The Piracy Project

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Starting point and context: Byam Shaw School of Art Library closure

Byam Shaw Reading Room Co-op. Poster designed by Abake, London 2010

The Piracy Project started as a response to restrictive university policies, when in 2010, the university management announced to close the Byam Shaw School of Art library, due to a merger with the University of the Arts London. Students were advised to visit the library of the main campus in the city center. In a joint effort students and staff turned Byam Shaw’s art college library, supported by its acting principal, into a self-organized and self-governed library that remained public, and intellectually and socially generative.

Open Call for copied, modified, emulated, annotated books

The open call was circulated locally via printed posters and flyers, on AND Publishing's website and internationally through an art-agenda newsletter.

"Andrea Francke & AND Publishing would like to invite you to contribute to The Piracy Project, an international publishing and exhibition project exploring the philosophical, legal and practical implications of book piracy and creative modes of reproduction.

With a series of talks from guest speakers, workshops and an open call for pirated book projects to add to a Piracy Collection we aim to develop a critical and creative platform for issues raised by acts of cultural piracy. After a period of research and production at Byam Shaw Reading Room in London, this unique collection of books will travel to international venues in 2011.

The Piracy Project is not about stealing or forgery. It is about creating a platform to innovatively explore the spectrum of copying /re-editing/translating/paraphrasing/imitating/re-organising/manipulating of already existing works. Here creativity and originality sit not in the borrowed material itself, but in the way, it is handled."

  • AND Publishing announcement on art agenda, 4 May 2011
  • Piracy Project Open Call leaflet, 2011
  • Piracy Project Open Call Poster, 2011

Searchable Online Catalogue

The Piracy Project, Searchable Online Catalogue

The local, national and international entries which we received – (i)from students, staff and alumni at the art school, (ii) sent to us from across the world or (iii) found through our research and residencies in Peru, China, Turkey – were catalogued on an online database. The catalogue descriptions, created in collaboration with John Moseley, provide selected metadata as well as the strategies of reproduction, modification and distribution used by the respective pirate. The catalogue lists: title, author(= pirate), date, publisher (= pirate), format, printing, and source (the book that had been copied). See searchable online catalogue

Reading Rooms organised between 2010 – 2015

  • Piracy Project Reading Room
    New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1
    30 Sept – 2 Oct 2011
  • Piracy Project Reading Room
    SALT Research Galata Istanbul (in former bank vault). Curated by Joseph Redwood Martinez.
    6 – 30 March 2012
  • The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON in collaboration with Casco Utrecht.
    The Showroom London, 12 Sept – 27 Oct 2012
    The Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) is an ongoing ‘living research’ project initiated by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht as a multi-faceted exploration of the domestic sphere to imagine new forms of living and working in common.
  • Piracy Project Reading Room: Wages for Work,
    Truth is Concrete, Steirischer Herbst, Graz.
    Curated by Florian Malzacher.
    21 – 28 Sept 2012
  • Piracy Project exhibition Books From the Ships, Oslo 10 Basel. Curated by Simone Neuenschwander and Christiane Rekade.15 Nov 2012 – 5 Jan 2013
  • Piracy Project Reading Room Grand Union Birmingham. Curated by Cheryl Jones. 6 Dec 2013 – 8 Feb 2014.
  • Piracy Project Reading Room, Glasmoog – KHM Academy of Media Art, Cologne. Curated by Heike Ander. 11 Sept – 25 Oct 2014
  • Piracy Project Reading Room, Kunstverein Munich. Curated by Saim Demircan.
    4 Nov – 28 Nov 2014
  • Piracy Project Reading Room, in the exhibition Resource, The Bluecoat Liverpool. Curated by Marie-Anne McQuai. 18 July – 27 Sept 2015

