15-17 May 2019, the Institute of Network Cultures, ArtEZ University of the Arts and Willem de Kooning Academy organized Urgent Publishing, a 3-day event with discussions, explorations and experiments about publishing strategies in post-truth times.
Links to the written blog reports for each of the sessions and talks can be found in the program below.
memes as means – federated publishing – post-humanist writing – critical design – #synchronicityofparasites
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 led 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 intact. 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 has 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.
How can designers, developers, artists, writers and publishers intervene in the public debate and counter misinformation in a meaningful and relevant way? What are new publishing strategies for our current media landscape? How to design for urgency without succumbing to an accelerated hype cycle?
Where: Amsterdam (15 May) & Arnhem (16-17 May)
For whom: students, designers, developers, artists, writers, publishers and researchers who want to experiment with new forms of hybrid publishing.
15.05.19 Pre-Conference Night
@ Academische Club, Amsterdam
19:00 – 20:30 Post-Truth Publishing
@ ArtEZ University for the Arts, Arnhem
09:00 – 09:30 Doors open & registration
09:30 – 10:00 Opening by Nishant Shah
10:00 – 12:00 Session 1: The Carrier Bag Theory of Non-Fiction
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 – 15:00 Session 2: Memes as Means
15:00 – 15:30 Break
16:00 – 17:30 Session 3: The Afterlife of Publications
17:30 – 18:00 Closing remarks by Geert Lovink
17.05.19 Workshops, Dinner & Talks
@ ArtEZ University for the Arts and Motel Spatie, Arnhem
09:30 – 10:00 Doors open
10:00 – 12:00 Workshops session 1
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch break + Interventions
13:30 – 15:30 Workshops session 2
15:30 – 16:30 Plenary closing
18:00 – 22:00 #synchronicityofparasites Dinner & Talks (@ Motel Spatie)
15.05.19 – Pre-Conference Night
19:00 – 20:30 @Academische Club, Amsterdam
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 235, 1012 DL, Amsterdam
Post-Truth Publishing (blog report)
Inventing new ways of publishing between fast populism and slow academia. How to counter misinformation and stimulate open public discussions through a speedy publishing process, high quality content and spot-on positioning?
With Clara Balaguer, Padmini Ray Murray, Morten Paul, and Nikola Richter, moderated by Florian Cramer.
Clara Balaguer (PH) is a cultural worker. From 2010 to 2018, she articulated cultural programming with rural and underserved communities in the Philippines through the Office of Culture and Design, a residency space and social practice platform. In 2015, she co-founded Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage industry publishing hauz interested in horror vacui, thickening research on the post-(or de-)colonial vernacular, collectivizing authorship, and the value of the error. Currently, she coordinates the Social Practices course at Willem de Kooning Academy and teaches Experimental Publishing at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Frequently, she operates under collective or individual aliases that intimate her service in a given project, the latest of which is To Be Determined.
Padmini Ray Murray (IN) is a researcher and creator who is passionate about transforming ways in which we make and share knowledge. In 2016, she co-created Darshan Diversion, a videogame about the Sabarimala issue and in 2017 built Halt The Hate, an interactive database of crimes against minorities in India for Amnesty India. She is currently based in Bengaluru where she has founded a not for profit organization called Design Beku, which provides design and digital collateral for NGOs and grassroots organizations. She is visiting faculty at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, where she launched India’s first-degree program in the digital humanities.
Morten Paul (DE) is editor at the humanities publishing house August Verlag Berlin. Studied German Studies, Philosophy and Cultural Studies at the University of Konstanz and Goldsmiths College, London. In his PhD, he reconstructed the formation of the humanities program at the publishing house Suhrkamp Verlag and the consequent development of a so-called Suhrkamp culture in the West-German publishing sphere. Member of the Working Group on Periodical Research.
