Nanna Bonde Thylstrup: The Politics of Mass Digitization (2018)

1 February 2019, dusan

“A new examination of mass digitization as an emerging sociopolitical and sociotechnical phenomenon that alters the politics of cultural memory.

Today, all of us with internet connections can access millions of digitized cultural artifacts from the comfort of our desks. Institutions and individuals add thousands of new cultural works to the digital sphere every day, creating new central nexuses of knowledge. How does this affect us politically and culturally? In this book, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup approaches mass digitization as an emerging sociopolitical and sociotechnical phenomenon, offering a new understanding of a defining concept of our time.

Arguing that digitization has become a global cultural political project, Thylstrup draws on case studies of different forms of mass digitization—including Google Books, Europeana, and the shadow libraries Monoskop, lib.ru, and Ubuweb—to suggest a different approach to the study of digital cultural memory archives. She constructs a new theoretical framework for understanding mass digitization that focuses on notions of assemblage, infrastructure, and infrapolitics. Mass digitization does not consist merely of neutral technical processes, Thylstrup argues, but of distinct subpolitical processes that give rise to new kinds of archives and new ways of interacting with the artifacts they contain. With this book, she offers important and timely guidance on how mass digitization alters the politics of cultural memory to impact our relationship with the past and with one another.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2018
ISBN 9780262039017, 026203901X
ix+200 pages

Reviews: Paul Conway (Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2019), Logan Brown (New Media & Society, 2019), Marc Kosciejew (Information & Culture, 2019).
Commentary: Seb Chan (2019), Bill Caraher (2019).

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Monoskop Exhibition Library (2018) [English/Korean]

9 October 2018, dusan

The Exhibition Library reimagines the medium of art exhibition as well as that of art catalogue. Catalogues carry exhibitions through time and space, figuring as tropes for imagining arrangements and the course of works and settings they describe. However, they rarely give us a clue about what really happened, since they are often made before the show opens. Rather than documenting it, they often stand on their own, almost as if another work on display, truly as an artistic medium on its own. For this work, artists, designers, curators, poets and collectives created thirty catalogues of imaginary exhibitions. Exploring both the potential and impossible in art, the resulting exhibition library also serves as a “library of exhibitions.”

With works by the Archive of the Museum of American Art-Berlin, Joana Chicau, Vuk Ćosić, Annet Dekker, Leslie Drost-Robbins, Espen Sommer Eide, Kenneth Goldsmith, Sarah Hamerman and Sam Hart, Seewon Hyun, Václav Janoščík and Eva Skopalová, Geraldine Juárez, Josefina Björk and Bhavisha Panchia, Mara Karagianni and John Colenbrander, Richard Kitta and Michal Murin, Jungmin Lee, Signe Lidén, Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg, Ilan Manouach, Darija Medić, Multimedia Institute Zagreb (Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, et al.), Michal Murin, Possible Bodies (Femke Snelting and Jara Rocha), Purple Noise, Jürgen Rendl, Danny Snelson, Supermuch, Technopolitics Working Group (John Barker, Sylvia Eckermann, Doron Goldfarb, Armin Medosch, Gerald Nestler, Felix Stalder, Axel Stockburger, Matthias Tarasiewicz, Thomas Thaler, Ina Zwerger, et al.), Charles Turner, Takuma Uematsu, Yuki Hayashi, Tadashi Kobayashi and Tetsuya Goto, Marina Valle Noronha, and Amy Suo Wu.

Presented as part of Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art, Korea, 5 September – 18 November 2018.

Edited by Dušan Barok
Publisher Monoskop, Amsterdam, with The Book Society, Seoul, 2018
47 pages

Exhibition

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