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Noun to Verb: an investigation into the micro-politics of publishing through artistic practice

This MediaWiki constitutes a Doctoral thesis which in combination with a portfolio of artistic works is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Artistic Practice at HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg – supervised by Prof. Jyoti Mistry and Prof. Mick Wilson (2018–20), and Prof. Dave Beech and Prof. Andrea Phillips (2015–18).

This open-source MediaWiki is a tool to develop, map, share, and communicate the writing of this PhD thesis. It is a platform for producing and disseminating the research. It records and maps a looped, iterative, and knowledge-creating process of structuring, writing, thinking, discovering, discarding, and restructuring. Finding practical ways to share and communicate my research has been an ongoing and, at times, difficult negotiation process between at least five forces seemingly pulling in different directions: academia, institutional policies, feminist and activist practice, the arts, and education.Speechbubble.png

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Annotated by RS

The Wiki is a practical strategy to bring to life the standoff between those forces and thus make transparent the processes that are usually developed and discussed behind closed doors when a PhD thesis develops: the learning process, the struggle while articulating, the shaping of arguments, the various agreements and disagreements within my head and in dialogue with others. The customized code of this open-source MediaWiki, developed by Manetta Berends and Cristina Cochior (Varia, Rotterdam) includes an annotation feature for my collaborators in the collective projects to add their voices and perspectives. Here the wiki turns a PhD submission itself into a site of ruptures, dialogue, and potential disagreements.

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Title  Noun to Verb: an investigation into the micro-politics of publishing through artistic practice
Author  Eva Weinmayr
Annotations  Andrea Francke, Andreas Engman, Femke Snelting, MC Coble
Visual Annotations  Rosalie Schweiker
Coding  Manetta Berends & Cristina Cochior (Varia)
English proofreading  David Morris, Pedro Cid Proença
Swedish translation  Astrid Trotzig
Direct Link  https://cutt.ly/noun-to-verb
Open Access Repository  http://hdl.handle.net/2077/66644
Public Defense: November 5, 2020

Logo ArtMonitor.png This doctoral dissertation is No 81 in the series ArtMonitor Doctoral Dissertations and Licentiate Theses at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg.

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Collective Conditions for (re-)use (CC4r), 2020

Copyleft with a difference: You are invited to copy, distribute, and modify this work under the terms of the CC4r. https://gitlab.constantvzw.org/unbound/cc4r


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Abstract


Title:            Noun to Verb: an investigation into the micro-politics of publishing through artistic practice
Language:   English with a Swedish summary
Keywords:   publishing, artistic practice, political imaginaries, policy, organization theory, critical pedagogy, collectivity, intersectional feminism, authorship


This practice-based inquiry explores the social and political agency of publishing by investigating the micro-politics of making and sharing knowledges from an intersectional feminist perspective. Whether "bound" or "unbound," there has been much discussion of the political agency of the book as a medium, yet it is often assumed that the book's political potential extends primarily, indeed if not exclusively, in terms of its content. The focus of this inquiry, however, is the potentially radical, political and emancipatory ways and processes by which a publication is made (authored, edited, printed, bound), disseminated (circulated, described, cataloged), and read (used).

The five projects at the core of this contribution have been developed collaboratively with different constellations of actors across the UK and Sweden and are comprised of: AND Publishing (2010–ongoing), The Library of Inclusions and Omissions (2016–18), The Piracy Project (2010–15), Let’s Mobilize: What is Feminist Pedagogy? (2015–16), and Boxing and Unboxing (2018). These five projects explore intersectional feminist publishing strategies and ask: What if we understood publication not as a finite object? What if we gave attention and value to the processes and practices that lead up to a publication? How can collective processes of publishing themselves be a tactic to practically intervene, disrupt and change existing knowledge practices?

Located at the intersection of contemporary art, radical education, and institutional analysis, this inquiry critically investigates the presumption that publishing is an outright positive and progressive act, a tool of giving voice and developing emancipatory agency. It identifies the paradoxes, conflicts, and contradictions for collective knowledge practices caused by systems of validation and audit culture, by the stasis of the "finite" object and by the authority these discrete objects produce. The research stretches beyond these points by exploring the coercive mutual reciprocity between authorship, authorization, and authority.

At its core, this inquiry aims to expand and test the normative criteria of what constitutes a publication. One of the emergent questions posed was whether publishing may be seen as a verb (a process) rather than a noun (i.e. the finished object). Could practice itself be understood as a form of publishing? A teaching situation, for example – a workshop, seminar, or group dialogue, where knowledge is collectively created and shared at the same time – could this also be considered as publishing? What kinds of publics are necessary or relevant to a publication process? A collaboration, a collective, a scene, a process, a dynamic, a method – can we frame any such situation or process as "publishing"? How fixed or stable does a transmission of knowledges need to be in order to be called a "publication"? And what is the function and effect of such stability?

Since the communication of the research findings (in the form of a PhD thesis) itself constitutes a form of publication, I experimented with an open and dialogical mode of publishing in the form of a MediaWiki – developed “in public” from its very beginning. As such, it turns the thesis from constituting an authoritative text into a site for multiple voices with occasions of negotiation, disagreement, and consultation.