Nikola Richter (DE) is a writer, journalist, and publisher who combines comprehensive knowledge of the cultural and literary sector with an interest in online media and a broader perspective on political and social issues. In 2013 she founded the publisher mikrotext for contemporary literatures such as essays, short stories, new journalism, and web writing. She is generally interested in current and future relationships between the web and the arts, in new artistic formats and topics of activist engagement.
Florian Cramer (NL) is a reader in 21st Century Visual Culture/Autonomous Practices at Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is specialized in Autonomous Practices, which is focused on DIY artist-run initiatives and self-organization as contemporary art. He is involved in the research projects Critical Making and Making Public.
16.05.19 – Conference
09:30 – 18:00 @ArtEZ University of the Arts
Utrechtsestraat 85, 6811 LW, Arnhem
09:30 – 10:00 – Opening by Nishant Shah
Nishant Shah (NL) is Vice-President Research at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MeCS) at Leuphana University, Germany, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Culture & Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM) at the faculty of Cultural Sciences, Leuphana University, Germany, Mentor for the Digital Earth Fellowship, with the Dutch Development Agency, Hivos, The Netherlands, and a regular columnist for The Indian Express, India. He works at the intersections of feminism, humanism, and digital technologies in everyday life, and is committed to building, examining, and critiquing about Infrastructures of Digital Culture, ΩTechnosocial Subjectivities, Technological Ordering and Practices of Collectivity.
10:00 – 12:00 – Session 1: The Carrier Bag Theory of Non-Fiction (blog report)
Presentations and discussion with Janneke Adema & Gary Hall, Axel Andersson, and Lídia Pereira, moderated by Miriam Rasch.
+ Project presentations: 100 Pins in Paris by Lotte Lentes & Bitterveld by Liesbeth Eugelink.
Opening by Miriam Rasch & Project Presentations: https://vimeo.com/344048173
What promises does modular and non-linear publishing hold for writing and reading, research and collaboration? What potentialities of collectivity, collaboration, and commons can hybrid publishing processes set free? How would that challenge existing roles and practices? Modularity in form and process, after proving itself in software development, has conquered the world at large. It fits the dynamics of the market and allows us to communicate in bits and pieces, fierce, hyped-up, and snappy. Efficient medium, efficient messages.
But modularity and non-linearity also contain a notion of critique. They can challenge myths of origin and originality, authoritarian authorship, single-voiced narratives, hero perspectives, and definitive truths. They can inspire a ‘Carrier Bag Theory of Non-Fiction’: publications holding grains of knowledge and experience of various kinds and species, which can be laid out in different ways and directions. How would these forge meaningful connections and complex relations between contents, people, places and futures?
The Carrier Bag Theory of Non-Fiction
By Janneke Adema & Gary Hall
This plural-voiced presentation will focus on what publishing does rather than what publishing is. It will intervene in the debate over publishing in the post-truth era by shifting the focus away from a hegemonic modular and object-centered understanding, toward a more relational model of posthumanities publishing. Here research, reading, writing, and the published text are understood as emerging from the intra-actions of a heterogeneous constellation of both human and nonhuman actors, many of which are ignored by existing theories of media. Drawing boundaries – whether it involves conceptualizing information containers via the figure of the net, leaf or carrier bag – is unavoidable from such a posthumanistic perspective. Yet for us, it is a matter of drawing these boundaries differently, in a manner that does not impose on such relational intra-actions a version of capitalism’s old, closed, pre-digital logic.
This presentation will discuss posthumanities publishing experiments that have emphasized different forms of relationality – forms that do not revolve primarily around the published text-as-object, or indeed the individual human author-as-subject. In discussing these publishing experiments it will show how strategizing publishing in terms of urgent and non-urgent, fast and slow can be unhelpful: the art of critique requires its own pace.
