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The previous chapter "02*Setting" provided an overview of the sites, the projects, and the initial questions, and the format of this Ph.D. submission and as such serves as an overall introduction to the research project. This chapter "03*Survey of the field" moves on to map the context for the contribution made by the research project. It does so by gathering a range of examples that identify and delimit the general conditions of knowledge-practice concerning the politics of publishing at the intersection of contemporary art, radical education, and institutional analysis. The examples and practices I will describe in the following operate post-representational, or in curator Nora Sternfeld's words, they are "negotiating with reality." [1]

They are spread widely in terms of geography and history, and they draw on a wide range of disciplinary frames. This broad field of sampling stems from a commitment to work transversally and not to be bound by the protocols of one field alone – such as contemporary art or feminist organizational practices or radical education.

On closer inspection, the practices I discuss here share two distinct features: They are discrete instances, where the dominant paradigms of publishing and the formation of knowledge have been in one way or another adjusted, acting as declared counter-political projects. In sampling these arguably disparate practices, I did not start with explicit criteria; instead, through sampling, I arrived at criteria – that in turn help me to name and delimit the context to which I am contributing.

All the practices described in the following interfere in distinct ways with notions of authorship, editorial processes, design, production, and distribution, as well as with methods of classifying, archiving, and reading. Overall this communality ties them together into a broader act of contesting power structures. I think through the examples in a broadly chronological sequence. However, I don't suggest that there is any developmental narrative here as such. Instead, these different examples provide a genealogy of concerns that help to locate the specific contribution of the current inquiry.

Setting up alternative infrastructures

Early conceptual artist books: Setting up infrastructures of production and distribution (the 60s and 70s)

Johanna Drucker traced back the beginning of artists and poets using the book format as an artistic medium to Stephane Mallarme (1842 - 98) and William Blake (1757–1827). [2] One should mention that Russian Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism developed the form of the book as an artistic medium. Still, it is the emergence of conceptual art in the 60s and 70s that shifted the interest from the precious and artistically crafted "livre artiste" to political questions of production, dissemination, and consumption of art more generally.

These artistic practices criticized the paradigms of the art market by avoiding the aura of preciousness and uniqueness. In contrast to traditional art objects, "a book's text is infinitely replicable, the number of copies that can be printed is theoretically limitless." [3]

In the United States, for example, artists' books have been described as a means to circumvent established institutions and perhaps to a certain degree an attempt to reform the art system by: "(1) the use of inexpensive printing and production methods allowed anyone to be a publisher, (2) alternative distribution networks were 'aiding in the decentralization of the art system …', (3) this form of art was portable and disposable and (4) these works were, or could be, 'democratic objects'".[4] [5]

Asked why the book has proved to be so attractive as an artistic medium art theorist Lucy Lippard speculates that artists' books are "considered by many the easiest way out of the art world and into the heart of a broader audience." [6] Lippard describes here the fundamental political potential of the artists' book as a conceptual and material means to question, intervene in and disturb existing practices and institutions.

Art-Rite Magazine #14, New York, winter 1976/77. Read the artists' responses to this call here.

The challenge was to set up production and distribution systems that provided an alternative way to circulate the books without falling back to exclusionary market mechanisms of the art system. Investigating whether artists could set up independent systems of circulation the editors of Art-Rite magazine put out a call:

"Artists' Books – We are investigating the possibilities of a publishing and distribution system for artists' books. (This does not mean catalogs.) Do you have: a) already published books that we can distribute or sell on consignment? b) Completely planned, unpublished books with or without dummies? c) names of other artists who have either one? Let us know. Please send information to PRINTED MATTER, 164 Mulberry St., NYC 10013." [7]

Due to their perceived potential to subvert the (commercial, profit-driven) gallery system and to politicize artistic practice - artist books played an important part in the rise of independent art structures, claims Joan Lyon. She, for example, founded in 1971 the Visual Studies Workshop Press, at the Rochester based independent art school VSW. This press published artists' books by students and staff likewise, as part of an educational process. [8] Artists started to set up their own distribution infrastructures by founding independent artists' book shops, (some of them still thriving today, such as Printed Matter, New York, and Art Metropole, Toronto)[9], arguably in an attempt to counter the hegemonic art gallery market – to a certain extent. This disclaimer is necessary, as history has shown, that artists' books were always prone to be recaptured by the market and turned into a collectible. [10]

Descriptors and their discontents: artist book, artist's publishing

⟶  See book chapter: Confronting authorship - constructing practices, How copyright destroys collective practice ⟶  See published interview with Jinglun Zhu: More Verb, Less Noun - Publishing as Collective Practice ⟶  See Analysis: How to demonumentalize monumental knowledge

Ulises Carrión, leaflet from "Other Books and So," Amsterdam, no date. In "Dear Reader. Don't Read", Museo Nacional Reina Sofia Madrid, 2016, page 194. Download book here.

Artists in this period have certainly helped to expand the limits of mainstream art as well and pushed the understanding of what a book can be or do, but there is a problem with the descriptor "artists' book." It reduces the multi-faceted social, critical, and educational agencies of book production, circulation, and consumption to an object, that arguably comes inevitably to be subjected to notions of ownership and authorship and thus to monetary value and copyright.

Therefore, for this inquiry into the critical agency of publishing and knowledge practices, the term 'publishing' seems more useful. This shift in terminology puts the focus on the process rather than on the finished object, a shift that I will explore from different perspectives throughout my inquiry. The interview with Jinglun Zhu, "More Verb, Less Noun," for example, discusses underground publishing, piracy, and collectivity. The section "Analysis: How to demonumentalize monumental knowledge" examines this shift from an institutional, educational, and research setting. And the book chapter "Confronting Authorship, Constructing Practices - How copyright destroys collective practice" explores this shift from a feminist legal perspective.

The traditional term "artist book" is still widely in use. Many publishing fairs use it across the globe: "The New York Art Book Fair," founded in 2005 by Printed Matter; "London Art Book Fair" at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; "Index Art Book Fair" in Mexico City; "MISS READ - Berlin Art Book Festival"; "Vancouver Art Book Fair"; "Tokyo Art Book Fair," to name just a few. [11] Recent activities and scholarship, however, seem to adapt to this shift. A two-part event series at the artist-run publishing space X Marks the Bökship in London, set up by Eleanor Vonne Brown, was titled "Publishing as Practice" (2010 and 2014) followed by Annette Gilbert's (ed.) anthology "Publishing as Artistic Practice." These new descriptors take into account the processual practice aspect of publication. [12]

However, while the term "artists' publishing" shifts certainly the emphasis on the processual and its social and emancipatory agency, it limits its applicability to makers or authors, who define themselves as artists. Richard Kostelanetz wrote already in 1979: "One trouble with the current term artists' books is that it defines a work of art by the initial profession (or education) of its author, rather than by qualities of the work itself. Since genuine critical categories are meant to define art of a particular kind, it is a false term. The art at hand is books no matter who did them; and it is differences among them, rather than in their authorship, that should comprise the stuff of critical discourse." [3] Kostelanetz's emphasis on what books do, rather than who made them seems to be in line with Michel Foucault's critique of the author function that I will discuss and problematize from a feminist and decolonial perspective in the analysis section.

Counter-cultural alternative media - Radical Printshops (70s, 80s, UK)

⟶  see: See Red, Women's workshop, London Secondly, my inquiry into the contestations of publishing as an agent for change moves beyond the field of art and extends to the wider field of counter-cultural "alternative media." Jess Baines' work on radical printshops in the U.K., an attempt to write historiography from within, has taught me how historically (the 60s - 80s) collective feminist work has organized itself. How people came together in a struggle, and how they made use of media, such as prints, posters, magazines, and zines to create a community and campaign around the issues at stake.[13]

Baines illustrates how alternative media and social movements have mobilized the concept of counter-public spheres, which Nancy Fraser defines as "subaltern counter-publics." She describes them as "parallel discursive arenas where members of subordinated social groups invent and circulate counterdiscourses to formulate oppositional interpretations of their identities, interests, and needs." [14] Fraser brings the example of the U.S. feminist subaltern counter-public, "with its variegated array of journals, bookstores, publishing companies, film and video distribution networks, lecture series, research centers, academic programs, conferences, conventions, festivals, and local meeting places, where feminist women have invented new terms for describing social reality, including "sexism," "the double shift," "sexual harassment," and "marital date, and acquaintance rape." [14]

It's interesting that Fraser's reflection on the question of "alternative media" in 1990, already has a disclaimer, that not all of the subaltern counterpublics are necessarily "virtuous," but can be anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian. She argues that, in principle, "assumptions that were previously exempt from contestation will now have to be publicly argued out" and that "the proliferation of subaltern counterpublics mean a widening of discursive contestation." [14] Today, 30 years later, given the rise of the far-right movements and their successful media strategies, we might have to rethink the concept of the counterpublic and alternative media more carefully. [15]

The question of what is "alternative media" has been broadly defined as "media production that challenges, at least implicitly, actual concentrations of media [symbolic] power." [16] Here, of course, criteria are needed to define counter-cultural practices. Jess Baines summarizes these as "politically progressive and/or oppositional content; democratic organizational practices; independence from commercial and state influence; involving amateurs rather than professionals'; considering audiences as participants (potential if not actual) rather than consumers; adapting/mobilizing available technologies" and notes that these criteria, generally speaking, "point in the same direction, towards the democratization of media in terms of what is produced (different perspectives), who produces it (different bodies) and how it is produced (different practices)." [17]

Jess's in-depth study on radical printshops in the U.K. provides an instrumental framework and point of reference for the practice of "See Red women collective" who operated 1974 - 1990 in London. Jess sees the instigative moment of See Red as extending "the communicative capacities of politically, economically and socially 'marginal' groups and disputing various forms and practices of 'dominant power.'" [18] Disputing forms of dominant power included for See Red inventing new modes of working together that also produced forms of collective authorship more broadly. Suzy Mackie and Pru Stevenson, founding members of See Red explain:

In the early days, the posters were mainly produced about our own personal experiences as women, about the oppression of housework, childcare and the negative image of women [in media and advertising]. An idea for a poster would be discussed in the group; a member would work on a design, bring it back for comment, someone else might make changes, and so on until the collective was satisfied with the end result; no one individually took the credit. This was a concept many in the art world found hard to accept: 'who holds the pencil? Someone must hold the pencil!' [19]

This account of collective creative practice that defeats individual authorship and claims of ownership is significant for the discussion of regimes of individual authorship in the analysis section.⟶  See Analysis: How to demonumentalize monumental knowledge

