activist in Adema 2019


is tends to be based on a very simplified
and deterministic vision of technology, as something requiring access and an
open market to foster innovation. As Sarah Kember argues, this technocratic
rationale, which is what unites pro-and anti-copyright activists in this
sense, essentially de-politicises the debate around IP; it is still a question
of determining the value of creativity through an economic perspective, based
on a calculative lobby.[65](ch3.xhtml#footnote-088) The challenge here is to
redefin


activist in Adema & Hall 2013


(rather than generate a profit), and to promote
ephemeral art works, which were often ignored by mainstream, mostly marketorientated institutions. 7 Artists’ books thus fitted in well with the mythology Johanna
Drucker describes as surrounding ‘activist artists’, and especially with the idea of the
book as a tool of independent activist thought. 8

2) The Relationship with Conceptual and Processual Art
In the context of this history of the artist’s book, one particularly significant
conceptual challenge to the gallery system came with the use of the book as a
platform for exhibiti


activist in Constant 2009


tr(on)ic fields documents the 10 th edition
of Verbindingen/Jonctions with the same name, a bi-annual multidisciplinary festival organised by Constant, association for arts and media. It is a meeting point for a
diverse public that from an artistic, activist and / or theoretical perspective is interested in experimental reflections
on technological culture.
Not for the first time, but during this edition more explicit than ever, we put the question of the interaction
between body and technology on the ta


ut especially
of course in the context of programming and working with software
and working with technologies, which we often still tend to assume
are incredibly reliable, logical systems, but in fact are full of glitches
and errors. As thinkers and activists resistant to and critical of mainstream methods and cultures, this is something that we need to keep
encouraging.
I have for a long time been interested in textiles, and I can't resist mentioning the fact that the word ‘recipe' was the old word fo


activist in Constant 2015


2014. She studied communication in
Istanbul and Leuven and joined Constant for a few months
to document the various working practices at Constant
Variable. Between 2011 and 2014, Variable housed studios
for Artists, Designers, Techno Inventors, Data Activists,
Cyber Feminists, Interactive Geeks, Textile Hackers, Video
Makers, Sound Lovers, Beat Makers and other digital creators who were interested in using F/LOS software for
their creative experiments.

Why do you think people should use and or practice


rfaces, and thinking about ways software
can become a tool. And then there are people that are interested in Free
Software. How can you make digital tools that can be shared, but also,
how can that produce processes that can be shared. Free Software activists
to people that are interested in developing specific tools for sharing design
and software development processes, like Git or Subversion, those kind of
things. I think the multiple contexts are really special and rich in Libre
Graphics.

Free Softwa


activist in Constant 2016


provocation, evoking other cases in other places
where geographically situated histories are turned into advertising slogans, and cultural
infrastructures pushed into the hands of global corporations.
An international band of artists, archivists and activists set out to unravel the many layers of
this mesh. The direct comparison between the historical Mundaneum project and the mission
of Alphabet Inc[3] speaks of manipulative simplification on multiple levels, but to de-tangle its
implications was easier


andy. Psg.com On techno-colonialism. (blog) June 13, 2015. Accessed Dec 22, 2015 https://psg.com/ontechnocolonialism.html
9. Starzmann, Maria Theresia. “Cultural Imperialism and Heritage Politics in the Event of Armed Conflict: Prospects for an
Activist Archaeology’”. Archeologies. Vol. 4 No. 3 (2008):376
10. Echikson, William. Partnering in Belgium to create a capital of culture (blog) March 20, 2014. Accessed Dec 22, 2015
http://googlepolicyeurope.blogspot.se/2014/03/partnering-in-belgium-to-c


g.com On techno-colonialism. (blog) 13 juin 2015. Consulté le 22 décembre 2015 https://psg.com/ontechnocolonialism.html
9. Starzmann, Maria Theresia. « Cultural Imperialism and Heritage Politics in the Event of Armed Conflict: Prospects for an
Activist Archaeology’ ». Archeologies. Vol. 4 n° 3 (2008):376
10. Echikson,William. Partnering in Belgium to create a capital of culture (blog) 10 mars 2014. Consulté le 22 décembre 2015
http://googlepolicyeurope.blogspot.se/2014/03/partnering-in-belgiu


activist in Dean, Dockray, Ludovico, Broekman, Thoburn & Vilensky 2013


hing associated with
the new media environment. The conversation concentrates on the publishing projects
with which the participants are involved: the online archive and conversation platform
AAAAARG, the print and digital publications of artist and activist group Chto Delat?,
the blog I Cite, and the hybrid print/digital magazines Mute and Neural. Approaching
independent media as sites of political and aesthetic intervention, association, and
experimentation, the conversation ranges across a number of t


e politics of writing; design and the aesthetics of publishing; the relation
between social media and communicative capitalism; publishing as art; publishing as
self-education; and post-digital print.
Keywords independent publishing, art publishing, activist publishing, digital
archive, blog, magazine, newspaper

