34 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2017
    1. Both the article in itself and its design in DJMP raise questions about the architecture and materiality of the book and publishing, including academic publishing, through its discussion of artist books and open access. The interesting discussion is of course how ways of publishing, textual formats, ways of writing, editing and reading relate to different kinds of politics, e.g. institutional, economic, ways of ascertaining quality, etc. These are very important questions, both in global politics (e.g. the discussions on ‘fake news’ and its relation to social media), in institutional politics (e.g. the standards and quality assessment of academic publishing) and in art and literature (e.g. whether readers are able and willing to actually read and understand different forms of texts). In general, it is a question of how the text mediates and transforms the reading, how meaning is produced and how/whether it reaches an audience, whether it is productive of e.g. meaning, knowledge and/or action. It is a discussion of the text between mediator and tool.

      It is noteworthy how little has happened after several decades of digital publishing and a plethora of death sentences for books and print: Even though some things have changed and are changing e.g. WWW’s ‘non-linear’ and labyrinthine, multi-cursal (Aarseth 1997) hypertext and the collaborative writing tools and platforms like wikis and social media are part of our everyday textual culture, we still have books and journals. Why? Is it because, as Stuart Moulthrop suggested already in 1991, that although hypertext affords new visions about a shared writing space, the responsibility for changes of this magnitude come from a diverse elite (of software developers, literary theorists, legislators, capitalists) who despite their differences remain allegiant to the institutions of intellectual property (the book, the library, the university, the publishing house). In other words, Moulthrop suggests that “it seems equally possible that engagement with interactive media will follow the path of reaction, not revolution.” (Moulthroup 2003 (1991), Andersen and Pold 2014). Is it because of institutional conservatism, because readers are conservative and slowly adapting (as the rather slow development of hypertext seems to suggest), is it a political battle (as the current discussions of the role of digital media, social media versus traditional media might suggest)? And to which extend is it a battle we should go for, if it includes breaking down the kinds of authority that comes with established publication formats and editorial processes (at least the current political climate raises some concerns).

      I know that many of these concerns are afterthoughts to an article and a design done before the current situation, and in this sense, they are more reflections that might be relevant for further work. However, the questions remain, whether hypertext and collaborative authoring always leads to more freedom and productive reading/writing? Whether deconstructing the order of the text and its extended argument is always a good thing? We have of course examples of great hypertextual formats that function well as tools and presentation of knowledge, e.g. the encyclopedia, but maybe there are also good reasons to preserve the extended argument of the book and the article? Today it seems simply wrong to assert that "hypertext does not permit a tyrannical, univocal voice” (Landow 1992) faced with Trump and Wilders’ tweets. Consequently, I think, the argument of the article and its design could relate to the history of hypertext and electronic literature, though the discussion of artist books and open access publishing is also relevant.

      The implementation in DJMP is in many ways exemplary and manages to present the article in nice ways, including the posters, the ability to comment and follow keywords. It allows its reader to access and use the text in different ways, and gives the valuable possibility of commenting and reading other people’s comments. In this it also follows paths from hypertext and electronic literature/digital culture, e.g. Electronic Book Review of A Peer Reviewed Journal About_. The design in many ways affords that it can do as it ‘preaches’, and in this way experiments with different ways of publishing academic texts. This is needed and current academia is not open enough to these kinds of experiments, that are, as argued, much more than making open access a homogeneous project – there is a need for an ongoing critical struggle that includes the forms of publishing. This is necessary, also to reach the popular masses on Twitter and Facebook! Currently, it is a problem, that standardizations within academia driven by STEM standards does not invite for such experiments that would in many cases not even be accepted as examples of academic publication. Also, I want to finish emphasizing that my discussion above is mainly stirred by the qualities of the publication, the important questions and reflections it raises.