Janneke Adema (UK) is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. In her research, she explores the future of scholarly communications and experimental forms of knowledge production, where her work incorporates processual and performative publishing, radical open access, scholarly poethics, media studies, book history, cultural studies, and critical theory. She explores these issues in depth in her various publications, but also by supporting a variety of scholar-led, not-for-profit publishing projects, including the Radical Open Access Collective, Open Humanities Press, and Post Office Press (POP). You can follow her research, as it develops, on openreflections.wordpress.com.
Gary Hall (UK) is Professor of Media in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Coventry University, UK, where he directs the Centre for Postdigital Cultures and its research studio The Post Office, which brings together media theorists, practitioners, activists, and artists. Recent publications include The Inhumanist Manifesto (Techne Lab, 2017), Pirate Philosophy (MIT Press, 2016) and The Uberfication of the University (Minnesota UP, 2016). He is currently completing a monograph titled Liberalism Must Be Defeated for the new Media:Art:Write:Now series Joanna Zylinska is editing for Open Humanities Press.
Post-digital Publishing and the Return of Locality
By Axel Andersson
Place, site, and locality have returned to the public discourse with a vengeance. Both in paternalistic invocations of national paradigms such as Brexit and in a retreat to salon-cultures in the face of the digital revolution. Locality is also a potentially important concept in post-digital publishing strategies that operate beyond the digital/analogue divide. One challenge is to find meaningful and critical ways of re-territorializing digital publishing practices.
Swedish Kritiklabbet has carried out a number of experiments to investigate the role of locality for contemporary publishing. Under the working title ‘mass-criticism’ we tried to combine locality and public participation with editorial reflection and intervention. One experiment related to the Gothenburg Book Fair of 2016, where a digital montage/fragment work was constructed by a team in Stockholm with solicited texts from participants at the fair in Gothenburg. This experiment contributed to the conceptualization of another experiment at the Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm 2018. For this event Kritiklabbet moved its editorial team to the Supermarket site and contributed as one ‘exhibitor’. The exhibition consisted of a production and distribution site of a physical newspaper, The Last Mass Mail, that was made with critical interventions submitted by visitors to the art fair.
Axel Andersson (SW) is a Swedish writer and critic. He is the author of A Hero for the Atomic: Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki Expedition (2010), Den koloniala simskolan (2016) and Atlantvärlden (2018). His essays and reviews have appeared in a number of publications in Sweden and internationally. Andersson is editor-in-chief of Kritiklabbet, an experimental initiative investigating the economic, technological, and aesthetic dimensions of criticism in the new public sphere. His forthcoming book Absolut farmakon deals with art and nuclear waste storage.
Pervasive Labour Union zine
By Lídia Pereira
Initiated in 2015, the Pervasive Labour Union zine not only seeks to offer a low-barrier entry level for contributors wishing to express their views on corporate social networking labour, but also a low-barrier entry level for those wishing to become acquainted with these debates. It tries to gather existing knowledge and conversations, while opening up that debate and creating new discourses of user organization and expression.
It brings together personal rants, academic texts, poetry, photo montages, collages, drawings, etc., addressing topics such as Terms of Service, Advertisement or Pervasiveness. Each issue attempts to establish an interconnecting discourse around topics such as labour on corporate social networks, algorithmic governance, user disobedience and resistance, and federated social networking alternatives.
During the presentation I will be looking back through the zine’s short history, allowing me to fully explore the perceived and concretized affordances of the format, my particular workflows and respective iterations, as well as the lessons learned during the whole process.
Lídia Pereira (PT) is an independent designer, artist, and researcher based in Rotterdam. She graduated in Communication Design from the School of Fine Arts in Porto and Media Design and Communication from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. She is the founding editor of the Pervasive Labour Union zine (2015-…), a publication which focuses on all topics relating to labour on corporate social networking platforms.
