Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] Next Step Publishing: FakePress Statement

Dear yasminers,

our statement as FakePress lives at the crossroad of the other
discussants' statements. Intertwined within the intersectual meanders
of eXpanded design (Canevacci), augmented architecture, our reflection
takes a complementary perpective. Within the magmatic, reactive,
animated editorial landscape outlined by the other discussants, we
would like to focus on the specific theme of future of publishing

Our observation is partial since we are part of a strange publishing
house. Why should we create a publishing house? Publishing has become
a central activity in the contemporary era. Goods we buy every day in
supermarkets are complited filled with information (e.g.: barcodes),
and even our public identities (on blog, sites, socialnetworks)
require a continuous activity of publication.

FakePress is a think tank that aims at exploring the next steps in
publishing practices and tools, and investigate about the
opportunities given by location based technologies and by novel
approaches to knowledge dissemination, communication and expression.
Our not-books (or fake-books, if preferred) are platforms that enable
the expression of multiple points of view, an emergent, recombinant
poliphony in continuous mutation. We promote the term "augmented
truth" in a world that is completely encoded, indicating the
possibility to create stratifications on ordinary truth, opening it up
to new interpretations and continuous re-codifications. This is our
political-poetical statement as publishers.

While in the past the work of the publisher could be described as
reviewing manuscripts, editing, marketing and distributing books
through booksellers around the world, we are wondering what changes
when networked people access, produce, share, extract and remix
contents through a variety of devices. What happens when interfaces
and enabling technologies transform places, spaces and objects in
"surfaces" for publishing. How a publishing house may be still
relevant when contents are at the centre of a potentially infinite
relationship with other text and multimedia objects, and are accessed
through paper and digital devices, via web, on mobile phones as well
as through architecture and objects?

Let's make an example to describe what we are investigating at the moment.

Imagine a washing machine, a white washing machine like the one you
may have in your house. Imagine that there is a mobile app that
recognize physical components of the washing machine and retrieve
contents on demand such as instructions on how to use the washing
machine or tips to foster sustainable washing practices. Well, who is
going to publish this content? A group of activists could be
interested in publishing content to foster education on sustainability
and may suggest to use natural detergents. A company producing
chemical detergents could be willing to publish some content to
promote their detergents; some consumers may want to publish their
reviews on the washing machine and, of course, the washing machine
factory may want to highlight the distinctive features of its washing
machine; its competitors would be willing to publish some alerts that
say that there are other (potentially) better washing machines
available on the market. A magazine like Wallpaper may end up
reviewing the washing machine and the national consortium of washing
machine producers want to add its positive review. The white washing
machine (as billions of other physical objects) may become the arena
for new kinds of publishing strategies (and battles) and almost every
object could start hosting additional contents.

This is an extremely interesting time and some publishers (like our
company) are wondering if and how they can re-shape their traditional
mission in order to continue to represent a fundamental crown in the
publishing engine. As a publishing house we are still trying to
understand potential business models that guarantee an economic
viability for this kind of augmented reality publications.

FakePress' experiences in one and a half year of existence have
produced a quantity of concepts, projects and technological
infrastructures (and, obviously, books!) that is quite amazing, and it
highlighted how this is substantially a research and experimentation
process: return on investment is not always guaranteed, but the
motivations, desires and importance of experimenting new grammars and
"new ways of writing on the world" still remain our priority.

Therefore we were wondering how the list imagines the future for a
publishing house that wants to explore augmented reality
(location-based, object-based, multi-author, open-ended, cross-medial
Thanks and a big hug,

(Federico Ruberti, Luca Simeone, Oriana Persico, Cary Yungmee Hendrickson)

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