BETWEEN DISCOURSE AND ACT
Nicholas Thoburn (NT) In one way or another all of you have an investment
in publishing as a political practice, where publishing might be understood
loosely as a polit


etween them.
More straightforwardly, the project is a website where people share texts:
usually PDFs, anything from a couple of inspiring pages to a book or a
collection of essays. The people who use the site tend to be writers, artists,
organizers, activists, curators, architects, librarians, publishers, designers,
philosophers, teachers, or students themselves. Although the texts are most
often in the domain of critical or political theory, there are also technical
documents, legal decisions, works of


a
free format, depending on theme at hand. There are no exhibition reviews.
The focus is on the local Russian situation, which the newspaper tries to link
to a broader international context. Contributors include artists, art theorists,
philosophers, activists, and writers from Russia, Western Europe and the
United States.
It is also important to focus on the role of publication as translation
device, something that is really important in the Russian situation – to
introduce different voices and languag


, and Rancière). There was a
strong sense of discovery, and this always gives one a particular energy. We
consciously strove to take the position of Russian cultural leftists who were
open-minded and focused on involvement in international cultural activist
networks, and we have been successful in realizing this aim.
MAGAZINE PLATFORM
NT I was a little concerned that starting a conversation about the ‘materialities’
of publishing with a question about writing and text might lead us in the wrong
dire


of media form and consider in
more detail some specific instances of experimentation with publishing
practice. It seems to me that it is significant that most of you have a relation
to art practice. The work that Humanities researchers and political activists
generate with poststructuralist or Marxist theory should necessarily be selfcritical of its textual and media form, but it frequently fails to be so. Whereas
reflexive approaches would seem to be less easily avoided in art practice, at
least once it


internal workings of our
software, as well as a medical incubator containing one of the ‘stolen’ (and
digitally reprinted) books. The book we chose to ‘steal’ was (of course) Steal
This Book, the American 1970s counterculture classic by the activist Abbie
Hoffman. In a sense, we literally ‘re-incarnated’ the book in a new, mutated
physical form. But we also put up a warning sign near the incubator:
The book inside the incubator is the physical embodiment of a complex Amazon.com
hacking actio


activist in Dekker & Barok 2017


Barok
Copying as a Way to Start Something New A Conversation with Dusan Barok about Monoskop
2017


COPYING AS A WAY TO START SOMETHING NEW
A Conversation with Dusan Barok about Monoskop

Annet Dekker

Dusan Barok is an artist, writer, and cultural activist involved
in critical practice in the fields of software, art, and theory. After founding and organizing the online culture portal
Koridor in Slovakia from 1999–2002, in 2003 he co-founded
the BURUNDI media lab where he organized the Translab
evenin


activist in Dockray 2013


implementing neoliberal policies that have slashed public programs, produced a trillion dollars in US student loan debt and contracted the middle class; but also for campaigning in 1966 for governor of California on a promise to crack down on campus activists, making partnerships with conservative school officials and the FBI in order to “clean out left-­‐wing elements” from the University of California. Linda Katehi – that UC Davis chancellor – was also an author of a 2011 report that recomme


ctual property at the level of cyber-­‐theft (preventing sensitive research from falling into the hands of terrorists) the congenial relationship between university administrations and the FBI raises the spectre of US government spying on student activists in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Financialization of publishing To the side of such partnerships with the state, the forces of financialization have been absorbed into universities, again with the welcome of administrations. Towering US student l


activist in Giorgetta, Nicoletti & Adema 2015


d to any or much loss of income for
academics. In other fields, such as literary publishing for example, this
issue of remuneration can become quite urgent however, even though many [free
culture](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_culture_movement) activists (such
as Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow) have argued that freely sharing cultural
goods online, or even self-publishing, doesn’t necessarily need to lead to any
loss of income for cultural producers. So in this respect I don’t think we can
li


activist in Graziano, Mars & Medak 2019


the largest gathering of native Americans in
the last 100 years and they earned significant international support for their ReZpect
Our Water campaign. As the struggle between protestors and the armed forces unfolded, a group of Indigenous scholars, activists, and supporters of the struggles of
First Nations people and persons of color, gathered under the name the NYC Stands
for Standing Rock Committee, put together #StandingRockSyllabus.7
The list of online syllabi created in response to political strug


emporary political culture as pedagogical in nature, while, on the other hand, it also exposes academicized
critical pedagogy and intellectuality as insufficiently political in their relation to lived
social reality. Situating our own stakes as both activists and academics in the present
debate, we explore some ways in which the radical politics of #Syllabus could be supported to grow and develop as an articulation of solidarity between amateur librarians
and radical educators.
#Syllabus in Historical Co


