User:Zpalomagar/Special Issue 9

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

The library is open


Rotterdam, 3 July 2019

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, geo-political 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, Libgen, 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. Interview with: Dubravka Sekulić & 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 & Tomislav Medak.

Yours in piracy, XPUB

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.

The workshop structure


Meet each other: have a quick round of saying something about ourselves and what do we know about pirate/shadow libraries. Short description of the steps of the workshop and let people know we'll be recording. Overview of what happens in this workshop in one sentence: 1st part: Reading/Annotating, heatmap 2nd part: Discussion, Rehearsal of Performative reading and recording of performance.

Topic: pirate libraries - topic of special Issue 9
Text: "In solidarity with Library Genesis & Sci-Hub" letter Aim: 2-3 sentences of what is the aim of this workshop. Why this collective reading-conversations matter? - We see "annotations" as a way to express our understandings/questions/comments/disagreements/ tensions/positions about what we read. So we can discuss about it and form a collective understanding of the text. Our aims are to: - open up a conversation about pirate libraries, through a deeper collective understanding of a specific text that refers to this topic (enrichment comes through collectively reading and annotating the text) - develop ways in which texts can become conversations through annotating together - make public what we have learned about pirate libraries and annotation, and to reflect on the public's response(s)

STEP 1_Reading/Annotating (15min)

Materials: "In Support of Library Genesis & Sci-Hub" English language letter (on A3 spread), A3 tracing paper, ballpoint pens (annotation pack) Participants: Individual Archiving step: collect tracing paper, carbon paper - We provide the solidarity letter in an A3 pack - Read the text individually - Annotate the text on your english. (It will be traced through carbon paper to the tracing paper underneath.)

STEP 2_Heatmap and discussion through the annotations(20min)

Materials: Same as Step 1 Participants: Whole group Archiving step: Photographs of annotated texts, discussion - Create a "heatmap" of the text by placing tracing papers with annotations on top of each other, showing which areas are interesting/remarkable to others. - We can focus in the most "annotated", thus "active", "interesting", "relevant" parts of the text. At the end of the heatmap stage we introduce the discussion by identifying common areas of annotation, and also listing things that need further definition. Why did you annotate this part? What is the "global north"? etc. - Comment generally on the text, what was interesting? Did you make sense? Are there specific parts you want to discuss? - Conclusions? Comments? Discuss the most commented. - Discuss this experience and anything we want to discuss about pirate libraries, this text, our experiences. - Collectively determine strategies to "amplify" specific parts of the texts that either a) we all agree on b) we don't understand c) disagree on d) we want to develop further e) think are worth repeating/recording

STEP 3_Performative reading(20min)

Participants: All together (if more than 10, divide into two groups???) Materials: Annotated "In Support of Library Genesis & Sci-Hub" letter, audio recording device (ZOOM rented from WdKA shop/smartphone), (maybe speakers?) Archiving step: Voice recording - Introduce by saying: "We are going to read aloud the text in turns, while also performing our annotations. Try to perform your comment to make your position/understanding of the text clear. If you have an annotation, please do or say something (e.g. interrupt, raise your hand, make a noise, use an accent, use intonation to convey emotion etc)." The text becomes a "play", a performance, a discussion between us - The purpose is to activate a text, by transforming it into a conversation through spoken annotation - This reading will be recorded (ask) - Decide on an "interesting" way of performing and record that. It could be more than one language in this audio piece.


At Leeszaal: - Play the collective recording from speakers placed in shelves at Leeszaal (Bluetooth) Later: - Printed version with the overlaping of individual comments - heatmap - pocket version??? - Printed URL on annotated tracing paper to direct readers to the online versions of the texts? - Bookmark or some object (it can be the pocket version) to introduce it in some books in Leeszaal, understanding that as a way to spread the letter (like sowing seeds)

The annotations traces

The recordings

The peformance/transcriptions


Transcription of recorded annotation performance at Leeszaal


The Annotation Pack


The Rehearsal in PZI



File:Annotation pack.pdf

Dusan Barok


Tuesday 4 June

XPUB1 Special Issue 9: 10:00 - 17:00 / with Dusan + Femke in the small project space
Workshop with Dusan Barok

10:00 Discuss launch, plans, TODO-lists (Femke)
11:00 Dusan Barok on Monoskop
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Dusan on annotation; return to plans together



What are the differences between physical and online annotation? Physical annotation: graphical freedom, add personal value with typos, easy sign adding Digital: Can be easily shared so the collaborative aspect is easier, it use to be more focus in highlighting or clasification. The appearance of the notes is really similar so the author loose identity.

