Conference

URGENT PUBLISHING
New strategies for publishing in post-truth times

The 21st century has witnessed the liberation of publishing practices. Digital technologies have brought the printing press to the masses. Who gets to publish and when, the medium used and the channels through which information is consumed have all changed drastically. An ever accelerating development of emergent technologies has lead to a wide array of emergent publishing practices, be it in the form of longreads, vlogs, zines, collaborative platforms or print-on-demand – all the while leaving the status of and love for paper books in tact. A plethora of tools, applications, infrastructures, models, and hacks thus makes many futures of publishing possible. How to realize sustainable, high-quality alternatives within this domain of post-digital publishing?

Liberation comes with its downsides: while the availability of publishing technologies have helped bring different voices onto the stage, connect new communities and identify hegemonic intersections of power, they have also played a role in bringing about what is known as the ‘post-truth era’. Critical interventions have been somewhat self-referential and concentrated on the needs and demands of people and communities engaged in the history of art or avantgarde publishing. In the meantime the scale and scope of once emergent publishing practices have exploded, leaving a disenchanted public to scavenge the rubble of breaking fake news stories, information pollution and broken links. Speed and availability of publications may have increased, but the quality of the information presented and of its containers lags behind.

What is needed is a break with the old, closed pre-digital era of gatekeepers or high entry costs. Publishers, writers, researchers, designers and developers need new strategies for urgent publishing. A critical set of discourses, practices and productions to intervene in the public debate with high-quality information that can be issued in a timely manner and that will reach the desired audiences. The development of such a toolbox of strategies has been the focus of diverse critical cultures that have interacted and experimented with publishing in the last two decades. Concentrated efforts directed towards furthering these practices within the context of the current information age will open up robust futures for a publishing domain that remains forever emergent – and urgent.

Program overview

Wednesday May 15: Evening program
Location: Amsterdam, TBA

Research publications in the post-truth era: how to counter misinformation and stimulate open public discussions through a speedy publishing process, high quality content and spot-on positioning?

Thursday May 16: Conference Day 1
ArtEZ Institute for the Arts, Arnhem

During this day the program will have several sessions which will inform the workshops of the second day. We will focus on strategies for the post-truth era which was explored on the night before: new forms of collaborative publishing, new forms of distribution, new ownership:

Friday May 17: Conference Day 2
ArtEZ Institute for the Arts, Arnhem

We will have practical, hands-on workshops which will each focus on one of the strategies presented in the panels from the day before. A plenary sessions will be held at the end where we will recap the strategies and outcomes from the workshops.

Full program to be announced soon