techniques, predating digital cultures?
#Syllabus can indeed be analyzed as falling within a long lineage of pedagogical tools
created by social movements to support processes of political subjectivation and the
building of collective consciousness. Activists and militant organizers have time and
again created and used various textual media objects—such as handouts, pamphlets,
cookbooks, readers, or manifestos—to facilitate a shared political analysis and foment
mass political mobilization.
In the co


ississippi. Recently, the Freedom Library Project, a campaign born out
of #FergusonSyllabus to finance under-resourced pedagogical initiatives, openly
referenced this as a source of inspiration. The Freedom Summer Project of 1964
brought hundreds of activists, students, and scholars (many of whom were white)
from the north of the country to teach topics and issues that the discriminatory
state schools would not offer to black students. In the words of an SNCC report,
Freedom Schools were established foll


estions. These forks
become a family tree where one can follow branches and trace epistemological
mutations.30
It is in line with this vision, which we share with the HyperReadings crew, and in line
with our analysis, that we, as amateur librarians, activists, and educators, make our
promise beyond the limits of this text.
The workflow that we are bootstrapping here will keep in mind every aspect of the media object syllabus (order, timestamp, contributor, version changes), allowing diversity
via forking


activist in Hamerman 2015


apster, BitTorrent and MediaFire. At its
peak, Napster boasted over 80 million users; the p2p music-sharing service was
shut down after a high-profile lawsuit by the RIAA in 2001.

The US Department of Justice brought charges against open access activist
_[Aaron Swartz](http://www.fvckthemedia.com/issue51/editorial)_ in 2011 for
his large-scale unauthorized downloading of files from the JStor Academic
database. Swartz, who sadly committed suicide before his trial, was an
organizer for Demand Progress


been a small number of takedowns, people
generally appreciate unrestricted access to the types of materials in Monoskop
log, whether they are authors or publishers.

_Public Library_ , a somewhat newer pirate library founded by Croatian
Internet activist and researcher Marcell Mars and his collaborators, currently
offers a collection of about 6,300 texts. The project frames itself through a
utopian philosophy of building a truly universal library, radically extending
enlightenment-era conceptions of


tic in form, they are not necessarily democratic in the populist sense;
rather, they focus on bringing high theoretical discourses to people outside
the academy. Accordingly, they attract a modest but engaged audience of
critics, artists, designers, activists, and scholars.

The activities of Aaaaaarg and Public Library may fall closer to ‘ _[peer
preservation](http://computationalculture.net/article/book-piracy-as-peer-preservation)_ ’
than ‘peer production,’ as the desires to share informa


activist in Kelty, Bodo & Allen 2018


ers), and to compare the data on readers of the
open version to print customers. It was a moment of exploration for both scholarly
presses and for me. At the time, few authors were doing this other than Yochai Benkler
(2007) and Cory Doctorow2, both activists and advocates for free software and open
access (OA), much as I have been. We all shared, I think, a certain fanaticism of the
convert that came from recognizing free software as an historically new, and radically
different mode of organizing econom


cess of free software, rather than let
it be—as most social scientists would have it—the principal
container for free software. They are not the whole story.

10

Christopher Kelty

Is there an OA movement? Yes and no. Librarians remain
the most activist and organized. The handful of academics
who care about it have shifted to caring about it in primarily
a bureaucratic sense, forsaking the cross-organizational
aspects of a movement in favor of activism within universities
(to which I plead guilty).


anging demands for access from public users, researchers, students,
and more.” (Laster 2016) Beyond government documents librarians, our project
joined efforts that were ongoing in a huge range of communities, including: open
data and open science activists; archival experts working on methods of preserving
born-digital content; cultural historians; federal data producers and the archivists
and data scientists they work with; and, of course, scientists.

the scientific record to fight back, in a concre


activist in Mars & Medak 2019


t the first letter ended with. The second letter was a gift
card to Ubu, announcing that it had received two mirrors, i.e. exact copies of the
Ubu website accessible from servers in two different locations – one in Iceland,
supported by a cultural activist community, and another one in Switzerland,
supported by a major art school – whose maintenance should ensure that Ubu
remains accessible even if its primary server is taken down.
McKenzie Wark in their text on UbuWeb poignantly observes that shadow


activist in Mattern 2014


d a metastasizing Amazon; of Google Books and Google Search and
Google Glass; of economic disparity and the continuing privatization of public
space and services — which is simultaneously an age of democratized media
production and vibrant DIY and activist cultures — libraries play a critical
role as mediators, at the hub of all the hubbub. Thus we need to understand
how our libraries function _as_ , and as _part of_ , infrastructural ecologies
— as sites where spatial, technological, intellectual


activist in Mars & Medak 2017


n Aaron Swartz: “With
enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the
privatization of knowledge – we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?”
(Swartz, 2008).



