Open Access

Most of Gary's work is freely available to read and download either here, in the OA archive CSeARCH or in Coventry University's online repository CURVE here 

performative project Janneke Adema has put together, based on our ‘The Political Nature of the Book: On Artists’ Books and Radical Open Access’ article for New Formations, Number 78, Summer, 2013. 

Radical Open Access network

Friday
Jan292016

Videos from the 'Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu?' symposium now available

In view of the current discussion taking place over Academia.edu’s introduction of an ‘article recommendation charge’, and the subsequent #DeleteAcademiaEdu hashtag (https://twitter.com/hashtag/deleteacademiaedu?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=hash), this latest announcement from the Centre for Disruptive Media (http://disruptivemedia.org.uk/) at Coventry University might be interested :

Last month we organised a symposium on academic social networking platforms called Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? Chaired by Janneke Adema (Coventry University, UK) the event featured Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US), Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK), and David Parry (Saint Joseph University, US) as speakers.

The videos from this symposium are now available online at:

https://archive.org/details/Boycottingacademiaedu

 

The event addressed the following questions:

  • Why have researchers been so ready to campaign against for-profit academic publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, and Taylor & Francis/Informa, but not against for-profit platforms such as Academia.edu ResearchGate and Google Scholar?
  • Should academics refrain from providing free labour for these publishing companies too?
  • Are there non-profit alternatives to such commercial platforms academics should support instead?
  • Could they take inspiration from the editors of Lingua (now Glossa) and start their own scholar-owned and controlled platform cooperatives for the sharing of research?
  • Or are such ‘technologies of the self’ or ‘political technologies of individuals’, as we might call them following Michel Foucault, merely part of a wider process by which academics are being transformed into connected individuals who endeavour to generate social, public and professional value by acting as microentrepreneurs of their own selves and lives?

For more on this symposium see: http://disruptivemedia.org.uk/why-are-we-not-boycotting-academia-edu/

Thursday
Jan282016

Ubercapitalism

(This is an abstract for a talk to be given at CAMRI, University of Westminster, February 18, 2016. More details of time and place are available here.) 

 

This talk will explore what neoliberalism’s weakening of the social is likely to mean for the future organization of labor by examining those data and information companies associated with the corporate sharing economy. It will focus on the sharing economy because it is here that the implications for workers of such a transformation to an ubercapitalist society are today most apparent. It is a society in which we are encouraged to become not just what the philosopher Michel Foucault calls entrepreneurs of the self (which is how he describes the neoliberal ‘homo oeconomicus’), but microentrepreneurs of the self, acting as if we are our own, precarious, freelance microenterprises in a context in which we are being steadily deprived of employment rights, public services and welfare support. 
 

Our society can be understood as ubercapitalist then in a double sense: in that this form of neoliberal capitalism is seemingly ever more powerful and irresistible (the prefix ‘uber’ actually means ‘advanced’,  ‘irresistible’, ‘higher’, ‘superior’, ‘more powerful’); and that the San Francisco-based sharing economy firm Uber provides one of its most characteristic and often referred to examples. Indeed, having become a ‘global brand largely on the strength of its intellectual property and without a need to manufacture anything’, Fortune magazine predicts Uber is ‘destined to be one of the world’s most important companies’.

This talk will discuss the implications of such a transformation to an ubercapitalist society for the organization of labor particularly through the prism of those who work and study in the university. It will do so partly because academics, researchers and students are now being encouraged to become microentrepreneurs of themselves; but mainly because the university provides one of the few spaces in post-industrial society where the forces of contemporary neoliberalism’s anti-public sector regime are still being overtly opposed. It follows that such changes in the way labor is organized will be all the more powerfully and visibly marked in the case of the publically funded university system. Indeed if, as recent research reveals, being an academic is one of the most desired jobs in Britain today, it may be because this occupation is seen as offering a way of living that is not just about consuming and working and very little else. In this way, Ubercapitalism will provide a sense of what is lying in store for many us over the course of the next few years - and what we can do about it.

