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Workshops Descriptions

Spam Publishing

(Andre & Silvio)

How to create writing and hybrid media publications from your junk mail folder.

Spam Publishing Workshop - work page

spam database

Consent to Print

(Eleanor & Dave)

Blurb for programme: If paper is now the medium for edited best-of, how to decide what is worthy of print? In this workshop we will prototype experimental editing systems which do not aim at consensus, but highlight the conflicts inherent in collaborative editing. Each system developed by participants will produce a printed document.

As digital content is increasingly atomized and paper assumes the role of curated 'best of', how do we decide what qualifies for printing? Voting systems and individual curation are the usual answers, but could there be more interesting and self-reflexive methods? A workshop to prototype experimental, democratic methods of filtering online content and using them to create custom print publications.

note from eleanor: Theoretical input from me will come from my research on Consensus decision-making, and the critiques that can be made of it by feminist theories of consent.

Dave => My research interests lie in how the participants negotiate decision-making processes as a group. I'm particularly curious about how the participants respond to the challenge of developing a social system as a means of avoiding the emergence of a fixed-hierarchy, and how their system performs practically given the task of co-producing a text.

The Front Page

Note: The intended aim for Dave/Eleanor's workshop is to pick up with the product of Andre/Silvio's workshop, and use it as the raw material to explore consensus/dissent based editorial practice. The below text outlines an idea for the workshop which may be followed in the event that Andre/Silvio's end result is incompatible with our own interests.

The front page of a newspaper can be seen to encapsulate its underlying editorial ideology. We would like to challenge the participants to populate this contentious space with articles from the web, editorialising collaboratively through the use of systems that explore both consensus and dissent. The product of the workshop would be a singular (or perhaps multiple) front page(s) created using alternative editorial systems, and a discussion centered around what it reveals about collaboration, consensus, and productivity.

Workshop Plans

Consent to Print

To do

  • Eleanor: Aquire large flipchart paper & pens
  • Dave: Email Florian to ask if there will be paper in the printer
  • Both: discuss if/how we might provide server space if ppl need it.
  • Both: Install printer on our laptops before workshop
  • Both: Bring plenty of USBs in case others can't connect to printer

Proposed time plan

  • Trick question [12:15 - 12:45]
Split into groups, give a strict time limit (10 min?) to produce a single news frontpage w/printout.
Share & compare printouts. Dave interrogates re: group processes employed.
Nor notes down participants' comments on social processes & what got left out.
  • Participants sharing [12:55- 13:05]
What their interest in the topic is/ hopes for the workshop
What collaborative systems they use; reflection/discussion on these systems' treatment of consent/sus.
  • Introduce workshop & themes. [12:45 - 12:55]
    • Print as 'final' outcome raises Qs about decision-making.
    • Dave: does production necessitate hierarchy? Utopian systems for production w/out hierarchy. The assumption of consent underlying hierarchies. Non-hierarchical structures as used to conceal power through distributed responsibility. Producing consent through manipulating subjects' perceptions.
    • Nor: Feminist critiques of consent. What is consent? How is it achieved, how is it encoded? Show examples of how collaborative editing tools encode/reflect this process (or don't)
  • Present existing systems [13:05 - 13:20]
  • Brainstorms [13:20 - 13:30]
Q1: what social processes are left out of these existing systems' (print) output?
Q2: how could these processes be recorded in the output?
Group brainstorms on paper with one of us as scribe.
  • Chose a topic [13:30 - 13:40]
Split into pairs/groups and pick one aspect from each piece of paper (eg - tackle 'multiple revisions' using 'typography') which will act as a design brief.
  • Start proposal/prototype [13:40 - 14:30]
Groups start making diagrams, models, code prototypes whatever.
We take a shit load of photos, recordings etc.
  • Share progress [14:30 - 14:40]
Pause to share what group is working on. Ensure we're on track to have a concrete outcome at the end.
  • Finish proposal/prototype [14:40 - 15:30]
Get to a point of conrete outcome.
  • Present & reflect [15:30 - 16:00]
Groups share work, reflect; we make documentation before everyone disappears.

Some Resources on Hybrid Publishing

Silvio => I'm currently researching the multiple ways in which (media) art responds to the technical possibilities offered by the landscape of publishing. In particular I'm interested in in the ways in which tools, softwares and devices for publishing become entities that are representative of the current state of technology. Examples: the printed book as an authoritative form, the digital reader as the battleground for ownership over content, etc.


MMMMarginalia - Notes on publishing (in the broadest sense):

Out of Ink - Future Publishing Industries:

56 Broken Kindle Screens (collaboration with Sebastian Schmieg) - PoD paperback depicting broken Kindle screens:

Blank on Demand (collaboration with Giulia Ciliberto) - Experiment that probes the limits imposed by PoD production:

Flatland - Conceptual piece about the skeuomorphism of the digital book through different dimensions:

Student Notes

Research interests

  • Dave: the emergent social systems that arise out of group collaboration, and how people engage with non-hierarchical models of production.
  • Andre what emerges from the readings of raw material?
  • Eleanor: (see my TM note page) How can web-to-print handle the inherent editorial hierarchies necessitated by editing down into a single publication? OR, how could the flat structure of internet inspire a non-singular paper publication (thus allowing for discord/democracy)?

Meeting 17Jan - workshop organization

so we think it will be better to separate and run for 2 hours each.

  1. Andre & Silvio (Spam) - how do you translate content from email spam to more well established physical forms (paper)?
  1. Dave & Eleanor (consensus) - how do you then produce that collaboralatively? x

Dave & Eleanor plan B: If proposed publishing form coming out of Andre's workshop doesn't integrate well with consensus workshop, we will do an alternative plan: participants will be asked to create a newspaper frontpage collaboratively.

Meeting Notes 21 Jan - meeting Florian, Dave, Andre, Eleanor

  • Wrap-up at 4pm. Next workshop starts at 5pm. We could stay with interested participants after 4pm. But allow 30min to get to next workshop for those who are going (ie end at 4:30pm very latest).
  • Read up on the Mail Pipe being built up for TM, think about how to make use of it in our workshop. Florian will send us details of Lucas the technical guy we need to speak with.
  • Meet Weds 10am to pick up festival passes.
  • Travel: subway to Alexanderplaats, then bus 100.