Organising Discursive Events

  • Pirate Labs: Byam Shaw School of Art Library, London, May - June 2011. A series of open workshops and conversations on strategies and politics of unauthorised copying and reproduction.
  • Pirate Lab, Byam Shaw School of Art Library, London, 12 May 2011.
  • Talk: Pirate Books in Peru, an illustrated talk by Andrea Francke, X Marks the Bökship, London, 25 March 2011Book piracy exists in many emerging countries and book pirates in Peru, for example, go beyond creating unlicensed reprints – they have even begun to interfere with the content. An entire genre of “improved” versions is emerging.
    In this illustrated talk artist Andrea Francke presented the findings of her recent research trip to Lima, where she visited locations where pirated books are for sale including book stores, copy shops, street markets and traffic lights. She returned with a heavy suitcase full of versions to London – displayed at X Marks the Bökship as part of AND's "Publisher of the Month Residency" in 2011.
    Watch podcast.
  • A series of public lectures to explore practical, conceptual, political and ethical questions around book piracy, the concept of authorship and politics of copyright. Byam Shaw School of Art, May – June 2011.
  • Pirate Lecture: James Bridle – The New Pierre Menard: Digitisation and everything after.
    Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 5 May 2011.

    Bio at the time: James Bridle is a publisher, writer and artist based in London, UK. He makes things with words, books and the internet; sometimes the results look like businesses, and sometimes they don't. He speaks at conferences worldwide and writes about what he does at
    Watch podcast.
  • Pirate Lecture: Eleanor Vonne Brown – Copy and Paste: re-reading uncreative writing. Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 12 May 2011.
    Bio at the time: Eleanor Vonne Brown set up X Marks the Bökship, a London based project space for independent publishers specialising in publishing works and projects by artists and designers, books by independent publishers, journals and discourse.
    Watch podcast.
  • Pirate Lecture: Daniel McClean – Authorship & Originality in Art. Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 19 May 2011.
    Bio at the time: Daniel McClean is an independent curator, writer, and art-legal adviser. McClean is a solicitor at Finers Stephens Innocent LLP where he specializes in art, media and intellectual property law.McClean writes regularly on art legal matters. He was the editor of The Trials of Art, (2007) and Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, (2002).
    Watch podcast.
  • Pirate Lecture: Maria Fusco – The Incunablum and the Plastic Bag. Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 26 May 2011.
    Bio at the time: Maria Fusco is a Belfast-born writer based in London. Her first collection of short stories The Mechanical Copula has just be published by Sternberg Press. She is the founder/editor of The Happy Hypocrite a semi-annual journal for and about experimental art writing, and Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.
    Watch podcast.
  • Pirate Lecture: Bobbie Johnson – The Copy Continuum: cultural perceptions of piracy, and the future of ideas.
    Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 2 June 2011.

    Bio at the time: Bobbie Johnson is a journalist, writer and trouble-maker based in Brighton who specialises in covering the intersection of technology and society. He has written for a range of outlets from the BBC to Wired, and acts as European editor for technology blog GigaOM. He was previously an editor and reporter with the Guardian for nearly a decade, based in London and San Francisco.
    Watch podcast.
  • Pirate Lecture: Dr. Prodromos Tsiavos – Of Pirates and Archivists: the boundaries of copyright limitations and exceptions and the underground archiving movement.
    Byam Shaw School of Art Library, 9 June 2011.

    Bio at the time: Prodromos Tsiavos is the legal project lead for the Creative Commons -England and Wales (CC-EW) and Greece (CC-Greece) projects, and an associate in Avgerinos Law Firm in Athens. Among other academic engagements, he is a research officer at the London School of Economics and has worked for the European Commission and Oxford University. He advises the Greek Prime Minister's e-Government Task Force on legal issues of open data as well as the Special Secretary for Digital Planning
    Watch podcast.
  • Open Mic: I am a pirate - are you?, Miss Read, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 25 – 27 Nov 2011
    We are interested in the methodology of piracy and its significance for contemporary culture. The word piracy is applied to very different activities ranging from file sharing to attacking freight ships, from the production of counterfeit goods to mixing culture and – to political parties. We, The Piracy Project, are not only interested in your bit-torrent or fake goods but whether you use the works of others to build your own? Have you been pirated yourself and feel robbed of your intellectual property? Where are the limits in our engagement with culture? We would like to hear from you! Your input can be a lengthy declaration or as short as one sentence.
  • Panel discussion: Printed Matter, New York.
    17 August 2012

