Latest

'Filosofía pirata, edición libre', discussion with Perro Tuerto y Pucho (El Rancho Electrónico) y Gabriela Méndez Cota (Universidad Iberoamericana) for the Mexico city radio station Ibero 909.fm, September 12, 2019.

Open Humanities Press – The Inhumanist Manifesto

Pirate Philosophy, This Is Not A Pipe Podcast

HyperCritical Theory

Übercapitalism and What Can Be Done About It

Recent publications

Masked Media (limited edition paper-only publication for The House That Heals The Soul exhibition, Tetley, Leeds, 2018) 


 The Inhumanist Manifesto: Extended Play (Techne Lab, 2017)

Open Access

Most of Gary's work is freely available to read and download either here in Media Gifts or in Coventry University's online repositories PURE here, and CURVE here 

Radical Open Access

Monday
May202019

Delivered the Same Day: The Post Office and Amazon.com, June 3rd, Coventry

Delivered the Same Day: The Post Office and Amazon.com

Seminar Series: Work, Property, Metrics
June 3rd, 2019, 11:00-17:00
Lanchester Library, Teaching Room, 3rd floor


Post Office research group, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University

External Speakers: !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Jamie Woodcock

CPC researchers: Janneke Adema, Peter Conlin, Valeria Graziano, Gary Hall, Kaja Marczewska, Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak


Historically the postal service has solidified as a national and transnational infrastructure owned by the public, for the benefit of the public. It has played a central role in organising long-distance communication - mail, telegraph, telephony - facilitating, amongst other things, the regular delivery of written correspondence, the dissemination of printed matter, the expansion of the public sphere, but also the surveillance of communication and the coordination of war.

Alongside being political, the postal service was also an intensely technological institution. It has laid down the postal paths, network topologies, and routing protocols for later communications networks to follow. In fact, in the UK, the Post Office has had its own Research Station since 1909, helping develop the first transatlantic radiotelephone service and the world's first programmable electronic digital computer

No less important is the fact that the postal service also created a material distribution system. In the very period when the communicational infrastructures became deregulated, privatised and disinvested, on the back of these services and their delivery networks arose the digital platforms - most prominently the informational-distributive Behemoth that is the Amazon.com.

This event will explore the contrast between the transformative role the postal service as a public institution has had - and continues to have in spite of its creeping privatisation and erosion - and the disruptive role Amazon.com is now playing by offering cloud computing infrastructure, furthering platformisation, automating digital network services, and casualising the labour inside and outside of of its own operations.

I. Post Post Office: the Afterlives of Postal Networks

11:00-10:15  Gary Hall: introducing the Post Office

11:15-12:00  !Mediengruppe Bitnik: Postal Machine Decision (artist talk)

12:00-12:45  Kaja Marczewska: Postal Reforms and the Crisis of Grassroots Publishing
Janneke Adema & Kaja Marczewska: Post-it. Academic Post Card

 

II. Amazon.com: work, property and metrics in the logistical circuit

13:30-13:45  Valeria Graziano: Automation as Domestication

13:45-14:15  Marcell Mars & Tomislav Medak: The Anatomy of Amazon.com

14:15-14:45  Jamie Woodcock: Amazon.com, Twitch.tv, and Videogames

14:45-15:15  Peter Conlin: Incontrovertible Landscapes and Vanishing Points: Logistic Spaces, Opacity and Obscurity

15:30-16:30  Discussion

Speakers:

Janneke Adema is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. In her research, she explores the future of scholarly communications and experimental forms of knowledge production, where her work incorporates processual and performative publishing, radical open access, scholarly poethics, media studies, book history, cultural studies, and critical theory. She explores these issues in depth in her various publications, but also by supporting a variety of scholar-led, not-for-profit publishing projects, including the Radical Open Access Collective, Open Humanities Press, and Post Office Press (POP). You can follow her research, as it develops, on openreflections.wordpress.com.

Peter Conlin is a media lecturer and research associate at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. He is currently developing a book project entitled Evitable: The De-obsolescent Future of Media and Urban Space (Routledge Press).

