digital aesthetics.
He has published on digital and media aesthetics - from the
19th-century panorama to the interface in its various forms, e.g. on
electronic literature, net art, software art, creative software, urban
interfaces and digital culture. He took part in establishing the
Digital Aesthetics Research Centre in 2002, in 2004 he co-organised
the Read_me festival on software art, and he was in charge of the
research project "The Aesthetics of Interface Culture" from 2004 to
2007. Later he was research manager in the Center for Digital Urban
Living (2008-2012). Currently he is leader of the research programme
"Humans and Information Technology" and part of the interdisciplinary
research centre Participatory Information Technology. In relation to
these research fields and groups, he has been active in establishing
interface criticism as a research perspective, which discusses the
role and the development of the interface for art, aesthetics, culture
and IT.

Michael Dieter
Media Studies
The University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam

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