 

Sunday
Jan172016

How the Internet Economy Changes the Rules

(This is the abstract I wrote for the session on the sharing economy I was invited to chair at the 7th Global Drucker Forum in Vienna, November 5-6, 2015. The Drucker Forum 2015 focused on the technology revolution, looking at topics like robotics, big data, Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing. Speakers on this session were Rachel BotsmanRobin ChaseIsabella Mader and Oussama Ammar. A video recording of the complete session is available here and the related discussion here.)

 

Labour intermediaries were a feature of capitalism long before the emergence of technology companies such as Uber and Airbnb. Businesses have been discarding their identities as large, centralised employers by outsourcing work to smaller independent contractors, individual freelancers and temps for decades. What’s new about the current shift to the distributed structure of the professionalized sharing economy is:

1) the intermediaries are no longer agencies for outsourced labour but data-driven platforms or apps, making it difficult for workers to negotiate for better pay and conditions – you can’t negotiate argue very easily with the logic of an algorithm;

2) the workers are not a coherent group of formally contracted employees, even if they are often managed as though they are – now anyone can ‘collaborate’ and ‘share’ (e.g. by renting out excess capacity in their car or home to someone they don’t know);

3) both the customers and workers are managed on an individual, micro, finely-grained, real-time basis using networked mobile media, GPS-enabled location services, and trust-measuring reputation engines.

This panel will discuss the extent to which the new, more networked and collaborative ways of organising business and labour – of which the sharing or ‘rental’ economy is actually just a subset – are undermining the market competitiveness of those asset-heavy companies still operating according to the rules of the ‘old’ economy, with its employment regulations, unions, public services and welfare. What are the challenges and opportunities of any such changing of the rules? If we wish to restore the balance between social democracy and what, building on former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s notion of supercapitalism, we can call ubercapitalism, does human capital need to be given more protection against the algorithmic, inhumane excesses of the internet economy? Is a less rigid and closed model of ownership and IP required for distributed collaboration and sharing among peers to really take place in the era of VC-funded platform capitalism? Or is the emergence of companies that are using the power of data to disrupt the conventional ways in which organisations are built, work gets done and reputations maintained, part of a larger structural shift toward a new paradigm?

In short, the question raised for those taking part in the 2015 Global Drucker Forum by this session will be this: is the internet economy’s changing of the rules post-capitalist or ubercapitalist? 
Wednesday
Nov252015

Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? - symposium, Coventry University, 8 December

Coventry University
Tuesday 8th December 2015 
3:00-6:00pm
Ellen Terry Building room ET130.
 
Janneke Adema – Chair (Coventry University, UK)
Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France)
Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US)
Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK)
David Parry (Saint Joseph’s University, US).
 
Organised by The Centre for Disruptive Media: www.disruptivemedia.org
________________________________________
With over 36 million visitors each month, the San Francisco-based platform-capitalist company Academia.edu is hugely popular with researchers. Its founder and CEO Richard Price maintains it is the ‘largest social-publishing network for scientists’, and ‘larger than all its competitors put together’. Yet posting on Academia.edu is far from being ethically and politically equivalent to using an institutional open access repository, which is how it is often understood by academics.
 
Academia.edu’s financial rationale rests on the ability of the venture-capital-funded professional entrepreneurs who run it to monetize the data flows generated by researchers. Academia.edu can thus be seen to have a parasitical relationship to a public education system from which state funding is steadily being withdrawn. Its business model depends on academics largely educated and researching in the latter system, labouring for Academia.edu for free to help build its privately-owned for-profit platform by providing the aggregated input, data and attention value..
 
To date over 15,000 researchers have taken a stand against the publisher Elsevier by adding their name to the list on the Cost of Knowledge website demanding they change how they operate. Just recently 6 editors and 31 editorial-board members of one of Elsevier's journals, Lingua, went so far as to resign, leading to calls for a boycott and for support for Glossa, the open access journal they plan to start instead. By contrast, the business practices of Academia.edu have gone largely uncontested..
 
This is all the more surprising given that when Elsevier bought the academic social network Mendeley in 2013, it was suggested Elsevier was mainly interested in acquiring Mendeley’s user data, many academics deleted their profiles out of protest. Yet generating revenue from the exploitation of user data is exactly the business model underlying academic social networks such as Academia.edu.
 
This event will address the following questions:.
 