What is the common point of this both of them have text that is never commented this means that this text is less relevant for the reader. Due to the huge amount of information that we have in a library ( more that we can process) can be possible to use the annotations to make books or articles smaller. Allowing the user read it faster and just skip the parts that doesn’t have a lot of interest. This would be associate with a definition of efficiency. We lived in a overactive world in which time is the most valuable thing that we have. This library could take the benefit of editing the content and make that content that is not important invisible in order to avoid the reader to recreate in that part. This can be specially useful in academic acticles. Maybe it is controversy with authorship considerations. That is why it is dark or shadow because you modify the original information without a specific consent.

Summarization can be defined as a task of producing a concise and fluent summary while preserving key information and overall meaning.

Abstractive Summarization: Abstractive methods select words based on semantic understanding, even those words did not appear in the source documents. It aims at producing important material in a new way. They interpret and examine the text using advanced natural language techniques in order to generate a new shorter text that conveys the most critical information from the original text.
It can be correlated to the way human reads a text article or blog post and then summarizes in their own word.
Input document → understand context → semantics → create own summary.

Extractive Summarization: Extractive methods attempt to summarize articles by selecting a subset of words that retain the most important points. This approach weights the important part of sentences and uses the same to form the summary. Different algorithm and techniques are used to define weights for the sentences and further rank them based on importance and similarity among each other.

MINIMAILST ( if we don’t have a reason to keep it, we remove it)

Sexuality & Space

Sexuality space01.jpg
Sexuality space02.jpg
Sexuality space03.jpg
Sexuality space04.jpg


Concrete poetry


Eva weynmayr


Pirating books

No se lo digas a nadie - Jaime Bayly

The fist part of the book " Lo que no le dije a nadie" has been removed in the pirate version. ( personal notes from the author)
The original source is a book to Camila, Paola and Sandra and the pirate version just name Sandra
The pirate version reproduce the rights description ( not literally) which is quite ironic because is something that the artist broke when reproducing it.
The size, cover, binding, materiality etc. are completely different
The ISBN is the same and they are books with different content
Tho new chapters have been added "La fuga" and "El futbolista" that aparently have a random position in between the chapters.
The writing style seems to be quite similar in the original chapters and the new ones.
The pirate version develop new codes for italics, addition of new italics etc.
There are some small differences between the original text and the pirate one. Some exlamacions marks dissapear, some sentences are removed etc.
Italics are not the same

Pirate terms

Copying Imitating Adapting Faking Cloning

Inserting Camouflaging

Rietveld Aademy


Balázs Bodó

Overlap reader


The Workshop





Top 10 books in Spain 1—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— English Grammar In Use with Answers: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English 3rd edition
2—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— Araminta Crace with Richard Acklam New Total English Student’s Book (Upper Intermediate)
3—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— Rachael Roberts, Antonia Clare, JJ Wilson New Total English: Intermediate: Student’s Book
4—ART HISTORY— El arte de Acción
5—ART HISTORY— Roman Pottery: Fine-Ware Imports (Athenian Agora)
6—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— First Certificate Language Practice: With Key
7— SCIENCE— Fisica para La Ciencia y La Tecnologia
8—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— Highly Recommended 2: Student’s Book : Intermediate
9— COMPUTER SCIENCE— Organización y Arquitectura de Computadores 7 Edición
10—ENGLISH GRAMMAR— Essential Grammar in Use: A Self-Study Reference and Practice Book for Elementary Students of English: With Answers (Second Edition)

6/10 ARE ENGLISH GRAMMAR BOOKS which actually express a real worry among spanish academic people or young people who are the main users of this online platforms. This books are quite easy to find in book shops, libraries or general well-known shoppings.


Armenia Azerbaijan Bangladesh Bosnia and Herzegovina Brazil Bulgaria Czchez republic Georgia Hungary Kazakh Macedonia Poland Sierra Leone Sri-Lanka Timor Uzbekistan Vietnam

M-E-T-H-O-D-O-L-O-G-I-E-S (or not)

Thursday 18 April

11:00 Intro: m-e-t-h-o-d-o-l-o-g-i-e-s (or not)
11:15 Q + Q
12:00 Response-ability
13:00 Lunch / move to Museumpark
14:00 Phenomenal cartography
15:30 s\p\e\l\l\i\n\g and/or Diffractive reading and/or Renaming|reframing
17:00 Feedback + next session

Interfacing the Law

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