nity center, MaMa is a Zagreb’s alternative ‘living room’ and
a venue free of charge for various initiatives and associations, whether they
are promoting minority identities (ecological, LBGTQ, ethnic, feminist and

244

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

others) or critically questioning established social norms. (Net.culture club
MaMa, 2016a)
Please describe the main challenges and opportunities from the dawn of Croatian
civil society. Why did you decide to establish the Multimedia Insti


lowed to legally operate outside of the state, its loyal institutions and its
nationalist consensus – as civil society. Under the circumstances of inter-ethnic
conflict, which put many people in direct or indirect danger, anti-war and human
rights activist groups such as the Anti-War Campaign provided an umbrella under
which political, student and cultural activists of all hues and colours could find a
common context. It is also within this context that the high modernism of cultural
production from the Yugoslav period, driven out from public institutions, had
found its recourse and its continuity.
Our loose co


ities into separate organizations, giving rise to the Croatian Law
Center, the Center for Contemporary Art and the Center for Drama Art, activities
related to Internet development ended up with the Multimedia Institute. The first
factor shaped us as activists and early adopters of critical digital culture, and the
second factor provided us with an organizational platform to start working
together. In 1998 Marcell was the first person invited to work with the Multimedia
Institute. He invited Vedran Gulin


er, however, we began to broaden these activities and explore various
opportunities for political and cultural activism offered by digital networks. One of
the early projects was ‘Radioactive’ – an initiative bringing together a broad group
of activists, which was supposed to result in a hybrid Internet/FM radio. The radio
never arrived into being, yet the project fostered many follow-up activities around
new media and activism in the spirit of ‘don’t hate the media, become the media.’
In the


nstitute, which included,
amongst other activities, setting up the first non-state owned Internet service
provider ZamirNet. The growing availability of Internet access and computer
hardware had made the task of helping political, cultural and media activists get
online less urgent. Instead, we thought that it would be much more important to
open a space where those activists could work together. At the brink of the
millennium, institutional exclusion and access to physical resources (including
space) needed for organizing, working together and presenting that work was a
pressing problem. MaMa was one of the only three i


e state of disrepair and equip it with latest technology ranging from servers to
DJ decks. These resources were made available to all members of the general
public free of charge. Immediately, many artists, media people, technologists, and
political activists started initiating own programs in MaMa. Our activities ranged
from establishing art servers aimed at supporting artistic and cultural projects on
the Internet (Monoskop, 2016d) to technology-related educational activities,
cultural programs, and pu


pening the free culture label EGOBOO.bits and publishing their music,
together with films, videos and literary texts of other artists, under the GNU
General Public License. The EGOBOO.bits project had soon become uniquely
246

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

successful: producers such as Zvuk broda, Blashko, Plazmatick, Aesqe, No Name
No Fame, and Ghetto Booties were storming the charts, the label gradually grew to
fifty producers and formations, and we had the artists give regular workshops


e, that organizational work has been implicitly situated in an
understanding of commons that draws on two sources – the social contract of the
free software community, and the legacy of social ownership under socialism.
248

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

Later on, this line of work has been developed towards intersectional struggles
around spatial justice and against privatisation of public services that coalesced
around the Right to the City movement (2007 till present) (Pravo na grad, 2


d an important role in that landscape. A wide range of initiatives,
medialabs, mailing lists, festivals and projects like Next5minutes (Amsterdam/
Rotterdam), Nettime & Syndicate (mailing lists), Backspace & Irational.org
250

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

(London), Ljudmila (Ljubljana), Rixc (Riga), C3 (Budapest) and others constituted
a loose network of researchers, theorists, artists, activists and other cultural
workers.
This network was far from exclusively European. It was very well connected to
projects and initiatives from the United States such as Critical Art Ensemble,
Rhizome, and Thing.net, to projects in India such as Sarai, and


business models whatsoever (e.g. De.lic.io.us (bookmarks), Flickr
(photos), Youtube (videos), Google Reader (RSS aggregator), Blogspot, and
others) were happy to give their services for free, let contributors use Creative
252

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

Commons licences (mostly on the side of licenses limiting commercial use and
adaptations), let news curators share and aggregate relevant content, and let Time
magazine claim that “You” (meaning “All of us”) are The Person of the


y!
THE SOCIAL LIFE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

PJ & AK: This brings about the old debate between technological determinism
and social determinism, which never seems to go out of fashion. What is your take,
253

CHAPTER 12

as active hackers and social activists, on this debate? What is the role of
(information) technologies in social development?
MM & TM: Any discussion of information technologies and social
development requires the following parenthesis: notions used for discussing
technological developme


iduals, groups and institutions. Given the
asymmetries that exist between the capitalist core and the capitalist periphery, from
which we hail, strategies for using technologies as agents of social change differ
significantly.
PJ & AK: Based on your activist experience, what is the relationship between
information technologies and democracy?
MM & TM: This relation is typically discussed within the framework of
communicative action (Habermas, 1984 [1981], 1987 [1981]) which describes how
the power to spea


cation has coalesced into a global public sphere, and how digital
communication has catalysed the power of collective mobilization. Information
technologies have done all that – but the framework of communicative action
254