    With David Senior (bibliographer at MoMA), Anthony Huberman, (director of CCA Wattis Los Angeles), Joanne Mc Neil, (editor of Rhizome, NY), Sergio Munoz Sarmiento, (Art and Law, NY) in the exhibition Helpless curated by Chris Habib (July 14 - September 29, 2012).
  • Roundtable with Eva Hemmungs-Wirten (Stockholm): "Polyglot Piracy: Translation and the Instability of Texts". The Showroom London, 23 March 2013.
    As a catalyst for conflicts over the perceived stability of the literary work; the relationship between authors and readers and the geopolitical tensions between producer and user nations, Professor Wirtén suggests that translation offers a complimentary, productive, and still largely unexplored approach into the authorship/ copy-right conundrum relevant for copyright historians and print culture scholars.
  • Roundtable Workshop: Usership with Stephen Wright, The Showroom, London (18 May 2013)
    For this presentation, Stephen Wright will touch on the 'user-friendly' words listed in the image above, challenging the use of the word 'piracy' in The Piracy Project. This will be followed by a round table discussion that will try to reveal the ideologies that hide behind the word 'piracy'. '... I feel more comfortable with a notion of "poaching" instead of piracy: poachers are those who in the shadow of the night make forays behind the enclosures of the owner's land, capture their prey, and withdraw. I guess poaching, too, has a bad name, but I think both the scale and mode of intervention is more appropriate to describing off-the-radar cultural practices today….Usership stands opposed to the whole conceptual institution of ownership -- the very thing that piracy, in its contemporary cultural coinage, like poaching and hacking, is supposed to challenge' Stephen Wright.
  • Performative Debate: A Day at the Courtroom, The Showroom London, 15 June 2013
    With Lionel Bently (Professor of Intellectual Property at the University Cambridge), Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento (Art and Law, New York), Prodromos Tsiavos (Creative Commons, England, Wales and Greece). Courtroom drawing by Thandiwe Stephanie Johnstone .
  • Panel Discussion: Classroom @ The New York Art Bookfair, MoMa PS1, 28 September 2014.
    For The Classroom event programme we invited artist Lauren Haaften-Schick and lawyer Sergio Munoz Sarmiento to discuss their recent article "Cariou v. Prince: towards a theory of aesthetic-judicial judgements" in which they analyse the Second Circuit’s verdict in the "Cariou vs Prince" fair use ruling. In this text Munoz Sarmiento and van Haaften-Schick reflect on questions of labour, class and celebrity in this ruling, and what happens when appropriation turns via fair use into a tool of power. The Classroom is curated by David Senior. →Download article.

  • Talks and Interviews

    16 April 2011 from 2-6pm AMASS: Towards an Economy of the Commons Chisenhale Gallery 64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ Organised by Doxa, …ment and Amateurist Network, three independent collectives based in London, this one-day event addresses the question, ‘What is the protocol of the commons?’. Artists, academics and policy- makers debate culture-led regeneration, precarity in the cultural economy and open source practices in the digital domain.

    Public Talk: "Cultural Piracy", Whitechapel Art Gallery, 24 Sept 2011. Image from presentation: Entrance gate to Aiweiwei's studio "Fake Architectural Design", CaoChangdi, Beijing China, 2012. Credit: The Piracy Project.
    Panel discussion with Nick Thurston (information as material, UK), Kenneth Goldsmith (Ubuweb, US).

    In the organisers' words: "Where does the creative act lie in the process of copying? Cultural piracy is pervading publishing worldwide, but what makes these new forms original and what issues are raised?"
    Listen on sound cloud.

    Public Talk: Futures and Options, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul, 15-16 March 2012. A lecture series in the context of Joseph Redwood-Martinez research project One Day Everything will be free. With Matteo Pasquinelli, Laurel Ptak, Özgür Uçkan, Caleb Waldorf.