      Andersen, C. U. and S. B. Pold (2014). "Post-digital Books and Disruptive Literary Machines: Digital Literature Beyond the Gutenberg and Google Galaxies." Formules 2014(18): 164-183.<br> Landow, G. P. (1992). Hypertext the convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology. Baltimore, Md, Johns Hopkins University Press.<br> Moulthroup, S. (2003 (1991)). You Say You Want a Revolution. The New Media Reader. N. W.-F. N. Montfort. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England, The MIT Press: 691-704.<br> Aarseth, E. J. (1997). Cybertext perspectives on ergodic literature. Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press.

  2. Jan 2017
    1. people will be trained to engage more rigorously and respectfully with each other.

      YES!!! This should be the goal in its entirety. I'm so glad to hear you say "promote a more civil discussion". Too often civil discussions are avoided and, many times in education, not even offered. How are we to sustain a successful democracy without civil discussions being present and offered regularly? How are we to train up successful, contributing citizens without offering civil discussion opportunities with regularity? It can't happen and won't happen, my hope is Hypothes.is can help achieve this!

    2. a culture of civility and inquiry, but of course that’s no bulwark against trolls.

      You're right, however, a culture of civility and inquiry can very easily overpower trolls if it's built correctly. A strong community can withstand many attacks if it's genuineness and civility remain strong!

    3. Perhaps a way for a site owner to opt out of web annotation, though I worry such a feature would undo the ability to speak truth to power.

      I share this worry with you! I believe this infringes on the realm of censorship. How can one post something on the web and opt out of web annotation? Seems to be a double standard...I want the public to hear this but I don't want to hear their thoughts. Certainly limits the ability to speak truth to power.

    4. listening to authors, first of all, but also to other readers, and then sharing where we stand? I certainly like to think so.

      Completely agree here! It is in listening to each other that we progress. Without listening to their readers, authors are simply writing what it is they want, think, need, and feel. Without listening to authors, the readers are necessarily even reading for understanding. It seems cyclical but important to note, I wonder what would happen if we listened to each other more often, especially in the case of web text truly bringing about the "net-working" RK described.

    5. Web annotation clearly decenters authority or expertise in several ways

      An important establishment in learning from text. How often we presume the author to be the authority. It's important to be open and willing to listen to the ideas of others if we are really seeking expertise. Growing from feedback and criticism is one of my greatest achievements.

    6. collaboratively established

      It is my hope to see this in all learning environments, too often it is pre-established or determined without respect to learners' needs and interests.

    7. only recently stumbled into the social practices of web annotation

      RK is not the only one, I'm still feeling very new as well and learning each time I annotate. The newness is sometimes intimidating but I proceed nonetheless. How might it become more user friendly and inviting to grow the audience and participants?

    8. People should be allowed to access annotations using whatever client they choose just as they can use their browser of choice to access the web

      Great point here, when can I use Hypothes.is on my mobile device? I'm falling behind due to the need of being at a keyboarded laptop. How might be promote equitable access to such great tools?

  3. Dec 2016
    1. technotext

      As a term, performative publications have a lot in common with Katherine Hayles’s concept ‘technotexts’. In her book Writing Machines (itself a technotext, beautifully designed by Anne Burdick in a hybrid print and ‘webtake’ version) Hayles introduces the term technotext as an relative and alternative to concepts such as hypertext and cybertext. She defines a technotext as something that comes about ‘when a literary work interrogates the inscription technology that produces it’ (Hayles 2002, 25) and elsewhere as ‘a book that embodies its own critical concepts (Hayles 2002, 140)’. In Writing Machines Hayles then goes on to analyse 3 technotexts, Talan Memmott’s work of electronic literature Lexia to Perplexia (2000), Tom Phillips artist’s book A Humument (1970), and Mark Z. Danielewski’s novel House of Leaves (2000).

    2. In this respect this project wants to emphasise that we should have more in depth discussions about the way we do research.