Secondly, the print shop was a site of sociality. Members of the See Red Women's Workshop stressed in a public talk (2013) how important it was to gather in person and generate ideas about how to visualize a particular issue that was important to them. [20] It was the activity of articulating experiences and collective brainstorming that politicized their practice, and it was the exchange of ideas that led to sharp slogans and imagery for the posters. As Jess's study shows, the printshops were much more than "collaborations." The interviews she conducted with members of the printshops show that this practice "is about change, personal and social, not just as something cognitive, but also via physical, embodied practice." [21] This implicit collectivity was also seen as a form of resistance: "It was part of the politics that you sought an alternative route to the mainstream because it rejected you for race, gender, sexuality, anything, so it was ok we'll do it ourselves, and we'll do it in a different way that is nonhierarchical." [22]

The collectivity, as Jess explains, generated "cultural constellations" that "produced and were produced by movements and milieus," that were "made up of groups and individuals staking particular claims," producing 'culture,' developing new ways of 'doing things' and mobilizing technologies and tools to do so." [23]

The printshops as a site for culture and knowledge practice could be related to the model of the rhizome, a metaphor borrowed from Deleuze and Guattari's critique of 'arboreal' thought –that is the tree as a model for knowledge. Jess explains this referring to Deleuze & Guattari: Arboreal thought is hierarchical, centralized and linear (with roots, a trunk, and branches that subdivide in importance), whereas the rhizome is anarchic, made of points without a center, but "always in the middle, between things… the tree is filiation… the rhizome is alliance." [24] "Any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be. This is very different from the tree or root, which plots a point, fixes an order." [25]

The figure of the rhizome, therefore, suggests heterogeneity and multiplicity, process and flows rather than structure and fixity and therefore relates, according to Olga Bailey (and others), to alternative media's potential to connect diverse struggles. [26] This rhizomatic way of working that is connecting different struggles could also be seen as a working principle of contemporary media collectives that translate some aspects of radical print shops into feminist technologies.

Open Source: Feminist technologies: Constant (Brussels)

Constant is a feminist, non-profit, artist-run organization based in Brussels active in the fields of art, media, and technology since 1997.

Constant develops, investigates, and experiments. Constant departs from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Constant loves collective digital artistic practices. Constant organizes transdisciplinary work sessions. Constant creates installations, publications, and exchanges. Constant collaborates with artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers. Constant is active archives, poetic algorithms, body and software, books with an attitude, correlations, counter cartographies, situated publishing, e-traces, extitutional networks, interstitial work, libre graphics, performative protocols, relearning, discursive infrastructures, hackable devices. ⟶  see: webpage Constant

Current artistic director Femke Snelting describes Constant as "a collective of collectives" [...] trying to work out "what" feminist technologies could be, and "how" they could be practiced." [27] Starting from open-source the folks working with/at/around Constant make the connection between the free software manifesto [28] and feminist values. "We were performing and enacting the feminist potential of free software and then seeing that there are many more things going on that keep back that potential and that we needed to be much more direct, explicit, and clear about our feminist intentions," says Femke in a video conversation with Barcelona based activist spideralex.[27] "The French use for "operating systems" the term "système d'exploitation." As a feminist, you don't want to accept your exploitation system, you want to be able to change and modify it." [29]

Therefore Constant's work on feminist technology does not only look at the front end (the devices, the software we use) but explores the back end (the channels, the servers, the infrastructures). For feminist technology seems incomplete "if you don't do all the layers." [30] This entails taking seriously the consequences of thinking technology as "being embedded in practices of maintenance, of care, of resources, of shorter as well as longer time frames." Going through all the layers means thinking about how they technologies produce norms, how they make space for difference, how they work from possibilities and not probabilities, how they can keep opening up that potential." [27] According to Femke feminist infrastructure is not about control and ownership, on the contrary, "to me it is crucial to remind ourselves that technologies are about relations with things we like to relate to, but also things we don't like to be related to. So its about practices that make the best of those situations." [27] Femke emphasizes a certain persistence, that is not necessarily "going towards a solution," but a persistence "that is determined and strengthening and maybe even empowering without cutting itself away from the dependencies it is entangled with." She refers here to Donna Haraway's "staying with the trouble." Haraway argues in her book that, "eschewing futurism, staying with the trouble is both more serious and more lively. Staying with the trouble requires making oddkin; that is, we require each other in unexpected collaborations and combinations, in hot compost piles. We become-with each other or not at all. That kind of material semiotics is always situated, someplace and not noplace, entangled and worldly." Haraway argues that "staying with the trouble" is only possible in relationships (with people, with materials, with tools), since "alone, in our separate kinds of expertise and experience, we know both too much and too little, and so we succumb to despair or to hope, and neither is a sensible attitude."

It is impressive how present and ongoing the activities of Constant are. There are too many on several different layers and fields of inquiry to "capture" them here. But it is the entirety of their rhizomatic practice, the "ongoingness" that makes Constant such an important cause. To be able to sustain this practice for more than 20 years, to be able to pay active members even a modest monthly salary, is an example of an intersectional feminist institution-building beyond conventional knowledge structures such as the artspace, the university, the culture center - in Constant's own words it is "extitutional" network building. Their open-source approach, an underlying principle in their mode of working, develops temporalities and effects that are very different from one-off artistic gestures, such as "interventions" that often remain in the realm of the symbolic.

Interventionist strategies “Insertions into Ideological Circuits”


Hacking and infiltrating, using already existing infrastructures is a different strategy of radical publishing. “Insertions into Ideological Circuits” (1970) is a series of works by Brazilian artist Cildo Mereiles. He infiltrated already existing infrastructures of circulation by screen printing anti-war slogans on recyclable Coca Cola bottles as a gesture against the ongoing war in Vietnam. Mereiles screen-printed the empty bottle and returned it to the shops and made it re-enter the circulation system. The inscribed bottle got refilled in the factory and delivered via shops to its consumers. Money bills are another circulation system since money notes pass from hand to hand in exchange for goods. In a similar vein, he rubber-stamped critical questions about the Brazilian dictatorship on one-dollar bills and fed them back into circulation. Here the artist merely “piggy-bagged” on already existing infrastructures of circulation as a carrier for his messages. In the same vein in November 2008 activists around the US prankster collective The Yes Men “hacked” the New York Times by printing a “special edition” of 80,000 copies, distributed for free to passers-by on the streets of several US cities. This special edition was a perfect replica of the visual appearance of The New York Times. The activists co-opted the authority of the New York Times to circulate a visionary “best-case scenario” with hypothetical headlines and articles, such as “Iraq War Ends,” “Minimum Wage Law Passes Congress,” USA Patriot Act Repealed,” All Public Universities to Be Free.” [31]

Library as Infrastructure

⟶  see book chapter: Library Underground

⟶  Watch video Library Underground_welcome to my tent.

⟶  Library Underground-welcome to my tent-film still.jpg

Libraries play a crucial role in the distribution and circulation of published knowledge. Whether it is a physical collection of inked paper or an online archive of digitally published files, libraries are key moments for accessing, activating, and disseminating knowledge. The ethos of the public library (in contrast to private, monastic, or other specialized and restricted libraries) is intimately connected to democratic ideals of equality and free access to knowledge. [dee Library of Omissions and Inclusions] As Anna-Sophie Springer points out, libraries, being usually non-profit spaces, provide citizens with material and immaterial goods and media that would otherwise have to be purchased. [32] The public library has, therefore, be defined by (i) a publicly available collection, (ii) housed in a public building, (iii) indexed and made accessible with the help of a public catalog, (iv) serviced by trained librarians and (v) financed through public funds. [33] A complex body of research, artistic interventions, sociological and media studies in the last decade have focused on the function and importance of libraries. [34] David Weinberger, for example, wants us to think of libraries as "open platforms" — not only for the creation of software but also for the development of knowledge and community. [35]. Shannon Mattern proposes the library as infrastructure, as a place where informational and social infrastructures intersect[36] highlighting the benefits to immigrants, seniors, individuals searching for work, public school students, and aspiring entrepreneurs. [37] Tomislav Medak reminds us of all the many sides of the phenomenon that the public library is: a "major community center, service for the vulnerable, center of literacy, informal and lifelong learning; a place where hobbyists, enthusiasts, old and young meet and share knowledge and skills."[38] And the Guardian newspaper reminds us that "Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010". [39]

Synergy Magazine Index of years 1967-71 Download pdf.

But institutional libraries (in contrast to private or self-organized) are also disciplinary institutions determining what comes to be validated as relevant knowledge. "The revolting librarians," a movement in the 70s in California, criticized the limited range of topics and information public libraries provided at the time serving mainly a white, middle-class readership. They pointed towards the American Bill of Rights declaration that stated the library should provide information "for every member of the community" and consequently campaigned for the inclusion of information and topics that served marginalized groups.[40] The library newsletter "Synergy," published in the 60s and 70s lists topics such as "San Francisco State College-Strike," "Neglected Novels," "The Underground Press," "Right-Wing Periodicals," "Women's Liberation," "Native Americans," "Ecology," "Radicals in the Profession," "Gay Liberation," "Prisons," "Insurgent Librarians," "Occult," "Changing Family Structure." [41]

My book chapter "Library Underground - a reading list for a coming community," provides details as well as discussion of the "revolting librarian" movement in the Bay Area, California, in the 70s.

Today it seems that recently introduced open access policies arguably mitigate the question of authorization and validation in the acquisition process since a multitude of decentralized research repositories and archives provide free access to publicly funded research. Albeit only to a certain extent, since the question of authorization is merely shifted, as discussed in the interview, "Rethinking where the thinking happens," I conducted with Sarah Kember, director of Goldsmiths Press in London. ⟶  see public interview: "Rethinking where the thinking happens", Sarah Kember

Radical Librarianship – "extitutional": Questions of access and validation

In the following, I will discuss two different but interconnected concerns of radical librarianship. One reviews questions of access and validation, mostly at play in public and research libraries. (What is acknowledged as valid knowledge, for whom, by whom). The discussion also includes economic enclosures produced by restrictive copyright policies and licenses established mostly by big (academic) publishing monopolies. Secondly, there is considerable artistic and activist work being done that draws attention to the politics and biases of organizing, framing, categorizing, and classifying knowledge, i.e., bibliographical practices. I structured the discussion into two parts. Part one looks at self-organized, "extitutional" libraries and archives followed by a discussion of institutional interventions.