Valeria Graziano is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University. She is co-editor with Kim Trogal of ‘Repair Matters’, a special issue of the ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organisation(2019) and convenor of the international project Pirate Care (piratecare.net).

Gary Hall is a writer, philosopher and cultural theorist working (and making) in the areas of digital media, politics and technology. He is Professor of Media in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Coventry University, UK, where he co-directs the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. He is the author of a number of books, including The Inhumanist Manifesto (Techne Lab, 2017), Pirate Philosophy (MIT Press, 2016), The Uberfication of the University (Minnesota UP, 2016), Digitize This Book! (Minnesota UP, 2008), and Culture in Bits (Continuum, 2002). http://www.garyhall.info/
 

Kaja Marczewska is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, UK. Her research is positioned at the intersection of publishing and book cultures, cultural studies, and experimental arts and writing. She is the author of This is not a copy (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), Book-mobility: cultures of small press distribiution (CUP 2020), and a co-editor of The Contemporary Small Press: Making Publishing Visible (Palgrave 2020). In 2018, she was a Reese Fellow for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas, Terra Foundation fellow, and The Getty Research Institute visiting fellow, and will be taking up visiting fellowships at Sallie Bingham Centre, Duke University and at Michigan State University later this year.

Marcell Mars is a research associate at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University (UK). Mars is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb. His research “Ruling Class Studies”, started at the Jan van Eyck Academy (2011), examines state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence created by corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay. He is a doctoral student at Digital Cultures Research Lab at Leuphana University, writing a thesis on “Foreshadowed Libraries”. Together with Tomislav Medak he founded Memory of the World/Public Library, for which he develops and maintains software infrastructure.
 

Tomislav Medak is a doctoral student at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. Medak is a member of the theory and publishing team of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb, as well as an amateur librarian for the Memory of the World/Public Library project. His research focuses on technologies, capitalist development, and postcapitalist transition, particularly on economies of intellectual property and unevenness of technoscience. Together with Marcell Mars he coedited Public Library and Guerrilla Open Access. 

!Mediengruppe Bitnik are the artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo. They are contemporary artists working on and with the Internet. Their practice expands from the digital to affect physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. In early 2013 !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent a parcel to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. The parcel contained a camera which broadcast its journey through the postal system live on the internet. They describe «Delivery for Mr. Assange» as a SYSTEM_TEST and a Live Mail Art Piece. They have also been known for sending a bot called «Random Darknet Shopper» on a three-month shopping spree in the Darknets where it randomly bought objects like Ecstasy and had them sent directly to the gallery space.  

Jamie Woodcock is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is the author of Marx at the Arcade (2019, Haymarket) about videogames, and Working The Phones (2017, Pluto), a study of a call centre in the UK - both inspired by the workers' inquiry. His research focuses on labour, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organising, and videogames. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Belowand Historical Materialismhttps://www.jamiewoodcock.net/

 

Work, property, metrics is a series of seminars, workshops, and talks investigating the transformations of work, property relations, and mechanisms of social control resulting from the processes of digitisation, computerisation, and automation. These transformations are reflected in a crisis of institutions responsible for the universal access to social goods and services: employment, care, education, housing etc. With our research activities we want to investigate, support, and develop practices emerging in response to this crisis - ranging from alternative organisational models, collective forms of work, all the way to refusal. In its first round of events, this series is focusing on the institutions responsible for the provision of communication, information, and education - the postal service, the library, and the university.

Post Office is an exercise in imagining counter-institutions in response to the crisis of those very institutions. It is an endeavour in devising practices that collectively re-configure public infrastructures against the onslaught of managerial neoliberalism and technological acceleration. As a research collective (connected to the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University), it is a horizontal experiment in knowledge production and action situated between theory and technology, politics and poetics, the inside and the outside of the university. Post Office follows a methodology of affirmative critique. Our projects are both critical and performative: actively changing the situations in which they intervene while helping devise protagonist-centered approaches to organisation, methodology, and technology. We are involved in changing scholarly and creative writing, publishing, libraries, open access, universities, cultural production, the humanities, technologies, and labour relations, and want to create alternatives for a more just, diverse, and equitable future.

