I’d like to ask you to lend a book, text, or any other form of publication, for a temporary reading room housing an unconventional body of knowledge and experience that is curated by the very community that is using it.
This reading room was first installed during the exhibition Meaning Making Meaning at A-venue in Göteborg and is travelling subsequently to other venues, contexts and communities in order to learn about and connect the different struggles being fought against ignorance, inequality and segregation.
I am particularly interested in women writers, forgotten histories, intersectionalist practices — in material that is still missing in our established libraries and databases, does not conform with the canon of Western, white, patriarchal academia, mainstream publishing, or is marginalised for other reasons.
What would you like to add to such a collection? Which books, novels, poems, comics, scholarly essays or self-published texts are relevant to you, changed the way you think about yourself and the world, or opened up a new horizon? more…
Why Publish? is a joint research project between AND Publishing and Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art students to collectively explore the pedagogical, creative and critical spaces of publishing.
What are the possibilities and limitations of existing institutions and publishing structures? How is value created and for whom? Who enjoys visibility and why? What is the value of archiving – for example at the Feminist Library, where knowledge is produced through trans-generational transmission of memories of feminist activists’ lives? Can we think of activists’ archives as places for alternative distribution? What are the acquisition politics of special collections, libraries and public archives? How do books get in the shops? More …
The Piracy Project is an international publishing and exhibition project exploring the philosophical, legal and practical implications of book piracy and creative modes of reproduction. Through research and an international call for submissions, the Project has gathered a collection of more than 150 modified, appropriated and copied books from all over the world.
The collection, which is catalogued online, is the starting point for talks and work groups around the concept of originality, the notion of authorship and politics of copyright.
The Piracy Project is not about stealing or forgery. It is about creating a platform to innovatively explore the spectrum of copying, re-editing, translating, paraphrasing, imitating, re-organising, manipulating of already existing works. Here creativity and originality sit not in the borrowed material itself, but in the way it is handled.
The Piracy Project is an collaboration between AND Publishing and Andrea Francke.
The Piracy Reading Room is set up at the Bluecoat as part of the group exhibition “Resource.”
The exhibition extends its enquiry into use and usefulness to its own surroundings, questioning the nature, but also future possibilities of arts centres. Is their value based solely on what is presented publicly or what is also produced behind the scenes? What new resources should a 21st century arts venue offer to remain useful to the public which they serve?
As part of CodeX at Kunstverein Munich The Piracy Project has installed a one-month reading organising the Piracy Collection according to distribution networks.
The white market for books encompasses all legal and authorised distribution through traditional channels. The books in this selection have been produced through publishing houses, have ISBN numbers and are produced in higher quantities that allow for commercial distribution.
The grey market for books includes publications produced in an edition higher than one that circulate through specific, non-official networks. We include fanzines and artists’ books that are sold only at specialised shops in this section.
The black market for books encompasses distribution through illegal and non-authorised commercial channels. The books in this section were purchased at pirate markets and copy shops.
The books in the selection archive as distribution are examples of pirated books that are produced for archival reasons. They are out of circulation and were sent to us in order to remain accessible. We also gather here books that are one – offs, produced specifically for the Piracy Collection in response to our open call.
Print on Demand points to a new type of market. It produces books with a professional finish and ISBN number in potentially unlimited quantities that can circulate in mainstream commercial distribution channels. A book, produced through lulu.com, for example, will be a one-off until a second copy is purchased. Only then the second copy will be printed and shipped. Distribution triggers production, it defines the market dynamically. It allows books to oscillate between grey and white market zones in seamless ways.
During the Reading Room we hold a workshop series Self-publish and Disseminate, exploring Munich’s independent self-publishers, distribution networks and private archives. Download the workshop programme here.
We’ll bring the Piracy Collection to Cologne to set up a temporary reading room. Drop in for a cup of coffee, and for daily readings, our Gespräch an der Bar and the symposium The Politics of Narrativewith screenwriter Sylke Rene Meyer.
Copies of books held in the Piracy Collection circulate the world through underground circles of distribution. Some are sold as artists’ books, some are made for private use, and some are one-offs made especially for this collection. All bring up peculiar questions about who the real authors are and what is seen as the real content. How should we classify these books or locate them within a library? Is a perfect copy of a novel the same as the original and should therefore be categorised identically to the original copy, with the same subject and author?
Libraries have long been the repositories of our printed culture and with it our perception of knowledge and a standard for the representation of culture. How they are organised, and what they choose to classify becomes institutionalised through time. How can libraries deal with the acceleration of the instability of texts and the shaky grounds of authorship?