An artwork: Martha Rosler Library (2007)

Among the wide range of artists who have worked with libraries as part of their artistic practice, is, for example, Martha Rosler Library. On the invitation of Anton Vidokle (e-flux) nearly eight thousand books were temporarily removed from the artist's home to be made available to the public in e-flux organized reading room in New York, at the Liverpool Biennale and in several exhibitions across Europe. Elena Filipovic describes this as "an act of incredible generosity, one of America's most important living artists temporality dispossessed herself of the vast majority of her personal library so that it could be made available for consultation. No borrowing was possible, but the eclectic ensemble of books on economics, political theory, war, colonialism, poetry, feminism, science fiction, art history, mystery novels, children's books, dictionaries, maps and travel books, as well as photo albums, posters, postcards and newspaper clippings could be studied at will." [42] It has been suggested that the contents of the library are "both the source of Rosler's work and an installation/artwork that continues many of the concerns - with public space, access to information and engaged citizenship - that traverse her entire oeuvre." [42] Here, the "making public" of her book collection could be interpreted as some sort of artist portrait. One could read "read" Rosler's oeuvre through her books, to reflect on the relationship between her work and the books. She vehemently opposes this reading in an interview with Stephen Wright:

The one thing about the library I never anticipated was that people would see it as a portray of me". That is "the least" interesting interpretation that could possibly exist. Why see it as a symbolic creation? Why not see it as a library, with both books from diverse sources and pamphlets and other things? Because otherwise, you have abstracted it to the point where it's offering you nothing. So I am horrified by the library-as-portrait. [... That means] they didn't have to see it as an open invitation to anything, but only as ruins, like if we decipher this, we'll have the story of Martha Rosler. No, no, no, no, wrong! Look through THE artist, THIS artist, to the basis of the practice of AN artist.[43]

Even if it is "an" artist rather than "the" artist this library is framed as an artwork by an individual artist in collaboration with an initiator ("on invitation by Anton Vidokle") this personal library seems to always point back to one individual, its creator, its artist. It is, therefore, as I argue, certainly a generous gesture. Still, one that quite simply re-affirms re-affirms a conception of art with a capital A, where one artist creates a work, and others are invited to interpret it. The question to ask is, how would one encounter these books had she lent or donated them to a public library without adding her name to it. Or in other words, what kind of value is added by framing this collection of books as Martha Rosler's. This contestation of value is one of the underlying topics explored in my practice project, Library of Inclusions and Omissions. ⟶  see project: Library of Inclusions and Ommissions

A network of relationships: Infoshops (1990s U.K.)

By comparison, a fundamentally more collective approach is taken by various small self-organized libraries and reading rooms emerging in cities in Europe and the U.S. in recent years. Often set up by artists or connected to newly emerging maker spaces, these small community-run libraries are informally organized and cater to the needs of local residents and various community groups living in the area. They are building on the tradition of collectively run infoshops or community archives arising in the 90s in the U.K. and U.S. as part of social movements.

Infoshops, described as a node of "free space within a diffuse, anti-hierarchical network" [44] are often homes not only to debate and discussion but also to alternative media. They are therefore connected to the discussion on radical printshops above.

Operating independently, not council-run or organisationally affiliated, they were catering explicitly for the information (and other, social and cultural) needs of its users.[45] Chris Atton claims "one of the info shop's key functions is to be a repository and distributor of alternative media (mostly, though not exclusively, anarchist media), and it appears to function as a hybrid form of information resource, acting as a library, archive, distributor, and sales outlet. It can also be a site for the production of such media, often produced by the same collective that runs the infoshop itself." [44] The infoshop as knowledge site, could be described as a two-way function, the origin, and outcome of collective action. Alberto Melucci has proposed a definition of collective action based on: "a network of active relationships between actors who interact, communicate, influence each other, negotiate, and make decisions. Forms of organization and models of leadership, communicative channels and technologies of communication are constitutive parts of this network of relationships." [46]

In this reading of social movements, the role of the network and media as activators of that network - assume key positions. Melucci defines the network as comprising "active relationships" at the heart of collective action. The infoshop, therefore, according to Atton, offers a radical form of a community library and plays a crucial role in developing autonomy, solidarity, and reflexivity in the creative processes of activist politics.

Shadow Libraries

"With books ready to be shared [online], meticulously cataloged, everyone is a librarian. When everyone is a librarian, the library is everywhere." (Memory of the World) [47]

In the last decade, a multitude of online shadow libraries emerged. Operating as peer-to-peer sharing platforms, they build on the idea "when everybody is a librarian; library is everywhere." These piratical text collections are pooling already circulating resources alongside scans of copyrighted books that are (often illicitly) uploaded by the platforms' users. Or in Bodó B.'s words, "this is a library which is perfectly virtual, which has no monumental buildings, no multi-million euro budget, no miles of stacks, no hundreds of staff but which has, despite lacking all that what apparently makes a library, millions of literary works and millions of scientific books, all digitized, all available at the click of the mouse for everyone on the earth without any charge, library or university membership." [48] The history of book piracy is tightly connected to the history of the printing press, to the history of censorship, the history of copyright, and civil disobedience. [49] Therefore book piracy, as Bodó B. notes, "is an activity that has deep cultural significance, because ultimately it is a story about how knowledge is circulated beyond and often against the structures of political and economic power, and thus it is a story about the changes this unofficial circulation of knowledge brings." [50]

A huge range of activism, scholarship, workshops, seminars, and conferences have been organized in the last decade to identify the need and the importance and the effects of pirate libraries. [51] I will not go into the intricacies of the effects of copyright regimes in this section. I have discussed the blockages copyright and intellectual property regimes are producing in the fields of art and education in the chapter "Confronting Authorship, Constructing Practices - how copyright destroys collective practice."

For understanding the full scope of pirate libraries, it is important to note that the core activities of a library (namely providing documents and books, lending, copying) are subjugated to the same copyright laws that govern authors and publishers. Bodó B. explains that the traditional legal limitations and exceptions to copyright that enabled libraries to fulfill their role in the analog world do not apply in the digital realm. Libraries are allowed to digitize their holdings but only for use onsite.[52] That means that off-site e-lending of copyrighted works is, in most cases, only possible through individual license agreements with publishers which most libraries can only afford on a limited scale. [53]

This is the context, very abbreviated, for Aaron Swartz's "Guerilla Open Access Manifesto" that called for the liberation and sharing of scientific knowledge. Swartz forcefully asserted that scientific knowledge, produced due to public funds and the voluntary labor of academics could not be locked up behind corporate paywalls set up by publishers. Unauthorized copying and dissemination of scientific works, the transfer from closed paywall repositories to public archives, he claimed, is a question of moral. He took action on what he was promoting. He created herewith, according to Bodo B., "an ideological framework which was more radical and promised to be more effective than either the creative commons (Lessig, 2004) or the open access (Suber, 2013) movements that tried to address the access to knowledge issues in a more copyright-friendly manner." [54].

From the range of recent and current initiatives, I will pick out and address a small range of shadow libraries that each in different ways constitute the context for my inquiry.

"Sci-hub" ("Remove all barriers in the way of science"), was founded in 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan, at the time graduate student in science (Kazakhstan). Frustrated by the inaccessibility of scientific papers for research and education due to high costs, Elbakyan created a website that enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal's site. As of March 2020, Sci-hub provides access to 81 million journal articles and papers (as of March 2020) by retrieving and distributing scholarly literature without regard to copyright. [55]

Elbakyan stresses the most important part in Sci-Hub is not the repository itself, but the script that can download papers closed behind paywalls directly from the publisher. [56] One method Sci-Hub uses to bypass paywalls is by obtaining leaked authentication credentials for educational institutions (Elbakyan, 2017). These credentials enable Sci-Hub to use institutional networks as proxies and gain subscription journal access. [57]

As the sci-hub website states, "papers are primary sources [and therefore necessary] for research since they contain a detailed description of new results and experiments. At this time, the widest possible distribution of research papers, as well as of other scientific or educational sources, is artificially restricted by copyright laws. Such laws effectively slow down the development of science in human society." [55] As of April 2020 Sci-hub counts 81,327,483 journal articles and papers and, as Michael S. Rosenwald writes in the Washington Post, approximately 400,000 requests per day. [58] The sheer scope of Sci-Hub, its broad coverage and usage might challenge the status quo and could potentially produce a radical shift in how individuals access scholarly literature in the future.

⟶  Memory of the World A second example is "Memory of the World" set up by Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak in xx. They explain that Memory of the World is the synergy of two efforts. First, it makes a case for the institution of the public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge. Second, it is an exploration and development of distributed internet infrastructure for amateur librarians. At Memory of the World, amateur librarians scan their book collections and upload the digital pdfs or e-pubs to the repository for others to download. Convinced that knowledge should be free and not curtailed by big publishing monopolies or copyright notes, Memory of the World offers a new interpretation of what a public library could be. Or in Bodo B.'s words, "users left to their own devices, can produce a library by themselves for themselves. In fact, users are the library. And when everyone has the means to digitize, collect, catalog, and share his/her own library, then the library suddenly is everywhere." [59]

"Aaaaarg.fail," by comparison, comes from a slightly different angle. It is an online text repository initially serving as a library for the "The Public School," a framework supporting autodidact activities taking off in Los Angeles in 2007.[60] The Public School's initiator, Fiona Whitton and Sean Dockray were critical of the assumption that a curriculum always comes with an institutionalized agenda defining a prescribed canon of learning. In the Public School, people propose classes they'd like to take or want to teach.[61] Public School has been spreading to other cities such as Buenos Aires, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, Durham, Helsinki, London, Vienna among others. Aaaaarg has grown over the years into "a community of researchers and enthusiasts from contemporary art, critical theory, philosophy, and related fields who maintain, catalog, annotate and run discussions relevant to their research interests." [62] Sean Dockray describes AAAARG as "a conversation platform - at different times it performs as a school, or a reading group, or a journal. AAAARG was created to develop critical discourse outside of an institutional framework. But rather than thinking of it like a new building, imagine scaffolding that attaches onto existing buildings and creates new architectures between them." [63] Asked to explain the model of scaffolding Dockray explains:

"The image of scaffolding was simply a way of describing an orientation with respect to institutions that was neither inside nor outside, dependent nor independent, reformist or oppositional, etc. At the time, the institutions I meant were specifically Universities, which seemed to have absorbed theory into closed seminar rooms, academic formalities, and rarefied publishing worlds. [...] When a reading group uploaded a few texts as a way to distribute them among members, those texts also stayed available. [...] The concept of 'Issues' provided a way for people to make subjective groupings of texts, from 'anti-austerity encampment movements' to 'DEPOSITORY TO POST THE WRITTEN WORKS OF AMERICAN SOCIALISM. NO SOCIAL SCIENCES PLEASE.' These groupings could be shared so that anyone might add a text into an issue, an act of collective bibliography-making. The idea was that AAAAARG would be an infinite resource, mobilized (and nurtured) by reading groups, social movements, fringe scholars, temporary projects, students, and so on." [64]

Quite importantly, there is no moderation of the site beyond the maintenance of the server and the technical infrastructure. This open approach distinguishes it from other shadow libraries. It shows how aaaaarg transcends the narrow understanding of a library as a service of supplying distinct and finite objects to distinct and individual readers.

