[-empyre-] Week One - Between Print and Pixels: Computationality, Post-Digital, Hybrid

Michael Dieter M.J.Dieter at uva.nl
Wed Feb 5 01:01:49 EST 2014

Hi all,

I would like to introduce the first three guests for the February topic of
Hybrid Bookwork: Alessandro Ludovico, David Berry and Mercedes Bunz. I'll
called the theme for this session, 'Between Paper and Pixels: The Book
After New Media', to outline some of the broad transformations associated
with publishing today.

There are a number of themes that are perhaps taking some note of in order
to provide some context for the current dynamic and shifting contexts for
the innovative practices that we see emerging around publishing (and other
context in cultural production).

Bios are as follows:

Alessandro Ludovico is an artist, media critic, and chief editor of Neural
magazine since 1993 (http://neural.it). He has published and edited several
books, including his latest 'Post-Digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing
Since 1894' (Onomatopee 2012). He is one of the founders of Mag.Net
(Electronic Cultural Publishers organisation), for which co-edited three
Mag.net Readers, and also served as an advisor for the Documenta 12′s
Magazine Project. He's currently curating the virtual exhibition "Erreur
d'Impression" in the virtual space of Jeu de Paume in Paris. He is one of
the authors of the Hacking Monopolism trilogy of artworks (Google Will Eat
Itself, Amazon Noir, Face to Facebook). He's Adjunct Professor at OCAD
University in Toronto, and teaches at the Academy of Art in Carrara and
NABA in Milan, and is currently completing a PhD at Anglia Ruskin
University in Cambridge (UK).

David M. Berry is a reader in digital media in the school of media, film
and music at the University of Sussex. His research interests focus on
media/medium theory, software studies, digital humanities, and technology.
He is particularly interested in the methodological and theoretical
challenges of digital media and has strong research interests in the
philosophy of software and critical theory. His latest book is 'Critical
Theory and the Digital' (Bloomsbury 2014), and he blogs over at

Mercedes Bunz is a lecturer in Media Studies at Leuphana University,
Germany, where she is also Director of the Hybrid Publishing Lab, exploring
academic publishing in the digital age. She writes on digital media,
journalism and the philosophy of technology, and she has been the
technology reporter of The Guardian. Her latest publication is The Silent
Revolution: How Digitalization Transforms Knowledge, Work, Journalism and
Politics Without Making Too Much Noise (Palgrave Pivot 2013). She blogs
regularly at http://www.mercedes-bunz.de/ and http://hybridpublishing.org/

I've been lucky enough to work with each one of them at certain points, and
I'm thrilled to have them contributing this week! Some background of why
I've asked them to contribute...

I want to invite Alessandro to start off the discussion. Many of you are no
doubt familiar with his work, but if not, I want to draw attention to his
recent book, 'Post-Digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing Since 1894'
(Onomatopee 2012):
fact that text is legit available through the Monoskop Log is perhaps
noteworthy itself).

I would describe his book as a history of experimental aesthetic practices
articulated through new publishing technologies, and one that speaks in
particular to the concept of the post-digital. More generally, it's a
tremendous document of a vast array of projects, artworks, print objects,
books, pamphlets and magazines that is characteristic of print culture in
late modernity and beyond.

The post-digital, in particular, is a term that I'm inviting Alessandro to
discuss, along with related ideas that have emerged through his research.
And it's particularly relevant off the back of Transmediale Festival last
week given the Post-Digital Research panel and newspaper publication. The
latter is a series of short texts that have been collaboratively
peer-reviewed through a workshop on the topic held at Aarhus University
last year: https://tm-resource.projects.cavi.au.dk/?page_id=1291Unfortunately,
a PDF is not available yet, but Alessandro I'm sure will
give an impression of the contents of this publication.

David, meanwhile, has written on a wide range of topics and subjects from
f/oss, the philosophy of software, digital humanities, new aesthetic and,
quite recently, the post-digital. I've invited him to respond and present
his current research, and extend the discussion into some reflections on
epistemological implications and political economy concerns. David and I
have also been involved with booksprint events with Adam Hyde, which I
haven't mentioned in the outline for this discussion, but certainly seem
relevant to the discussion!

Finally, I've asked Mercedes to contribute with her extensive experience as
a journalist and academic covering a range of topics in digital culture,
including a recent in depth study of algorithms and knowledge production.
She leads the Hybrid Publishing team of which (full disclosure) I am also
member at Leuphana University Lüneburg. I was hoping that she might broaden
the discussion with some reflections on Alessandro and David's posts, and
perhaps provide some further consideration based on the work currently
being done in Leuphana.

And of course, I invite all subscribers to chime in, respond and post to
the list over the coming days!

Michael Dieter
Media Studies
The University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
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