Why have researchers been so ready to campaign against for-profit academic publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, and Taylor & Francis/Informa, but not against for-profit platforms such as Academia.edu, ResearchGate and Google Scholar? 
Should academics refrain from providing free labour for these publishing companies too?  
Are there non-profit alternatives to such commercial platforms that academics should support instead? 
Could they take inspiration from the editors of Lingua (now Glossa) and start their own scholar-owned and controlled platform cooperatives for the sharing of research? 
Or are such ‘technologies of the self’ or ‘political technologies of individuals’, as we might call them following Michel Foucault, merely part of a wider process by which academics are being transformed into connected individuals who endeavour to generate social, public and professional value by acting as microentrepreneurs of their own selves and lives? .
 
About the speakers.
 
Janneke Adema is Research Fellow in Digital Media at Coventry University. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited books including New Formations; New Media & Society; The International Journal of Cultural Studies; New Review of Academic Librarianship; LOGOS: The Journal of the World Book Community; and Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy. She blogs at Open Reflections: http://www.openreflections.org/.
 
Pascal Aventurier has been leading the Regional Scientific Information Team at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research’s (INRA, France) PACA Centre since 2002. He is also co-leader of the scientific information technology group. His focus is on research data, linked open data, open science, knowledge management and controlled vocabularies, as well as researching digital and social tool practices. His team is also exploring the evolution of social networks for academic use. His recent piece on ‘Academic Social Networks: Challenges and Opportunities’, is available here: http://www.unica-network.eu/sites/default/files/Academic_Social_Networks_Challenges_opportunities.pdf.
 
Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Scholarly Communication at the MLA, and visiting professor at Coventry University. The author of Planned Obsolescence (2011) she is also co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons. Her recent piece on Academia.edu, ‘Academia. Not Edu’, is available here: http://www.plannedobsolescence.net/academia-not-edu/.
 
Gary Hall is Professor of Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University, UK, and co-founder of Open Humanities Press. His new monograph, Pirate Philosophy, is forthcoming from MIT Press in early 2016. His recent piece on Academia.edu, ‘What Does Academia.edu’s Success Mean for Open Access?’, is available here: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/10/22/does-academia-edu-mean-open-access-is-becoming-irrelevant/.
 
David Parry joined Saint Joseph's University in the Fall of 2013. His work focuses on understanding the complex social and cultural transformations brought about by the development of the digital network. He is particularly interested in understanding how the internet transforms political power and democracy. He also researches and is an advocate for Open Access Research. His work can be found at www.outsidethetext.com.
Wednesday
Nov182015

Photomediations: A Call for Creative Works

The editors of Photomediations: An Open Book are working with the Europeana Space Best Practice Network to curate an exhibition (both online and physical), and are calling out to the photographic community to submit works for consideration.
 
We are looking for still and/or moving image works (as well as post-digital collages, installations and sculptures), that creatively reuse – in the form of mashups, collages, montages, tributes or pastiches – one or more original image files taken from the Europeana repository of cultural artefacts (http://www.europeana.eu). Europeana contains millions of items from a range of Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums: books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings. Renowned names such as the British Library in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris are featured alongside smaller organisations across Europe. Whether you find a celebrated piece or a lesser-known work, Europeana connects you directly to the original source material.
 
How to submit your work in 4 easy steps:
1. Check out Photomediations: An Open Book (http://www.photomediationsopenbook.net) for inspiration, both about the concept of photomediations and about what can be done with various images.
2. Visit the Europeana repository (http://www.europeana.eu) and start collecting the images you wish to work with.
3. Develop and produce your work. Use mashup, collage, montage, tribute, pastiche, or any other technique that creatively reuses the source material in some way. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
4. Please email your submission to photomediations@gmail.com.
 
Submission is FREE. The closing date for the submissions is 30 March 2016. All successful entries will be notified by the judges by the end of April 2016. Selected entries and up to 10 honourable mentions will be highlighted on the exhibition website and then shown in a real-life exhibition venue. The organisers will seek to bear the print production costs for the real-life exhibition.
 
For further information about the exhibition please visit our website:
Submission requirements:
 
Should you have any questions, please contact photomediations@gmail.com.
 
This exhibition is part of Europeana Space, a project funded by the European Union’s ICT Policy Support Programme under GA n° 621037.