⟶  Monoskop "Monoskop" is similar to aaaaarg in such as it is a wiki (including a blog) where everyone can contribute. Set up by Dušan Barok (Amsterdam), it is an online repository that "aggregates, documents and maps works, artists and initiatives related to the avant-gardes, media arts and theory, and activism." It focuses on the implications of digital-networked textuality for knowledge production. In an interview with Annet Dekker, Dušan explains, "besides providing access, digital libraries are also fit to provide context by treating publications as a corpus of texts that can be accessed through an unlimited number of interfaces designed with an understanding of the functionality of databases and an openness to the imagination of the community of users."

Monoskop experiments with the specificity of digital text, which is as Dušan claims different both to oral speech and printed books. "Orality emphasizes the sequence and narrative of an argument, in which words themselves are imagined as constituting meaning. Specific to writing, on the other hand, is referring to the written record; texts are brought together by way of references, which in turn create context, also called discourse. Statements are 'fixed' to paper, and meaning is constituted by their contexts—both within a given text and within a discourse in which it is embedded. [...] The flattening effects of the index transformed the ways in which we come to 'know' things. [...] This can be done by creating layers of classification, interlinking bodies of texts through references, creating alternative indexes of persons, things, and terms, making full-text search possible, making visual search possible—across the whole of the corpus as well as its parts, and so on. [...] To 'write' a 'book' in this context is to produce a searchable database instead." [65] Monoskop does exactly this on its wiki. ⟶  Monoskop, Compendium of digital shadow libraries ⟶  Monoskop, Inverse Reader As a reference, Monoskop also provides a compendium of digital shadow libraries and a reader compiling a collection of writings, talks, and conversations about shadow, independent, and artists' digital libraries. [66] The discussion of digital intertextuality here creates the grounds for my reflections on using a wiki as a format for my Ph.D. submission in the section Analysis.

There is a second strand of shadow libraries and digital collections that share the aim to counter institutional distribution monopolies. However, these repositories differ in one crucial aspect from user-generated peer-to-peer platforms in that they are individually curated. "Ubuweb," for example, is a curated online archive for text, audio, and video set up by US-based conceptual writer Kenneth Goldsmiths in xx. "The Public Collectors" online archive is curated and maintained by Marc Fisher (Temporary Services) in Chicago.[67] Antonia Hirsch's "The Surplus Library on Affect & Economic Exchange" instigates the lending of individually owned hardcopy books, mediated through an online platform, which indicates the location of the book to be lent from (mostly) private book collections.[68] This second set of critical archiving is not user run and is, in most cases, tightly connected to an individual (artist). One of the problems addressed in recent activist discourse is to find strategies for how such infrastructures could be collectivized to secure the accessibility and usability of decades of content digitizing and archiving for future generations. These questions of maintenance are huge, as are questions of legal prosecution.[69]

Book pirates under certain conditions, according to Bodo B., can be powerful agents of change. "Their agency rests on their ability to challenge the status quo and resist cooptation or subjugation. In that effect, digital pirates seem to be quite resilient (Giblin, 2011; Patry, 2009). They have the technological upper hand, and so far, they have [often] been able to outsmart any copyright enforcement effort. As long as it is not completely possible to eradicate file-sharing technologies, and as long as there is a substantial difference between what is legally available and what is in demand, cultural black markets will be here to compete with and outcompete the established and recognized cultural intermediaries. Under this constant existential threat, business models and institutions are forced to adapt, evolve, or die." (Bodo page 3)

Bodo B. points out book pirates also excel in some of the core services of libraries. For the moment, pirate libraries provide significantly better services than most of the institutional libraries. They offer far more electronic books, with much fewer restrictions and constraints, to far more people, considerably cheaper than anyone else in the library domain. Libraries have to adjust, and book piracy needs to be taken seriously, not just as a threat, Bodo. B. claims, but as an opportunity.[70] Having described the library as "infrastructure" (above), the challenge for institutional libraries seems to learn from pirate libraries how these operate and how they interact with their users. Pirate libraries basically "are" the products of their readers. And since readers and authors decide what should go in, questions of validation become obsolete. Here the need to campaign for the inclusion of topics serving marginalized groups (like the library newsletter Synergy Magazine above) would transform into the task to develop a repository of relevant information and knowledge. Here the library could potentially become a decentralized, distributed, commons-based institution created and maintained through peer production.

The above-described practices share the concern of providing access to knowledge, which is not collected by institutional libraries or archives for a range of outlined reasons. Built into the issue of access is the question of finding, and as such, naming, indexing, and cataloging that the following section will discuss.

Radical Librarianship – "institutional": Questions of organization and classification

Following on the discussion of "extitutional" librarianship, a term used in Constant's practice in Brussels (see above), I will map a range of practices that intervene in institutional contexts. They disrupt or adjust in different ways institutionalized processes and habits of distribution, organization, and bibliographical methods.

⟶  see Reflection theorization: Perspectives and framing under the disguise of neutrality ⟶  See: Paper at research day Classifying, indexing, naming, or key-wording is always an act of interpretation. It frames and therefore controls how/whether content will be found and how it will be read. I discuss the contradictions and conflicts that come with the power to name in the section "Perspectives and framing under the disguise of neutrality."

We are now moving from code-based searchable online repositories into the halls of a library building with shelves, shelfmarks, subject headings, and printed volumes tagged with a unique identifier label. It is a highly classified space that intellectually and spatially formalizes and arranges knowledge into categories. Librarian and scholar Emily Drabinski explains: "Classifications are built of two parts: subject headings that locate materials intellectually [grouping them under a defined subject] and call numbers that translate the intellectual map into the linear reality of library shelves. [...] Where subject headings fix books in stable intellectual space, call numbers fix them in physical space. Each subject heading is correlated with a number that places the book in linear order on library shelves. This is an inescapable material constraint; each book can occupy one and only one space on a library shelf." [71]

The catalog captures and represents the knowledge in the collection via index cards. They list the name of the author and the book's title, the metadata description (format, publisher, year, etc.), the subject heading or shelfmark (what is it about), and the book's shelfmark (to locate it in the library). In such a traditional physical setting, entry points for search are limited to author name or subject heading in the catalog or serendipity browsing the shelf (good neighbors). The library, therefore, is a place of rigorous organization and discipline.

The two most widespread classification systems are (i) Dewey's Decimal Classification system (DDC) – dominating public and research libraries outside of the US and (ii) Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) – that govern mainly in libraries in North America. There are also a few National Standards, in Sweden, for example. [72]

⟶  see Reflection theorization: Perspectives and framing under the disguise of neutrality Both systems are based on a "universal language" and a so-called "controlled vocabulary" to formalize the classifications and the terms used. There are inherent limits to the concept of "universal language" that I discuss in detail in the section "Perspectives and framing under the disguise of neutrality." Descriptors are never neutral. Melville Dewey's biographer points, for example, out that DDC is grounded in "a patriarchal White Western (and Christian)" worldview and therefore excludes a whole range of alternative perspectives on humanity's knowledge. [73]

Another caveat with DDC is observed by philosopher Hope Olson who claims that "DDC typically follows the liberal approach of instituting equality or sameness more often than it represents diversity. The problem of equality is its homogenizing presumption that the same model will apply universally." [74] We have three dilemmas here, firstly descriptors are needed, but there is an insight that there is no universal "one size fits all" approach. Library users seeking material on topics outside of a traditional mainstream will meet with frustration in finding nothing, or they will find something but miss relevant materials. Secondly, the implicit function of naming is to delimit one thing from another. However, delineations are intrinsically always based on a particular perspective/approach/cultural influence, as has been shown with Dewey classifications above and bring exclusions, marginalizations, and distortions.

And thirdly, as Emily Drabinski notes, "we cannot do a classification scheme objectively; it is the nature of subject analysis to be subjective. [...] Classification schemes are socially produced and embedded structures. They are products of human labor that carry traces of all the intentional and unintentional racism, sexism, and classism of the workers who create them." [75]

Prejudices and Antipathies

Sanford Berman, "Prejudices and Antipathies: A Tract on the LC Subject Heads Concerning People"

Similarly to DDC, the subject headings at the Library of Congress have come under critical scrutiny since Sanford Berman published his study "Prejudices and Antipathies - A Tract on the Library of Congress Subject Heads Concerning People" in 1971.[76] Berman's study revealed that the Library of Congress Subject Headings, particularly those that are used to identify groups of people, perpetuate "the exclusionary cultural supremacy of the mainstream patriarchal Euro-settler culture." [77] In a word, many subject headings exhibit "bias" in favor of particular points of view, and against others, as well as ommissions. Substantial research has been done, and concerns raised.