    In the organisers' words: "The seemingly indispensable tools we use daily for social networking and online communication are all increasingly provided to us for free. In fact, as our way of life is becoming dependent on these and other gifted resources, many of the largest and most influential companies in the world are beginning to profit more from giving certain things away than from charging for them. Perhaps this growing flood of gifted goods implies that one day, everything will be free. But in any case, it becomes increasingly obvious: we’re not paying for it because we’re not the customer, we’re the product being sold. "Critical engagement with gift economies, open culture, intellectual property, and immaterial exploitation is not so new or unfamiliar, but the very real effects of these concepts are changing the way cultural practice is structured and how the once paying audience is now being enticed to remain involved, to keep giving, or to pay in other ways. But how are these new economic structures and their fundamental contradictions understood by cultural producers and social activists? How to engage with and situate oneself in relation to systems that facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas, yet simultaneously operate as structures of subjectification or mechanisms of corporatised social responsibility? Perhaps this could just start with a question a little closer to home: SALT is free, but at what or whose cost? One day, everything will be free… is a long-term research project aimed at opening up questions about the economics of cultural institutional practice that in part stem from SALT being privately funded initiative partially located in the former Ottoman Bank. In order to encourage conversations about support structures for contemporary cultural production in Turkey, and to engage with cultural producers and audiences as they respond to and understand these structures, the dispersed research project will develop indefinitely with and through the participation of diverse publics and interlocutors. The invited speakers will look at the varied and conflicting legacies and implications of free economies, the recent turn within the field of cultural production toward reengaging with dormant economic imaginaries, and the changing relationships between what is privately owned and publicly shared in society." [1].

    Panel Discussion: Copycats vs Mr Big, Truth is Concrete, Steirischer Herbst, Graz, 27 Sept 2012. With Lucifer / Church of Kopimism (NL), Joost Smiers (NL), Andrea Francke & Eva Weinmayr / The Piracy Project (GB) 
Moderated by Gary Hall (GB).

    In the organisers' words: "Copyright issues are in the media again - this time as part of a propaganda war. Witness Rupert Murdoch using Twitter to accuse Google of piracy, despite himself having been found guilty of heading an organisation involved in hacking. Some small victories in this war have been achieved: the service blackout coordinated by Wikipedia and others in January 2012 resulting in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill being postponed. Yet the real winner is Mr Big, in the guise of the multinational conglomerates of the cultural industries, who continue to control the production, distribution and marketing of the vast majority of the cinema, music, literature, television, art and design that constitutes our culture. How, then, might we turn away from copyright laws designed for the benefit of the 1%, to find ways of openly sharing knowledge, culture and education, while at the same time providing creative workers with fair reward for their labour? Creative Commons licences, free and open source software, the movements for open access, open data and open education, free culture, peer-to-peer production, file and text-sharing networks along with other “pirate” strategies may all offer challenges to the current copyright system. Yet do we not need to establish some “chains of equivalence” between them, forms of mutual alignment between, say, open education, free software and even Occupy Wall Street and the student protest movements? Is the struggle for copyleft and copyfarleft only a cultural question? Or does it require the development of a new kind of economy and society: one based far less on possession, accumulation, competition, celebrity, and ideas of knowledge, culture and education as something to be owned, commodified, disseminated and exchanged primarily for the profit of individuals and corporations?"[2].

    Public Talk:Andrea Francke at States and Markets @ Institutions by Artists convention.Vancouver, 12 – 14 Oct 2012. Organised by the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC), Fillip, and the ArtistRun Centres and Collectives Conference / La Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés (ARCA).

    In the organisers' words: Institutions by Artists is a three day, international event that evaluates and activates the performance and promise of contemporary artist-run centres and initiatives. Convening a world congress of artists, curators, critics, and academics, Institutions by Artists will deliberate, explore, and advance the common interests of artist-run centres, collectives, and cultures, creating a catalyst for new as well as divergent assessments and perspectives on such phenomena today. Using experimental formats, performative frameworks, and participatory vehicles, the three day series of events is designed to challenge and generate new thinking about artist-run initiatives globally, examining many dimensions whether urban or rural, fixed or mobile, and local or regional, among others. Inspired by the many artists wrestling creatively with building, using, shaping, and deploying institutions by artists,we will explore economies of exchange and knowledge; institutional time and space; as well as intimate and professional networks, among other critical interrogations".
    Watch session 6 States and Markets.

