UN-PUBLISH ISSN 2050-795X
‘UN-PUBLISH’ is a series of critical works published on paper, disseminated from BR.
Artists, and writers are commissioned by invitation to contribute to the series, that focus' on new ideas and modes of writing and publishing within emergent technologies. Each edition works within the evolving assemblages of humans and technology we live in today, and as such, the works hold traces of an emerging subjectivity and the hardware and software through which they write.
The name UN-PUBLISH refers to a conversation between Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder) and the curator Hans Ulrich Olbrist where Assange speculated that contrary to what we may suspect, traditional print media has a potentially longer shelf life, through the wide distribution of papers that might resist the censorious reach of the authorities, commercially or politically motivated. Despite the seemingly democratic and open space of Web 2.0 and the global accessibility this platform suggests, the management of on-line information is exceptionally open to manipulation. The additional consequences of not being able to access an historical record of the daily account that news provides, in years to come, as one might an archive of newspaper print, is yet to be fully realised.
The series exists as an invitation through commission to contribute, and has included Nina Power, Arcadia Missa, two Orbits.com commissions with Tara Kelton and Prayas Abhinav, a tabloid take on Mexico’s Economist with El Impublicado – the Un-Publisher in Spanish - with contributions from Mexican writers and artists: Nadia Cortés and Miguel Trancozo, and Isaac Olvera supported by Museo Del Chopo, Mexico City, and Yuri Pattison, supported by the Goethe Institut. The series was begun with a work by Ami Clarke that focused on the language used in a then (2009) unprecedented view into the life of Chelsea Manning - a 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst, regarding her online exchanges with the gay activist Zach Antolak and the ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, in the lead up to Mannings arrest for the leaking of US sensitive military documents.
UN-PUBLISH - Banner Repeater.
The railways witnessed Britains transformation from agriculture to an industrial economy, as the increased efficiency demanded by the rapid developments in trade and labour during this period thoroughly homogenised time. Publishing, distribution, dissemination; the sharing of ideas, filter bubbles that then isolate us from each other again, the speeds of data we receive warping our time and attention, speak of our now, very everyday, post-industrial time.
Click-drifting through “locust swarms of lettering” described by Walter Benjamin almost a century ago, as writing was “ruthlessly dragged out into the street by advertisements and subjected to the brutal heteronomies of economic chaos” - the maze of digital code we inhabit, for all intents and purposes, means that we can type a lot better. The representational map that presented what was out there, for us to use for our own devices, (albeit drawn for someone else’s), has become an interlaced web, daily inscribed by every transaction we perform, make public, or perhaps detrimentally publish, within this heavily mediated networked space, whilst algorithms; the ‘filters’ that drive our desires, increasingly customise our experience.
The recent and increasingly exposed construction of consensus, arising from a bias in spectacular news reporting: an over-simplified ‘victims-and-aggressor’ meme, flocking from one focus of this sort to another, (and not unique to the tabloid, by any means) performs a particularly consistent form of reality management whose efficiency is enabled all the more so by the tools of citizen journalism.
Ideas regarding technology, open-ness and democracy proposed by the networked structures of web 2.0, ignore for the most part the materiality of digital data and its supporting frameworks, and do not necessitate emancipatory projects in and of themselves, but are tools that provide new methods of communication which also impact upon our sense of a collective and political voice. The technology that facilitates the vast consumerism of capitalism, is at some core level, implicit also, in our ability to act politically, and affects our understanding of what it is to be politically engaged, certainly with respect to older hierarchical structures and former traditions that may come into question as a result.
Publishing is particularly pertinent to these ideas, both historically and in terms of what might, in a present day context, blur the lines between publishing and broadcasting, via social media and other networked connectivities. Ideas of authorship, intellectual property, copyright, and the constitution of a ‘reading public’ come of these histories, and an evolving subjectivity that emerges through market relations.
‘UN-PUBLISH’ commissions seek to consider these ideas of shifting time and labour relations: the co-evolution of humans and technology, through writing and publishing, and bear witness to epigenetic affects, that may come of these new conditions of time.
The Archive of Artists’ Publishing at Banner Repeater, sites this resource in the lives of commuters, passing through a working station environment, during peak travel times at 8 in the morning alongside a digital archive of Artists’ Publishing: BookBlast: an interactive user-driven database that constitutes a working research model - a tool as well as an electronic commons for the exchange of detailed information. Multiple points of dissemination, both on-line and via the inter-connected transport networks that platform 1, Hackney Downs rail station is enmeshed within, serve to distribute these works throughout the city and further afield.