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

describes only a part of the picture. Firstly, as Jodi Dean warns us in her critique of
communicative capitalism (Dean, 2005; see also Dean, 2009), the self-referential
intensity of communication frequently ends up as a substitute for the


otiated. This is especially the case in the face of artificial
scarcity (such as lack of access to knowledge caused by intellectual property in
context of digital networks) or selfish speculations over scarce basic human

256

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

resources (such as problems related to housing, water or waterfront development)
(Mars, Medak, & Sekulić, 2016).
The struggle to challenge the property regime used to be at the forefront of the
Free Software Movement. In the spectacular


ial status or geographic location brought about by the
digital technologies, public libraries have been radically limited in pursuing their
mission. This results in side-lining of public libraries in enormous expansion of
258

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

commodification of knowledge in the digital realm, and brings huge profits to
academic publishers. In response to these limitations, a number of projects have
sprung up in order to maintain public interest by illegal means.
PJ & AK: Can y


ive, situated and critical art cannot remain detached
from the present conjuncture and cannot exist outside the political space. Within
the world of arts, alternatives to existing social sensibilities and realities can be
260

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

articulated and tested without paying a lot of attention to consistency and
plausibility. Whereas activism generally leaves less room for unrestricted
articulation, because it needs to produce real and plausible effects.
With the generous


and Uber have narrowed spaces for traditional labor. Following the same
line of argument, placing activism into art galleries clearly narrows available
spaces for artists. How do you go about this problem? What, if anything, should be
done with the activist takeover of traditional forms of art? Why?
MM & TM: Art can no longer stand outside of the political space, and it can no
longer be safely stowed away into a niche of supposed autonomy within bourgeois
public sphere detached from commodity production


e post-historical age of liberal capitalism. In this
way, the essential building blocks of the hacker culture – relations of production,
relations of property, and issues of redistribution – are being drowned out, and
262

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

collective and massive endeavour of commonizing is being eclipsed by the
capacity of the few crypto-savvy tricksters to avoid government control.
Obviously, we strongly disagree with the individualist, privative and 1337 (elite)
thrust of


ve instances where emerging disciplines had now to seek
recognition and acceptance. The new disciplines (and their respective professions),
in order to become acknowledged by the scientific community as legitimate, had to
264

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

repeat the same boundary-work as the science in general once had to go through
before.
The moral of this story is that the best way for a new scientific discipline to
claim its territory was to articulate the specificity and importance of


),
written by Kovid Goyal, as a software tool which has benefited from the
knowledge produced, passed on and accumulated by librarians for centuries.
Calibre has made the task of creating and maintaining the catalog easy.
266

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

Our vision is to make sharing, aggregating and accessing catalogs easy and
playful. We like the idea that every rendered catalog is stored on a local hard disk,
that an amateur librarian can choose when to share, and that when she decides


succeed in our pursuits – that
should secure the existing jobs of professional librarians and open up many new
and exciting positions. When knowledge is easily accessed, (re)produced and
shared, there will be so much to follow up upon.
TOWARDS AN ACTIVIST PUBLIC PEDAGOGY

PJ & AK: You organize talks and workshops, publish books, and maintain a major
regional hub for people interested in digital cultures. In Croatia, your names are
almost synonymous with social studies of the digital – worldwide, you


o provides space for our collaborators in various activities.
Our political activism, however, takes an altogether different approach. More
often than not, our campaigns are based on inclusive planning and direct decision
making processes with broad activist groups and the public. However, such
inclusiveness is usually made possible by a campaigning process that allows
articulation of certain ideas in public and popular mobilization. For instance, before
the Right to the City campaign against privatisati


b’s Varšavska Street coalesced together (Pravo na grad, 2016), we tactically
used media for more than a year to clarify underlying issues of urban development
and mobilize broad public support. At its peak, this campaign involved no less than
200 activists involved in the direct decision-making process and thousands of
citizens in the streets. Its prerequisite was hard day-to-day work by a small group
of people organized by the important member of our collective Teodor Celakoski.
PJ & AK: Your public


cognizing that
moment, and acting tactfully upon it, is fundamental to building a broad political
process.
This can be illustrated by the aforementioned Custodians.online letter (2015)
that we recently co-authored with a number of our fellow library activists against
the injunction that allows Elsevier to shut down two most important repositories
providing access to scholarly writing: Science Hub and Library Genesis. The letter
is clearly a product of our specific collective work and dynamic. Yet, it clearly
268

