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Performing the Scholarly Monograph in Contemporary Digital Culture

Notes Chapter 6

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 [1] I am here invoking what Lawrence Lessig refers to as a Read/Write (RW) culture, as opposed to a Read/Only (RO) culture (2008: 28–29).

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 [2] Where open access (in its weak version) can be seen to focus mainly on accessibility (and in many cases wants to preserve the integrity of the work), open content includes the right to modify specifically. The problem is that where it comes to open access definitions and providers, some permit derivative works and some do not. The open knowledge definition encompasses both, as does the BBB definition of open access.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 [3] More ethical interventions in scholarly communication might start with—but are not limited to—a critical involvement with the various relationships in academic publishing by, for example: exercising an ethics of care with respect to the various (human and non-human) agencies involved in the publication process; a focus on free labour and a concern with power and difference in academic life; experimenting with alternatives, such as new economic models and fair pricing policies, to counter exploitative forms of publishing; exploring how we can open up the conventions of scholarly research (from formats to editing, reviewing, and revising); critically reflecting on the new potential closures we enact (McHardy et al. 2013, Danyi 2014, Kember, 2014a).

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 [4] In the United States, the Copyright Act defines “derivative work” in 17 U.S.C. § 101:

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 a “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”. See: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html – 101

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 [5] A triplet or assertion is the shortest meaningful sentence or statement: a combination of subject, predicate and object. See: http://nanopub.org/wordpress/?page_id=65

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 [6] A nano-publication is the smallest unit of publishable information: an assertion about anything that can be uniquely identified and attributed to its author. See: http://nanopub.org/wordpress/?page_id=65

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 [7] McPherson argues that we can see this focus on the discreet in, among other things, digital technologies, in UNIX and in languages like c and c++.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 [8] For the fluid text edition of Melvilles’s Typee, see: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/melville/

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 [9] See: http://liquidpub.org/

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 [10] See: http://www.futureofthebook.org/gamertheory2.0/?page_id=2. This refers mostly to GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1, which can be seen as, as stated on the website, a first stab at a new sort of “networked book,” a book that actually contains the conversation it engenders, and which, in turn, engenders it (Wark 2007).

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 [11] Derrida gives the example of Freud’s archive and how, with the coming of digital media, a new vision on what constitutes an archive comes into being, which in turn will create a new vision of psychoanalysis.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 [12] See chapter 2 for a detailed discussion of diffraction as a methodology.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [13] By engaging in a diffractive reading, this is a performative text too. This means that it is not only a piece of writing on the topic of remix and on ‘cutting things together and apart’, but through its methodology it also affirmatively ‘remixes’ a variety of theories from seemingly disparate fields, locations, times and contexts. This might enable us to understand both the practice and concept of the cut and the entangled theories themselves better. This is akin to what the net artist Mark Amerika calls ‘performing theory’. As a ‘remixologist’, Amerika sees data as a renewable energy source where ideas, theories and samples become his source material. By creating and performing remixes of this source material, which is again based on a mash-up of other source material, a collaborative interweaving of different texts, thinkers and artists emerges, one that celebrates and highlights the communal aspect of creativity in both art and academia (Amerika 2011).

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 [14] In which apparatuses are conceptualised as specific material configurations that effect an agential cut between, and hence produce, subject and object (Barad 2007: 148).

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 [15] For example, Henry Jenkins and Owen Gallagher talk about remix cultures and Lessig refers to remix as a R/W (Read/Write) culture, although they all see these cultures as embedded in technology and encapsulated by powers of material economic production (Lessig 2008, Jenkins 2013, Jenkins and Gallagher 2008). An exception is Elisabeth Nesheim who in her talk Remixed Culture/Nature argues for a different conception of remix, one that goes beyond seeing it as a cultural concept and explores principles of remix in nature. Although still starting from a position of human agency, she talks about bio-engineering as a form of genetic remixing, and about bio-artists who remix nature/culture as a form of critique and reflection (Nesheim 2009).

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [16] See also Matthew Kirschenbaum’s arguments on how digital copying = preservation = creation, as discussed in the previous section.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 [17] I am talking here about the fact that there is no onto-epistemological distinction between cutting and copying. From an ethical perspective, however, one might argue, as Navas has done extensively, that making a distinction between referencing ideas in conceptual and material form, might help us in our aid towards copyright reform (2011).

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [18] Akin to what the sociologist and feminist theorist Vicki Kirby calls ‘the cut of difference’ (2011: 101).

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [19] First appearing as a concept in Foucault’s History of Sexuality (1976).

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 [20] In Agamben’s vision the apparatus is an all-oppressive formation, one that human beings stand outside of. Agamben here creates new binaries between inside/outside and material/discursive that might not be helpful for the posthuman vision of the apparatus I want to explore here (2009: 14).

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 [21] See, for example, the way the PhD student as a discoursing subject is being (re)produced by the dissertation and by the dominant discourses and practices accompanying it (Adema 2013).

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 [22] I have contributed texts/books/remixes to both projects and my analysis underneath is thus partially written from a participant’s perspective.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 [23] For instance, as remix artist and author, and as professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 [24] Amerika wrote the hypertext trilogy GRAMMATRON, PHON:E:ME and FILMTEXT and founded one of the oldest online net.art networks, Alt-X, in 1992.

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 [25] Patch or collage writing, consisting of disconnected bits of writing pasted together in one work or collage, is relatively common in works of remix and appropriation art and theory, and is explored in Jonathan Lethem’s essay ‘The ecstasy of influence’ (2007), David Shield’s Reality Hunger (2011), and Paul D. Miller’s Rhythm Science (2004) It is a practice that can be traced at least as far back as the cut-up methods applied by William Boroughs and the Dadaists.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 [26] Derrida remarks in his discussion of the significance of the signature that, although we cannot perceive it as a literal stand-in for an authentic, and with that, authoritative source, it does however function as and implies both the presence and the non-presence of the signing subject. Derrida argues for a non-essentialist notion of the signature where the singularity of the event of signing is maintained (and with that the presence of the subject is maintained) in what Derrida calls a past and a future now. Through the signature as a performative act the singularity of the original signing event is thus forever maintained in the signature, and becomes iterative in every copy (Derrida 1985).

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 [27] See: http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/blog/

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