CPC Researchers at Coventry to lead £2.8 million Project To Develop Open, Not-For-Profit Community-Owned Ecosystem For Open Access Monographs

Research England and Centre for Postdigital Cultures Press Release 

Research England awards £2.2m to project to improve and increase open access publishing

Professor Gary Hall and Dr. Janneke Adema, from the Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC), are to lead on a major new Research England funded project. Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) has been awarded £2.2 million from the Research England Development (RED) Fund, which supports innovation in research and knowledge exchange in higher education that offers significant public benefits. 

COPIM is a strategic international partnership led by Coventry University, consisting of universities (Birkbeck, University of London, Lancaster University, and Trinity College, Cambridge), established scholar-led open access presses (represented through the ScholarLed consortium, which consists of Mattering Press, meson press, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, and punctum books), libraries (UCSB Library, Loughborough University Library), infrastructure providers (DOAB, Jisc) and international membership organisations (The Digital Preservation Coalition). 

COPIM will develop and build the critical—yet still missing—underlying modular components to support the sustainable publication of open access books. As such it will develop a significantly enriched not-for-profit and open source ecosystem for open access book publishing that will support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly within Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) in the UK but also internationally. The project’s key objectives are to: 

  •        Remove hurdles preventing new open access book initiatives to emerge and existing publishers to adopt open access workflows
  •        Develop consortial, institutional, and other funding systems
  •        Showcase alternative business models for open access books
  •        Support the creation of, interaction with and reuse of  in all their variation and complexity
  •        Conduct knowledge transfer to stakeholders through various pilots 

COPIM will benefit the general public, the economy, and the creative industries by maximising the dissemination and impact of world-leading research. The adoption of COPIM’s infrastructures, business models, preservation structures, re-use strategies, and governance procedures, will enable economic sustainability and enhanced capacities, at smaller and larger scales, for open access books. It offers HE institutions and HSS researchers sustainable publishing models they control, increased publishing options, and cost-reductions. 

Hosting COPIM is a testament to Coventry University’s thought leadership and commitment to open science. The University is currently investing over £250m in research staff and infrastructure establishing a robust and innovative research portfolio. The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) is a flagship initiative in this broader investment programme. It was launched in early 2018 with the mission to conduct world-leading research and promote critical practices in open access publishing building on Coventry University’s long-standing research excellence in Open Media. 

The CPC, directed by COPIM’s PI Hall, has a reputation for supporting cutting-edge open access publishing projects. Its researchers, including Co-PI Adema, have established new forms of collective organisation (e.g. Open Humanities Press, The Radical Open Access Collective) and innovative business models for open access books, while being at the forefront of experimental publishing. 

Professor Gary Hall, Executive Director Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

“As a community-led consortium of universities, presses, libraries, and infrastructure providers, we are delighted with Research England’s investment in COPIM, supporting the project’s aims to address those key hurdles, around funding, production, dissemination, discovery, reuse, and archiving, that are currently standing in the way of the wider adoption and impact of open access books” 

Dr Janneke Adema, Assistant Professor, Co-Principal Investigator

"COPIM is an exciting opportunity to push for open infrastructures, for community-led governance, and for the realignment of relations between not-for-profit institutions in the realm of monograph publishing. It will support the sustainable publication of open access books, delivering major improvements and innovations in the infrastructures, systems, and workflows being used by open access book publishers and by those publishers making a transition to open access books" 

For more information about COPIM please contact us at

Professor Gary Hall:

Dr. Janneke Adema:



Pirate Care conference, 19th-20th June 2019, Coventry 


Centre for Postdigital Cultures 2nd Annual Conference
19 & 20 June 2019 Square One, Coventry University

This event is free and open to all, but places are limited. Please register at the link below.


The Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, UK invites you to its second annual conference, which will explore the phenomenon of 'Pirate Care'. The term Pirate Care condenses two processes that are particularly visible at present. On the one hand, basic care provisions that were previously considered cornerstones of social life are now being pushed towards illegality, as a consequence of geopolitical reordering and the marketisation of social services. At the same time new, technologically-enabled care networks are emerging in opposition to this drive toward illegality. The conference will feature projects providing various forms of pirate care ranging from refugee assistance, healthcare, reproductive care, childcare, access to public transport, access to knowledge, a number of reflections from and on such practices, and a film programme.

Projects: Cassandra Press | Docs Not Cops + Medact +#PatientsNotPassports | The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective | Memory of the World | Planka | Power Makes Us Sick (PMS) | Sea-Watch | Soprasotto pirate kindergarten | WeMake Milan + | Conflict, Memory, Displacement project.