      Scholarly poethics is what connects the 'doing' of scholarship with the ethical components of research. Here, ethics and poetics are entangled and an ethical engagement is already from the start involved in the production of scholarship, it informs our scholarship. Whilst formulating a narrative around the idea of a scholarly poetics—what it would look like, what it could mean, imply and do and, perhaps most importantly, what it could potentially achieve—in relation to our publishing practices, I want to argue that we should pay more attention to how we craft our own poetics as scholars.

      Just as we have internal discussions about the contents of our scholarship, about the methodologies, theories and politics we use to give meaning and structure to our research, we should similarly have these kinds of discussions about the way we do research. Thus we should also be focusing on the medial forms, the formats and the graphic space in and through which we communicate and perform scholarship (and the discourses that surround these), as well as the structures and institutions that shape and determine our scholarly practices. This ‘contextual’ discussion, focusing on the materiality of our (textual) scholarship and its material modes of production, is and should not in any way be separate from a discussion on the contents of our work. The way we do scholarship informs its ‘outcomes’, what scholarship looks like. It informs the kinds of methodologies, theories and politics we can choose from, and of course, vice versa, these again shape the way we perform our scholarship. A focus on scholarly poethics might therefore be useful in bridging the context/content divide.

      So what then is the altered status of a (digital) scholarly poethics today? Which theoretical streams, disciplinary fields, and schools of thought (inside and outside of academia, connecting the arts and the humanities) have specifically incorporated attention to the practices and performances of scholarship and this internal/external divide? Here it would be useful to look to fields such as design, poetry, science and technology studies (STS), feminist theory, the (radical) open access movement, and—in some instances the digital humanities and in cultural and literary studies—where the way we conduct scholarship can be seen to have been at the forefront of academic inquiries. What can we learn from these discussions and how can we add to and expand them to enrich our understanding of what a scholarly poethics could be(come)? As I envision it a scholarly poethics is not one thing, not a specific prescriptive methodology or way of doing scholarship, it is a plural and evolving process in which content and context co-develop. Scholarly poethics thus focuses on the abundant, and continuously changing material-discursive attitudes towards scholarly practices, research, communication media (text/film/audio) and institutions.

    3. the materiality of our (textual) scholarship and its material modes of production, is and should not in any way be separate from a discussion on the content of our work.

      If performative publications are the material expressions or incarnations of specific research projects and processes, entangled with them are various other agencies of production and constraint (i.e. technological, authorial, cultural and discursive agencies, to name just a few). What I want to argue is that performative publications as a specific subset of publications actively interrogate how to align more closely the material form of a publication with its content (in other words, where all publications are performative—i.e. they are knowledge shaping, active agents involved in knowledge production—not all publications are 'performative publications', in the sense that they actively interrogate or experiment with this relation between content and materiality —similar to artist books). Yet in addition to this there is also an openness towards the ongoing interaction between materiality and content which includes entanglements with other agencies, and material forms of constraint and possibility.

      This concern for the materiality and form of our publications (and directly related to that the material production and political economy that surrounds a publication) is not a response to what elsewhere as part of a critique of certain tendencies within the field of new materialism is seen as a reaction to ‘the linguistic turn’ (Bruining 2013). On the contrary, I see this as a more direct reaction against perspectives on the digital which perceive digital text as disembodied and as a freeing of data from its material constraints as part of a conversion to a digital environment. However, content cannot be separated that easily from its material manifestations, as many theorist within the digital humanities have already argued (i.e. Hayles, Drucker). Alan Liu classifies this 'database' rhetoric of dematerialization as a religion that is characterised by 'an ideology of strict division between content and presentation' where content is separated from material instantiation or formal presentation as part of an aesthetics of network production and consumption (Liu 2004, 62).

    4. A performative publication wants to explore how we can bring together and align more closely the material form of a publication with its content.