    Conference presentation: Piracy and Jurisprudence, Faculty and Business and Law and the Humanities, University of Southampton; the Centre for Law, Ethics and Globalisation (CLEG) and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, 21–22 June 2013.
    Convened by Oren Ben-Dor (law), Stephanie Jones (English), Alun Gibbs (law).
    Image from presentation: Vending pirated architecture books in Beijing, China, 2012. Credit: The Piracy Project.

    In the organisers' words: Adored and detested, pirates evoke moral and ethical ambivalence: and piracy as a term of law has always been exceptionally vulnerable to political agendas. More precisely, it has always been a term of both high imperial/hegemonic art, and significant radical potential. As such, it is a word with a weighty history of complex moral and ethical loading and reloading. But it always invokes a refusal of juridification: it is a term that defines the margins of criminal and international law as juridical categories. Pirates are a recurring symbol of the ocean as a space beyond jurisdiction and the juridification of thought itself: as such, both known and hidden pirates arguably estrange historical thinking. Piracy is a form of violence that challenges discourses that attempt to shore-up spaces that assert a moral monopoly on violence: and piracy is a form of textual transgression that challenges the very ability of the law to draw boundaries. But even as piracy is a form of violence, it constitutes a challenge to the very violence involved in writing itself. The relationship between piracy and the law directs us to question the constitution of the human condition itself. This workshop will aim to explicate and explore the multiple significations of piracy, and to track the implications of these significations for both abstract and practical notions of justice. Always pursuing a long view of legal histories, the commitment of the workshop and the publication are to disciplinary and geographical diversity, and to methodological innovation. The workshop will tussle with the distinctiveness and boundlessness of piracy as a ‘category’ (that refuses categorisation). This interdisciplinary workshop is hosted and kindly sponsored by the Faculty and Business and Law and the Humanities, University of Southampton; the Centre for Law, Ethics and Globalisation (CLEG) and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI).

    Public Talk: Active and Passive Love of Books. The Piracy Project in conversation with Cornelia Sollfrank. Birmingham Public Library, 7.12.2013. Presented by Grand Union

    In the organisers' words: "This panel brings together artists Eva Weinmayr, Andrea Francke and Cornelia Sollfrank to discuss the legal frameworks that we engage with when we deal with each others' work. Artists, writers and publishers are asking: what are the different ideologies behind these systems and what are their implications? The speakers will explore the political and social implications of cultural piracy through examples from The Piracy Project collection. Andrea Francke & Eva Weinmayr run jointly The Piracy Project, an international publishing and exhibition project around the concept of originality, the fluidity of authorship and politics of copyright as part of AND Publishing's research programme. Cornelia Sollfrank, Ph.D., is an artist and researcher working at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. Since the mid 1990s her main interest lies in the exploration of the challenges art has to face under digital networked conditions. Her experiments with the basic principles of aesthetic modernism implied conflicts with its institutional and legal framework."
    → Watch podcast

    Public Talk: The Piracy Project, Alternate Futures, convened by Oliver Klimpel, Klasse fuer Systemdesign, Hochschule fuer Gestaltung und Buchkunst Leipzig, 18.1.2013

    Public Lecture: in the series Making Social Realities with Books.
    Curated by Brett Bloom. Rum 46, Aarhus, 16 Apr 2013.

    In the organiser's words: "The series of lectures and workshops explore the idea of how books – libraries, archives, publishing, and distribution - are used to create distinct social realities, whether it is in small communities, or entire movements within art practices and related activities. For this series Brett and rum 46 invited Art Leaks (New Brunswick), Eva Egerman (Vienna), Public Collectors (Chicago), David Senior (San Francisco), Banu Cenetoglu (Istanbul), Brandon LaBelle (Copenhagen), Delphine Bedel (Berlin) and Lauren van Haften-Schick (New York).

