C o l l e c t i v e i o n i n g

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Here is c_o_l_l_e_c_t_i_v_e_i_o_n_i_n_g page for collecting all materials we produced :)

Long version:

  • Special Issue 07: Start up, Burn Out: Life Hacks
  • Special Issue 08: The Network we (de)Served
  • Special Issue 09: The Library Is Open

Short version (always in italics):

  • Start up, Burn Out: Life Hacks
  • The Network we (de)Served
  • The Library Is Open




The gathering of collective memory. A pre-literate notion of memory, in a communal way, something commemorative rather than putting a memory in a container. What we thought it was going to be changed completely. We are in that way changing our memory of what it was supposed to be. What are you able to collect? Memories? Objects? People? A collection of texts and people, collecting and composing each other? Somehow it's not even important that we have all the knowledge, what's important is the living, generative sense of the collection.

Collectivioning is a publication that collects the work generated in our time at XPUB, from collective Special Issues in the first year (Special Issues 07, 08, 09), with threads that connect to the second year graduation projects.

We will present the threads in our collective and individual research in a live online moment together on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 18:00. Although the presentation will be concise and spectacular, if you miss it, a web-to-print website will remain online, where you can choose to make your own co(ll/nn)ections. You may also print out what you collect from it at your own leisure. A complete, deluxe, shelf object (i.e. a printed version) will follow in October 2020.


SB: /kə 'lɛk tɪv yən nɪŋ/ is a mouthful of consonants and vowels joined together to make a new word spoken in many voices.
BHW: /col ec 'tivio ning/ is a collection of works to share our voices into a one-whole-giant platform.
PG: /co-lec-tí-bio-ning/ is a compilation of collective reflections, collaborative exercises, collective experiments, and common worlds to explore by individuals.
AG: /kολε-κτί-βιο-νινγκ/ is collecting moments, memories, and collections collectively.
TDG: /colleectiiiviòooniiing/ is an attempt to collect ive ion and ing.
PSC: /cool-ectiveioning/ is not uniform, is using the uniform.
BW: /ke lec ti vi on ne ing/ is to put nouns into adjectives and adjectives into verbs and verbs into nouns.
RG: /collec-tí-ví-uuuuniiiing/ is a combination of our works and thoughts together as a group, team, band, class, gang, individuals, friends.

ASW: Collectiveioning is a word collectively named by Simon Browne, Bohye Woo, Paloma García, Artemis Gryllaki, Tancredi di Giovanni, Pedro Sá Couto, Biyi Wen, and Rita Graça to encapsulate their graduation projects at the Experimental Publishing (XPUB) Masters of Piet Zwart Institute. The word is related to collections, collective time spent at XPUB, and collaborative working methods. This term was coined during an intense two-day online collective writing session in the depths of COVID-19, where bodies were separate but spirits were /collective-awning/.
CB: /koh-lek-teev-yoh-níngk/ is a type of collaboration wherein individuals retain their autonomy within a collective process, but agree to present their work as a body that is continuous, a skeleton made of bones that cooperate with each other, despite any fractures that may arise.
AM: /ko-lek-tiev-ah-vio-ning/ is a type of airplane navigation system that predates modern flight industry. At the time, this method relied on the collective steering of the apparatus and a complex decision making system to decide where to travel and what kind of journey should be experienced. After a few dramatic failures, this experimental form of navigation and exploration was forbidden by the council of airplane industry. It remains active in a few places in the Netherlands, mostly funded by amateur radio associations.


The Experimental Publishing Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design (XPUB) is a two-year course that prepares students to critically engage with societal issues and social practices within the fast changing field of art, design, and cultural production. More specifically, XPUB focuses on the acts of making things public and creating publics in the age of post-digital networks. XPUB’s interests in publishing are therefore twofold: first, publishing as the inquiry and participation into the technological frameworks, political context, and cultural processes through which things are made public; and second, how these are, or can be, used to create publics.

Class of 2020

Simon Browne
Paloma García
Tancredi di Giovanni
Rita Graça
Artemis Gryllaki
Pedro Sá Couto
Biyi Wen
Bohye Woo


Our deepest thanks to XPUB staff, to editors and invited guests from Special Issues, to servus.at for borrowed infrastructure, and to Sarah Magnan & Gijs de Heij from Open Source Publishing for working with us on producing this web-to-print publication.

