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'Posthumanities: The Dark Side of "The Dark Side of the Digital"' (with Janneke Adema), in Janneke Adema and Gary Hall, eds, Disrupting the Humanities: Towards Posthumanities, Journal of Electronic Publishing, Vol. 9, No.2, Winter, 2016.

'Pirate Philosophy And Post-Capitalism: A Conversation With Gary Hall', by Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Imagination, December 8, 2016.

The Uberfication of the University - new book! (Open access version available here.)

Pirate Philosophy - new book!

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 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. 

'What Does Academia.edu's Success Mean for Open Access: The Data-Driven World of Search Engines and Social Networking', Ctrl-Z: New Media Philosophy, no.5, 2015.

Radical Open Access network

« Chapter 8: Para-site | Main
Tuesday
May312011

On The Unbound (Nature Of This) Book

As the About page makes clear, I have decided to make the research for the open book I’m putting together here freely available online in the Open Humanities Notebook section of this website. I am doing so more or less as this research emerges, not just in draft and pre-print form as journal articles, book chapters, catalogue essays, but also as contributions to email discussions, conference papers, lectures and so on. Long before any of these texts are collected together and given to a publisher to be bound as a book, economically, materially and conceptually, then. 

This Open Notebook offers a space where the research for this book, provisionally titled Media Gifts, can be disseminated quickly and easily in a manner that enables it to be openly shared and discussed. More than that, however, it provides an opportunity to experiment critically with loosening at least some of the ties used to bind books once a text has been contracted by a professional press.

For instance, it is common for most book contracts to allow authors to retain the right to republish in their own works material that has previously appeared elsewhere (as scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals, say), provided the necessary permissions have been granted. But what if draft or pre-print versions of the chapters that make up my book are gathered together here in this Open Notebook? When it comes to publishing this research as a bound book, are ‘brand name’ presses likely to reject it on the grounds of reduced potential sales since a version of the material will already be available online? Will I be required to remove this material to ensure they have the exclusive right to sell or give away copies?

At what point does the material that goes to make up a book become bound tightly enough for it to be understood as actually making up a book? Where in practice is the line going to be drawn?

And what if some of this material is disseminated out of sequence, under different titles, in other versions, forms and places where it is not quite so easy to bind, legally, economically or conceptually, as a book? Let us take as an example the version of the chapter in Media Gifts that explores the idea of Liquid Books. This appears as part of an actual Liquid Book that is published using a wiki, and is free for users to read, comment upon, rewrite, remix and reinvent. Similarly, the chapter on pirate philosophy is currently only available on a ‘pirate’ peer-to-peer network. There is no ‘original’ or ‘master’ copy of this text in the conventional sense: this text exists only to the extent it is part of a ‘pirate network’ and is stolen or ‘pirated’.

Indeed, while each of the media projects the Media Gifts book is concerned with – at the moment there are ten in all - constitutes a distinct project in its own right, they can also, as I say, be seen as forming a dynamic network of texts, websites, archives, wikis, IPTV programmes and other internet traces. Consequently, if it is to be thought of as a book at all, it should be understood as an open, distributed and multi-location book: parts of it are to be found on this website/blog, others on wikis, others again on p2p file-sharing networks. To adapt a phrase of Maurice Blanchot’s from The Book to Come - for whom Stéphane Mallarmé’s ‘Un Coup de dés orients the future of the book both in the direction of the greatest dispersion and in the direction of a tension capable of gathering infinite diversity, by the discovery of more complex structures’ - Media Gifts is a book ‘gathered through dispersion’. 

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