KNOWLEDGE COMMONS AND ACTIVIST PEDAGOGIES

articulates various aspects of discontent around this impasse in access to
knowledge, so it resonates with a huge number of people around the world and
gives them a clear indication that there are many who disobey the global
distribution


activist in Sekulic 2015


t, in order to create and sustain that type of legal hack, it
is a necessity to have a certain level of awareness and knowledge of how
systems, both political and legal, work, i.e. to be politically literate.
"While in general", says Italian commons-activist and legal scholar Saki
Bailey, "we've become extremely lazy [when it comes to politics]. We've
started to become a kind of society of people who give up their responsibility
to participate by handing it over to some charismatic leaders, experts of [a


activist in Sekulic 2018


e
thus making it permanently accessible to everyone with an Internet
connection(3). The spirit of Herman Wallace continued to live through the
collection shaping him – works by Marxists, revolutionaries, anarchists,
abolitionists, and civil rights activists, some of whom were also prisoners
during their lifetime. Many books from Herman's library would not be
accessible to those serving time, as access to knowledge for the inmate
population in the US is increasingly being regulated. A peak into the list


activist in Sollfrank 2018


According to Balazs, these sorts of libraries and collections are part of the
Guerilla Open Access movement (GOA) and thus practical manifestations of Aaron
Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto”.25 In this manifesto the American
hacker and activist pointed out the flaws of open access politics and aimed at
recruiting supporters for the idea of “radical” open access. Radical in this
context means to completely ignore copyright and simply make as much
information available as possible. “Inf


activist in Sollfrank & Snelting 2014


oftware can become a tool. And then
there’s people that are interested in free software, so how can you make
digital tools that can be shared, but also how can you produce processes that
can be shared. [03:11] So there you have from free software activists to
people that are interested in developing specific tools for sharing design and
software development processes, like Git or [Apache] Subversion, or those
kinds of things. So I think that multiple context is really special and rich
in Libre Grap


be, let’s say, that file formats are
documented and can be understood. [18:04] And what’s interesting to see is
that in this whole Libre Graphics world there is also a very strong group of
reverse engineers, that are document formants, document activists, I would
say. [18:19] And I think that’s really interesting. They claim, they say,
documents need to be free, and so we would go against… let’s say, we would
risk breaking the law to be able to understand how non-free documents actually
are co


activist in Stalder 2018


rsies, even
within the gay scene. The objection was that it attacked the gay
subculture, which was not yet prepared to defend itself publicly against
discrimination. Despite or (more likely) because of these controversies,
more than 50 groups of gay activists soon formed in Germany. Such
groups, largely composed of left-wing alternative students, included,
for instance, the Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW) and the Rote
Zelle Schwul (RotZSchwul) in Frankfurt am
Main.[^27^](#c1-note-0027){#c1-note-0027


capital and labor), and it
led to strident differences within the gay movement. The dispute
escalated during the next year. After the so-called *Tuntenstreit*, or
"Battle of the Queens," which was []{#Page_24 type="pagebreak"
title="24"}initiated by activists from Italy and France who had appeared
in drag at the closing ceremony of the HAW\'s Spring Meeting in West
Berlin, the gay movement was divided, or at least moving in a new
direction. At the heart of the matter were the following questions: "Is
the


the 1970s fell into crisis.

Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, "aesthetic self-empowerment" was
realized through the efforts of artistic and (increasingly) commercial
producers of images, texts, and
sounds.[^29^](#c1-note-0029){#c1-note-0029a} Activists, artists, and
intellectuals developed a language with which they could speak
assertively in public about topics that had previously been taboo.
Inspired by the expression "gay pride," which originated in the United
States, they began to use the term


(#c1-note-0036){#c1-note-0036a} It thus opened up a space
for the articulation of experiences, self-descriptions, and lifestyles
that, on every level, are located beyond the classical attributions of
men and women. A new generation of intellectuals, activists, and artists
took the stage and developed -- yet again through acts of aesthetic
self-empowerment -- a language that enabled them to import, with
confidence, different self-definitions into the public sphere. An
example of this is the adoption of in


{.section}
### The independent media {#c1-sec-0010}

As with so much else, this situation began to change in the 1960s. Mass
media and information-processing technologies began to attract
criticism, even though all of the involved subcultures, media activists,
and hackers continued to act independently from one another until the
1990s. The freedom-oriented social movements of the 1960s began to view
the mass media as part of the political system against which they were
struggling. The connections among t


e-0075){#c1-note-0075a}

These illegal, independent, or public-access stations only managed to
establish themselves as real mass media to a very limited extent.
Nevertheless, they played an important role in sensitizing an entire
generation of media activists, whose opportunities expanded as the means
of production became both better and cheaper. In the name of "tactical
media," a new generation of artistic and political media activists came
together in the middle of the
1990s.[^76^](#c1-note-0076){#c1-note-0076a} They combined the "camcorder
revolution," which in the late 1980s had made video equipment available
to broader swaths of society, stirring visions of democratic media
pr


guerrillas were blurring the difference between media and
political activity.[^77[]{#Page_47 type="pagebreak"
title="47"}^](#c1-note-0077){#c1-note-0077a}