Special Issue 07: Start up, Burn Out: Life Hacks

Event pic.jpg


Start Up, Burn Out: Life Hacks is comprised of two core components, a book titled Ten Theses on Life Hacks, which is an attempt to define criteria for what constitutes a Life Hack, and a device called Iris, which purports to increase productivity in the workplace. Ten Theses on Life Hacks is meant to provide a widened perspective on Life Hacks and their relationship to our collective experiences and reflections. Iris aims to provide a real experience to each individual user. Ultimately, its goal is to achieve self-improvement.

Both components rely on interaction with an end-user; Ten Theses on Life Hacks is bound by the reader, using a selection from an eclectic range of items so the user should have an active role and design a binding technique through an improvised Life Hack strategy. Iris requires the presence of the user to be triggered and the subsequent reflection time to be processed by the listener.


Ten Theses on Life Hacks

Life Hacks are small improvisational interventions to the immediate environment; spontaneous actions that aim to improve or adapt materials to specific needs. They are diasporic, shared within communities both on- and offline in ever-increasing processes of self-optimisation. Understanding Life Hacks in the context of an advanced capitalist society raises the question of the ambiguity of a system in which the entrepreneurial routine of the self is internalized to perform an ever-working life. In actuality, Life Hacks bring about the possibility of reappropriating everyday life in a creative and practical response, managing precarity and complexity.

This publication consists of ten theses, the first of which is a selection of criteria that allow us to test whether something is a Life Hack or not. The remaining theses present extended arguments supported by examples, on how to identify specific features of Life Hacks, in which environment (and space) they exist and what kind of culture they foster.


File:X theses.pdf



(^_^) Take your time to reflect on this: Are you doing what you truly want to do? (^_^) iš thiš Þ@rt øf yøur jøb ðéšcriÞtiøπ? (^_^) If happiness is a currency, how rich do you think you are? (^_^) ¶ FIX WOBBLY OFFICE FURNITURE BY USING OLD CDS TO AVOID WOBBLES AND PROTECT THE CARPET. THEY ALSO MAKE GREAT COASTERS.¶

A shady corporation is trying to take control of a fluid, chaotic global market. Workers surrender themselves to a seductive new device called Iris, which purports to enlighten them and unleash the real power of the entrepreneurial self. Iris is designed to help full-time, part-time and zero-time employees cope with the complexity of modern life, divulging secrets of the precarious worker, of autonomy and maximum efficiency through a new magic formula contained in the meaning of Life Hacks. But… anonymous cyber-pirates are exploiting the device to rouse a cry of rebellion against this oppressive society of self-management. Discover the paradox buried deep within Iris, where autonomy leads to subjugation, and subjugation appears as freedom.

Iris takes the appearance of a manufactured product; a compact 3D-printed shell that contains a Raspberry Pi and two speakers, and at the top of the device, an infinity mirror with an LED strip and a camera. When it detects movement via the camera it starts to speak, and the LEDs, connected to the audio levels of the output, start to glow at a different intensity in relation to the strength of the audio signal. When the device is active, the infinity mirror produces a combination of an endless light corridor and a faint reflection of oneself.

Iris is a physical device, ostensibly, an “artificial intelligence”, whose aim is to increase productivity. It is installed in work environments where workers can easily interact with it. However, the device is inhabited by three different personalities: Corporate Guru, Pirate Signal and Announcer. The interactions with and conflicts between these three personalities force the user to adopt a reflexive and critical attitude toward the device. The user triggers the performance and is placed in an ambiguous position; doubtful if the emphasis is on productivity or happiness.

The Corporate Guru invites the user to repeat positive affirmations and invite self-inquiry into their thoughts as part of a meditative session. Its soothing voice is interrupted unexpectedly by the raspy, computerised whisper of a Pirate Signal, who responds with snarky asides that cast doubt on the Guru’s instructions and the very process of taking part in such sessions. Whether the Pirate Signal is part of the corporate manufacturer’s design or not is not clear; it could easily be coming from an outside infiltrator (e.g. a hacktivist) whose aim is to subvert the process. The third voice is of an Announcer, who, every hour, between 9:00 and 17:00 (apart from a lunch break at 13:00), describes a work-related problem and a Life Hack which addresses it, reminding workers of their autonomy and suggesting practical ways to improve their everyday lives in small, improvisational actions.



Contributors: Gill Baldwin, Simon Browne, Tancredi Di Giovanni, Paloma García, Rita Graça, Artemis Gryllaki, Pedro Sá Couto, Biyi Wen, Bohye Woo, Silvio Lorusso, Aymeric Mansoux, André Castro, Steve Rushton, Michael Murtaugh, Leslie Robbins. Produced and published by the Experimental Publishing (XPUB) program of the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, December 2018.