      Liberature is a term, concept and genre coined in 1999 by the Polish avant-garde poet Zenon Fajfer, and further developed by his collaborator: literary scholar and theorist Katarzyna Bazarnik. Liberature is literature in the form of the book. Bazarnik and Fajfer define liberature as ‘a literary genre that integrates text and its material foundation into a meaningful whole' (Bazarnik and Fajfer 2010, 1). In the introduction to Fajfer’s collected essays, Bazarnik describes liberature as literary works in which the artistic message is transmitted not only through the verbal medium, but also through the author ‘speaking’ via the book as a whole (Bazarnik 2010, 7). Liberature is therefore a total approach that reaches beyond the linguistic medium, where the material form of the work is essential to its understanding and forms an organic element of the (inseparable) whole. Both Fajfer and Bazarnik emphasise that in liberature, the material book is no longer a neutral container for a text, but becomes an integral component of the literary work.

      Katarzyna Bazarnik, Zenon Fajfer, Oka-leczenie [Eyes-ore] (2000), Liberatura vol. 8, Kraków: Korporacja Ha!art, 2009.

    5. A performative publication wants to explore how we can bring together and align more closely the material form of a publication with its content.

      Fajfer and Bazarnik make some interesting observations on how in liberature the book does not contain the work, it is the work. In this sense they don’t see the material book as a representation of the work but as something that actively shapes and determines the work.

      Their focus on liberatic works is both a reaction to a previous literary context and a plea to authors to take responsibility for the future becoming of literature. First of all, as a specific response in a Polish context (but more wider too), it rallies against literary traditions that see the materiality of the book as non-significant, that classify literature as ‘disembodied’. As Bazarnik and Fajfer state:

      If I emphasise this bodily, material aspect so much, it is because Polish literary studies seem still dominated by scholars indebted to Roman Ingarden, a Polish philosopher who ventured into literary studies to produce a highly influential theory of the literary work of art in which he denied its “material foundation” (as he called it) any significance. It was to be passed over and not interfere with reading (Fajfer and Bazarnik 2010).

      Secondly, they present liberature as a way out of the ‘crisis of contemporary literature’, which they say has its roots in the continued focus on the text and its meaning, while neglecting the physical shape and structure of the book. This is delimiting the creative possibilities for the author, they claim. As Fajfer writes:

      I believe that it is his responsibility to consider the physical shape of the book and all the matters entailed, just as he considers the text (if not to the same extent, he should at least bear them in mind). The shape of the book should not be determined by generally accepted conventions but result from the author’s autonomous decision just as actions of his characters and the choice of words originate from him (Fajfer 2010, 25).

    6. This website and the accompanying posters have been designed by Nabaa Baqir, Mila Spasova and Serhan Curti, 2nd year design students at Coventry University, as part of a project on performative publications run by Janneke Adema. They offer a different take on the article 'The political nature of the book. On artists' books and radical open access', written by Janneke Adema and Gary Hall and originally published in the journal New Formations.

      I would like to further extend this practice-based project, both theoretically and practically, by discussing the genealogy and correlations of ‘performative publishing’ with ideas such as ‘technotext’ (Hayles), ‘performative materiality’ (Drucker) and ‘liberature’ (Fajfer), and the ethical and political challenges towards academic publishing these kind of concepts and practices pose.

    7. ABOUT

      This article for The disrupted Journal of Media Practice focuses on performative publications and is itself at the same time a performative publication. Written in Hypothes.is this article will hinge upon specific aspects, fragments, and concepts of the original performative project that it engages, entangling the community’s engagements along the way.

    1. I would like to further extend this practice-based project both theoretically and practically, by discussing the genealogy and correlations of ‘performative publishing’ with ideas such as ‘technotext’ (Hayles), ‘performative materiality’ (Drucker) and ‘liberature’ (Fajfer), alongside other projects and practices. As part of this I would like to explore the ethical and political challenges towards academic publishing these kind of concepts and practices pose. By using hypothes.is—an open source software/browser extension that enables an annotation layer on top of websites and online files and objects—which for this special disrupted issue of the Journal of Media Practice functions as a way to enable conversations around its processual papers, I would like to draw in these conversations around performative publications by directly setting up a dialogue with various theorists and the works, concepts, practices and values that connect to both this project and to performative publications as I envision them more in general.