Miriam Rasch (NL) works as a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Network Cultures, University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam, doing projects on hybrid publishing, the future of art criticism, and digital ethics. She studied Literary Theory and Philosophy. She’s also a critic writing about literature and philosophy and an essayist with an interest in the intersection of technology, philosophy, and literature. Her book on life in post-digital times, Zwemmen in de oceaan, was published in 2017 by De Bezige Bij. In June 2018 Shadowbook: Writing Though the Digital 2014-2018 came out, an (open access) collection of experimental essays.
100 Pins in Paris by Lotte Lentes
In July 2017, Lotte Lentes walked across Paris to investigate the physicality of this metropolis. She wrote over a hundred small pieces that are somewhere between prose and essay, and that were digitally and visually published in collaboration with literary magazine De Gids. https://de-gids.nl/100pinneninparijs/
Bitterveld by Liesbeth Eugelink
Bitterveld is a book app that tells a story about memory and war. The modular story in three languages is based on the map of Berlin. https://www.bitterveld.eu/
Discussion Panel Session 1: https://vimeo.com/344049875
12:00 – 13:00 – Lunch break
13:00 – 15:00 – Session 2: Memes as Means (blog report)
Presentations and discussion with Evelyn Austin, Clara Balaguer, Silvia dal Dosso & Noel David Nicolaus, and Isabel Löfgren, moderated by Inte Gloerich.
Opening by Inte Gloerich: https://vimeo.com/344050654
However trivial and frivolous the meme might seem, its function as a cultural and communicative object deserves investigation. The meme can bear witness to shifts in language and cultural norms. Memes can function as political agent: spread like a virus and change sentiment, become a talking point, or set an agenda. Are memes the ammunition of online culture wars? Have they contributed to the normalization of the alt-right? How to study these symbols and tropes, and how to create our own?
Using memes as a starting point, we look at online visual culture and how different popular communication styles have been incorporated into strategies of far-right movements. What are innovative ways to counter these movements on a transnational level? And how does the passing of Article 13 in the European Parliament affect our ability to freely express ourselves online? What does the meme have to say about positioning topical publications or research output?
The World Wide Web of Gatekeepers
By Evelyn Austin
The online environment is our main source for imparting and receiving information, making it hugely important for the functioning of our democracy. Increasingly, this environment is dominated by a few companies that act on an immense scale and with complete disregard for our privacy, freedom of expression, and safety. The regulatory response is lacking, with governments knowingly and unknowingly co-creating a world wide web of gates and gatekeepers, in which governments, corporations, and private entities have the power to exercise unparalleled control over the public debate. This talk will look into current challenges to our freedom of expression, how the open internet is under threat, and why you should care.
Evelyn Austin (NL) works for Bits of Freedom, a leading European digital rights organization based in Amsterdam. She supports Bits of Freedom’s volunteer-run projects, contributes to their European network, and works on issues around freedom of communication. She is interested in the intersection between technology and society, and in topics such as our freedom of expression and assembly, the privatization of what should be our collective data, design, and human rights. She is also the co-founder of The Hmm, a network of contemporary visual culture enthusiasts.
Aphorisms by Citizen Troll
By Clara Balaguer
(no video available for privacy reasons)
What can the individual citizen—from a political left minority, with little to no programming skills—do to resist tropical authoritarianism fed by online misinformation? In response, notes (and not answers) from a three-year process of performative research on the ideological troll as archetype, profession, and socialized (gender-fluid) behavior, set to the backdrop of the Philippines under Rodrigo Duterte (a.k.a The Punisher). Duterte’s allegedly “benevolent” dictatorship is characterized by policies that promote state-sponsored violence, institutionalized misogyny, and neocolonial loss of sovereignty promoted through grassroots and astroturfed online mobilization, disinformation, and, of course, trolling.
Clara Balaguer (PH) is a cultural worker. From 2010 to 2018, she articulated cultural programming with rural and underserved communities in the Philippines through the Office of Culture and Design, a residency space, and social practice platform. In 2015, she co-founded Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage industry publishing hauz interested in horror vacui, thickening research on the post-(or de-)colonial vernacular, collectivizing authorship, and the value of the error. Currently, she coordinates the Social Practices course at Willem de Kooning Academy and teaches Experimental Publishing at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Frequently, she operates under collective or individual aliases that intimate her service in a given project, the latest of which is To Be Determined.
