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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 :)

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


The Special Issue #07 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 publication

Life Hacks in general aren’t taken too seriously. The ten theses in this document are meant to provide a widened perspective on Life Hacks, and on their relationship to our collective experiences and reflections. The criteria listed in first thesis allow us to test whether something is a Life Hack or not. The remaining theses present extended arguments, supported by examples, that identify specific features of Life Hacks, the environments they exist within, and the kind of culture they foster. This publication’s format incorporates the Life Hack ethos. With the addition of a series of holes, each loose page can be seen as a hackable surface. We invite you to collate and bind them, making an eclectic choice from a range of unorthodox materials.

Photos of Ten Theses on Life Hacks


(^_^) 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: Version 0.5

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.

Photos of IRIS

Special Issue 08: The Network We (de)Served



The Network We (de)Served publication

Web zines

Printed zines

Special Issue 09: The Library Is Open


The Library Is Open workshops

Dear readers,

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 the following pages we invite you to wander through 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.

Knowledge In Action explores the roles and activities within libraries, such as selection and inclusion of books. Interviews with: Dubravka Sekulić & Ronny and Laura, two Leeszaal staff.

Blurry Boundaries reveals the hidden processes and labour between the publishing and distribution of physical and digital books. Interview with: Dušan Barok.

Marginal Conversations highlights the sociality of texts, and how they can become conversations through collective reading, annotation and performance. Interview with: Marcell Mars.

Yours in piracy, XPUB

Workshop descriptions

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.

The Library Is Open Publication

Photos of workshops


Blurry Boundaries

Marginal Conversations

Knowledge in Action

Images of workshop outcomes

Blurry Boundaries

Marginal Conversations

Transcription of recorded annotation performance at Leeszaal

Knowledge in Action

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

Grad Projects

Simon Browne: the bootleg library
Artemis Gryllaki: Syster Papyri Magicae