Steven A. Knowlton, "Three Decades since Prejudices and Antipathies: A Study of Changes in the Library of Congress Subject Headings"

To cite just a few of Berman's examples will give a first impression, but it is his careful reasoning for each entry that makes this work so relevant and insightful. Some of the subject descriptors Berman pointed out and for which he recommended carefully reasoned "remedies" were showing open racism, homophobia, and misogyny. He suggested the subject heading "Pan-Pacific relations" instead of "Yellow Peril." "Race Relations" for "Race Question." "Mexican-Americans" instead of "Mexicans in the US" and the cross-reference "Sexual Pervasion" for "Homosexuality" and "Lesbianism" was eventually deleted. In 2005, according to a study, 64% of Berman's "remedies" had been implemented.[78]

KvinnSam, the National Resource Library for Gender Studies at Gothenburg University

However, cataloging is not only controlling how specific content is being framed, but it also determines whether content will be found at all. [79] As early as 1958, three librarians, Eva Pinéus, Asta Ekenvall, Rosa Malmström, started collecting and cataloging women literature, material about women's struggle for suffrage and founded, as a private initiative, the Women's History Archive. Their aim was threefold. They collected manuscripts and archives documenting the Swedish women's movement, They compiled and cataloged literature on women and indexed it in such a way as to make gender aspects manifest and they supported scholarship on women by publishing research reports and dissertations on women's history for a wider market. When in 1971, the collection became part of Gothenburg University, they got aware that within the existing holdings was plenty of material relevant to women and gender struggle, but it was not cataloged as such. The relevant keywords were missing and, therefore, hard to find. The librarians started to establish a parallel keyword catalog, Kvinnsam, analog at the time, by indexing the already existing holdings of Gothenburg University library to make aspects of gender manifest and, therefore, searchable. Today, KvinnSam is a parallel digital keyword catalog at Gothenburg University library for finding specific gender-related material, resources that would not show up in the standard catalog. [80]

Feminist Search Tool

Similar activism to question the architecture and implicit biases in the organization of knowledge drives a group of contemporary artists, who are affiliated with the Read-in Collective in Utrecht. In collaboration with some librarians at the Utrecht University library, they developed a Feminist Search Tool, which starts from the question: "Why are the authors of the books I read so white, so male, so Eurocentric?" [81] They developed a digital interface that maps the existing library records (from 2006-2016) applying different categories, such as race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, class. Users can apply different filters to their search, such as the language of publication, place of publication, type of publisher, the gender of the author.

Feminist Search Tool, Utrecht University library

The search results then map how many female non-Western authors and female authors of color are represented and reveal the inclusion and exclusion mechanisms of our knowledge institutes. In contrast to the KvinnSam subject search developed in Gothenburg, it is not a search engine for "known-item or delivery search, which is a search for a specific item for which either the authors or the title is known. Instead, the Feminist Search Tool operates as an "awareness-raising tool to stir conversations about the inclusion and exclusion mechanisms that are inherent to our current Western knowledge economy and our own complicities in (re)producing what is considered as 'knowledge' (and what is not)." [81] As such this intervention is not be seen as a replacement for the UU library catalog, "but [as] a supplementary tool for any inquiring person to approach one's own biases and taken for granted truths that one is reproducing while studying and researching." [81]

Infrastructural Maneuvers, Rietveld and Sandberg Library Amsterdam

The "Infrastructural Maneuvers" initiative at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam could be discussed under the section digital shadow libraries. Since it is an initiative by librarians and coders associated with the Rietveld Academy library and since it is located in an institutional library, I discuss it here, as an intervention in an institutional setting. 'Infrastructural Manoeuvres' was initiated to foreground the role and possibilities of a library's technical infrastructure, opening it up to reflection and experimentation.

Infrastructural Maneuvers at the Library, Raspberry Pi, 2019

Moving away from proprietary software, that provides a paid service with limited choices they use Evergreen open-source software that allows different types of usages and, most importantly, modification.[82] They also parted from the "cloud service" model since it does not allow the library to actual access its own catalog but merely to an interface provided by the service company. Instead, they set up a local Raspberry Pi, an autonomous server, that is accessible from within the Academy building. This move is informed by the stated need to "understand and care" for the catalog software and to question the separation between users and service systems as well as the separation between the work of a technician and the work of those using a technical structure. Infrastructural Manoeuvres aims instead for a generalist and collective approach to socio-technical issues, as they describe the project on the website. Consequently, this triggered a lot of negotiations inside the school, for example with the IT department, who is not necessarily supportive.[83]

This approach is rather radical because it redefines both the role of the library as a service provider as well as the character of the student as a service receiver, i.e., user. Instead, Infrastructural Maneuvres instigates a collective effort to expose the catalog and its interface to experiments and collaboration. In the development phase, this takes place in the form of workshops and discursive events. Of course, the success and complexity of such an intervention entirely depend on the take up of the art academy community.

The new collection developing on the Raspberry Pi, accessible on "Splotr.rietveldacademie.nl," is not only hosting digital books sourced from shadow libraries. It also experiments with hosting related materials, discussion notes, bibliographies generated by a book. Martino has also described it as a 'log system' of different events around a book, making the boundaries of a traditional library system more porous for other sources entering and leaving the library. [84]

>>>Anita, Martino: Is it okay to include your names?

Teaching the Radical Catalog

Sanford Berman's interventions to "remedy" some of the openly racist, homophobic, and sexist descriptors in the LC Subject Headings have certainly drawn attention to the hegemonic nature and bias of classification. However, as Emily Drabinski and several other critical librarians argue, while Berman was campaigning to improve the thesaurus, he leaves the structural problems untouched. He did not take issue with the general goal of library classifications to bring human knowledge together under a single unifying, universalizing structure and language. He started with the assumption that there actually "could" be a "right" language, that "could" be universally understood and applied. [85] In contrast, Drabinski argues that the politics of language are virtually always contested since it is culturally informed and reflective of social power. Therefore, "the struggle for a universal "right" language does not account for how language is inherently political and contextual. [86]

⟶  See discussion of hierarchical structures in: Reflection theorization: classification - an architecture to house the universe of knowledge The further problem is that classification's function to fix and to name creates a static and hierarchical structure that does not allow for language and descriptors to be in motion when it comes to describing shifting identities, for example, in lesbian, gay, and trans contexts. [87] Once a book is cataloged and assigned a category, it stays on the very shelf once it has been placed there.

But library classifications are necessary; we would not find stuff without them. And yet they are problematic. Lot's of initiatives have come up with bespoke and user-centered classifications that develop a local solution and a contextual and thesaurus for their contents. [88] These experimental approaches are possible in smaller and independent libraries. In big research or public libraries, however, the amount of extra labor that a constant adjusting would cause seems a prohibitive factor in the face of efficiency. It is a double-bind: we understand the limits of and power enacted by classifications and, at the same - for practical reasons - are not able to fix them. Therefore Drabinski proposes to "teach the radical catalog" instead. Combining information literacy with radical pedagogy, she demands to openly discuss with students that the catalog they engage with is a necessary – but failed construct. Paolo Freire calls this "problem-posing education" in contrast to the "banking model" of education.

The banking concept (with its tendency to dichotomize everything) distinguishes two stages in the action of the educator. During the first, he cognizes a cognizable object while he prepares his lessons in his study or his laboratory; during the second, he expounds to his students about that object. The students are not called upon to know, but to memorize the contents narrated by the teacher. Nor do the students practice any act of cognition, since the object towards which that act should be directed is the "property" of the teacher rather than a medium" evoking the critical reflection of both teacher and students.[89]

This distinction between "property" and "medium" is relevant in the context of authorship that I discuss in the section "Analysis." ⟶  see: Analysis: How to demonumentalize monumental knowldge

Drabinski interestingly draws on Freire's emancipatory pedagogy because she claims that if the teacher/librarian doesn't allow for critique and acknowledgment of the limits and power of classification - which is necessary, but problematic - "we perpetuate the dominance of story "told" by the classification. Problem-posing education allows us to "unveil" the hegemonic production and reproduction of the problematic language cited by Berman and the troubling staticity of hierarchies of sameness articulated by Olson." [90] ⟶  See: Reflection: Sameness and Difference Instead of passively teaching classifications, she suggests, it would be more generative "to teach students to engage critically with the classifications as text, encouraging critical thought in relation to the tools." [90]

The critical exploration and reflection on the tools we are using in publishing, distributing, and archiving, are also at the heart of the previously discussed initiatives. What "Infrastructural Maneuvres" try to achieve at the Rietveld and Sandberg library and what the "Feminist Search Tool" provides at the Utrecht University library. And the critical exploration of tools that "Constant" pursue in their research practice on Feminist technologies.

All these initiatives relate in some way to raising consciousness and awareness about our habits concerning the tools and services we are using. Be it a server and software (Constant), be it a library catalog (Infrastructural Maneuvres) or to discover the extent of representation of non-Eurocentric diversity (Feminist Search Tool).

Performative Propositions: Policy Document at ERG

In early 2018, a group of students and staff at École de Récherche Graphique (erg) in Brussels circulated a policy document "Proposals for amendments to the Study Regulations." [91] Article 2 in this document refers to library policies:

"When the author identifies themself as a man, cisgender, heterosexual and white, their books will be moved to the archives, to recall, on the one hand, that this is a point of view among others, on the other hand, that the latter is hegemonic. A warning page should be included in each book. Strict quotas will be implemented regarding the selection of the books acquired and on display. Attention will be paid to the topics, the writing context, and the gender of the authors." The topics under quota to be represented are "gender issues, queer questions, issues of feminism, Afro-feminism, trans-feminism, cyborg feminism, xeno-feminism, intersectional feminism, ecofeminism, ecosexuality, LGBT, and questions of LGBTQQI2SPAA+ (to be updated regularly)."
Proposals for amendments to the Study Regulations, erg Brussels, 2018

The document, collectively produced by the research group "Teaching to Transgress" that formed at erg in 2018, [92] had been officially sent out by Laurence Rassel, the director of the art school to all members of the art school including staff, technicians, and students.

In an even bolder step, Article 3 in the same document proposes to correlate the amount of tuition fees with the state of the privilege of each student. How to determine the status of privilege? The document lists a catalog of ten criteria: "man", "straight", "cisgender", "white", "normalized body", "valid", "literate", "middle-class" and "bourgeois", "carnivorous", "human". If a student's profile, for instance, ticks three out of ten boxes (3/10), this coefficient will be applied in two ways: Firstly, the percentage (in this case, 30 percent) is added to the amount of tuition fees to be paid. Secondly, the percentage will be deducted as "penalty" from achieved grades in academic evaluation and assessment of the student's work.

The circulation of this document caused a major stir among students and staff at the art school since some took the newly proposed policies at face value. Caroline Dath, one of the co-authors of the document, reflecting on the reactions of the art school community, states that many were overseeing that this was "a work of fabulation, with a certain sense of humor, where power structures were overturned." [93]

When I traveled to Brussels, visiting erg in summer 2018 to meet the document's creators, they explained – not without lots of giggles – how much this proposition had stirred up day-to-day assumptions on privileges connected to class, race, and gender at their art school.

Such propositions can be performative: the circulation of the study rules at erg instigated staff members and students to consider, acknowledge, name, and eventually unlearn their privileges. Although it has been apparent that the proposed rules' implementation is not possible due to legal limits, the mere circulation of the document was generative by questioning the long-established habit framework of the institution and its members.