A collaboration between the Research Department of Het Nieuwe Instituut and XPUB.

Special Issue 08: The Network we (de)Served



The Network we (de)Served became a site of learning for a group of experimental publishers to explore how networked technologies could become publishing tools. We traversed several layers, from local area networks to the web and the larger internet. We spent time examining different protocols and network concepts such as IP, DNS, HTTP, SSH & XMPP that are inherently part of the networked infrastructures we use every day. Eventually, we moved from using the IP addresses of our home connections, to making use of, and mapping those to domain names acquired at gratis DNS providers, using traceroutes to finding out how we were interconnected with each other, and how to cross-reference these connections with hyperlinks. Sometimes it was frustrating, but mostly it was a lot of fun.

The Infrastructour

We travelled from home to home by bicycle, setting up homeservers. As friends and companions on this Infrastructour, we studied our routers over drinks served by our hosts. Where possible we installed our servers in our homes, in other cases we had to depend on another member of the group. While self-hosting together we questioned our understandings of networks, autonomy, online publishing and social infrastructures, where each of us departed from a different question. We would like to share our personal (yet interconnected) routes with you, tell you a story, present our web- and printed zines, and invite you to explore our homebrewed network.

Out of this work has emerged a series of mixed media publications that are based on the individual experiences, questions and investigations. These publications take the form of handcrafted HTML webzines that exist online on the various self-hosted servers, and offline as their HTML-to-print equivalents. Together they form a distinct set of perspectives on issues ranging from network politics, publishing methods, visualisation, mapping and graphing of human and machine topologies, as well as reflections on online sociality. These distinct perspectives have been grouped in a few categories that the reader can use as a guide through the publication.


We discuss questions ranging from the relationship between topology and geography, to the interrelation between technical and social networks. In particular, we are looking at networks of home servers, networks of hosts taking care of these servers, the infrastructure of the city as a network of routes, and the network as a collection of interconnected related topics in our research.

Gaining agency in a networked through self-hosting can easily be mistaken for autonomy. Indeed, since the very first 'Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace', networked environments have been rife with discussions surrounding free speech, freedom, independence and autonomy. The practice of self-hosting though, simultaneously questions these one-dimensional understandings of autonomy as it opens up questions of materiality, skills, access, privileges and affordance. How can we shift discussions about independence to the understanding of interdependence?

Thinking about networks should not be limited to discussing their technological infrastructure, but also, to question their social component. This is particularly relevant for social networking platforms that reflect and reinforce established modes of socialisation and subjectivation. How can self-hosting help understand what it means to become a node and relate to others? How can a practical approach to working with network(ed) technologies allow for exploring the inherent forms of sociality found in networking tools?

Installing our servers, hosting content on them and building tools that can make use of custom infrastructures allow for the deep integration between writing, editing, annotating and designing content. We were particularly interested in running experiments with building tools for publishing at different speeds: from daily notes and archived conversations to glossaries and long-form essays written over time. How can we publish a network, how can we translate its mechanisms, activities and attitudes?

Finding ways to map or visualise networks quickly became a strategy to question implicit ideals and ideologies found in them. What does it mean to draw relations as direct lines between nodes? How do understandings of a network can change if we don't think in terms of nodes but knots? How to visualise disconnections and inconsistencies? how to map a network as an evolving system? How to think about scale, the spaces between nodes and go beyond the superficiality of buzzwords like (de)centralisation?


Contributors: Simon Browne, Tancredi Di Giovanni, Paloma García, Rita Graça, Artemis Gryllaki, Pedro Sá Couto, Biyi Wen, Bohye Woo, Roel Roscam Abbing, Manetta Berends, Lídia Pereira, André Castro, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Steve Rushton, Leslie Robbins.

Brought to you by the Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design: Experimental Publishing (XPUB) of the Piet Zwart Institute, and Varia, Centre for Everyday Technology, Rotterdam, April 2019.


Publication launch at Varia

Web zines

Printed zines

Special Issue 09: The Library Is Open



In the spring and summer of 2019 we developed The Library Is Open, a publication which focuses on the operations, actions, and roles of legal and extra-legal libraries. Central to this project is the community that forms around a collection of texts – the custodians of the collection and the readers. The Library Is Open is the result of the third iteration of Interfacing the Law, an ongoing research project between XPUB and Constant (BE), which explores issues around extra-legal libraries, software and legal interfaces and intellectual property. Led by our guest editor Femke Snelting, we participated in many activities which were organised by invited guests:

With Bodó Balázs, an economist and researcher on shadow libraries, we analysed the gargantuan dataset of Library Genesis, to determine trends which indicate access to texts and the social, geopolitical and economic aspects at play.