By Silvia dal Dosso & Noel David Nicolaus (Clusterduck)
While mainstream media and academia are still debating the importance of internet memes for contemporary communication, fringe groups on social platforms have been actively using them to reframe public discourse and influence elections. While most critics have been careful about overstating the importance of memes, some scholars have attempted to interpret memes as the emergence of a powerful language, capable of creating, subverting, and destroying symbols, narratives, and mythologies.
In order to assess the real impact of memes, extensive quantitative investigation seems crucial. Platform capitalism thrives on the extraction of value from data – the exact same data that researchers would desperately need in order to perform the aforementioned investigations. But this data, for the most part, is not accessible to researchers. Facebook seems particularly unwilling to cooperate with independent scholars, using the post-Cambridge Analytica sensibility for privacy and data as a pretext to deny access to its API.
Clusterduck is an interdisciplinary collective investigating digital subcultures and online communities. With their project #MEMEPROPAGANDA they focused on the growing political and social impact of memes. To conclude the research started with #MEMEPROPAGANDA, Clusterduck will focus on the role of social platforms for the creation, spreading and reception of memes, with an eye on the role of the most engaged online communities.
Silvia dal Dosso (IT) is a creative in the digital field and researcher of internet trends and subcultures. She wrote and directed The 1 Up Fever (2013), a mockumentary and transmedia operation about the use of Bitcoin in a phantomatic AR smartphone-based video-game inspired by Super Mario Bros. With Clusterduck she created #MEMEPROPAGANDA, an interactive exhibition built to create active engagement and awareness about the process of memetic propaganda. Her work has been screened as part of public lectures at Cineglobe Film Festival du CERN, IFFR Rotterdam, Tentacular Festival, Currents New Media Festival, S.a.L.E Dock for Venice Biennale and featured on Canal+, Motherboard, Rhizome, and others.
Noel David Nicolaus (DE) is an independent scholar and editor living and working in Berlin. As PhD student in Anthropology at Humboldt University Berlin, he researched trans-european mobility in the context of the Euro-crisis, with particular focus on the reshaping of citizenship. He has written for magazines and journals such as Stadtaspekte and sub\urban, and has been involved in local urban initiatives in Berlin, such as Megaspree and Stadt Neudenken. He is currently working as an editor in Berlin. He is also part of the Digital Art Collective Clusterduck, an interdisciplinary group working at the crossroads of research, design, and filmmaking, aiming to investigate processes and actors behind digital creativity.
Memes as Means
By Isabel Löfgren
Isabel Löfgren will focus on ‘memes as means’ for autonomous collectives and initiatives by artists, academics, and creative practitioners as political resistance to the disinformation wars caused by rising authoritarianism in Brazil during the recent presidential elections and in the post-electoral period, and offer some ideas about visual and media literacy today that demands new ways of seeing, acting, being.
Isabel Löfgren (BR) is a Swedish-Brazilian artist, educator, and researcher based in Stockholm and Rio de Janeiro. She currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Her artistic practice involves creating collective action and educational platforms for sustainable dialogue, and emancipatory politics.
Inte Gloerich (NL) is a researcher and project coordinator the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. She holds an MA in New Media and Digital Culture from the University of Amsterdam. Her work involves the politics, artistic imaginations, and (counter)cultures around digital technology, digital economy, and online identity. She co-edited MoneyLab Reader 2: Overcoming the Hype (with Geert Lovink and Patricia de Vries) and State Machines: Reflections and Actions at the Edge of Digital Citizenship, Finance, and Art (with Yiannis Colakides and Marc Garrett).