Annette Krauss thought a lot about habit formation in institutional settings as well as about unlearning one's privileges in the context of her artistic research practice "Sites for Unlearning." [94] Discussing how Gayatri Spivak's conception of habit formation builds on and differs from Gregory Bateson and Antonio Gramsci, Krauss explains "what is crucial in habit formation, is exactly what is missing in it. [...] Habits lack the critical capacity to interrogate themselves" [95] and quotes Gayatri Spivak's "a habit does not question." [96] What I learned from Krauss's discussion is that Spivak suggests that philosophical argumentation is powerless when it comes to disrupting the habits of thinking and doing. Instead, Spivak proposes a "training of the imagination" with a certain aesthetic that "short-circuits the task of shaking up this habit of not examining them [its premises]." [97]

I think the intervention at erg was potentially such an imaginative "aesthetic short-circuit." Because even if it is evident that its implementation is not possible, the mere circulation of the document was formative. It stirred up long-established habits and normalized positions within the institution. And this alone could help to adjust the standardized positions of authority in Western education.

What's next

⟶  see: Summary of projects and submitted material The range of practices I mapped in this chapter help to expand our understanding of publishing. The chapter also laid out a range of problems implicit in these practices, i.e. the forming, disseminating, and organizing of knowledge and builds the ground for the five collaborative practice-based projects that form part of my Ph.D. submission. The practice projects will be described in the following chapter "04*Summary of projects and submitted material". This chapter provides an overview of (i) the projects, (i) related activities (workshops, discursive events), and (iii) the stabilizations (published material) that went alongside the practice.

The descriptions of the five projects are distributed on individual pages that you can access via the left-hand sidebar. These "Project Pages" describe the elements and steps within each project. (05*AND Publishing, 06*Library of Inclusions and Omissions, 07*The Piracy Project, 08*Let's Mobilize: What is Feminist Pedagogy?, 09*Boxing and Unboxing)

⟶  see: Reflection, theorization of projects This descriptive, factual part will then be followed by chapter "10*Reflection and theorization of projects" in which I will reflect on their aims, the methods, and theorize the working process of the practice experiments.

