Feb 4 / Rethink Book Publishing

Feb 4 / Review of Day 4!


Rethink Book Publishing


During this afternoon’s session, Booki Workshop and Booki Mobile, New Zealander Adam Hyde discussed a visionary alternative to standard publishing through the introduction of Booki, a free software program that helps anybody write and make a book – about anything, really. The platform encourages the concept of a Book Sprint, which is an approach to collectively composing a book in 5 days or less through an engaged group discourse in real-space.


Booki, which is nominated for the Open Web Award, allows bookmakers to make creations in several formats of e-books – the most common being the PDF, which can be easily printed at any copy shop or uploaded to another bookmaking platform, like Lulu, where they can be sold in both electronic and printed versions.


Hyde said the intent of Booki was to set in motion the methodology of the Book Sprint and the open web, thereby challenging traditional forms of publishing by thinking about books as an unstable or unfinished form that can be reflected upon, added to, and ultimately transformed into a new work. Why should books be concrete? Books should stay alive, believes Hyde, and that is precisely why Booki and Book Sprints support free narratives that both convey cohesive texts while remaining open to transition.


Critiques and crucial queries into Booki have come in the form of speculation from the academic world, concerning the legitimacy of the content and the writers’ authority over and responsibility to the subject. And, of course, the physical journey the books might take. Authors involved in a Book Sprint, says Hyde, can also be suspicious about creating their work under the Creative Commons ethic, meaning their ideas and written words have the potential to be used or even sold by another creator. These are all questions of boundaries that, through time and experiment, can only be further understood and perhaps one day answered.


In the Lost in the Open section of the Open Zone, Internet artist Tobias Leingruber offered a three-part conceptual workshop called Facebook Resistance, which aims to experiment with the boundaries of the social networking platform through Leingruber’s hacking expertise. “It’s really about what we can do with Facebook,” says Leingruber. “What could it look like? Could it have different functions? What are the rules of Facebook and do we want to break them?” Already challenging Facebook is a similar – though more open source platform – called Diaspora. Leinburger feels such a platform is not quite ready to compete with a social network of 600 million users. But that doesn’t stop Leingruber from entering the Facebook system and, he says, “trying to bend the rules a little bit to make it more fun and more individual for the people by introducing some new features.”


The experimental work that resulted from this afternoon’s session will be compiled by Leingruber and presented tomorrow (Saturday, February 5) at 18:00 in the Open Zone.


transmediale Blog
by Melanie Sevcenko