This difference was dissolved entirely by a new generation of
politically motivated artists, activists, and hackers, who transferred
the tactics of civil disobedience -- blockading a building with a
sit-in, for instance -- to the
internet.[^78^](#c1-note-0078){#c1-note-0078a} When, in 1994, the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up in the sou


data but rather to disturb the normal functioning of an
institution in order to draw attention to the activities and interests
of the protesters.
:::

::: {.section}
### Networks as places of action {#c1-sec-0012}

What this new generation of media activists shared in common with the
hackers and pioneers of computer networks was the idea that
communication media are spaces for agency. During the 1960s, these
programmers were also in search of alternatives. The difference during
the 1960s is that they di


he practical problems of
social organization. At the end of the 1960s, a considerable amount of
attention was devoted to the field of basic technological research. This
field brought together the interests of the military, academics,
businesses, and activists from the counterculture. The common ground for
all of them was a cybernetic vision of institutions, or, in the words of
the historian Fred Turner:

::: {.extract}
a picture of humans and machines as dynamic, collaborating elements in a
single, highl


feared
attacks on their command and communication centers; academics wanted to
broaden their culture of autonomy, collaboration among peers, and the
free exchange of information; businesses were looking for new areas of
activity; and countercultural activists were longing for new forms of
peaceful coexistence.[^86^](#c1-note-0086){#c1-note-0086a} They all
rejected the bureaucratic model, and the counterculture provided them
with the central catchword for their alternative vision: community.
Though rather


rogramming harmony

like pure water

touching clear sky.[^87^](#c1-note-0087){#c1-note-0087a}
:::
:::

Here, Brautigan is ridiculing both the impatience (*the sooner the
better!*) and the naïve optimism (*harmony, clear sky*) of the
countercultural activists. Primarily, he regarded the underlying vision
as an innocent but amusing fantasy and not as a potential threat against
which something had to be done. And there were also reasons to believe
that, ultimately, the new communities would be free from th


of open cooperation had to be placed on a new legal foundation.
Copyright law, which served to separate programmers (producers) from
users (consumers), had to be neutralized or circumvented. The first step
in this direction was taken in 1984 by the activist and programmer
Richard Stallman. Composed by Stallman, the GNU General Public License
was and remains a brilliant hack that uses the letter of copyright law
against its own spirit. This happens in the form of a license that
defines "four freedoms":


uld be binding. In practice, however, this rule did not have
any consequences, for the quorum was never achieved. This is no
surprise, because Facebook did not make any effort to increase
participation. In fact, the opposite was true. As the privacy activist
Max Schrems has noted, without mincing words, "After grand promises of
user participation, the ballot box was then hidden away for
safekeeping."[^14^](#c3-note-0014){#c3-note-0014a} With reference to the
apparent lack of interest on the part of its u


-note-0010}  Barton Gellmann and Ashkan Soltani,
"NSA Infiltrates Links to Yahoo, Google Data Centers Worldwide, Snowden
Documents Say," *Washington Post* (October 30, 2013), online.

[11](#c3-note-0011a){#c3-note-0011}  Initiated by hackers and activists,
the Mailpile project raised more than \$160,000 in September 2013 (the
fundraising goal had been just \$100,000). In July 2014, the rather
business-oriented project ProtonMail raised \$400,000 (its target, too,
had been just \$100,000).

[12](#c3-n


activist in Tenen 2016


e conversation begins in earnest, several
participants remark on the notable absences around the table. North America,
Eastern and Western Europe are overrepresented. I remind the group that we
travel widely and in good company of artists, scholars, activists, and
philosophers who would stand in support of what [Antonia
Majaca](http://izk.tugraz.at/people/faculty-staff/visiting-professor-antonia-
majaca/) has called (after Walter Mignolo) »epistemic disobedience« and who
need to be invited to this tabl


activist in Tenen & Foxman 2014


what is essentially an Enlightenment-era project, openly
embodied in many contemporary "shadow libraries":^[2](#fn-2025-2){#fnref-2025-2}^
in the words of Victor Hugo, to establish a "vast public
literary domain." Writers, librarians, and political activists from Hugo
to Leo Tolstoy and Andrew Carnegie have long argued for unrestricted
access to information as a form of a public good essential to civic
engagement. In that sense, people participating in online book exchanges
enact a role closer to that o