    Conference Talk: Feminist Writing, Centre for Feminist Research, Goldsmiths College, London, Friday 6 June 2014.

    In the organisers' words: "The questions of what to write, how to write, and where to write have always been central to feminism. Writing matters not only in the dissemination of knowledge but also to the creation of feminist publics. The history of feminism includes a history of materials that have been passed around. In this workshop we hope both to return to some of these histories of feminist writing (to consider, for example, the role of feminist presses, the uses of brochures and pamphlets as well as experimentations with genre) as well as to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for feminists raised by digitalization. By 'writing' we thus not only refer to scripts or texts, but all forms of communication."
    Listen on itunes.

    Conference presentation: The Piracy Project @ "Open Design Shared Creativity". FAD (Fostering Art and Design). Convened by Viviana Narotzky. Barcelona, 5 – 6 July 2013
    with Peter Troxler, Cecilia Tham, Marleen Stikker, Femke Snelting, Hannah Perner-Wilson, Cecilia Palmer, Sam Muirhead, Ezio Manzini, Antonin Léonard, Myles Lord, Patrick Kampmann, Tomas Diez, David Cuartielles, Javi Creus, Daniel Charny, Albert Cañigueral, Ricardo Amasté.

    In the organisers' words: "ODSC is an international forum that aims to present a variety of approaches to the concept of open design, touching different configurations of design practice, social design, user involvement and new business models. The main idea is to offer alternative visions to 'closed' and propietary systems, be it in terms of design process, business structure, social impact/participation or dissemination. Digital technology and social networks have reached a point of maturity from which a new industrial culture is emerging, revolutionising the processes of creation, mediation, distribution and consumption. Taking design in all its expressions and forms as a starting point, the conference is an important international forum of ideas, working platforms and specialised practices that are transforming the articulation of design with society, economy and culture."
    Watch on youtube.

    Dinner Conversation: in the series "Sister from Another Mister", by hosted and organised by Maria Guggenbichler. Florijn, De Bijlmer, Amsterdam, 9 Nov 2013

    In the organiser's words: "SISTER is a public events program for contemporary art, amateur conversations, users' culture, petit explorations in theory and practice, group hallucinations, specialists' strolls in the neighborhood, semi-academic thinking, science fiction of the past, reverse afro-futurism, the legacy of modernist urbanism, cultural cannibalism and queer appropriations, architecture parties, cooking dances, lingua franca, Wild Styles, Born in Flames, "Soup For The Night" becomes "Marble Cake On Sunday", former upper class hobbies in what used to be a ghetto, R'n'B stars and HIP HOP. SISTER's home is the studio and apartment of BijlmAIR, artist residency programme in Florijn 42, Amsterdam De Bijlmer."
    With Eva Weinmayr, Karin Michalski, Silvia Radicioni, Ann Cvetkovich, Sara Mattens, Anna McCarthy, Kapwani Kiwanga, Sun Ra, Wendy Van Wynsberghe, Maria Boletsi, Jerry Kno'Ledge Afriyie, Looi van Kessel, Gerlov van Engelenhoven, Maria Trenkel, Niklaus Mettler, Missy Elliot, DJ Døg, DJ Fair Trade, DJ Miss Samidi, DJ Boris Becker, Yeni Mao, Ivana Hilj, Rachel Somers Miles, Oswald de Andrade, Caetano Carvalho, Luc van Weelden, David Morris, Schizo Culture, Ti Grace Atkinson, Chris Kraus, DJ Nate, KRS-One, Deniz Unal, Leandro Cardoso Nerefuh, Lina Bo Bardi, Alencastro, Stefan Wharton, Alexander Krone, Nikos Doulos, Bart Witte, Nadia Tsulukidze, Stalin, Lieke Wouters, Thomas Hirschhorn, Born in Flames, Innercity, Fyoelk, The-High-Exalted-Never-Out-Dated-Grand Wizard Crem Fresh, Moemlien, Sapi & Cheworee Safari, Jamila Drott, BST Crew, Kristy Fenton, Rammellzee, Butcher's Tears, Paris is Burning, Anne Dersen, Margarita Osipian, Failed Architecture, Tim Verlaan, Mark Minkjan, Katharina Rohde, Roel Griffioen, ¥, and many others.

