The remix: an art form and literary intervention

“In remixthebook, Mark Amerika develops a model of contemporary theoretical writing that mashes up the rhetorical styles of performance art, poetry, and the vernacular associated with 21st century social media and networking culture.

Amerika, along with co-curator and artist Rick Silva, has invited over 25 contributing international artists, poets, and critical theorists, all of them interdisciplinary in their own practice-based research, to sample from remixthebook and manipulate the selected source material through their own artistic and theoretical filters. The curators were especially excited about working with colleagues who formally experiment with digital video, audio remixes, critical text collage, computer imaging, social media, glitch, poetry, electracy, copyleft, and online performance.

How to experience the remixes:
Each remix is either linked to its image or embedded object.
For more information on the work or the artist, please click the artist’s name.
No Flash? Click on the mobile links.”

An exercise of what one book/file can become if unlimited access is granted. Yet to sum up all the various results a hard copy book was published to bring it together and onto a shelf.


Marc Saporta’s Composition No 1

composition no 1: the box of unbound pages

composition no 1: the box of unbound pages

The Guardian released an article on Marc Saporta’s Composition No. 1, which was first conceived in 1961, and re-born digitally (~2011) as an iPad app by Visual Editions.

composition no1: the ipad app

composition no1: the ipad app

“[…] the overall effect is one of poetic parataxis, disjunctive but coherent.

I’d feared the stochastic arrangement might lessen the overall thrust of the piece—why read to the last page when any page could be the last?—but I hurried to reach the ending. Another reader may have ended on a note of circularity. (“The couch, along the wall, is covered with a Mexican serape. Dagmar is sitting there with her legs folded under her. Above her head, contrasting violently with her blond hair, the dark abstract painting with clots of color that seem to be on fire is still unfinished. It is called Composition No. 1.”) My Composition ended with a bloody ambush of a hideout by the Germans, while two French fighters, sitting quietly out in the woods, listened to the screams. The last line—“A tall German woman with queenly bearing nonchalantly crosses the barnyard. She would be beautiful without her uniform.”—might have had little significance elsewhere, but here I was stunned by its eerily flat tone and sculptural asymmetry. It was not so much what the author did that was impressive, but what he, deliberately, did not.” —Robert Moor

instructions again

instructions again

Reminds me of the Book of Answers, now also available as iPad app, and Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt’s Opaque Strategies.

Collaborative Futures / Speed Publishing for immediate dissemination

Let’s look at a few rapid knowledge production initiatives. Let’s look at book sprints[1], experimental writing[2], and political declarations[3]. And for a little detour let’s include also a pop up library[4] (art project) and a book art project[5].

Speed seems to be key to all of these initiatives—a quick turn around with immediate outcome. To most, Volume is also important (how much has been written within only a short period of time). Often the works are conceived while writing together into a digital pad. Still the work sessions are hosted in one physical location where the participants can share thoughts and discuss live, in person. For the first three examples, the writing also serves as live protocoling the very event.

The act of writing is central to thinking, processing and manifesting. The editing is usually done after the event has taken place and done so remotely via digital communication. Speed, again: the brainstorms and heated discussions turn almost immediately into themes or chapters. Decisions about layout and structure are instant. Formatting is simple and straight forward and style is partially predetermined due to the limitation of the pad. What needs to be agreed upon before typing away are things like: “if it is a quote, we put the credit right after,” or “if you write something that is meant for other people to work on or consider introduce that part with ‘//’ and close with ‘\\’.”

The material is usually available in digital form online (mostly for free). Yet, it is in those sessions where the physical manifestation of the work done, becomes important once more. There are usually books or booklets published after the editing phase.

These events have something promotional about them as well. They can be viewed as a performance and since so compressed and compact, the writing process can even be filmed.

choose your reading experience

choose your reading experience

“This book was first created by 6 core collaborators, as an experimental five day Book Sprint in January 2010. Developed under the aegis of transmediale.10, this third publication in the festival’s parcours series resulted in the initiation of a new vocabulary on the forms, media and goals of collaborative practice.

In June 2010, the book was rewritten as a part of the Re:Group exhibition at Eyebeam, NY. This second edition invited three new collaborators to challenge the free culture sentiment underlying the original writing. The result is a deliberately multi-voiced tone pondering the merits and shortcomings of this new emerging ideology.”

psychoeconomy summit, sevilla 2011

psychoeconomy summit, sevilla 2011—thinking, arguing, declaring, writing it all up

“Psychoeconomy is a platform for discussion and artistic research that proposes an alternative approach on various global issues, taking advantage of the particularities for reflection and diffusion generated by the field of art. […] Psychoeconomy proposes the revision of citizen participation on a global scale in the resolution of conflicts in which citizenship as a hole is largely excluded from decision-making but certainly suffers the consequences.”

A declaration was written up (following a long discussion) in only two days.

instant knowledge—instant publication

instant knowledge—instant publication

How to pop up a library within a public library and install a temporary publishing house inside an unusual place. The Pop Up Library project uses the blank booklet as container to collect immediate knowledge. 

the spontaneous book

the spontaneous book, edited by institut für raumexperimente, universität der künste berlin

Spontaneous Book: 06.01.2010 / 14:07 >>>> 08.01.2010 / 16:22

“The spontaneous book series seeks to engage in a group thinking and doing process that produces a result in a short period of time: capturing, processing and producing content simultaneously.
Spontaneous Book: 06.01.2010 / 14:07 >>>> 08.01.2010 / 16:22, on the occasion of a 3-day workshop that included exercises such as walks in public spaces, perception and time experiments, and studio visits.”


Consider speed, volume
Consider manifestation of knowledge
Consider performance and writing as an event
Consider limitations of technology as design choice
Consider the blank book as container

The Open Utopia / read write rethink tomas more

“This digital edition of Utopia is open: open to read, open to copying, open to modification. On this site Utopia is presented in different formats in order to enhance this openness. If the visitor wishes to read Utopia online they can find a copy. If they want to download and copy a version, I’ve provided links to do so in different formats for different devices. In partnership with The Institute for the Future of the Book I provide an annotatable and “social” text available for visitors to comment upon what More – or I – have written, and then share their comments with others. Those who like to listen will find a reading of Utopia on audio files, and those who want to watch and look can browse the user-generated galleries of Utopia-themed art and videos. For people interested in creating their own plan of an alternative society, I’ve created Wikitopia, a wiki with which to collaborate with others in drafting a new Utopia. More versions for more platforms are likely to be introduced in the future.” —Stephen Duncombe