-2025-7){#fnref-2025-7}^

It is our contention that grassroots file sharing practices cannot be
understood solely in terms of access or intellectual property. Our field
work shows that while some members of the book sharing community
participate for activist or ideological reasons, others do so as
collectors, preservationists, curators, or simply readers. Despite
romantic notions to the contrary, reading is a social and mediated
activity. The reader encounters texts in conversation, through a variety
of


activist in Thylstrup 2019


er or the Internet was
microfilm, which was first held forth as a promising technology of
preservation and remediation in the middle of the 1800s.4 At the beginning of
the twentieth century, the Belgian author, entrepreneur, visionary, lawyer,
peace activist, and one of the founders of information science, Paul Otlet,
brought the possibilities of microfilm to bear directly on the world of
libraries. Otlet authored two influential think pieces that outlined the
benefits of microfilm as a stable and long-t


monstrate that it is a friend of European culture, at a time
when its services are being investigated by regulators on a variety of
fronts.” 7 The collaboration not only spurred international interest, but also
inspired a group of influential tech activists and artists closely associated
with the creative work of shadow libraries to create the critical archival
project Mondotheque.be, a platform for “discussing and exploring the way
knowledge is managed and distributed today in a way that allows us t


particular).

No exception from the universalizing discourse, another highly significant
mass digitization project, the Internet Archive, emerged around the same time
as the Universal Digital Library. The Internet Archive was founded by open
access activist and computer engineer Brewster Kahle in 1996, and although it
was primarily oriented toward preserving born-digital material, in particular
the Internet ( _Wired_ calls Brewster Kahle “the Internet’s de facto
librarian” 22), the Archive also be


http://www.cafebabel.co.uk/culture/article
/europes-digital-library-versus-google.html>; Chrisafis 2008. 2. While
digitization did not stand apart from the political and economic developments
in the rapidly globalizing world, digital theorists and activists soon gave
rise to the Internet as an inherent metaphor for this integrative development,
a sign of the inevitability of an ultimately borderless world, where as
Negroponte notes, time zones would “probably play a bigger role in our digital
future


to a
specific community and encourage a specific practice. Monoskop is one such
shadow library. Like lib.ru, Monoskop started as a one-man project and in many
respects still reflects its creator, Dušan Barok, who is an artist, writer,
and cultural activist involved in critical practices in the fields of
software, art, and theory. Prior to Monoskop, his activities were mainly
focused on the Bratislava cultural media scene, and Monoskop was among other
things set up as an infrastructural project, one tha


activist in Weinmayr 2019


orts will be assessed
individually, with the result that even those fields whose advancement depends
most on team-based efforts are required to develop careful guidelines for
establishing credit and priority.[11](ch11.xhtml#footnote-515)

Artist and activist Susan Kelly expands on this experience with her
observation that this regime of individual merit even inhibits us from
partaking in collective practices. She describes the dilemma for the academic
activist, when the demand for ‘outputs’ (designs,


ctive practices of creative dissent
during the austerity protests in the UK in 2010 — roughly at the same time and
in the same climate that the panel at the ICA took
place.[107](ch11.xhtml#footnote-419) Kelly describes occasions when artists
and activists who were involved in political organising, direct action,
campaigning, and claiming and organising alternative social and cultural
spaces, came together. She sees these occasions as powerful moments that
provided a glimpse into what the beginnings o


guments, ideas, questions, knowledge and
practices in the form of conversations and workshops.

In that regard, this text is informed by a myriad of encounters in panel
discussions and debates, as well as in the classrooms supported by
institutions, activist spaces and art spaces.[112](ch11.xhtml#footnote-414)
All these people donated their valuable ideas to its writing. Various drafts
have been read and commented on by friends, PhD supervisors and an anonymous
peer reviewer, and it has been edited by th


roup.’ Susan Kelly, ‘The Transversal and the Invisible: How do You
Really Make a Work of Art that Is not a Work of Art?’, Transversal 1 (2005),
. See also Gerald Raunig’s
description of transversal activist practice: as ‘There is no longer any
artificially produced subject of articulation; it becomes clear that every
name, every linkage, every label has always already been collective and must
be newly constructed over and over again. In particular, to


activist in WHW 2016


omy
at its word, and by testing the truth of the liberal-democratic claim that
the field of art is a field of unlimited freedom, Public Library engages in a
kind of “overidentification” game, or what Keller Easterling, writing about
the expanded activist repertoire in infrastructure space, calls “exaggerated
compliance”.12 Should the need arise, as in the case of a potential lawsuit
against the project, claims of autonomy and artistic freedom create a protective shroud of untouchability. And in t


ings that must be
disseminated”.
A similar didactic impetus and constructivist praxis is present in the work
Autonomy Cube, which was developed through the combined expertise of
artist and geographer Trevor Paglen and internet security researcher, activist and hacker Jacob Appelbaum. This work, too, we presented in the
Reina Sofia exhibition Really Useful Knowledge, along with Public Library
and other projects that offered a range of strategies and methodologies
through which the artists attempted to t

 

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