Participants: Agustina Andreoletti (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) | Mijke van der Drift (Goldsmiths / Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) | Taraneh Fazeli (curatorial fellow, Jan van Eyck Academie and Canaries collective) | Kirsten Forkert (BCU) + Janna Graham (Goldsmiths) + Victoria Mponda (Conflict, Memory, Displacement project) | Maddalena Fragnito (Soprasotto) | Valeria Graziano (CPC) | Derly Guzman |Toufic Haddad (Kenyon Institute) | Jelka Kretzschmar + Franziska Wallner (Sea-Watch) | Andrea Liu (Goldsmiths) | Marcell Mars + Tomislav Medak (CPC) | Power Makes Us Sick (PMS) | Gilbert B. Rodman (University of Minnesota) | Zoe Romano (WeMake Milan / + Serena Cangiano (SUPSI) | Deborah Streahle (Yale) | Nick Titus (Four Thieves Vinegar Collective) | Kim Trogal (UCA) | Ana Vilenica (LSBU) | Kandis Williams (Cassandra Press) | Kitty Worthing (Docs Not Cops) + James Skinner (Medact)| John Willbanks (Sage Bionetworks/ FasterCures)

Films by Kelly Gallagher(Syracuse University)



.................    DAY 1 - 19th June

10:00-10:30    Registration and refreshments
10:30-11:00    Welcome and Introduction: Gary Hall + Valeria Graziano
11:00-12:45    Session 1: CRIMINALIZATION OF CARE (Chair: Valeria Graziano)
Kirsten Forkert (BCU) + Janna Graham (Goldsmiths) + Victoria Mponda (Conflict, Memory, Displacement project): Social media and refugee solidarity networks in the face of state failures
Jelka Kretzschmar + Franziska Wallner (Sea-Watch) : Pirates of the Mediterranean – care on the high seas
Kitty Worthing (Docs Not Cops) + James Skinner (Medact): #Patients Not Passports toolkit

12:45-14:00    LUNCH

14:00-15:45    Session 2: HACKING HEALTHCARE (Chair: Adrienne Evans)
John Willbanks (Sage Bionetworks/ FasterCures): Open Science, DIY Bio, and Cheap Data (video conference)
Zoe Romano (WeMake Milan / + Serena Cangiano (SUPSI): Rebelling with Care
Nick Titus (The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective): I'm my own primary care provider: Taking back control with diy medicine in the 21st Century.

15:45-16:15    COFFEE BREAK

16:15-18:00    Session 3: SOCIAL REPRODUCTION: WITHIN AND AGAINST (Chair: Marcell Mars)
Maddalena Fragnito: Soprasotto, a pirate kindergarten
Toufic Haddad (Kenyon Institute): Excursions in Pirate Care in Palestine
Deborah Streahle (Yale): Reclaiming the Dead: The Politics of Home Funerals in United States
18:00-18:30    DRINKS RECEPTION
18:30-19:30    FILM, CREATIVITY, RESISTANCE: Screening of works by experimental animator Kelly Gallagher (Syracuse University) + artist talk in conversation with Miriam De Rosa

.................    DAY 2 - 20th June

10:00-12:30    Session 4: PIRACY AS CARE pt 1 (Chair: Kaja Marczewska)
Gilbert B. Rodman (University of Minnesota): Whose Culture? Our Culture!: Pirates as Cultural Care/Takers
Andrea Liu (Goldsmiths): Artist Strategies to Enact Interventions of Pirate Care
Kandis Williams (Cassandra Press): Fusing Ethics and Aesthetics, a question of what we owe to future generations: piracy, collage, redistribution and messy dissemination - the work of CASSANDRA PRESS
(10 min. break)
Agustina Andreoletti (Academy of Media Arts Cologne): Shadow Libraries: Using Art to Resist
Marcell Mars + Tomislav Medak (CPC): Against innovation – Compromised institutional agency and acts of custodianship

12:30-14:00    LUNCH

14:00-15:45    Session 5: ETHICS OF COLLECTIVE CARING (Chair: Janneke Adema)
Taraneh Fazeli (curatorial fellow, Jan van Eyck Academie and Canaries collective): Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying
Power Makes Us Sick (PMS): Illegalism, self-defense and accountability as strategies of community care
Mijke van der Drift (Goldsmiths / Royal Academy of Art, The Hague/ School for New Dance, Amsterdam): Caring for Transformative Justice.

15:45-16:15    COFFEE BREAK

16:15-17:45    Session 6: SUBVERTING INFRASTRUCTURES (Chair: Peter Conlin)
Kim Trogal (UCA): Confronting unjust urban infrastructures: repairing water connections as acts of care
Derly Guzman (Planka): Freeriding Insurance and the global free public transport movement
Ana Vilenica: Between autonomy and regulation: Grassroots pirate care in the external borderscape of the EU (video conference)

17:45-18:00    Closing remarks


Delivered the Same Day: The Post Office and, June 3rd, Coventry

Delivered the Same Day: The Post Office and

Seminar Series: Work, Property, Metrics
June 3rd, 2019, 11:00-17:00
Lanchester Library, Teaching Room, 3rd floor

Post Office research group, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University

External Speakers: !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Jamie Woodcock

CPC researchers: Janneke Adema, Peter Conlin, Valeria Graziano, Gary Hall, Kaja Marczewska, Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak

Historically the postal service has solidified as a national and transnational infrastructure owned by the public, for the benefit of the public. It has played a central role in organising long-distance communication - mail, telegraph, telephony - facilitating, amongst other things, the regular delivery of written correspondence, the dissemination of printed matter, the expansion of the public sphere, but also the surveillance of communication and the coordination of war.