Friday
May102019

Experimental Publishing II – Critique, Intervention, And Speculation

A half-day symposium with talks by Mark Amerika (UC Boulder) and Nick Thurston (University of Leeds) 

2:15-5:30pm May 28
Centre for Postdigital Cultures
Teaching Room
3rd Floor Lanchester Library
Coventry University
Registration (free): https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/about-us/research-events/2019/experimental-publishing-ii2/   

In 2019 and 2020, the Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) will be hosting a series of symposia exploring contemporary approaches to experimental publishing. Over the course of the series, we will ask questions about the role and nature of experimentation in publishing, about ways in which experimental publishing has been formulated and performed in the past, and ways in which it shapes our publishing imaginaries at present. This series aims to conceptualise and map what experimental publishing is or can be and to explore what lies behind our aims and motivations to experiment through publishing. As such, it forms the first activity within the CPC’s new Post-Publishing programme, an initiative committed to exploring iterative and processual forms of publishing and their role in reconceptualising publishing as an integral part of the research and writing process, i.e. as that which inherently shapes it. 

Speakers

Mark Amerika, a Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado, has exhibited his artwork internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and The ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.  He is the author of many books including The Kafka Chronicles (FC2), Sexual Blood (FC2), remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press—remixthebook.com), META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press), remixthecontext (Routledge), and Locus Solus (An Inappropriate Translation Composed in a 21st Century Manner) (Counterpath Press).

Nick Thurston is a writer and editor who makes artworks. His most recent books include the co-edited collection, Post-Digital Cultures of the Far Right (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2018), and an experimental Spanish-language translation of his last poetic book by NO_LIBROS (Barcelona, 2019). Recent and current exhibitions include shows at Transmediale (Berlin, 2018), Q21 (Vienna, 2018), MuHKA (Antwerp, 2018) and HMKV (Dortmund, 2019).

Concept 

Experimental publishing can be positioned as an intervention, a mode of critique, and a tool of speculation. It is a way of thinking about writing and publishing today that has at its centre a commitment to questioning and breaking down distinctions between practice and theory, criticality and creativity, and between the scholarly and the artistic.

In this series of events we propose to explore contemporary approaches to experimental publishing as:

  • an ongoing critique of our current publishing systems and practices, deconstructing existing hegemonies and questioning the fixtures in publishing to which we have grown accustomed—from the book as a stable object to single authorship and copyright.
  • an affirmative practice which offers means to re-perform our existing writerly, research, and publishing institutions and practices through publishing experiments.
  • a speculative practice that makes possible an exploration of different futures for writing and research, and the emergence of new, potentially more inclusive forms, genres, and spaces of publishing, open to ambivalence and failure.

This take on experimentation can be understood as a heterogeneous, unpredictable, and uncontained process, one that leaves the critical potentiality of the book as a medium open to new intellectual, political, and economic contingencies.

Thursday
May092019

Thermal Objects and The Nature of Data Centers: new double issue of Culture Machine

We are excited to announce the publication of the latest edition of the open access journal Culture Machine (http://culturemachine.net). This is a special double-issue, consisting of:
 

Culture Machine Vol. 17 (2019):  Thermal Objects, edited by Elena Beregow

Culture Machine Vol. 18 (2019): The Nature of Data Centers, edited by Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

The contents of each issue are provided below.
 

Established in 1999, Culture Machine is now edited principally by Gabriela Méndez Cota and Rafico Ruiz. Its aim is to seek out and promote scholarly work that engages provocatively with contemporary technical objects, processes and imaginaries from the North and South. Building on its open ended, non-instrumental, and exploratory approach to critical theory, Culture Machine is actively calling for creative proposals that contest and come up against globalizing technical narratives and the environmental logics of extraction.

