Alessandro Delfanti: Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (2013)

8 November 2014, dusan

Biohackers explores fundamental changes occuring in the circulation and ownership of scientific information. Alessandro Delfanti argues that the combination of the ethos of 20th century science, the hacker movement and the free software movement is producing an open science culture which redefines the relationship between researchers, scientific institutions and commercial companies.

Biohackers looks at the emergence of the citizen biology community ‘DIYbio’, the shift to open access by the American biologist Craig Venter and the rebellion of the Italian virologist Ilaria Capua against WHO data-sharing policies.

Delfanti argues that these biologists and many others are involved in a transformation of both life sciences and information systems, using open access tools and claiming independence from both academic and corporate institutions.”

Publisher Pluto Press, London, 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
ISBN 9781849649070
176 pages

Review (Alice Bell, The Guardian, 2013)
Review (Stefano Golinelli and Luc Henry, Science, 2014)


PDF (added on 2018-10-17)

Trebor Scholz (ed.): Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (2012)

12 February 2014, dusan

Digital Labor calls on the reader to examine the shifting sites of labor markets to the Internet through the lens of their political, technological, and historical making. Internet users currently create most of the content that makes up the web: they search, link, tweet, and post updates—leaving their “deep” data exposed. Meanwhile, governments listen in, and big corporations track, analyze, and predict users’ interests and habits.

This unique collection of essays provides a wide-ranging account of the dark side of the Internet. It claims that the divide between leisure time and work has vanished so that every aspect of life drives the digital economy. The book reveals the anatomy of playbor (play/labor), the lure of exploitation and the potential for empowerment. Ultimately, the 14 thought-provoking chapters in this volume ask how users can politicize their troubled complicity, create public alternatives to the centralized social web, and thrive online.”

Contributors: Mark Andrejevic, Ayhan Aytes, Michel Bauwens, Jonathan Beller, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Sean Cubitt, Jodi Dean, Abigail De Kosnik, Julian Dibbell, Christian Fuchs, Lisa Nakamura, Andrew Ross, Ned Rossiter, Trebor Scholz, Tizania Terranova, McKenzie Wark, and Soenke Zehle.

Publisher Routledge, 2012
ISBN 0415896959, 9780415896955
258 pages

Reviews: Sebastian Sevignani (triple C, 2013), Andreas Wittel (Inf, Comm & Soc, 2014), Stephanie Anne Brown (Transformative Works & Cult, 2014), Gregory J. Downey (J Assoc Info Sci & Tech, 2015).

Conference (2009, from
Next conference (14-16 Nov 2014, CfP)


Marcel Mauss: The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1925–) [FR, EN, DE, RO]

20 November 2012, dusan

The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is the foundation of social theories of reciprocity and gift exchange.

It is perhaps the first systematic study of the custom, widespread in primitive societies from ancient Rome to present-day Melanesia, of exchanging gifts. The gift is conceived as a transaction forming part of all human, personal relationships between individuals and groups. These gift exchanges are at the same time moral, economic, juridical, aesthetic, religious, mythological and social phenomena.

The Gift has been very influential in anthropology, where there is a large field of study devoted to reciprocity and exchange. It has also influenced philosophers, artists and political activists, including Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida and more recently the work of David Graeber.”

French edition
Essai sur le don: Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques
Publisher Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1925
157 pages
via Gallica

English edition
Translated by Ian Cunnison
With an Introduction by E. E. Evans-Pritchard
Publisher Cohen & West, London, 1966
130 pages

Another English edition
Translated by W. D. Halls
With a foreword by Mary Douglas
Publisher Routledge, London/New York, 1990
ISBN 041526748X
200 pages

New English edition
Edited, annotated and translated by Jane I. Guyer
Foreword by Bill Maurer
Publisher Hau Books, Chicago, 2016
ISBN 9780990505006
248 pages


Essai sur le don (French, 1923-24/1925)
The Gift (English, 1966)
The Gift (English, 1990)
Die Gabe (German, added on 2014-2-6, DJVU)
Eseu despre dar (Romanian, trans. Silvia Lupescu, 1993; new edition, 1997, added on 2013-6-3, via sorin, updated on 2019-6-10)
The Gift: Expanded Edition (English, trans. Jane I. Guyer, 2016, added on 2016-4-24, updated on 2019-6-10: removed from Open Access by publisher)