From Exclusion to Autonomy: Publishing as a Spatializing Act

  • Publishing can also form spheres in which (counter-) discourse is produced and spread by (counter-)publics: ...those individuals or groups whose voices would otherwise be suppressed and marginalized by the existing social order, can find a shared thinking-frame, a mutual base for action, and a common voice. They may imagine, devise and performatively anticipate alternative publics and public spaces and partially also realize them.
  • ‘It is imperative that we publish, not only as a means to counter the influence of a hegemonic “public”, but also to reclaim the space in which we imagine ourselves and our collectivity.
  • Publishing as making a public” by creating a space for the circulation of discourse.
  • Publishing sites conceived like this can be seen as spatial proxies, decoys or surrogates. They are a sort of ‘ghostly presences’ produced by those structures of belief and technological systems they are ultimately challenging. They are weaving within the negative space produced by those systems but also exceeding them, since they not only allow a diagnosis of the contemporary political, societal and technological grounds but are also ‘laboratories’ to develop a potential set of tools for their transformation.
  • By freeing publishing processes from their ‘ideological frills’ and reducing them to their structural foundations, Bhaskar distances himself from a prevalent notion of publishing. He rejects the slick-ified outcome, the definite result. Instead he harnesses the potential of the un- or not-yet-defined elements inherent in every publishing process.
  • Rather, if publishing draws on its emancipatory potential, those discursive communities – in which knowledge and action are jointly developed as a social good
  • along with the content, which is prerequisite for publishing, the activities of filtering and amplification are the constituent elements of every act of publishing.
  • Filtering, is a collaborative process of thinking about why and when information is gathered, revealed, distributed, manipulated or suppressed. It questions the economic systems, the technological, political, and social mechanisms underlying a specific publishing undertaking, and it demands that the actors involved in a publishing process negotiate their own position and liability within these structures.