XPUB2 projects Trim5 2020

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XPUB2 project summaries and links, for tutorials April 2020

Simon Browne

Project description
The "bootleg library" is a particular, situated social infrastructure. It operates from the understanding that the library is a collection; a collection of the texts contained within it, and the readers collected around them. A reciprocal, self-reflexive relationship between the texts and the readers produces sociability. A bootleg is a homage, an unauthorised copy of a source publication; bootlegging is a strategy by which texts acquire diversity, resisting singularity and representing readers.

Links to relevant pages

Rita Graça
Networks of Care

Networks of Care is a field guide to manage online hate with codes of conduct, community guidelines and other informal documents. This project sheds light on valuable clusters of people working as collectives to cut down hateful behaviours from their social spaces. A group that is active in removing hate for themselves and others creates important support systems. This field guide shares the experience of users and custodians, it comments on existing documents, and celebrates together the networks of care.

The project focuses on three actions: networking, archiving and linking. The intention of networking is to reach out to different people involved with community guidelines and understand their motivations. I'm interviewing and documenting the work of moderators, writers of codes of conduct, facilitators, community members and networks' administrators. In archiving, I'm assembling codes of conduct and annotating them, creating a collection that is possible to browse, dissect and analyse. My project is not isolated from all the others that informed my path, so I'm also linking external resources, films, podcasts and books that relate with my work and point other ways forward. Networks of Care is a resource to users who wish to apply a Code of Conducts to build and maintain better social spaces for their online communities.

Work in Progress:

I'm prototyping ways of visualising the content of the field guide, so users can understand important connections between people, projects and documents;

Structure visualisation
The same information using the wiki API

I'm hosting my project in a Raspberry Pi with MediaWiki. I'm using the extention Semantic MediaWiki to annotate the documents I'm collecting, as well as the interviews. I'm annotating properties such as language, number of members, source, field, etc.


I'm populating the wiki with the content I already have;
I'm reaching out to new people and looking for new content;
I'm thinking of having a physical copy of this field guide, so I will explore techniques of html to print.

Pedro Sá Couto

Tactical Watermarks
My project, Tactical Watermarks, is an online republishing platform. I actively make use of digital watermarks as a means to explore topics such as anonymity, paywalls, archives, and provenance. While the primary intention of analogue watermarks was to leave traces of authenticity, marks of quality or even aesthetic enhancements, digital watermarks are being used as a way to create accountability for users. Through this platform, I describe and document ways of living within and resist a culture of surveillance in the realm of publishing.

I am motivated by all the invisible individuals behind extra-legal publishing platforms, from curators, the ones who host, upload and even download material. Through the act of watermarking, I embed layers of information often dissolved within the processes of sharing texts. I experiment on how the process of adding stains can be twisted and revived. Stains are what I call user patches or marks that are difficult to remove and that do not play an active role in archives.

In this platform, users can upload and request different titles. While talking with enthusiasts from the Library Genesis forum, I understood the need to create a tool that allows people to share watermarked pdfs in a safe way. My platform is NOT a library, and it is also NOT an archive. I don't keep the files or intend to archive them. What I open is a space to de-watermark files, and append new anonymous watermarks with the technical and personal regards around sharing specific texts. In the end, these stories will circulate alongside the main narrative. With python, I will automate a republishing stream that enables me to automatically spread these unique files to different libraries, from aaaaarg.fail, to Library Genesis or even the Bootleg library.


Analogue watermark, 1417 :

Cover from the first book ready to republish:

Digitised version — https://imgur.com/a/X8s64qn
Ready to republish — https://imgur.com/a/LrkgMNY

Artemis Gryllaki

Systers Constellations
'Systers' originates from the combination of the words systems and sisters. Already in 1987, a mailing list called "Systers" was founded by Anita Borg to support women in computer science and related fields.

My project focuses on the practices of feminist hacker communities, that work towards reversing the phenomenon of social exclusions (gender-based among others), in technological circles, hackerspaces and the geekdom. Their work creates safe spaces for excluded individuals to gain agency with technological matters; redefines who counts as a hacker, and what counts as hacking; encourages collective knowledge production and Do-It-Together practices in inclusive and diverse environments; builds and maintains technical infrastructures that support feminist and activist work.

Together with Angeliki Diakrousi, Greek media artist and researcher, we got involved with two feminist hacker initiatives:

  • /ETC: an annual international event, where feminists gather to critically study, use, discuss, share and improve everyday information technologies in the context of the free software and open hardware movements.
  • SysterServer, a feminist server, run and maintained by women. It hosts online services for feminist projects and acts as a place to learn administration skills. After our participation in these projects, we decided to initiate a series of Feminist Hack meetings in Rotterdam.

Feminist Hack meetings are informal gatherings that include tech skill-sharing, sociopolitical discussions around technology and art practices. http://varia.zone/en/feminist-hack-meetings-jan.html. The meetings are hosted in Varia, a coworking space and centre that explores everyday technology. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings have to switch to online; there is an urgency to explore how this can happen.

My role in this project is to support:
the organisation of various thematic gatherings;
the research/suggestion of tools to document these gatherings and find ways to publish them. In my current project prototype, I suggest:
To set up a Wiki, where participants of the feminist hack meetings can collectively upload and edit documentation material such as images/texts/audio. The events, with their curated documentation, can be afterwards visualised in a website, in the form of a digital timeline.