Notes: Survey of the field

  1. Sternfeld describes the post-representational as curatorial and artistic strategies of knowledge practices that rather than "representing valuable objects" intervene in "the space between representation and presence" and therefore "challenge what can be seen, done, and said" in form of "a negotiation with reality". See: Nora Sternfeld, "Negotiating Reality: Artistic and Curatorial Research" presentation at Sonic Acts Academy, Amsterdam, 23.2.2018, https://re-imagine-europe.eu/resources_item/negotiating-with-reality-artistic-and-curatorial-research/
  2. Joanna Drucker, " The Century of Artists' Books", New York: Granary Books, 2004, page 21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kostelanetz, originally published in “Exhaustive Parallel Intervals”, Future Press, 1979, reprinted in Joan s (ed), Artists’ Books: a Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Rochester, New York, Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1993, page 13.
  4. John Perrault, Some Thoughts on Books as Art, in Artists Books (1973: 15–21) quoted by Tony White in Book 2.0 in Volume 3 Number 2, 2013, page 168. doi: 10.1386/btwo.3.2.163_1
  5. John Baldessari, for example, writes in 1975: “I enjoy giving books I have made to others. Art seems pure for a moment and disconnected from money. And since a lot of people can own the book, nobody owns it. Every artist should have a cheap line. It keeps art ordinary and away from being overblown.” in Art-Rite (Anon. 1976/1977: 6)
  6. Lucy R. Lippard, ‘The Artist’s Book Goes Public’, in Joan s (ed), Artists’ Books: a Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Rochester, New York, Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1993, page 45.
  7. ART RITE Magazine 11/12, winter/spring 1975/1976, page 3.
  8. Joan Lyons (ed), “Artists’ Books: a Critical Anthology and Sourcebook”, Rochester, New York, Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1993, page 8.
  9. Printed Matter was founded in 1976 by a group of artists, critics, and publishers including Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Carol Androcchio, Amy Baker (Sandback), Edit DeAk, Mike Glier, Nancy Linn, Walter Robinson, Ingrid Sischy, Pat Steir, Mimi Wheeler, Robin White and Irena von Zahn—in in the Tribeca neighborhood in New York. In the same year just a few blocks away, Franklin Furnace opened and set up an artists' book archive. Art Metropole was founded in 1974 in Toronto by the artist collective General Idea as an artist-run center. Mexican artist Ulisses Carrión started in 1975 "Other Books and So" in a small, basement-level storefront in Amsterdam. Other books and So run for five years and could be, with hindsight, described as an artists project bound to an individual artist, whereas the other mentioned initiatives still operate today as non-profit organizations.
  10. This is interestingly evidenced in a letter by Ed Ruscha to John Wilcock, the founder of Village Voice in New York, in which Ruscha reflects: “I made a terrible mistake by numbering my “26 Gasoline Stations” books because then the books became a limited edition rather than just another book, which is what I am after”. (Ed Ruscha letter to John Wilcock, 25 February 1966, The Piracy Collection, London; The Archives of Giorno Poetry Systems.) Ed Ruscha’s 26 Gasoline Stations book is traded in March 2020 on the second-hand online book store Abebooks for £14,062.83. https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30170507913&searchurl=an%3Druscha%26sortby%3D20%26tn%3Dtwentysix%2Bgasoline%2Bstations&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title15 [accessed: 13 March 2020].
  11. According to Printed Matter The New York Art Book Fair attracts yearly over 39,000 visitors and features over 370 exhibitors from 30 countries. In addition PM founded in 2014 the Los Angeles Art Book Fair that "features over 300 exhibitors from the west coast and some 20 countries, and is attended by more than 35,000." See https://www.printedmatter.org/programs/4-art-book-fairs. Index Art Book Fair in Mexico City with satellites in Madrid, Chicago, Toronto was founded in 2014 by Frances Horn, Kit Hammonds, Jorge de la Garza, Maxime Dossin, Chantal Garduño, Tania Isabel Garduño Israde and Rafael Prieto. Today it is run by Jorge de la Garza, Maxime Dossin and Chantal Garduño Israde. The website states: "IABF brings together leading independent art publishers from Europe, Asia and the Americas, with special emphasis on artist books and printed matter resulting from experimental approaches to editing, writing, and printing."http://www.indexartbookfair.com/site-general/. The London Art Book Fair is organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery since 2009. Less international and less experimental in scope it attracts more established art publishers and galleries. Whether or not artists' book fairs attract artists as publishers as artists hinges to a major part on the costs. The London Art Book Fair charges £850 for publishing houses and distributors. £650.00 for museums and galleries. £450.00 for non-profit and small press. £250.00 for artists, individual publishers. See: https://www.whitechapelgallery.org/london-art-book-fair-2020/. You have to sell many books to be able to cover the costs for participation, travel and accommodation. consequently one could say the more expensive the participation the less experimental the fair.
  12. See Publishing as Artistic Practic, Annette Gilbert (ed), Berlin, New York, Sternberg Press, 2016. Or Publishing as Practice, X-Marks the Bökship, London, 2010 and 2014, convened by Eleanor Vonne Brown. http://bokship.org/. Recto / Verso: Art Publishing in Practice, New York, Michaela Unterdorfer, Paige Landesberg, Kristen Mueller (eds) Hauser and Wirth Publishers, 2018. Publishing Manifestos, Michalis Pichler (ed), Cambridge MA, The MIT Press, 2019.
  13. Jess Baines, "Democratising Print", Doctoral thesis at LCC, 2016.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Nancy Fraser, "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy", in Social Text, No. 25/26, Duke University Press, 1990, pp. 56-80, page 67.
  15. See "Infiltration", Florian Cramer, Stewart Home, Tatiana Bazzichelli at “Disruption Network Lab #14”, Berlin, 27 September 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBSLrwTdJzs&t=3738s; See also "Post-Digital Cultures of the Far-Right - Online Actions and Offline Consequences in Europe and the US", Maik Fielitz, Nick Thurston (eds.), Bielefeld: transcript-Verlag, 2019
  16. Nick Couldry & James Curran, Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, page 7.
  17. Baines, Democratising Print, page 17.
  18. Jess Baines, "Democratising Print", page 12.
  19. Suzy Mackie and Pru Stevenson, founding members of See Red in a blog post. http://www.seeredwomensworkshop.wordpress.com
  20. Suzy Mackie and Pru Stevenson presented the work of See Red in a public event at The Showroom in London, 16 November 2013.
  21. One interviewee states: "There was a belief and engagement in collective and participatory democratic practices: [...] We were always trying to work out how things might change, having intense arguments but I think the main thing we all adhered to was lifestyle. We were very much of the belief that if you lived it, that was part of the way to make it happen. So you lived and worked communally, in collectives” (Intv. Holland 10/11/11), in Baines, Democratising Print, page 118.
  22. (Interview Pollard 16/5/11). Baines, Democratising Print, page 118.
  23. Baines, Democratising Print, page 11.
  24. Gilles Deleuze; Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translation and foreword by Brian Massumi, Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, (1987), 2005, page 25.
  25. Deleuze, Guattari, page 7.
  26. Olga Bailey, Bart Cammaerts, Nico Carpentier, Understanding Alternative Media, Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2008, page 27.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 "Forms of Ongoingness", Interview with Femke Snelting and spideralex, conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 16 September 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel). In the context of Creating Commons, Research Project by Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder, Shusha Niederberger, at ZhDK Zürich, 2016 - 2019. http://creatingcommons.zhdk.ch/forms-of-ongoingness/ podcast
  28. Richard Stallman published the GNU Manifesto in 1985, articulating the founding principles of the free software movement. Whereas non-free (proprietary) software was – in Stallman’s eyes – a way to divide users and prevent them from helping each other, free and open-source software was designed to help anyone use the software – and share code – without breaking the law. As Stallman notes in the manifesto, “by working on and using GNU rather than proprietary programs, we can be hospitable to everyone and obey the law. In addition, GNU serves as an example to inspire and a banner to rally others to join us in sharing. This can give us a feeling of harmony which is impossible if we use software that is not free. For about half the programmers I talk to, this is an important happiness that money cannot replace." Richard Stallman, GNU Free Software manifesto, 1985. https://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.en.html.
  29. Feminist technology activist Spideralex (Barcelona) explaining the relationship between feminism and free software, quoting Constant co-founder Laurence Rassel. In "Forms of Ongoingness" (video conversation above).
  30. Spideralex, Ibid.
  31. New York Times Special Edition. See documentation New York Times Hoax - The Yes Men Fix The World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoZQNgAnvqs. Interview with Steve Lambert in Fillip Magazine winter 2009: https://fillip.ca/content/best-case-scenario, and Steve Lambert website https://visitsteve.com/made/the-ny-times-special-edition/
  32. Anna-Sophie Springer' book "Fantasies of the Library" provides a rich contribution including essays, practices and interviews with artists. Looking at collections of books and the exterior space that contains them (the library) she explores the potential for curatorial reflection. "If the book is traditionally seen as the preferred medium for private consumption and research, and the gallery is understood as the space for public exhibition and performance, the library — as the public place of reading — is thus a hybrid site for performing the book." Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin (eds.), Fantasies of the Library, Berlin: K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2015, page 11.
  33. For a short history of the public library and related processes of organization, formalization and processing of information and knowledge see Tomislav Medak, "The Future After the Library, UbuWeb and Monoskop’s Radical Gestures" in Public Library, Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, What, How & for Whom/WHW (eds.), Zagreb: Gallery Nova, 2015. https://monoskop.org/images/e/ef/Medak_Mars_WHW_eds_Public_Library_Javna_knjiznica.pdf#page=122
  34. Silvia Rivera Cusiquanci, El Colectivo 2, La Paz-Chukiyawu, "A Stroll through the Colonial Library", unpublished paper presented at the conference Dis/Locating Culture: Narratives and Epistemologies of Displacement, Rice University, Houston, December 9-10, 2011.
  35. David Weinberger proposed that we think of libraries as “open platforms” — not only for the creation of software, but also for the development of knowledge and community. Weinberger argued that libraries should open up their entire collections, all their metadata, and any technologies they’ve created, and allow anyone to build new products and services on top of that foundation. The platform model, he wrote, “focuses our attention away from the provisioning of resources to the foment” — the “messy, rich networks of people and ideas” — that “those resources engender.” David Weinberger, "Library as Platform", Library Journal, 04 Sept 2012. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=by-david-weinberger
  36. Shannon Mattern, "Library as Infrastructure," Places Magazine, June 2014. https://placesjournal.org/article/ library-as-infrastructure/
  37. Mattern points to a then-recent report (2013) by the Center for an Urban Future highlighted the benefits to immigrants, seniors, individuals searching for work, public school students and aspiring entrepreneurs: “No other institution, public or private, does a better job of reaching people who have been left behind in today’s economy, have failed to reach their potential in the city’s public school system or who simply need help navigating an increasingly complex world."“No other institution, public or private, does a better job of reaching people who have been left behind in today’s economy, have failed to reach their potential in the city’s public school system or who simply need help navigating an increasingly complex world." in "Branches of Opportunity", Center for an Urban Future, New York City, January 2013. https://nycfuture.org/pdf/Branches_of_Opportunity.pdf
  38. Medak, "The Future After the Library", Page 81.
  39. Alison Flood, "Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show", /The Guardian, 6 Dec 2019
  40. The American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights", developed in 1939, with several amendments until today, states:
    1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, age, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
    2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
    3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
    4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
    5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
    6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
    7. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
    Library Bill of Rights, adopted 19 June 1939 by the Ala Council and amended throughout. Last amendment was 29 January 2019 - including the privacy paragraph. See: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill.
  41. Celeste West and Elizabeth Katz (eds.), Revolting Librarians, San Francisco: Booklegger Press, 1972. See also "See Tony Samek, “Intellectual Freedom within the Profession: A Look Back at Freedom of Expression and the Alternative Library Press,” Library Juice 6:6, 2003, http://libr.org/juice/ issues/vol6/LJ_6.6.html. Celeste West, “Conversation with Celeste West,” interview by Milton Wolf, Libraries for Social Change: Women’s Issue, 31/32 Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1983, 29–35.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Elena Filipovic, "If You Read Here... Martha Rosler's Library", in Afterall 15, Spring/Summer 2007.
  43. Martha Rosler Library, edited by Paul Domela and John Byrne, published by Liverpool Biennal of Contemporary Art, 2008, page 11.
  44. 44.0 44.1 Chris Atton, "Infoshops in the Shadow of the State", in N. Couldry & J. Curran (eds.) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 2003, pp. 57–69, page 58.
  45. Chris Atton, "The infoshop: the alternative information centre of the 1990s", in New Library World Volume 100, No 1146, Bingley: MCB University Press (Emerald), 1999, pp. 24–29.
  46. Alberto Melucci, Challenging Codes: Collective Action in the Information Age, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1996, page 75.
  47. Marcell Mars, Manar Zarroug, and Tomislav Medak, End-to-End Catalog: Memory of the World, November 26, 2012, https:// www.memoryoftheworld.org/ end-to-end-catalog/.
  48. See Bodó B., "Libraries in the post-scarcity era", in: Helle Porsdam (ed): Copyrighting Creativity: Creative Values, Cultural Heritage Institutions and Systems of Intellectual Property, pp. 75-92. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, page 1. Download
  49. For scholarly research into piracy see, Adrian Johns, Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, University of Chicago Press, 2010; Cyril Bathurst Judge, Elizabethan book-pirates, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1934; Joe Karaganis (ed.) Shadow Libraries – Access to Knowledge in Global Higher Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, The MIT Press, 2018; Lawrence Liang, "Shadow Libraries", e-flux Journal #37 - September 2012. ; Aaron Swartz, Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, 2008. For a legal perspective, see Lionel Bently, Jennifer Davis, Jane C. Ginsburg (eds.), Copyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  50. Bodó B., "Libraries in the post-scarcity era", page 2.
  51. To list just a few events that came to my attention or I have been invited to, include [https://cmd.hse.ru/mediapiracy/ "Piracy and Beyond: Exploring 'Threats' in Media and Culture", Higher School of Economics, Moscow, 23–25 October 2019; "Shadow Libraries - Ubuweb in Athens” (Symposium 16.3. - 18.3. 2018) convened by Ilan Manouach, Kenneth Goldsmith; "States and Markets" @ Institutions by Artists Convention, Vancouver, 12 – 14 Oct 2012; "Interfacing the Law", XPub, Piet Zwart Institut Rotterdam, convened by Femke Snelting, 2015-2019. http://constantvzw.org/site/-Interfacing-the-law,212-.html?lang=en; "Copycats vs Mr Big", at Truth is Concrete, Steirischer Herbst, Graz, convened by Florian Malzacher, 21 – 28 Sept 2012; 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, convened by Oren Ben-Dor (law), Stephanie Jones (English), Alun Gibbs (law), 21–22 June 2013.