    1. However we may define open in the context of web annotation

      Just as there is ambiguity around defining a word as simple as open this conversation hints at an emerging struggle with a shared meaning of annotation. As Remi points out, the traditional view of annotation is as a tool acting in service of reading comprehension. What we are talking about goes beyond that.

      While Merriam Webster and other disseminators of meaning can add extra definitions to their dictionaries under the word 'annotation', I wonder if an easier path to meaning making might be through using different words. There's a risk that it only leads to complications and muddying the waters over semantics but is it worth considering? I describe it as uptexting (not sure if I thought of that on my own or borrowed from someone else). I've heard University of Texas' Carl Blyth describe this as Social Reading and am drawn to this term because it captures the community aspect and might be less confusing because it doesn't seek to reappropriate an existing, commonly held definition.

    2. allowed students to attach a preset (though variable) set of terms to specific selections of text. It touts itself as a critical reading tool but in fact delimits the variability of a reader’s response to a text, not to mention a teacher’s approach to textual analysis.

      Allow me to push back a bit here. While the "canned responses" could, in some environments, build fences around student creativity and expression, it does not have to. From my limited play in the Ponder sandbox, I noticed that students could click on the canned responses OR offer their own annotation just like with Hypothes.is (though I am not sure if the annotation is limited to text). Also, I perceive the canned responses as allowing for scaffolding for younger readers and second language learners.

    3. Under what conditions does web annotation create the social and technical structures to enhance such civil, and trustworthy, online discourse?

      Wow what a question. I can't wait to see what other people have to say. It seems like it would be easy to come up with ways that are not civil, or trustworthy, online discourse - but to frame this as which conditions are created is far more powerful.

      As I mentioned in an earlier annotation, I think much of this has to do with shifting personal epistemology through the process of discourse with "authorities" and authors, the societal weighting of evidence and supportive information, and the interaction among participants and text at various levels. But there is a whole lot there that can go wrong. I love all of the occasions I've had to interact with others via hypothes.is thus far, but it does strike me that they have been primarily among peers with similar perspectives, epistemology, ideals, and academic background as myself. And perhaps that is a good place to start- modeling constructive and supportive behaviors in certain communities of practice?

      Edit to add: I think the social expectation that comes with using hypothes.is the way I have (through annotation flash mobs and annotatathons) is important. Having annotated this article as separate from a flash mob type event I find myself constantly checking back for new annotations, commentary, and responses. Web annotation for me has become inherently a cooperative and collaborative practice.

    4. what of the social value

      something we should always ask ourselves, and ask ourselves repeatedly

    5. power a crowd-sourced system of fact- and bias-checking

      in the same line of thought as with choral explanations?

    6. that we’re not just accessing knowledge on the internet, but creating it ourselves. But it’s not at all the way the web has evolved in terms of the everyday ability to effectively question authority, both technically and politically.

      I think there are particular personal epistemological assumptions tied up in this, that impact not only how we wish web annotation to be used, but how it functionally can and will primarily be used. If you approach knowledge as something coming from an authority, it is very hard to fathom being able to create it yourself, or talk back to it, even if those platforms exist. Conversely, if you think any opinion is valid, because knowledge is completely subjected as individual "truths" then I think you end up with what we see in a majority of places on the internet that allow discourse... I wonder if, and suspect that, hypothes.is could a powerful tool in shifting personal epistemology - especially where the text creators or "authorities" engage with annotators and the comments they pose...

      ...forgive me, I bring everything back to personal epistemologies

    7. And with that, perhaps we should open this dialogue up for other people to join us.

      As always, so glad you did.

