Collaborative Futures Book Sprint

Xerography every man's brainpicker heralds the times of instant publishing. Anybody can now become both author and publisher. Take any books on any subject and custom-make your own book by simply xeroxing a chapter from this one, a chapter from that one - instant steal!

As new technologies come into play, people become less and less convinced of the importance of self expression. Teamwork succeeds private effort. 
[Marshall McLuhan, 1967]

Between 17 – 23 January, the Book Sprint, an intensive and innovative methodology for the rapid development of books, was hosted by transmediale, together with FLOSS Manuals in the run-up to the festival: Six people were locked in a room in Berlin for five days to produce a book with the sole guiding meme being the title – Collaborative Futures. They had to create the concept, write the book, and output it to print in 5 days.

Participants: Alan Toner, Marta Peirano, Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv, Aleksandar Erkalovic and Adam Hyde.

> Update: They made it, here is the book

And here is what Adam Hyde, initiator of FLOSS Manuals and the Book Sprint, sent us just as the production time was about to reach its end:

This book was written in a collaborative Book Sprint by six core authors over a five-day period in January 2010. It was developed under the aegis of transmediale, and executed by FLOSS Manuals. The six starting authors each come from different perspectives, as are the contributors who were adding to this living body of text.

As we began the collaborative process of crafting this book on the future of collaboration, we realized we were all working from a set of assumptions, many of them shared, some of them divergent. We were talking about a specific form of collaboration, specific media of collaboration, and specific goals of collaboration. And we were talking
about a specific history of collaboration, and a correspondingly specific set of futures.

To begin looking at those futures, we look back to others who have
looked into the future. Marshall McLuhan's quote above, from "The Medium is the MESSAGE" give us our first clue about all of these assumptions we are making. We are talking about media, we are talking about freedom, we are talking about technologies, and we are talking about culture. McLuhan's prophetic utterance, several decades before the photocopier fueled the punk cut-up design aesthetic, or the profusion of home-brew zines, is still a prophecy unmet. We are still chasing it. Mainstream culture continues to consolidate around block buster films, books, and music. Copyright restrictions make it harder and harder to exercise the creative power of these reproduction tools without breaking increasingly restrictive intellectual property rights laws. But one thing is unanimously true: "Teamwork succeeds private effort."

Supported by the ÏMA Design Village