    Interview: Cornelia Sollfrank in conversation with Andrea Francke and Eva Weinmayr, Grand Union Birmingham, 6 Dec 2013.
    In the context of Cornelia Sollfrank's artistic research project "Giving What you don’t have", exploring the relationship between art and the commons, Postdigital Publishing Lab, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, 2013
    Watch interview
    Read the transcript.

    Workshops, Collective Research, Teaching with the Piracy Project

    Workshop at Making Social Realities with Books convened by Brett Bloom. Rum 46, Arhus.
    15-19 Apr 2013

    Brett Bloom (Temporary Services, Chicago) invited the Piracy Project to run a workshop in the series Making Social Realities with Books, which he co-organised with rum 46 in Copenhagen. The series of lectures and workshops explore the idea of how books – libraries, archives, publishing, and distribution - are used to create distinct social realities, whether it is in small communities, or entire movements within art practices and related activities. For this series Brett and rum 46 invited Art Leaks (New Brunswick), Eva Egerman (Vienna), Public Collectors (Chicago), David Senior (San Francisco), Banu Cenetoglu (Istanbul), Brandon LaBelle (Copenhagen), Delphine Bedel (Berlin) and Lauren van Haften-Schick (New York).

    Participants of the Piracy Project workshop travelled from art academies in Denmark, Latvia and Estonia in order to collectively think through the complexities of cultural piracy. We explored strategies and ethics of unauthorised publishing, built on local facilities and knowledges, visited self-publishers, self-organised print shops, libraries and bookshops in Aarhus.

    Workshop at Alternate Futures convened by Oliver Klimpel. Klasse für System Design, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Buchkunst, Leipzig, 17–19 Jan 2013

    Vertiefung Piracy Project / Fortsetzung von Arbeit vom Vortrag


    Appropriation / Manipulation von Text - Experimente / Verschränkungen

    z. B. Transformative Reprography, Narrative Appropriation, Plagiarism (Narr. Appropr.), Curation from the Commas, Translatative Re-Authorship, Visual Re-Authorship, Experimental Authorship, Reductive Re-Authorship, Reductive Subtraction, Identity Subversion (Translation. Authorship), Bootleg (Visual Re-Authorship), Concrete Transformation (Narrative Appropriation), Critical Theory (Denial of Image Clearance) etc. > changing the ending, translating, taking out, insert etc...

    dafür Mitbringen: Texte / Textausschnitte zum Thema “Alternate Futures”, bereits Teil der Recherche und Neues

    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    Workshop One Publishes to Find Comrades, The Piracy Project at Kunstverein Munich,
    4 –28 Nov 2014
    The books in the Piracy Project Reading Room at Kunstverein Munich were organised according to their distribution strategies – differentiating whether they circulate in black markets, grey markets, white markets, print on demand or as archival distribution. (→ See more in "reflection"). In this spirit, these two-week workshop focussed on alternative and informal and counter-public archives, collections, libraries and bookshops as well as print shops in Munich. For this research into local and informal knowledge infrastructures we invited Ingrid Scherf, the co-founder of Munich's independent Basis bookshop and event space (closed in 2010) and co-editor of "Das Blatt", West Germany's first alternative city magazine, published between 1973-84 in order to give a voice to those who are not represented by mainstream media. Marcell Mars passed by from his residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart to speak about his project Public Library, a collaboration with and Tomislav Medak. Sarah Käsmayr introduced us to her Raubkopiebuch investigating book piracy in the context of 1960s and 70s German student movement. Stephan Dillemuth invited us to unpack his Zine Archive. Ruth Höflich introduced us to her critical publishing practice and gave a guided tour through her father's print workshop, Druckwerkstatt Höflich, in Munich. Anna McCarthy invited us for a conversation about her exhibition Nein and her and Tagar's independent publishing, performance and recording practice. We also visited Steffi Hammann at the Munich Art Academy – where she together with Maria von Mier as a student set up a publishing house, Hammann von Mier, that operates from within the art school classroom. Finally we visited the copy shop Unikopie, a space – as the shop owners told us – is not only used as space for print production (making copies) but also for dissemination (leaving copies back in the shop for random people to pick them up). Download zine produced during the workshop

