We have recently been involved in a research project based at the University of Edinburgh and led by Smita Kheria and Penny Travlou dealing with the investigation of models of emergent multi-authored publications employing open source and co-creative practices.

The title of the project is Creation and Publication of the “Digital Manual”: Authority, Authorship and Voice. The information can be found here at the Website of the Digital Manual project.

From one of the project information pages:

“Digital manuals, or emerging forms of the book, function as a resource and platform for digital practitioners, including artists, in their use and manipulation of technology for new forms of writing and publishing. It allows a co-creative community to arise through this interaction of agents (e.g. technology, users) and has serious implications for notions of control and ownership over resulting creations. When such digital manuals are developed, used and shared by creative communities, it enables them to employ technology to change the contours of their creative practice and how it is accorded peer recognition, thus shaping the creative community itself. More broadly, the development of the Digital Manual is contextualised by concerns with emerging forms of authorship, production and knowledge-making and how these might be intrinsic to processes of social formation.”

The project will involve the collaboration of a wide research network and the study of a series of open source creative communities, including us at FakePress and Art is Open SourceUpStage and Make-Shift, an open source platform for cyberformance and a very interesting festival, FLOSS Manuals, a collaborative publishing platform that enables fluent collaboration with local and remote writers, and Sauti ya Wakulima “The voice of the farmers”, a collaborative knowledge base created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania by gathering audiovisual evidence of their practices using smartphones to publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Stay tuned for more info. :)