Precarious Workers Brigade: Training for Exploitation: Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education (2017)

4 March 2017, dusan

“This publication provides a pedagogical framework that assists students and others in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy. Training for Exploitation? includes tools for critically examining the relationship between education, work and the cultural economy. It provides useful statistics and workshop exercises on topics such as precarity, employment rights, cooperation and solidarity, as well as examples of alternative educational and organising practices. Training for Exploitation? shows how we can both critique and organise against a system that is at the heart of the contemporary crises of work, student debt and precarity.”

Foreword by Silvia Federici
Publisher Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press, London / Leipzig / Los Angeles, 2017
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License
ISBN 9780615590110
95 pages

Publisher

PDF, PDF (4 MB)

Trebor Scholz: Platform Cooperativism: Challenging the Corporate Sharing Economy (2016) [EN, DE]

16 January 2016, dusan

“The “sharing economy” wasn’t supposed to be this way. Aided by the tiny computers most of us carry with us all day, every day, we would be free from the burdens of ownership and making money in our spare time by renting out our unused possessions. The vison was—or at least appeared to be—an idealistic one. Even before they enter kindergarten, every child learns the value of sharing, and here were the beneficent forces of Silicon Valley bringing us innovative new tools to strengthen our communities, disrupt outdated ways of doing business, and maybe even reduce our carbon footprints.

The reality turned out to be a little different. Sure, Uber and its ilk offer remarkable convenience and a nearly magical user experience, but their innovation lies just as much in evading regulations as in developing new technology. Behind the apps lies an army of contract workers without the protections offered to ordinary employees, much less the backing of a union. This new economy is not really about sharing at all. Rather, as Trebor Scholz argues in this study, it is an on-demand service economy that is spreading market relations deeper into our lives.

With these new middlemen sucking profits out of previously un-monetized interactions, creating new forms of hyper-exploitation, and spreading precarity throughout the workforce, what can we do? Scholz insists that we need not just resistance but a positive alternative. He calls this alternative “platform cooperativism,” which encompasses new ownership models for the Internet. Platform cooperativism insists that we’ll only be able to address the myriad ills of the sharing economy—that is to say platform capitalism—by changing ownership, establishing democratic governance, and reinvigorating solidarity. In this paper, Scholz breathes life into this idea by describing both actually existing and possible examples of platform co-ops, outlining basic principles for fairly operating labor platforms on the Internet, and suggesting next steps.”

Publisher Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, Jan 2016
27 pages

Upcoming events

Publisher

Platform Cooperativism (English, 2016, PDF, 6 MB)
Plattform-Kooperativismus (German, 2016, HTML, added on 2016-6-19)

Alexandre Leray, Stéphanie Vilayphiou (eds.): Considering Your Tools: A Reader for Designers and Developers (2013)

6 October 2015, dusan

“A teaching tool that makes the research accessible to design students and young professionals. This reader will provide them with accessible theory so that they can put the radical changes that are taking place in their profession, into perspective.”

“Today’s creation largely depends on digital tools. Far from being a neutral means to an artistic achievement, those tools are actually opinionated: they carry values and are full of conventions about the way things “ought” to be done. To us, a greater awareness of the role of digital tools is—if important to everybody—crucial in the education of artists and designers. Instead of means, the soft- and hardware tools can become partners to consciously think and converse with, to question and interrogate and to clash with. And because (visual) creation is so tightly coupled with technological development, a larger awareness of these tools can help one speculate about future practices and invent the tools to support them.

Contrary to other contemporary fields of creation, there is little literature on these questions in the sphere of graphic design. This is why we felt it was important to bring together texts and showcases on this topic into one comprehensive corpus: a tool to think about tools.

This publication contains newly commissioned, translated and re-issued texts, distributed over 5 chapters: Discrete Gestures is about how our body is informed by our digital tools; Reading Interfaces takes on different approaches to computer literacy; The Making of the Standards is about the social and technical processes behind the elaboration of norms; Myriadic Composition Tools tackles the question of software as a cultural object through the lens of digital typography; Finally, Shaping Processes discusses methodologies for open and critical collective practices. For each chapter, a short note problematize the questions behind the texts.”

