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Columbia College Chicago
Radical Publishing Project

Radical Publishing Project

Current initiatives in the School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago bring together creative practice, editorial/curatorial practice, entrepreneurship, and emerging technology as key elements from which to build new programs in the future of publishing. This is the foundation of a new undertaking we call the Radical Publishing Project. Connected interactive tablet devices have created a demand for new convergences in the delivery of content. To meet this demand, traditionally distinct fields of practice in media have suddenly been thrust into an early recombinant stage. In this period of flux, new transmedia forms and new distribution models are rapidly emerging, and with them new entrepreneurial opportunities. 

The Radical Publishing Project surveys this landscape to help discern appropriate pathways for education and enterprise, promoting discourse, critical thought and new relationships in digital publishing through guided discussions, teleconference symposia, and (radical) publications. "Radical" in the deep sense of prime or fundamental, this view considers publishing to include the distribution of rich media content in transition to a new destination – the interactive portable screen.

The conversation around Radical Publishing opens doors to emerging forms of creative-tech collaboration. We are seeking input in terms of best directions, emerging platforms, languages, cloud vs. local solutions, collaboration paradigms, partner networks, spinoffs, etc.

The Evolution of an Art Form - Expanded Artists' Books

One initiative that fits under the Radical Publishing umbrella is an NEA-supported project at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, “Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book,” which undertakes to build a new publishing platform that leverages relationships between physical and digital books. Expanded Artists’ Books utilizes the rich capabilities of the tablet platform to imagine new forms that a book might take, such as exploring how interactivity challenges the traditional closure of text or the performance of time. For more information, go to: http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Interarts/research/expanded-artists-books/index.php

Demo of Between Page and Screen

Amaranth Borsuk demonstrates Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012), a book she created with collaborator Brad Bouse.  Consisting entirely of block QR codes, the animated, shaped text is activated when the book is viewed with the camera on a computer or tablet.  Borsuk, along with fellow artists Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher, are developing Abra, a new project in the Expanded Artists' Books program at the Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Books in Browsers – Two Presentations

October 24 and 26, 2013

The Radical Publishing Project has been invited to make two presentations at Books in Browsers, a prestigious annual conference for online publishing held at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. 

On Thursday, October 24, Steve Woodall, Director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts and Radical Publishing Project director, and Clifton Meador, Interim Chair of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department, will present a talk titled "Artists' Books Reborn: New Platforms and the Meaning of Materiality."  School of Media Arts Dean Robin Bargar will join them remotely for an introductory presentation to a conference satellite event "Hackday at swissnex" on Saturday, October 26, titled "Human Readable: Radical Publishing and Mobile Literacy."

Books in Browsers is a meeting place for software developers and innovators in digital publishing to showcase and present the outcomes of their research and to present new products they are bringing to market. Conference attendees include representatives from major publishers, academic institutions and industry representatives worldwide. The satellite event, "Hackday at swissnex," brings in top developers and programmers by invitation to spend time working collaboratively in a laboratory environment.

Radical Publishing Forum: Program One

Monday, October 28, 12:30-2:30 p.m.  (Central)
Teleconference studio, 33 East Congress

"Radical Publishing: Reading the Future"
A telesymposium originating from swissnex San Francisco

Our San Francisco/Chicago telepresence symposium series will connect faculty and students at the college with cutting-edge software developers and project leaders in the field. The series will offer a broad perspective, featuring analysis and reports on promising innovations now in development that are likely to impact the future of online-distributed and network-connected publishing. 

Fresh on the heels of the fourth annual Books in Browsers conference at San Francisco’s Internet Archive, our featured guest for this first program will be Peter Brantley, Books in Browsers conference organizer. Peter will be interviewed by School of Media Arts representatives Steve Woodall and Clifton Meador, who will also report on their experience of the conference. Robin Bargar, Dean of the School of Media Arts, will anchor the proceedings in Chicago.

We've chosen this occasion to start our series with a broad overview of the field. The work of the presenters and attendees at Books in Browsers has far-reaching implications for the future of visual art, literature, journalism, librarianship, business, and communication systems – a list that extends to the roots of our culture, with an impact on nearly every field of study at Columbia College. All are engaged in a mission to create the forms and practices that will emerge to further transform how we learn and engage with the world.

Future programs will focus on specific topics, including journalism, literary publishing, photography, and fine art publishing.

Peter Brantley, convener of the Books in Browsers conference, is Director of Scholarly Communication at Hypothes.is, a San Francisco startup that aims to implement standards to verify, through open peer review, the quality of information found on the Internet. Previously, he served as director of the BookServer Project at the Internet Archive, where he developed new business models in distributing digital books, and fostered the publication, distribution, and access to digital content based on open formats and standards. He is a contributing editor to Publishers Weekly, and previously served on the board of the International Digital Publishing Forum, the standards-setting body for digital books.

Peter has thought deeply about one of the essential components for broad annotation of the world's knowledge: open peer review. His 2012 report for a Andrew W. Mellon-funded study on the requirements for implementing open, online peer-to-peer review reads very close to a system functional specification.