Bohye Woo
Title not yet here

I'm building a modern-colonial text publishing archive, a series of word analysis that reveals the modern-colonial contexts in 'Terms of Service (ToS)'. ToS is a modern working contract in digital colonial society, where big companies are dominating the power structures via ToS to deceive users. My project introduces how modern digital colonialism is showing in digital society by mapping out the whole architecture of language in ToS.

Work in Progress:

Paloma García

Community Mapping in Counter-Speculation

This project is a collection of participatory maps and diagrams that visualize community alternative models to real estate speculation in the city of Rotterdam. Maps are tools to work with communities but also extremely powerful elements of communication. This work is an exploration of collective practices in map-making to empower, visualize, and represent communities who are discovering self-sustainable paths to survive in the current housing market.

Cartographies, maps, and diagrams have traditionally been elements of power and domination. Still, since maps became popular and accessible to the general public, we have the chance to reverse the process, creating our own counter-maps that can fill gaps in visual representation. As an architect, I have always had close contact with the real estate market and its mapping techniques. They tend to show proudly how house prices increase to appear that the economy is growing every day and trying to frame the perfect moment to invest in the most valuable property. We have hundreds, thousands of maps representing the real estate market, but we have to wonder, are these the maps the ones that we want? This experimental collection of diagrams tries to answer the main question: How do communities originate alternatives to survive in an unstoppable house speculation market?

To produce this map collection, I’m working with three communities in Rotterdam (Stad in de Maak, N.A.C, and Poortgebow) that are developing distinctive paths in the urban housing market. In constant interaction with them, I’m producing maps to visualize its political, economic, and social approach to understand their position and relation with the city. The production of maps had the first approach with map-making sessions together. However, since we cannot use the space to promote group activities, this process has become an exploration of online interaction with participants through virtual tools.

Cartographies of Invisibility is a project developed in the city of Rotterdam but with the ambition to be read as a global strategic manual. This collection of maps visualize and understand practices that are happening everywhere. Therefore they can be understood as tactical maps to inspire, reproduce, and guide some other communities that are part of this global process in any other place or city.



Tancredi Di Giovanni

Ilinx is a browser-based explorable hypertextual space and a patchwork of electronic literature gathering in a continuum different projects and texts on the relation between language and representation, reality and fiction, humans and computers, through the lens of subjective experience. Ilinx represent a personal quest to develop a platform connecting the paths of my research of knowledge and resulting in a conception of software as an hyperstitional zone where new worlds can be designed augmenting consciousness and affecting the physical world.

The concept of language maze developed in my thesis, and referring to Giorgio Colli research on the origin of philosophy in the myth of the labyrinth, becomes the fundamental structure and its relation to the users exploring Ilinx, its theoretical conclusion.

A "language maze" made of verbal and non-verbal languages, natural languages and formal languages, computer's code and machine languages. A Deadalus' labyrinth of material, informational, algorithmic and literary explorable spaces developing in the horizontal and the vertical direction, from microscopic to macroscopic territories, internal external and internal spheres. A Penelope's web made of rooms that, as Escherian paintings, hides recursive simulations and emulations of other rooms, other mazes and itself. Perhaps, what distinguishes the human from the machinic, is the feeling, illusory or real, of being whole with the "language maze" as an infinite space (logos) where to build new worlds from scratch. - Tancredi Di Giovanni

The Labyrinth is presented, then, as a human creation, a creation of the artist and of the inventor, of the man of knowledge, of the Apollonian individual, yet in the service of Dionysus the animal-god. - Giorgio Colli, 'The birth of philosophy' (1975)

The projects and texts that will become the nodes of ilinx's language maze, expands beyond the browser into the layers of code (HTML, CSS, JS), and are interwoven through quasi-consistent pieces of narrative, fragments of different stories spanning between history and myth, theory and fiction, fantasy and science-fiction, following the definition of ilinx developed by Roger Callois.

[Ilinx are games] based on the pursuit of vertigo and which consist of an attempt to momentarily destroy the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind. In all cases, it is a question of surrendering to a kind of spasm, seizure, or shock which destroys reality with sovereign brusqueness. - Roger Caillois, 'Man, Play and Games' (1958)

| repo on git

Biyi Wen

Repeater | fù dú jī | 复读机 | Archive

The archive surrounds the narrative of the repeater, a device used in China since the 90s, predominantly for learning English. It was invented by a telecommunications engineer in his forties to learn English, since folks at his age learned Russian in school. The device quickly became phenomenal, and radically changed how language learning is perceived and conducted.

This device commenced and accompanied the my English learning career. It is a tool of disembodiment. Students were tortured and frustrated from repeating from tape recordings out of everyday context; at the same time the device was a tool for advancement and mobility during the country's then radically transformative years.

Several methods and schools of thought inform my project - the method of the anarchive, the field of media archaeology, and the study of sound. Today, the repeater, along with the pedagogy the device proposed, has gradually exited from the landscape of language learning. It is an object of media archaeological value. Talking to my friends from childhood, I collected interviews that will work as contextual narratives, on how the device took place in everyday living.

project link: project link