With Anita Burato and Martino Morandi at the Rietveld Library in Amsterdam, we discovered the subjectivity of subjects and thorny issues of classification and representation.With other readers, we deepened our understandings of texts through collective annotations.

With artist and researcher Eva Weinmayr, who introduced us to The Piracy Project, we examined the possible motivations and differences between pirated books and their “source”. With open-source software such as Tesseract, pdftk, and LibreOffice (and many others) we explored the technical processes used during the creation of pirate libraries, and the hidden labour involved in this.

With fellow pirates, we considered the multiplicity of roles and activities involved in maintaining various libraries, such as Monoskop, Library Genesis, aaaaaarg, Sci-Hub, Memory of the World, Project Gutenberg, +++.

With Dušan Barok, the administrator of Monoskop and an alumnus of the Piet Zwart Institute, we discovered how Monoskop was initiated and how it has changed over time.

The variety of our collective sessions, and the practical exercises we performed led us to organise an afternoon of three workshops that directly address the active role of piracy, rather than simply talking about it. Encouraging small, informal, collective actions, we wanted to challenge the ordinary, hierarchical presentation of research projects in the academic context, and individual notions of authorship. When choosing a suitable venue for our event, we decided to ask Leeszaal (in Dutch “Reading Hall”) to host our workshops. Situated in a busy, multicultural area of Rotterdam, Leeszaal exemplifies many values we sympathise with, particularly open access to knowledge, and a focus on the community that uses the space, not just for reading but for many other social purposes. These values we recognise (somewhat nostalgically) as reminiscent of public libraries of yesteryear. However, the landscape today is quite different, with huge online commercial repositories of texts (e.g. JSTOR), protected by paywalls which limit access to them, and in response the emergence of “shadow libraries”. In a printed publication of the same title we documented the dilemmas, outcomes and reflections that came out of our three different workshops, and interviews with people whose work is at the centre of the issues that each workshop uncovers.

Workshop descriptions

The Library Is Open invites you to an afternoon of workshops that make the operations within libraries visible. Join us in exploring the actions and roles of legal and extra-legal libraries (municipal, pirate, academic, +++), their custodians, and the public that form a community around collections of texts.

Blurry Boundaries

Select, annotate, analyze, scan, correct, digitise, print, read, transfer, erase, encode, curate, hack, interface, work, copy...

What libraries become possible when you transform physical books into digital files, and vice versa? When a digital copy of a book is made for a digital library, specific steps are followed. Each of these steps requires a decision – to use tools and to spend time. The work involved in digitising a book is invisible and the digital version often loses its connection to the physical book and the library it came from.

We aimed to reflect upon different topics such as: The friction between the physical and digital book, what is lost and what is gained when you pass from one format to another. The physicality and contingency of these passages, the labour involved to produce those copies and its hidden position. The mindset of the librarian who has to choose how to produce the digital library, which format to chose and what kind of information to reveal. The possibility of a digital library which provides the history of the book and the people involved in its life. Annotations which reveal information and challenge the common, static idea of the book.

Marginal Conversations

Marginal Conversations is a workshop which explores collective reading, annotating and performing texts. We read, and write notes in the margins; usually in private, isolated from other readers. We come across texts with others’ notes on them; the author unknown, their thoughts obscure. What happens when we share our notes, vocalise and perform them? In this workshop, participants read, annotate and discuss the open letter “In Solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub”, which asks for pirate library practices to come out from the shadows. This letter was selected for many reasons; it was an introduction for us to the thematic “Interfacing the Law”, it’s available in many languages, and presents an argument that generates interesting conversations. We compare annotations to detect common areas of interest and to also explore different methods, where readers can develop codes and techniques to extend the content of the source and express their personal understanding of it. The goal is not only to find areas of agreement, but also to discover tensions, disagreements etc. with the letter, which can also develop into fruitful conversations.We leave traces of our reading, enriched by our doubts, sympathies, tensions and diverse understandings. We personalise the text, opening it up for collective conversations. Our voices occupy the space and leave traces on the text and in the library.