    Edited Publications

    The Piracy Collection as of 25.11.2011
    21 × 15.4 cm, 90 pages, b&w, digital print, AND Publishing, London 2011

    This booklet printed in black and white with a blank library card slid into the front cover contains the full catalogue of the books in The Piracy Collection received by November 25.11.2011. It represents a specific point in time, as the collection is constantly evolving. Alongside an introduction, the catalogue contains cover images and short descriptions of the submitted book projects demonstrating many different strategies and approaches to un-authorised copying and piracy.

    Piracy Paper#1: Jackson Hole by Michael Eddy & Grandpa Eddy, London: AND Publishing, 2012
    Piracy Paper #2: The Author of Everything by James Bridle, London: AND Publishing, 2013
    Piracy Paper #3: The Junk Ships on Alibaba by Joanne McNeil, London: AND Publishing, 2014

    The Piracy Papers is a series published in irregular intervals that explores material previously published online.
    Piracy Papers#1 Jackson Hole by Michael Eddy & Grandpa Eddy. Michael Eddy's Jackson Hole is an email exchange between Michael (based in Bejing) and his grandfather (based near Jackson Hole, USA) about the re-creation of the eponymous American town on the outskirts of Beijing, China and both writers's reflections on these two places that – although connected — are so different from each other.
    Piracy Paper #2 The Author of Everything by James Bridle.In this short story James Bridle explores the possibilities and practices created by the current practice to employ workers overseas to digitise classic English literature into e-books. What are the systems that guarantee the truthful “transformation” of these texts.
    Piracy Paper #3 The Junk Ships on Alibaba by Joanne McNeil. In this short story, Joanne McNeil describes a series of encounters with different types of counterfeit cultures around the world and their interaction with digital technologies.

    Borrowing, Poaching, Plagiarising, Pirating, Stealing, Gleaning, Referencing, Leaking, Copying, Imitating, Adapting, Faking, Paraphrasing, Quoting, Reproducing, Using, Counterfeiting, Repeating, Cloning, Translating, Andrea Francke & Eva Weinmayr (eds),
    25 x 21 cm, 140 pages, digital print. Published, designed and produced by AND, London, 2014

    The Piracy Project Reader is an open-ended reader, which will develop as people buy shares in one of its chapters. It explores the vocabulary relevant to Piracy Project and so far contains essays and contributions by Dave Hickey, Eva Hemmungs-Wirten, Joanne McNeil, Karen Di Franco, Lionel Bently, Prodromos Tsiavos, Sergio Munoz Sarmiento and awaits prospective essays by James Bridle, Stephen Wright and 16 others. Courtroom drawings are by Stephanie Thandiwe Johnstone. Many thanks to all supporters who have already bought a share.
    Excerpt from the introduction to the book: "This book is not finished. It is the start of a dialogue that will grow as we go along. Normally when you publish a book it aims to be a resolved object, an end point of a process. Not this one. The thing is that there are two of us and that has become one of the key determinants on how the project evolves. There are always two voices and that allows us to always be open to different positions. I guess that’s what I call a dialogue." (...)

    What Others Say

    • Ali Diker researching for his article in Bloomberg Businessweek Turkiye, 1-7 April 2012
      →Download article.
    • Article by Orit Gat, Rhizome, 25 Oct 2011.
      Read article.
    • Pathologies of Dissent, Sidney Hart and Noah Bremer, art and education, e-flux paper, 2012.
      Read article.