knowledge infrastructure in Bodo 2014


distribution of the catalog and the collection to anyone who
wants to build services upon them. Aleph has regularly updated links that point to its own, neatly packed
source code, its database dump, and to the terabytes worth of collection. It is a knowledge infrastructure
that can be freely accessed, used and built upon by anyone. This radical openness enables a number of
other pirate libraries to offer Aleph’s catalogue along with books coming from other sources. By
mirroring Aleph they take over tasks that the adm


knowledge infrastructure in Constant 2016


c
demise was unfortunately equally at home in Brussels. Already in Otlet's
lifetime, the project fell prey to the dis-interest of its former patrons, not
surprising after World War I had shaken their confidence in the beneficial
outcomes of a global knowledge infrastructure. A complex entanglement of disinterested management and provincial politics sent the numerous boxes and
folders on a long trajectory through Brussels, until they finally slipped out of
the city. It is telling that the Capital of Europe has been unabl


knowledge infrastructure in Hamerman 2015


omises a broader, de-institutionalized public library.

In __[Public Library: An
Essay](https://www.memoryoftheworld.org/blog/2014/10/27/public-library-an-essay/#sdendnote19sym)__ , Public Library’s organizers frame p2p libraries as
“fragile knowledge infrastructures built and maintained by brave librarians
practicing civil disobedience which the world of researchers in the humanities
rely on.” This civil disobedience is a politically motivated refutation of
intellectual property law and the orientation of inf


knowledge infrastructure in Mattern 2018


to make that research public. I share this in the hope that
it’ll be useful to others preparing for their own job searches and faculty
reviews, or negotiating their own politics of practice. The passage is below.

* * *

…[A] concern with public knowledge infrastructures has… informed my choice of
venues for publication. Particularly since receiving tenure I’ve become much
more attuned to publication platforms themselves as knowledge infrastructures.
I’ve actively sought out venues whose operational values match the values I
espouse in my research – openness and accessibility (and, equally important,
good design!) – as well as those that The New School embraces through its
commitment to p


knowledge infrastructure in Mars & Medak 2017


y Genesis. However, all these practices
exhibit ways in which our epistemologies and pedagogies are built around
institutional structures that reproduce inequality and differentiated access based on
race, gender, class and geography. By building own knowledge infrastructures, we
build different bodies of knowledge and different forms of relating to our realities –
in words of Walter Mignolo, we create new forms of epistemic disobedience
(2009). Through Public Library, we have digitized and made available several
colle


knowledge infrastructure in Medak, Mars & WHW 2015


uilt the public library: universal access to knowledge for each member of our society.
Freedom, equality, and brotherhood need brave librarians practicing civil disobedience.
Library Genesis, aaaaarg.org, Monoskop, UbuWeb
are all examples of fragile knowledge infrastructures
built and maintained by brave librarians practicing
civil disobedience which the world of researchers
in the humanities rely on. These projects are re-inventing the public library in the gap left by today’s
institutions in crisis.
Library Genesis1


knowledge infrastructure in Sollfrank 2018


o explain her
actions and motives in court documents and blog posts. Sci-Hub encourages new
ways of distributing knowledge, beyond any commercial interests. It provides a
radically open infrastructure thus creating an inviting atmosphere. “It is a
knowledge infrastructure that can be freely accessed, used and built upon by
anyone.”23

As both projects LibGen and Sci-Hub are based in post-Soviet countries, Balazs
reconstructed the history and spirit of Russian reading culture and brings
them into connection.24 Intere


knowledge infrastructure in Stankievech 2016


nto, I have witnessed first-hand the evolution
of academic research. Arg.org has fostered a vibrant community
of thinkers, students, and writers, who can share their research
and create new opportunities for collaboration and learning
because of the knowledge infrastructure provided by the platform.
The accusation of copyright infringement leveled against the
community misses the point of the research platform altogether.
While there are texts made available for download at no expense
through the Arg.org website, it is


knowledge infrastructure in Thylstrup 2019


the question of the politics of mass
digitization.

Today, then, the landscape of mass digitization has evolved considerably, and
we can now begin to make out the political contours that have shaped, and
continue to shape, the emergent contemporary knowledge infrastructures of mass
digitization, ripe as they are with contestation, cooperation, and
competition. From this perspective, mass digitization appears as a preeminent
example of how knowledge politics are configured in today’s world of
“assemblages” as “m


igh Star have argued that the establishment of
standards, categories, and infrastructures “should be recognized as the
significant site of political and ethical work that they are.”73 This applies
not least in the construction and development of knowledge infrastructures
such as mass digitization assemblages, structures that are upheld by
increasingly complex sets of protocols and standards. Attaching “politics” to
“infrastructure” endows the term—and hence mass digitization under this
rubric—with a dist


n users. Infrastructures are—increasingly—essential parts of
our everyday lives, not only in mass digitization contexts, but in all walks
of life, from file formats and software programs to converging transportation
systems, payment systems, and knowledge infrastructures. Yet, what is most
significant about the majority of infrapolitical institutions is that they are
so mundane; if we notice them at all, they appear to us as boring “lists of
numbers and technical specifications.”84 And their maintenance and
cons


k power is endemic not only to concrete digital networks, but also to
globalization at large as a process that simultaneously gives rise to feelings
of freedom of choice and loss of choice.97 Mass digitization assemblages, and
their globalization of knowledge infrastructures, thus crystalize the more
general tendencies of globalization as a process in which people participate
by choice, but not necessarily voluntarily; one in which we are increasingly
pushed into a game of social coordination, where common standards all


aries, the question remains
how to theorize the cultural politics of shadow libraries. This final section
outlines three central infrapolitical aspects of shadow libraries: access,
speed, and gift.

Mass digitization poses two important questions to knowledge infrastructures:
a logistical question of access and a strategic question of to whom to
allocate that access. Copyright poses a significant logistical barrier between
users and works as a point of control in the ideal free flow of information.
In mass digitization,


this topography, the following section suggests,
will help us understand the infrapolitics of the spatial imaginaries of mass
digitization, not only in relation to questions of globalization and late
sovereignty, but also to cultural imaginaries of knowledge infrastructures.
Indeed, these two dimensions are far from mutually exclusive, but rather
belong to the same overarching tale of the politics of mass digitization.
Thus, while the material spatial infrastructures of mass digitization projects
may help us appreciate

 

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