  52. In the European Union, the Infosoc Directive (“Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society,” 2001) allows for libraries to create digital copies for preservation, indexing, and similar purposes as well as for the display of digital copies on their premises for research and personal study. In "Infosoc Directive – Study on the application of Directive 2001/29/EC on copyright and related rights in the information society", Triaille, J.-P., Dusollier, S., Depreeuw, S., Hubin, J.-B., Coppens, F., & Francquen, A. de., European Union, 2013.
  53. See See Bodó B., reflecting on the effects of this interdependence with the market when it comes to digital lending rights, in "Libraries in the post-scarcity era". See also facts about subscription rates: "The price of journal subscriptions has grown at a faster rate than inflation for several decades (Association of Research Libraries, 2017), leading to an ever-present “serials crisis” that has pushed library budgets to their brink while diverting funds from other services (Roth, 1990). Meanwhile, publishing has trended towards oligopoly (Larivière et al., 2015), with nondisclosure clauses obfuscating price information among subscribers (Bergstrom et al., 2014) while publishers profit immensely (Morrison, 2012; Buranyi, 2017; Van Noorden, 2013b). Price increases have persisted over the last decade (Bosch and Henderson, 2017; Lawson et al., 2015; Lawson, 2017a). For example, EBSCO estimates that per-journal subscription costs increased by 25% from 2013–2017, with annual subscription to a journal for research libraries now averaging $1,396 (EBSCO, 2017). In Himmelstein, Daniel S; Romero, Ariel Rodriguez; Levernier, Jacob G; Munro, Thomas Anthony; McLaughlin, Stephen Reid; Greshake Tzovaras, Bastian; Greene, Casey S., "Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature", in eLife, No 7, 2018. doi:10.7554/eLife.32822, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5832410/.
  54. Bodó B., "Libraries in the post-scarcity era, page 8.
  55. 55.0 55.1 See download counter on Sci-Hub website. Since Elbakyan has been sued for copyright infringement the domain name keeps moving: As of March 2020 the following domains were active. https://sci-hub.tw/, https://sci-hub.se, http://sci-hub.si. As the in-depth study of Sci-hub by a group of researchers point out "readers should note that, in many jurisdictions, use of Sci-Hub may constitute copyright infringement. Users of Sci-Hub do so at their own risk. This study is not an endorsement of using Sci-Hub, and its authors and publishers accept no responsibility on behalf of readers. There is a possibility that Sci-Hub users — especially those not using privacy-enhancing services such as Tor — could have their usage history unmasked and face legal or reputational consequences." Daniel S Himmelstein, Ariel Rodriguez Romero, Jacob G Levernier, Thomas Anthony Munro, Stephen Reid McLaughlin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Casey S Greene, "Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature", in e-life, March 2018. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32822, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5832410/
  56. Elbakyan described the project’s technical scope in July 2017: “Sci-Hub technically is by itself a repository, or a library if you like, and not a search engine for some other repository. But of course, the most important part in Sci-Hub is not a repository, but the script that can download papers closed behind paywalls.” In Alexandra Elbakyan, "Some facts on Sci-Hub that Wikipedia gets wrong", Engineuring, 2 July, 2017. https://engineuring.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/some-facts-on-sci-hub-that-wikipedia-gets-wrong/.
  57. Himmelstein, Daniel S; Romero, Ariel Rodriguez; Levernier, Jacob G; Munro, Thomas Anthony; McLaughlin, Stephen Reid; Greshake Tzovaras, Bastian; Greene, Casey S (2018). "Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature". eLife. 7. doi:10.7554/eLife.32822, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5832410/.
  58. Michael S. Rosenwald, "This student put 50 million stolen research articles online. And they’re free.", Washington Post, March 30, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/this-student-put-50-million-stolen-research-articles-online-and-theyre-free/2016/03/30/7714ffb4-eaf7-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html.
  59. Bodó B., "Libraries in the post-scarcity era, page 10.
  60. “The Public School was initiated in 2007 in Los Angeles in the basement of Telic Arts Exchange. The Public School is a school with no curriculum. It is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.” See http://thepublicschool.org/la.
  61. Public School has been spreading to other cities such as Buenos Aires, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, Durham, Helsinki, London, Vienna among others. See also interviews conducted by German artist Cornelia Sollfrank with Sean Dockray as well as with Marcell Mars as part of her research project “Giving what you don’t have”, Postmedialab, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, 2012. http://artwarez.org/projects/GWYDH/.
  62. See Monoskop, also for a comprehensive bibliography of texts interviews and discussions around aaaaarg. https://monoskop.org/Aaaaarg [accessed 31 March 2020].
  63. in: Jodi Dean, Sean Dockray, Alessandro Ludovico, Pauline van Mourik, Broekman, Nicholas Thoburn and Dmitry Vilensky, "Materialities of Independent Publishing: A Conversation with AAAAARG, Chto Delat?, I Cite, Mute, and Neural", New Formations 78 (Aug 2013), pp 157-178, page 158. https://chtodelat.org/b5-announcements/a-7/materialities-of-independent-publishing-a-conversation-with-aaaaarg-chto-delat-i-cite-mute-and-neural/.
  64. Ibid., page 166.
  65. Annet Dekker, "Copying as a Way to Start Something New. Annet Dekker in Conversation with Dušan Barok About Monoskop", in Lost and Living (in) Archives, ed. Annet Dekker, Amsterdam: Valiz, 2017. Conducted May-Jun 2016. https://monoskop.org/images/7/70/Dekker_Annet_2017_Copying_As_a_Way_to_Start_Something_New_A_Conversation_with_Dusan_Barok_About_Monoskop.pdf
  66. The reader has been produced for the exhibition "Open Scores" at Panke Galley in Berlin in the framework of the research project "Creating Commons", ZHdK Zürich convened by Cornelia Sollfrank, Shusha Niederberger, Felix Stalder. Published August 2019. http://creatingcommons.zhdk.ch/reader-on-shadow-artistic-independent-autonomous-digital-libraries/
  67. Self-description: “Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums, and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public. Public Collectors feature informal agreements where collectors allow the contents of their collection to be published or exhibited and permit those who are curious to directly experience the objects in person. Collectors can be based in any geographic location.” http://www.publiccollectors.org/
  68. Self-description: “In redefining the concept of a physical library, the Surplus Library on Affect & Economic Exchange operates on the basic assumption that its specific collection of books already exists in the material world: in the homes and private collections of countless individuals. Some of the holdings of this vast and distributed library can become known and accessible through The Surplus Library site. The site develops as the library’s holdings and locations are registered by users.” [1].
  69. aaaaarg is offline at the moment. pending courtcase....
  70. Bodó B., "Libraries in the post-scarcity era, page 4.
  71. Emily Drabinski, "Gendered S(h)elves: Body and Identity in the Library", in Women & Environments International Magazine, Fall 2009/Winter 2010; 78/79; Platinum Periodicals, pp 16 - 20, page 16.
  72. For a discussion of alternatives to DDC and LCSH, such as Ranghanatan's non-hierarchical facet system watch "Library Underground _ welcome to my tent." See also: David Senior, "Infinite Hospitality, in Every Day the Urge Grows Stronger to Get Hold of an Object at Very Close Range by Way of Its Likeness", published by Dexter Sinister, New York: The Art Libraries Society and Museum of Modern Art, 2008. Download pdf
  73. See Wayne A. Wiegand, “The ‘Amherst Method’: The Origins of the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme,” Libraries & Culture 33:2 (spring 1998), 175–194, page 183. Wayne A. Wiegand examines meticulously how the conservative mindset at Amherst College, where Dewey was a student and library assistant, shaped Dewey’s concepts of classifications and their hierarchies. “Its moral center was located in ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ a doctrine that defined ‘objectivity’ and touted the unique virtues, mission, and destiny of the Anglo- Saxon ‘race.’” It is quite important to understand, that with the very headings, he came up with, Dewey framed and cemented “a worldview and knowledge structure taught on the tiny Amherst College campus between 1870 and 1875 into what became the world’s most widely used library classification.” Ibid., page 188.
  74. Hope A. Olson, "The Power to Name: Representation in Library Catalogs", Signs, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Spring, 2001), The University of Chicago Press, pp. 639-668, page 652.
  75. Emily Drabinski, "Teaching the Radical Catalog" in Radical Cataloging: Essays at the Front, K.R. Roberto, Jefferson, N.C., McFarland, 2008, page 198.
  76. Sanford Berman, Prejudices and Antipathies: A Tract on the LC Subject Heads Concerning People, (originally published by Scarecrow Press, 1971), London, McFarland & Co, 1993.
  77. Hope A. Olson, "Difference, Culture and Change: The Untapped Potential of LCSH", in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 29:1-2, 2000, pp. 53-71, page 54. DOI: 10.1300/J104v29n01_04. Link: https://doi.org/10.1300/J104v29n01_04.
  78. See Steven A. Knowlton, who also found out that the 80 items that remained unchanged show some patterns of thought pertaining to the Christian religion. Steven A. Knowlton, "Three Decades since Prejudices and Antipathies: A Study of Changes in the Library of Congress Subject Headings", in Cataloguing and Classification Quarterly 40.2, 2005, p.xxx. http://scholar.princeton.edu/steven.a.knowlton/publications/three-decades-prejudices-and-antipathies-study-changes-library
  79. Internet search engines, such as Google, for example, are the front door to the www. Search algorithms can be easily adjusted, and search results manipulated according to specific interests. See "Society of the Query-Reflections on Web-Search, Institute for Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2014. See conference program / download reader
  80. See KvinnSam webpage. See also KvinnSam's subject headings See also presentation, Gothenburg University (no date) [File:KvinnSam 14 eng-1.ppt.] See also Helena Bränström, Elsa Modin, "Women are not a subject – subject indexing at Kvinnohistoriska samlingarna" for a detailed discussion of subject analysis, Bibliotekshögskolan Boras, 1998
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 See Feminist Search Tool. https://feministsearchtool.nl/
  82. Evergreen is an open source library software developed by the library of Giorgia to further a community around non proprietary library software. "The Evergreen Project develops an open source ILS (integrated library system) used by more than 2,000 libraries around the world. The Evergreen community is also marked by a high degree of participation by the librarians who use the software and contribute documentation, bug reports, and organizational energy. As such, Evergreen is very much about both the developers and the users." http://evergreen-ils.org/
  83. See Infrastructural Manoeuvres, https://catalogue.rietveldacademie.nl/about.html. (pdf of website accessed 13.4. 2019. The website was down in April 2020.) pdf of website, accessed 13.4. 2019
  84. See notes (thanks to Ann Mertens) taken at a workshop at Rietveld and Sandberg library in May 2019 instigated by Femke Snelting. Martino Morandi & Anita Burato (Rietveld Library) presented and discussed the project when I visited the library to learn about Infrastructural Manoeuvres with students from X-Pub (Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam). Notes
  85. Berman wrote in his 1971 Introduction: "Knowledge and scholarship are, after all, universal. And a subject scheme should, ideally, manage to encompass all the facets of what has been printed and subsequently collected in libraries to the satisfaction of the worldwide reading community."' Thus, Berman's political claim was in some ways a limited one argues Drabinski. "The primary problem with Library of Congress classification is a lack of correct language. Structural critiques of classifications, however, suggest that Berman's pragmatist, yet reformist, stance is fundamentally limited." in: Drabinski, Teaching the Radical Catalog.
  86. See Drabinski, "Teaching the Radical Catalog", page 202.
  87. Emily Drabinski, "Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction", in Library Quarterly, 83.2, 2013, pp. 94-111.
  88. For a discussion of alternative approaches see Eva Weinmayr, "Library Underground - A reading list for a coming community," in Publishing as Artistic Practice, ed by Annette Gilbert, Sternberg Press 2016. Further examples are: Glasgow Women Library, Feminist Thesaurus, xxxx
  89. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed(1970), New York: Continuum, 2000, page 80. Just to rehearse Freire's opening of chapter two: "Education is suffering from narration sickness. The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. [...] His task is to "fill" the students with the contents of his narration - contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated and alienating verbosity. [...] Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into "containers", into receptacles" to be "filled" by the teacher." Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, pp. 71/72.
  90. 90.0 90.1 In: Emily Drabinski, "Teaching the Radical Catalog" in Radical Cataloging: Essays at the Front, K.R. Roberto, Jefferson, N.C., McFarland, 2008, page 204. Hope Olson's reflections on the principle of Sameness and Difference is discussed in the section Reflection and theorization of projects, "Sameness and Difference". See also Hope A. Olson, "Sameness and Difference – A Cultural Foundation of Classification", in Library Resources & Technical Services, Vol 45, No 3, Jul 2001, pp. 115-22, page 115. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/lrts.45n3.115
  91. See proposed study rules, sent out officially via email to all members of staff and students in 2019. See document. See website École de Recherche Graphique, Brussels
  92. The research "group Teaching to Transgress" formed at erg in 2018. During the seminar "No Commons Without Commoning" (January 2018) the group worked on the question "what makes a framework for a community?" and started to look and revise the Study Regulations from a feminist, post-colonial and queer perspective. See Caroline Dath, "Caroline Dath, "How to hack Study Regulations", in Mai: Feminism and Visual Culture, special focus #5: Feminist Pedagogies, Gothenburg-Falmouth, January 2020. https://maifeminism.com/issues/issue-5-feminist-pedagogies/
  93. Caroline Dath, "How to hack Study Regulations".
  94. see Annette Krauss, Sites for Unlearning, On the Material, Artistic and Political Dimensions of Processes of Unlearning, PhD submission, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, 2017, pp.51-53. See also: Sites for Unlearning: https://siteforunlearning.tumblr.com/, and Binna Choi, Annette Krauss, Yolande van der Heide, Liz Allan (eds.) "Unlearning Exercises - Art Organizations as Sites for Unlearning", Amsterdam: Valiz, and Utrecht: Casco Art Institute/Working for the Commons, 2018.
  95. Krauss, Sites for Unlearning, pp.51-52.
  96. Gayatri Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012, page 8. See also Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, San Francisco: Jason Aronson, 1972, page 279. As well as Antonio Gramsci, “Intellectuals and Education”, in The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935, edited by David Forgacs, 311–320. New York: NYU Press, 2000, page 318. And Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, New York: International Publishers, 1971, page 298.
  97. Spivak, An Aesthetic Education, page 6. Spivak refers here to Bateson with the quote: "The economy consists precisely in not re-examining or rediscovering the premises of habit every time the habit is used. We may say that these premises are partly "unconscious", or - if you please - a habit of not examining them [the premises] is developed." Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, San Francisco: Jason Aronson, 1972, page 274.