openmute press

Another wor(l)d is possible! - the imperative for publishing experiments

By mrchristian, 10 October 2011

Mobility Shifts - conference presentation, October 2011, NY.

The Arab Spring has been an outpouring of deep rooted frustration of basic popular civil and economic aspirations. At every turn the elites have sought ways to prevent the introduction of democracy, suppress the development of institutions of civil society and neglect any sort of economic development the wider population can share in.
In the Arab states use of social media by a younger, globally communicative generation to create a new political force ahead of the established patterns.
It might seem tendentious, but this stifling of vital democratic energies is evocative of the way a dominant market logic has thwarted the radical potential of networked media. Arab democracy is celebrated at one moment by the likes of Google and Facebook and then ignored or censored to meet their advantage in another territory. This is a reminder of why it is so important for publishing to continue in a highly experimental mode; to go on rethinking how media in general are constituted and reconstituted in an attempt to find - or create - new social formations and contexts (and with them cultural ones).
To sketching out broad areas of investigation, a taxonomy of hybrid and experimental publishing, that maximises the potential of making spaces of transformation, simultaneously highlight the parlous state in which we all live, but also offer positive engagement with it.

  • Communicative and collaborative energies
  • A universal net
  • Biopolitical surveillance
  • Revolutions in organisation
  • Participation