    8. I believe that a reader’s decision to participate in public web annotation carries an implicit social contract; that my contributions are open to your response, that my ideas are open your dissent, and that my assertions are open to your rebuttal

      What sort of digital literacy does this require?

    9. orchestrate shared authorship

      Are there standards for citing web annotations? How do we acknowledge and credit this shared authorship?

    10. distributing the source and concern of conversation amongst learners and away from my agenda

      I think this is such a powerful motivation for using web annotation as a component of peer-review and academic conversations.

    11. public “playground”

      I love the idea of the public playground, and I think that concept along with the affordances of hypothes.is, say something about the relative safety net of open annotation. Like a public playground, it is not without risk to those participating; however, a degree of anonymity is still offered. You can disconnect your hypothes.is user information from your identity. This can, of course, be both a good and bad thing in generating commentary, but is an important feature of this particular "openness"

      I also just love the connection to "play"

    12. in the end be too ethereal or too noisy, testing our ability to subsequently and usefully capture and represent a layered, versioned textual experience as more conventional academic prose

      Could we perhaps use tags or groups to functionally sort through the layers of "noise" ? Perhaps things like: content critique, meta, grammatical nuances, etc?

    13. Hypothes.is as bettering Twitter

      There’s also a growing culture of people on Twitter hacking the microblogging platform as an annotation tool. They call them Screenshorts, Tweets that use screenshots of highlighted text to ground commentary. To me it’s just web annotation 1.0. But they’re just trying to be good English students, right?

      From a pedagogical and rhetorical perspective, at least, an annotated Trump speech is more effective than a random comment out there in the ether of the net. Similarly, a close read of the Clinton emails I believe would reveal there’s not much of a story there. But as a culture, we are not engaging with politics in that way, and we would be better off if we did.

    14. interrupted

      Interrupted seems like such a harsh word here. Perhaps punctuated fits better? You don't have to interrupt reading the conversation with the annotations, but you can. Of course in a journal of disruptive media, maybe interruption is exactly the disruption desired...

    15. (much less a vendor!)


  4. Oct 2016
    1. Christopher P. Long.

      For Long performative publications are directly connected to the idea of practice, where following the concept of performativity, he argues that ideas should be put to practice, where practice can further inform and enrich ones ideas again. Long applies these values directly to several of his own performative projects. In his book The Socratic and Platonic Politics: Practicing a Politics of Reading, he shows how Socratic philosophy and Platonic writing was designed to cultivate dialogue and community. By digitally enhancing his publication, Long explores how writing and reading can promote community in a digital context, in specific a community of collaborative readers. As Long argues:

      If, however, the book is not to be a mere abstract academic exercise, it will need to be published in a way that performs and enables the politics of collaborative reading for which it argues. (Long 2012)


      A further extension of this project is a podcast series titled Digital Dialogue which aims to cultivate dialogue in a digital age by engaging other scholars in open conversation online. Long is also involved in the Public Philosophy Journal project, which is specifically set up to crawl the web to find diverse positions on various philosophical subjects and to bring these together in a collaborative writing setting. As Long explains:

      The PPJ is designed to crawl the web, listening for conversations in which philosophical ideas and approaches are brought to bear on a wide variety of issues of public concern. Once these conversations are curated and a select number chosen for further development, we will invite participants into a space of collaborative writing so they can work their ideas up into a more fully formulated scholarly article or digital artifact. (Chris Long 2013)

    1. What is certain is that poetics in general, and narratology in particular, must not limit itself to accounting for existing forms or themes. It must also explore the field of what is possible or even impossible without pausing too long at that frontier the mapping out of which is not its job. Until now, critics have done no more than interpret literature. Transforming is now the task at hand. That is certainly not the business of theoreticians alone; their role is no doubt negligible. Still, what would theory be worth if it were not also good for inventing practice?

      (Genette 1988, 157)