Discussion Panel Session 2 : https://vimeo.com/345465366
15:00 – 15:30 – Break
15:30 – 17:30 – Session 3: The Afterlife of Publications (blog report)
Presentations and discussion with Marc van Elburg, Krista Jantowski, and Alice Twemlow, moderated by Geert Lovink.
+ Project presentations: Cristina Garriga (Readers & Publishers) & Karolien Buurman (NXS).
Opening by Geert Lovink & Project Presentations: https://vimeo.com/345466909
What remains of a publication after it has been published? How does its status change in the post-production phase? Does it survive and thrive or will it suffer a slow, unnoticed death? Some works keep circulating, others do not. Fragments live on in search engines, on platforms, or in physical space, aggregated, fragmented, or re-contextualized. How does the materiality, positioning, and design of the work influence this afterlife? How to design for sustainability of the publication?
The constellation of readers, publishers, designers, and editors is under consideration. Why do we even publish and for whom? What does it mean to actually read nowadays? Why are aspects of time and space important in the positioning of a publication? When we shake off the idea of the book as a static object, we can start to look at other – social, emotional, material, and spiritual – aspects of publishing. The echoes of the afterlife will reverberate through new publishing strategies.
By Marc van Elburg
Marc van Elburg reflects on his personal experience as a zinemaker who started in the early 90s: How did the arrival of online social networks affect the zine culture of the 1990s? How did zine culture adapt and survive, and what is its current state? From within Motel Spatie, a project has started to promote a conjunction between zine culture and parasitism: What are the motives behind this choice and why is this relevant today?
Marc van Elburg (NL) is an artist and zinester. He was the founder of experimental DIY noise theatre and zine library de Hondenkoekjesfabriek, and a curator for Planetart. Marc has published zines about parasiting, collective drawing programs, and the relation between so-called Grawlixes in comics and early Modernism. Currently he is looking after the Zinedepo zinelibrary in Motel Spatie in Presikhaaf.
A Much Needed Location for a Community of Readers
By Krista Jantowski
The bookshop, library, and other homes where words live and bodies enter, can be read as spaces concerned with ‘the afterlife of the publication’. They store the remnants of the process of publishing, of making public. But of course, these spaces do or should do a whole lot more than merely store. They are spaces where the circulation of knowledge starts. And because the impact of knowledge is hugely dependent on its circulation, we should not, in the search for urgency in our publishing endeavors, forget to look at the possibilities of these in-between spaces as a much needed location for community, fostering new outcomes.
Krista Jantowski (NL) is co-owner of WALTER; a (for lack of a better word) bookshop in Arnhem (NL). Her academic background is in film studies, her work background in organizing and curating, her interest lies with reading as a social practice.
From Snowballs to Tumbleweeds: The Spectrum of Publication Afterlives
By Alice Twemlow
Every publication is the result of a set of networked relations, events, and conditions. Research into publishing has been focused on reconnecting the links between these elements and reimagining the social geographies that gave rise to particular instances of publishing. Such reconstructions seek to understand how and why a publication was created and produced, but rarely track its dissemination, consumption or disposal. In an era of link information overload, digital pollution, link rot, and what Brian Thill calls our ‘endlessly accumulated tabflab’, on both an individual and a global scale, it’s time to start investigating what happens to a publication after its period of initial ‘urgency’ or ‘contemporariness’ is over. Does it, like a snowball, accumulate new publics through its republishings, citations, and quotations, or rather, like a tumbleweed, blow around unliked and unshared in the digital wastelands of obscurity? More importantly, such research should explore the variety of states that a publication inhabits between these two extremes.
Alice Twemlow (NL) is a research professor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) where she leads the Lectorate Design with the theme ‘Design and the Deep Future’ and an associate professor at Leiden University in the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts. Previously, Twemlow was head of the Design Curating & Writing Master at Design Academy Eindhoven, and founding chair of the Design Research, Writing & Criticism MA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Twemlow writes about design for a range of publications, including Eye, Dirty Furniture, frieze, and Disegno. Her most recent book, Sifting the Trash: A History of Design Criticism, was published by MIT Press in 2017.
