Welcome to Monoskop, a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.
This page shows a selection of the latest additions to the website. For more detailed overview see the Recent, Contents, Index and Media library sections. Updates are also being posted on Twitter and Facebook.
Monoskop supports the open letter In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub.
“An argument that great expressive power of computational media arises from the construction of phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination.
In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell considers the expressive power of computational media. He argues, forcefully and persuasively, that the great expressive potential of computational media comes from the ability to construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. These ubiquitous and often-unseen phantasms—cognitive phenomena that include sense of self, metaphors, social categories, narrative, and poetic thinking—influence almost all our everyday experiences. Harrell offers an approach for understanding and designing computational systems that have the power to evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to the exposure of oppressive phantasms and the creation of empowering ones. He argues for the importance of cultural content, diverse worldviews, and social values in computing. The expressive power of phantasms is not purely aesthetic, he contends; phantasmal media can express and construct the types of meaning central to the human condition.
Harrell discusses, among other topics, the phantasm as an orienting perspective for developers; expressive epistemologies, or data structures based on subjective human worldviews; morphic semiotics (building on the computer scientist Joseph Goguen’s theory of algebraic semiotics); cultural phantasms that influence consensus and reveal other perspectives; computing systems based on cultural models; interaction and expression; and the ways that real-world information is mapped onto, and instantiated by, computational data structures.
The concept of phantasmal media, Harrell argues, offers new possibilities for using the computer to understand and improve the human condition through the human capacity to imagine.”
Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 9780262019330, 0262019337
“Examining the new ecosystems of access that are emerging in middle- and low-income countries as opportunities for higher education expand but funding for materials shrinks.
Even as middle- and low-income countries expand their higher education systems, their governments are retreating from responsibility for funding and managing this expansion. The public provision of educational materials in these contexts is rare; instead, libraries, faculty, and students are on their own to get what they need. Shadow Libraries explores the new ecosystem of access, charting the flow of educational and research materials from authors to publishers to libraries to students, and from comparatively rich universities to poorer ones. In countries from Russia to Brazil, the weakness of formal models of access was countered by the growth of informal ones. By the early 2000s, the principal form of access to materials was informal copying and sharing. Since then, such unauthorized archives as Libgen, Gigapedia, and Sci-Hub have become global “shadow libraries,” with massive aggregations of downloadable scholarly materials.
The chapters consider experiments with access in a range of middle- and low-income countries, describing, among other things, the Russian samizdat tradition and the connection of illicit copying to resistance to oppression; BiblioFyL, an online archive built by students at the University of Buenos Aires; education policy and the daily practices of students in post-Apartheid South Africa; the politics of access in India; and copy culture in Brazil.”
Contributors: Balázs Bodó, Laura Czerniewicz, Miroslaw Filiciak, Mariana Fossatti, Jorge Gemetto, Eve Gray, Evelin Heidel, Joe Karaganis, Lawrence Liang, Pedro Mizukami, Jhessica Reia, Alek Tarkowski
Publisher MIT Press, Cambridge/MA; International Development Research Centre, Ottawa; and The American Assembly at Columbia University, New York, 2018
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
ISBN 9780262535014, 0262535017
See also Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, 2011.
“In an era of accelerating technology and increasing complexity, how should we reimagine the emancipatory potential of feminism? How should gender politics be reconfigured in a world being transformed by automation, globalization and the digital revolution?
These questions are addressed in this bold new book by Helen Hester, a founding member of the ‘Laboria Cuboniks’ collective that developed the acclaimed manifesto ‘Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation’. Hester develops a three-part definition of xenofeminism grounded in the ideas of technomaterialism, anti-naturalism, and gender abolitionism. She elaborates these ideas in relation to assistive reproductive technologies and interrogates the relationship between reproduction and futurity, while steering clear of a problematic anti-natalism. Finally, she examines what xenofeminist technologies might look like in practice, using the history of one specific device to argue for a future-oriented gender politics that can facilitate alternative models of reproduction.