Join Karen Di Franco (archivist for Book Works and curator at CHELSEA space) with Piracy Project founders Eva Weinmayr and Andrea Francke, to find better terms of classification in an open discussion at Grand Union.
6 December 2013 – 8 February 2014
Grand Union Birmingham
This winter the Piracy Collection will be housed at Grand Union. We’ll be also giving a talk at Birmingham Public Library Active and Passive Love of Books and run a workshop with Karen di Franco to come up with alternative classification terms for selected books from the Piracy Collection. Thank you Cheryl Jones for being such a great host!
Find out more here.
In a performative debate, three intellectual property lawyers will use their different legal backgrounds to explore concepts of legality, illegality and the nuances in-between assessing selected cases from The Piracy Collection.
Lionel Bently is the Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Cambridge. Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento is a New York based artist who practices art law (The Law Office of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) and runs the Art and Law website Clancco.com. Prodromos Tsiavos is legal project lead for Creative Commons England, Wales and Greece.
“I feel more comfortable with a notion of “poaching” instead of piracy: poachers are those who in the shadow of the night make forays behind the enclosures of the owner’s land,capture their prey, and withdraw. I guess poaching, too, has a bad name, but I think both the scale and mode of intervention is more appropriate to describing off-the-radar cultural practices today.” “Usership stands opposed to the whole conceptual institution of ownership – the very thing that piracy, in its contemporary cultural coinage, like poaching and hacking, is supposed to challenge.” Stephen Wright, Lexicon of Usership.
This is one of three events organised during AND Publishing’s residency at The Showroom in London. More…
As part of The Piracy Project residency at The Showroom we invited Professor Eva Hemmungs-Wirtén for a roundtable discussion. Polyglot Piracy will be a catalyst to explore conflicts over the perceived stability of literary works; the relationship between authors and readers and the geopolitical tensions between producer- and user notions. Professor Wirtén suggests that translation offers a complementary, productive, and still largely unexplored approach into the authorship/copyright conundrum relevant for copyright historians as well as scholars of print culture.
Join us in exploring the blurred spaces between these terms.
How does plagiarising challenge the common perceptions of originality? What are the political connotations of gleaning? Is there a moral conundrum when forging? Each of these words frames the relationship we build to somebody else’s work and carries a distinct set of values, which we aim to challenge.
Help us to finance an essay to explore your favourite word, or the one you hate the most, or the one that puzzles you. Each term needs 12 shares at £ 25 each to be commissioned. A few of them have already been funded by different institutions but we would like to explore all 20 terms as part of the forthcoming book.
Your name will be attached to the respective chapter. Please get in touch, if you have any questions.
The Piracy Project presents an exhibition with a collection of pirated books, recipes and entertainment electronics, as well as two films and a lecture at Oslo10.
Piracy Lab (16 and 17 November 2012)
This two-day workshop on issues raised by cultural piracy in collaboration with the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel (FHNW). Interested participants from all disciplines are welcome (with registration until 29.10.2012). The results of the workshop will be presented within the exhibition at Oslo10 until the beginning of January 2013. The workshop will be held in German and English.
We set up a Piracy Reading Room at The Grand Domestic Revolution exhibition. GDR is an ongoing ‘living research’ project initiated by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht as a multi-faceted exploration of the domestic sphere to imagine new forms of living and working in common.
Inspired by US late nineteenth-century ‘material feminist’ movements that experimented with communal solutions to isolated domestic life and work, the GDR saw artists, designers, domestic workers, architects, gardeners, activists and others collaboratively experiment with and re-articulate the domestic sphere, challenging traditional and contemporary divisions of private and public. More…
Eva Weinmayr is in residence at SALT Reseach in Istanbul. She brings The Piracy Project to İstanbul in the form of a temporary reading room and parallel events. Weinmayr develops a platform to discuss unauthorized approaches to the recontextualization of cultural works—focusing not only on artists and writers, but also on publishers, programmers, academics, and business people in Turkey who are challenging existing structures and authorities as well as ways of producing and redistributing cultural products and values. More…
October 2010 – September 2011
Byam Shaw School of Art Library
2 Elthorne Road, London N19 4AG
In October 2010, The Byam Shaw Library was due to close. Because of an immediate response by staff and students, the library space stayed open to operate as a self-organised resource. From October 2011 a co-op was established to expand the community that maintains and programmes the reading room.
We are looking for proposals that navigate the research which you haven’t been able to make into an artwork – yet. Moments of making connections. encounters. collisions of disparate resources that light up for a second before they fall into obscurity again. Have you kept track of these encounters? Or can you build this experience using actual references you have found, but laid to rest?
* Gilles Deleuzes and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II