Geert Lovink (NL) is a Dutch media theorist, internet critic, and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012), Social Media Abyss (2016), and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His centre organizes conferences, publications, and research networks such as Video Vortex (online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), MoneyLab (internet-based revenue models in the arts). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism.
Readers & Publishers
Cristina Garriga presents Readers & Publishers, an online directory of independent publishers. www.readersandpublishers.org
NXS is an Amsterdam based research collective that explores ‘the self’ in the age of digital technology through publications, exhibitions, art works, public events, and a working lab. http://nxs.world/
Discussion Panel Session 3: https://vimeo.com/345472820
17:30 – Closing remarks by Geert Lovink
17.05.19 – Workshops
10:00 – 16:30 @ ArtEZ University of the Arts
Utrechtsestraat 85, 6811 LW, Arnhem
09:30 – 10:00 Doors open
10:00 – 12:00 Workshops part 1
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch break + interventions (blog report)
- 12:30 – 13:00 Federated Publishing – Florian Cramer (WdKa) and Roel Roscam Abbing talk about federated social networks, how they work, what they do, and what chances and pitfalls they present for the publishing domain.
- 13:00 – 13:30 The Network We (de)Served by XPUB – Traveling by bicycle and setting up homeservers, XPUB students questioned understandings of networks, autonomy, online publishing, and social infrastructures. They present their results in web- and printed zines, and invite you to explore the homebrewed network. XPUB is the Experimental Publishing Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design of the Piet Zwart Institute (WdKa) in Rotterdam. http://www.pzwart.nl/experimental-publishing/
13:30 – 15:30 Workshops part 2
15:30 – 16:30 Plenary closing
18:00 – 22:00 synchronicityofparasites Dinner & Talks
Please note that there are limited places available in the workshops, if you did not register for a workshop we cannot guarantee a spot for you. No prior knowledge is needed, although you might be required to bring a laptop or phone, check the specifications in the workshop descriptions.
Workshop 1: Say it ain’t so (blog report)
By Amy Pickles and Cristina Cochior
Say it ain’t so is a sound to voice to speech making, recording, arranging, and announcing workshop.
The workshop will be split into three distinct parts:
- The production and bundling of sounds from non-digital sources through group work and individual recording. We will produce work in our throats and transmit it with our mouths.
- We will make use of speech to text software to move voice to speech, and incorporate the errors that emerge during the transformation.
- With the basic computer text processing technique called Bag of Words, we will create new orders looking at frequencies of – what the algorithm perceives to be! – words. We will think through dialogues and sounds that do not make it into writing.
The day will culminate in presentations of our Bags, new forms we make in groups of the debris from our workshop. How can we disrupt the algorithmic tracking of our voices and language?
Materials and requirements: A recording device such as a phone and/or laptop. Headphones to listen to recordings on your phone and/or laptop.
Amy Pickles (UK) is learning how to dismantle and assemble an artistic subjectivity through the search for queer pedagogical methods. Educational and artistic processes collapse into each other and feed each other to make a research-based performative practice, comprised of sound and video works, workshops, performances and textiles.
Cristina Cochior (RO) has an interest in the politics of automation and peer to machine knowledge co-production; her practice consists of research investigations into algorithmic structures of organisation and the possibilities for intimacy therein. As part of this pursuit, she currently engages with tactics of representation in digital collections.