Challenging and iconoclastic, this visionary book is the essential guide to one of the most exciting intellectual trends in contemporary feminism.”
Publisher Polity Press, 2018
Theory Redux series
ISBN 1509520627, 9781509520626
PDF (4 MB)
“Combining fact and fiction, each of the one hundred and two tales of Alexander Kluge’s Temple of the Scapegoat (dotted with photos of famous operas and their stars) compresses a lifetime of feeling and thought: Kluge is deeply engaged with the opera and an inventive wellspring of narrative notions. The titles of his stories suggest his many turns of mind: “Total Commitment,” “Freedom,” “Reality Outrivals Theater,” “The Correct Slowing-Down at the Transitional Point Between Terror and an Inkling of Freedom,” “A Crucial Character (Among Persons None of Whom Are Who They Think They Are),” and “Deadly Vocal Power vs. Generosity in Opera.” An opera, Kluge says, is a blast furnace of the soul, telling of the great singer Leonard Warren who died onstage, having literally sung his heart out. Kluge introduces a Tibetan scholar who realizes that opera “is about comprehension and passion. The two never go together. Passion overwhelms comprehension. Comprehension kills passion. This appears to be the essence of all operas, says Huang Tse-we: she also comes to understand that female roles face the harshest fates. Compared to the mass of soprano victims (out of 86,000 operas, 64,000 end with the death of the soprano), the sacrice of tenors is small (out of 86,000 operas 1,143 tenors are a write-off).””
Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole, Donna Stonecipher, and Martin Chalmers
Publisher New Directions Publishing, New York, 2018
ISBN 9780811227483, 0811227480
“Katz is a pirated edition of Art Spiegelman’s seminal graphic novel Maus. Katz is an exact copy of the French edition of Maus, with the difference that all the animal characters, have been redrawn as cats. The book was printed on November 2011 and it was seen in public for the first time in January 2012 during the International Comics Festival of Angoulême that ran under Spiegelman’s presidency. Apparently more than 50 copies were sold simultaneously by several independent publisher bookstands, but the book’s ISBN belonged clearly to La Cinquième Couche, a Belgian publishing structure which had already a large catalogue under its belt. The author of this pirated edition was presumably Ilan Manouach. After the Festival, the book was scheduled to be officially distributed by April 2012 and according to Belles Lettres, the distributor, it has already been sold out in pre-order from hundreds of bookshops in France and Belgium. BLDD asks for a reprint but the author and the publisher refuse, underlining the repurposing as a statement.
Two weeks before the book hits officially the book stores, the lawyers of Flammarion, the copyright holder of the French edition of Maus strike back. They send to Mr. Manouach and Mr. Löwenthal, a 500-page document containing spreads from both Maus and Katz, interviews from Ilan Manouach, and his correspondence with Art Spiegelman. Refusing to take on account the conversational nature of the operation and its very limited printrun, Katz is stated as a counterfeit of Maus and Flammarion seeks an injunction against the small Belgian press.
There is also some fuss about the number of copies. The book was printed in Greece and the infringing publisher handled many contradictory proofs of the total print run. The sum fluctuates between 700 and 2000 copies. Flammarion, in the report, states that probably 100 books are hidden in Greece. The same week, in Athens, people break into Manouach’s car and steal 32 books.
La Cinquième Couche and Manouach are positive about the trial. A century of art history, from Duchamp to pop art is enough to prove the validity of this operation. Nevertheless, being already heavily indebted, the publisher, not able to afford the 20.000 starting costs in order to fight the injunction, accepts an out of court settlement: nothing more or less than the total destruction of the books and the digital files. The operation took place in Brussels the 15 march 2012, in a specialised destruction facility.”
Publisher La Cinquième Couche, Ixelles, 2012
ISBN 2930356847, 9782930356846
See also Xavier Löwenthal, Ilan Manouach (eds.), MetaKatz, 2013.