Culture Machine is part of Open Humanities Press

---

Vol. 17: Thermal Objects, edited by Elena Beregow

 

Editorial: Theorizing Temperatures and the Social − Elena Beregow

Time, Temperature and its Informational Turn – Wolfgang Ernst
Hot and Cold Techniques in the Longue Durée of Media − Erhard Schüttpelz
Cooked or Fermented? The Thermal Logic of Social Transformation − Elena Beregow
Thermocultures of Memory – Samir Bhowmik
Natural Ice and the Emerging Cryopolis: A Historical Perspective on Urban Cold Infrastructure – Paula Schönach
Infernal Machinery: Thermopolitics of the Explosion − Nigel Clark
Thermal Violence: Heat Rays, Sweatboxes and the Politics of Exposure − Nicole Starosielski
As ‘index and metaphor’: Migration and the Thermal Imaginary in Richards Mosse’s Incoming − Niall Martin
Distance Runners as Thermal Objects: Temperature Work, Somatic Learning and Thermal Attunement – John Hockey and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Posthuman Dance: Body Heart and Haptic Intimacy in ORA – Hilary Bergen
Thermal Envelopes: Heat and Warmth in Installation Art − Gunnar Schmidt
Performative Raw Clay Practices and Ceramic Firing Techniques − Agustina Andreoletti

 

---

Vol. 18: The Nature of Data Centers, edited by Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

Editorial − Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

Resurrection from Bunkers and Data Centers − Adam Fish and Bradley L. Garrett
Emplacing Data Within Imperial Histories: Imagining Iceland as Data Centers’ ‘Natural’ Home − Alix Johnson
Silicon Forest and Server Farms: The (Urban) Nature of Digital Capitalism in the Pacific Northwest − Anthony M Levenda and Dillon Mahmoudi
The Second Coming: Google and Internet Infrastructure – Vicki Mayer
An Apple a Day: Listening to Data Centre Site Selection through a Sonospheric Investigation − Matt Parker
Managing Carbon and Data Flows: Fungible Forms of Mediation in the Cloud − Anne Pasek
The Data Center as Technological Wilderness − A.R.E Taylor
Data Centres as Impermanent Infrastructures − Julia Velkova
Storing Data, Infrastructuring the Air: Thermocultures of the Cloud − Asta Vonderau
When Infrastructure Becomes Failure: A material analysis of the limitations of cloud gaming services − Sean RM Willett

 

(Please note that a temporary issue with the site's SSL certificate requires you to view the issues on a secure network)

Thursday
May022019

On Gesture: Approaches and Questions event

On Gesture: Approaches and Questions 

17th May, 2019

The DigiLab, William Morris Building, Coventry University  

The study-day draws upon the rich literature on gesture recently emerged across media and film studies, design, dance, psychoanalysis, linguistics, art, philosophy and performance studies. The aim of this event is less centred around defining gesture and its particular ontology, in these various fields but rather opening up the concept for further investigation. The main focus is then on the methodological stances and attitudes better apt to examine gesture as a medium across disciplines and between theory and practice, in the attempt to understand why these movements of the body have become so important to us in a postdigital world. 

The event will comprise contributions by Darren Berkland (CPC, Coventry University), Bonnie Evans (Queen Mary, University of London), Tina Kendall (Anglia Ruskin University), Catherine MacTaggart (artist), Caroline Molloy (MPA, Coventry University), Tom Gorman (MPA, Coventry University), Sara Reed (C-DaRE, Coventry University), and an artist talk by Agata Mergler (York University, Toronto).     

Register here: https://coventry.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ongesture 


 

Monday
Apr152019

We Started Building a Progressive Ecosystem for the Arts and Humanities – You Won’t Believe What Happened Next! 

This is the abstract of my talk for Critical Issues in Open Access and Scholarly Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, May 24, 2019, organized by Goldsmiths in collaboration with Research England and Jisc. More details about this even are provided below.

---

Over the last 20 years I’ve been involved in developing more than 15 grassroots, scholar-led open access projects. This talk discusses the politics underpinning these initiatives along with some of their unforeseen consequences. Among the projects featured are:

- Culture Machine (http://culturemachine.net), a journal of critical and cultural theory that started in the UK in 1999 and is shortly due to relaunch out of Mexico

- Open Humanities Press (www.openhumanitiespress.org), an international collective that currently publishes 21 OA journals, over 40 OA books distributed across 8 book series, as well as libre OA experiments such as Liquid Books and Living Books About Life

- Radical Open Access Collective (http://radicaloa.disruptivemedia.org.uk), a community of non-profit presses, journals and other entities that was formed in 2015 and now consists of over 60 members.