Workshop 2: All Sources Are Broken: a Post-Digital Reading Group (blog report)
By Labor Neunzehn
Where does the networking purpose of hyperlinks actually start in offline texts? What happens to the text when we decide to explore the hyperlinks and the online media resources which are referenced? We all use the internet every day to retrieve tons of information, without paying too much attention to the sources. In this workshop we will try to radically connect research with reading strategies. Participants will receive a quick overview of digital archival best practices and dive into ASAB, a web-based application and an artist experiment about books, hyperlinks obsolescence, and reading strategies developed by Labor Neunzehn. The project considers how hypertext and print already coexist (as opposed to one superseding the other), through a navigable archive of collected reference material that visitors can both navigate and shape themselves. Participants will learn how to create a profile and use ASAB’s main backend features to cross-reference book citations and online media sources. We will be reading books together, just like in a reading group, but gradually shifting from the material to the digital world, in order to explore the deferred space between offline and online, its delay and decay.
Materials and requirements: Participants need to bring their own laptops with Chrome or Firefox browsers installed in advance.
Labor Neunzehn (DE) is an artist and curator duo engaged in a multidisciplinary discourse that involves expanded cinema, music composition, publishing, and critical reflection in media art, with a specific reference to the migration of these languages between the online and the offline domain. Labor Neunzehn is run by Valentina Besegher and Alessandro Massobrio, and based in the homonym project space in Berlin since 2015.
Workshop 3: Surgencies – A Personal Protest Statement
How do we consume? How do we get influenced? How do we protest?
This workshop is aimed at creating a collective lexicon of personal viewpoints towards the influence of the ubiquitous technology around us, by drawing attention to those implementations that are so vowed into our daily lives that they normally go unnoticed. The intangibility and unclarity of where and how exactly digital technology works and affects us, evokes the uncanny feeling of a loss of control, a sense of frustration and anxiety. By investigating and collectively mapping emotional responses to technology and their behavioral implications each participant extracts inspiration for a personal protest statement, that will be published in the directly surrounded public space.
The collective ‘research through making’ approach mixes speed and visual and textual assignments with performative elements that require quick responses. They do not allow over-rationalization or over-explanation of implicit constructs but promote the production of associative and subconscious ideas. By exposing the seemingly trivial daily urgencies in life, we can stop asking questions and make strong and profound statements to counter them.
Materials and requirements: none.
NXS (NL): NXS – standing for nexus (a connection or bond) – is an Amsterdam based research collective that explores ‘the self’ in the age of digital technology. NXS takes the form of a cross-disciplinary platform structure with as its core a biannual publication that extends to exhibitions, art works, public events, and a working lab. It searches for personal viewpoints, experiences, and stories on relevant topics around digital technology, as a way to make them more tangible and more accessible.
17.05.19 #synchronicityofparasites Dinner & Talks (blog report)
18:00 – 22:00 @Motel Spatie
Hisveltplein 21-35, 6826 EM Arnhem
The evening #synchronicityofparasites is organised by Marc van Elburg of the Zinedepo in Motel Spatie, Arnhem. Working with theories on the parasite as a metaphor for media culture, Marc found himself in a hotel in Ljubljana one day right next to an art space called P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. which he did not previously know of. This coincidence can be explained by the inherent synchronicity of parasites, which is probably also why we planned our publishing conference on the exact same day as Marc’s event!
Anders M. Gullestad, author of ‘Literature and the Parasite’
Anna Poletti, author of Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture
Wilfried Houjebek, psychogeographer, Cryptoforestry
The evening includes a 5-course Mexican dinner prepared by People’s Kitchen SPOON, which is free if you hand in your conference badge!
Motel Spatie was founded in 2010 and is located in the middle of Presikhaaf, a suburb of Arnhem. It is an artist-in-residence, an accommodation, and project space for research into and design of new forms of urban development. Through an exchange of Arnhem artists and creatives with other countries, Motel Spatie provides new insight into a district that is currently undergoing large-scale restructuring. The project space is not only used for research into urban development, but also into engaged autonomy.
The name Spatie refers to the empty, unused places in the city formed by misplanning, restructuring, and the real estate crisis. Motel Spatie neatly asks for the keys or climbs over the fence and uses the space: DIY area development!
Main language: English