Gary Hall (UK) - Liquid, Living Books
Conference Day 1, May 20, Den Haag, 13.30 – 14.30
Thanks to open access and the likes of AAAAARG.org and Issuu, it’s possible to publish a book today in a matter of minutes. What’s interesting about electronic publishing, however, is not so much the way bringing about a book is becoming more like blogging–with certification provided by the times a text is downloaded, linked to, tagged or ‘liked’ as much as by traditional means of quality control – but that certain developments in electronic publishing contain the potential to conceive ofbooksasnotbeingfixedandunified,with clear material edges, but as liquid and living: open to being continually revised, refreshed and reimagined. Yet as examples such as the Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio show, books have always been liquid and living – and, throughout modernity, have always been subject to forces striving to repress this fact. Electronic publishing has simply helped to make us aware of it.
An experimental video essay by Gary Hall, Clare Bichall and Peter Woodbridge
The second episode in the series takes as its focus Gilles Deleuzes short essay Postscript on the Societies of Control. While this episode is being made available for the first time in an issue of Culture Machine: An Open-Access Journal of Culture and Theory culturemachine.net/index.php/cm/issue/view/22 which has the theme of creative media; and while Liquid Theory TV could be described as a creative project, to the extent it is concerned with producing alternative, rival, or counter-desires to those currently dominant within much of society (at its simplest, a desire for philosophy or more broadly theory, rather than for the creations of Richard Branson, Simon Cowell or Rupert Murdoch, say), this does not mean that either the series, or this particular episode, should be regarded simply as an attempt to perform Deleuzes philosophy. The critical and interpretive aspects of scholarly work remain important to us here, even if they are being undertaken in a medium very different to the traditional academic journal article or book.
Liquid Theory TV is a collaboration between Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Peter Woodbridge petewoodbridge.info/
The Living Books about Life (LiviBL) livingbooksaboutlife.org is a project funded by JISC as part of the eContent programme 2011.
The aim of the project is to develop a sustainable series of co-edited, electronic open access books about life -- with life understood both philosophically and biologically -- which provide a bridge between the humanities and the sciences. Those collaboratively-produced books repackage existing open access science-related research by clustering it around selected topics whose unifying theme is life: e.g., air, agriculture, bioethics, cognition, energy, human enhancement, neurology. The project offers an engaging interdisciplinary resource for teaching and researching relevant science issues in the humanities. Enhancing users’ experience of working with online materials, it expands upon a unique resource: the Culture Machine Liquid Books series liquidbooks.pbworks.com
Through initially publishing 22 such ‘living books about life’, the project partners aim to develop a sustainable model for creating and publishing, in a low-cost, low-tech manner, many more such books in the future -- books that will be shared on an open basis with other academic and non-academic institutions and individuals. These ‘books about life’ are themselves ‘living’, i.e., they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of editing, updating and commenting upon, by readers of all levels. As well as clustering the available science content on ‘life’ into a series of books, the project also aims to rethink ‘the book’ itself as a living, collaborative endeavour in the age of digital data, Web 2.0 and e-readers such as Kindle and iPad.
The (LiviBL) project is a collaboration between three academic institutions, Coventry University, Goldsmiths, the University of Kent, and the Open Humanities Press.