With texts by Isabelle Stengers (0); Gerrit Noordzij, William A. Dwiggins, Evan Roth et al., Donald E. Knuth, Vilém Flusser, Friedrich A. Kittler, George Francis, Pierre Huyghebaert (1); Florian Cramer, Alexandre Leray and Stéphanie Vilayphiou, Olia Lialina, Lev Manovich (2); Denis Jacquerye, Unicode Inc., Anthony Froshaug, Open Source Publishing, Henri de Montrond, Martin Arnaud, Mark Pilgrim, Mailing list www-talk, Eric Schrijver (3); Maurice Girod, Robin Kinross, Femke Snelting and Alexandre Leray, Jacques André et al. (4); Christopher M. Kelty, Matthew Fuller, and Aitor Méndez (5).

Co-editors: Nicolas Malevé, Yvan Monroy Lopez, Lilly Nguyen, Camille Pageard, and Eric Schrijver
Publisher Libre Graphics Research Group, May 2013
Various licenses

About

HTML

For more on libre graphics, see Monoskop wiki.

Conversations (2015)

20 March 2015, dusan

I think that conversations are the best, biggest thing that free software has to offer its user.

An extensive collection of conversations between developers and designers involved in the wider ecosystem of Libre Graphics. Speaking to each other about tools for typography, lay-out and image processing they render a portrait of a community gradually understanding the interdependencies between Free Software and design. Conversations is edited by Femke Snelting in collaboration with Christoph Haag.”

In conversation with: Agnes Bewer, Alexandre Leray, An Mertens, Andreas Vox, Asheesh Laroia, Carla Boserman,Christina Clar, Chris Lilley, Christoph Haag, Claire Williams, Cornelia Sollfrank, Dave Crossland, Dmytry Kleiner, Denis Jacquery, Dmytri Kleiner, Eleanor Greenhalgh, Eric Schrijver, Evan Roth, Femke Snelting, Franziska Kleiner, George Williams, Gijs de Heij, Harrisson, Ivan Monroy Lopez, John Haltiwanger, John Colenbrander, Juliane De Moerlooze, Julien Deswaef, Larisa Blazic, Ludivine Loiseau, Manuel Schmalstieg, Matthew Fuller, Michael Murtaugh, Michael Terry, Michele Walther, Miguel Arana Catania, momo3010, Nicolas Malevé, Pedro Amado, Peter Westenberg, Pierre Huyghebaert, Pierre Marchand, Sarah Magnan, Stéphanie Vilayphiou, Tom Lechner, Urantsetseg Ulziikhuu, Xavier Klein.

Publisher Constant, Brussels, January 2015
Free Art License 1.3
ISBN 9789081145930
351 pages

Book website

PDF (30 MB)
Git

Dariusz Jemielniak: Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia (2013/2014) [Polish, English]

3 August 2014, dusan

“With an emphasis on peer–produced content and collaboration, Wikipedia exemplifies a departure from traditional management and organizational models. This iconic “project” has been variously characterized as a hive mind and an information revolution, attracting millions of new users even as it has been denigrated as anarchic and plagued by misinformation. Has Wikipedia’s structure and inner workings promoted its astonishing growth and enduring public relevance?

In Common Knowledge?, Dariusz Jemielniak draws on his academic expertise and years of active participation within the Wikipedia community to take readers inside the site, illuminating how it functions and deconstructing its distinctive organization. Against a backdrop of misconceptions about its governance, authenticity, and accessibility, Jemielniak delivers the first ethnography of Wikipedia, revealing that it is not entirely at the mercy of the public: instead, it balances open access and power with a unique bureaucracy that takes a page from traditional organizational forms. Along the way, Jemielniak incorporates fascinating cases that highlight the tug of war among the participants as they forge ahead in this pioneering environment.”

Polish edition
Publisher Poltext, Warsaw, 2013
ISBN 9788375612851
376 pages

English edition
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2014
ISBN 0804789444, 9780804789448
312 pages

Review (Piotr Konieczny, The Signpost, 2014)
Review (Forbes, George Anders, 2014)

Publisher (PL)
Publisher (EN)

Życie wirtualnych dzikich: netnografia Wikipedii (Polish, trans. Wojciech Pedzich, 2013)
Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia (English, 2014)

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