Knowledge in Action

We looked for different ways that knowledge can be maintained and preserved. We visited different libraries of different scales. We investigated their operations and their levels of legality. We interviewed people who adopted the role of librarians in their unique ways. From these experiences, we started outlining our workshop. The workshop Knowledge in Action invites participants to act the roles and perform the activities crucial to the sustenance of libraries. They interpret and re-imagine the actors that take part in knowledge production and distribution, playing the parts of the librarian, the researcher, the pirate, the publisher, the reader, the writer, the student, the copyist, the printer. The activities embed the participants in different scenarios to shift their accustomed perspective and to start common dialogues.


Contributors: Simon Browne, Tancredi Di Giovanni, Paloma García, Rita Graça, Artemis Gryllaki, Pedro Sá Couto, Femke Snelting, Biyi Wen, Bohye Woo

Special thanks to: Partnering institute Constant (BE), Leezsaal Rotterdam West, Bodó Balázs, Dušan Barok, Anita Burato, André Castro, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Martino Morandi, Leslie Robbins, Steve Rushton, Amy Suo Wu, Eva Weinmayr


The Library Is Open was printed and published in June 2019 and launched at the 2019 Graduation Show. It includes descriptions, processes and outcomes of the workshops held at Leeszaal Rotterdam West, interviews with Marcell Mars, Dusan Barok, Dubravka Sekulic and librarians of Leeszaal, and an appendix of open letters; guest editor Femke Snelting's introduction to the 2019 iteration of Interfacing the Law, the letter "In Support of Library Genesis and Sci-Hub" from the website custodians.online, and Alexandra Elbakyan's response to the presiding judge in the court case "Elsevier Inc. et al v. Sci-Hub et al".


File:The Library is Open.pdf


Collectiveioning is a publication of work produced within the context of the Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design: Experimental Publishing (XPUB) at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam.

Course Director XPUB: Aymeric Mansoux

Administration: Leslie Robbins

Tutors: Clara Balaguer, André Castro, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Amy Suo Wu

Thesis supervisors: Steve Rushton, Marloes de Valk

Grad project supervisors: Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Amy Suo Wu, André Castro, Clara Balaguer

External examiner 2020: Marina Otero Vezier

Research, editing and production: Simon Browne, Tancredi di Giovanni, Paloma García, Rita Graça, Artemis Gryllaki, Pedro Sá Couto, Biyi Wen, Bohye Woo

Licenses: the bootleg library, Simon Browne, 2020. This work is published under the Free Art Licence. Tancredi di Giovanni Paloma García Rita Graça Syster Systems & Syster Papyri Magicae, Artemis Gryllaki, 2020. This work is published under the Peer Production License (PPL) Pedro Sá Couto Biyi Wen Bohye Woo

Publisher: XPUB, Rotterdam

Print run: TBD

Printed at: TBD

Bound at: TBD

Paper: TBD

Typefaces: TBD


Special Issue Partners: Constant (Brussels), Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), Leeszaal Rotterdam West, Varia (Rotterdam),

This hybrid publication, Collectiveioning was realised with the expert help and guidance of Open Source Publishing (Brussels), the benevolent dictatorship of Aymeric Mansoux, the publishing midwifery of Clara Balaguer and Amy Suo Wu and the endless magic spun by Leslie Robbins.

More information about XPUB projects and Special Issues: project.xpub.nl issue.xpub.nl

Postal Address: Piet Zwart Institute Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design: Experimental Publishing P.O. Box 1272 3000 BG Rotterdam The Netherlands

Visiting address: Wijnhaven 61 4th floor 3011 WJ Rotterdam The Netherlands

Grad Theses

Simon Browne: Tasks of the Contingent Librarian
Tancredi di Giovanni: Out-of-Hardware Experience: Software and Consciousness
Paloma García: Cartographies of Invisibility
Rita Graça: Networks of Care
Artemis Gryllaki: Syster Systems: On the urgencies and potential of feminist hacker initiatives
Pedro Sá Couto: Tactical Watermarks
Biyi Wen: Unravelling Disembodiment
Bohye Woo: My Country Is Still A Colony: Exploring toxic colonial legacies in Korean digital society

Grad Projects

Simon Browne: the bootleg library
Artemis Gryllaki: Syster Papyri Magicae
Pedro Sá Couto: Tactical Watermarks
Rita Graça: Networks of Care
Tancredi di Giovanni: Ilinx
Paloma García: Cartographies of Counter-Speculation
Biyi Wen: The Repeater Archive
Bohye Woo: Parallel Colonialism