Alongside being political, the postal service was also an intensely technological institution. It has laid down the postal paths, network topologies, and routing protocols for later communications networks to follow. In fact, in the UK, the Post Office has had its own Research Station since 1909, helping develop the first transatlantic radiotelephone service and the world's first programmable electronic digital computer

No less important is the fact that the postal service also created a material distribution system. In the very period when the communicational infrastructures became deregulated, privatised and disinvested, on the back of these services and their delivery networks arose the digital platforms - most prominently the informational-distributive Behemoth that is the

This event will explore the contrast between the transformative role the postal service as a public institution has had - and continues to have in spite of its creeping privatisation and erosion - and the disruptive role is now playing by offering cloud computing infrastructure, furthering platformisation, automating digital network services, and casualising the labour inside and outside of of its own operations.

I. Post Post Office: the Afterlives of Postal Networks

11:00-10:15  Gary Hall: introducing the Post Office

11:15-12:00  !Mediengruppe Bitnik: Postal Machine Decision (artist talk)

12:00-12:45  Kaja Marczewska: Postal Reforms and the Crisis of Grassroots Publishing
Janneke Adema & Kaja Marczewska: Post-it. Academic Post Card


II. work, property and metrics in the logistical circuit

13:30-13:45  Valeria Graziano: Automation as Domestication

13:45-14:15  Marcell Mars & Tomislav Medak: The Anatomy of

14:15-14:45  Jamie Woodcock:,, and Videogames

14:45-15:15  Peter Conlin: Incontrovertible Landscapes and Vanishing Points: Logistic Spaces, Opacity and Obscurity

15:30-16:30  Discussion


Janneke Adema is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. In her research, she explores the future of scholarly communications and experimental forms of knowledge production, where her work incorporates processual and performative publishing, radical open access, scholarly poethics, media studies, book history, cultural studies, and critical theory. She explores these issues in depth in her various publications, but also by supporting a variety of scholar-led, not-for-profit publishing projects, including the Radical Open Access Collective, Open Humanities Press, and Post Office Press (POP). You can follow her research, as it develops, on

Peter Conlin is a media lecturer and research associate at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. He is currently developing a book project entitled Evitable: The De-obsolescent Future of Media and Urban Space (Routledge Press).

Valeria Graziano is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University. She is co-editor with Kim Trogal of ‘Repair Matters’, a special issue of the ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organisation(2019) and convenor of the international project Pirate Care (

Gary Hall is a writer, philosopher and cultural theorist working (and making) in the areas of digital media, politics and technology. He is Professor of Media in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Coventry University, UK, where he co-directs the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. He is the author of a number of books, including The Inhumanist Manifesto (Techne Lab, 2017), Pirate Philosophy (MIT Press, 2016), The Uberfication of the University (Minnesota UP, 2016), Digitize This Book! (Minnesota UP, 2008), and Culture in Bits (Continuum, 2002).

Kaja Marczewska is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, UK. Her research is positioned at the intersection of publishing and book cultures, cultural studies, and experimental arts and writing. She is the author of This is not a copy (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), Book-mobility: cultures of small press distribiution (CUP 2020), and a co-editor of The Contemporary Small Press: Making Publishing Visible (Palgrave 2020). In 2018, she was a Reese Fellow for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas, Terra Foundation fellow, and The Getty Research Institute visiting fellow, and will be taking up visiting fellowships at Sallie Bingham Centre, Duke University and at Michigan State University later this year.

Marcell Mars is a research associate at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University (UK). Mars is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb. His research “Ruling Class Studies”, started at the Jan van Eyck Academy (2011), examines state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence created by corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay. He is a doctoral student at Digital Cultures Research Lab at Leuphana University, writing a thesis on “Foreshadowed Libraries”. Together with Tomislav Medak he founded Memory of the World/Public Library, for which he develops and maintains software infrastructure.

Tomislav Medak is a doctoral student at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University. Medak is a member of the theory and publishing team of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb, as well as an amateur librarian for the Memory of the World/Public Library project. His research focuses on technologies, capitalist development, and postcapitalist transition, particularly on economies of intellectual property and unevenness of technoscience. Together with Marcell Mars he coedited Public Library and Guerrilla Open Access. 

!Mediengruppe Bitnik are the artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo. They are contemporary artists working on and with the Internet. Their practice expands from the digital to affect physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. In early 2013 !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent a parcel to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. The parcel contained a camera which broadcast its journey through the postal system live on the internet. They describe «Delivery for Mr. Assange» as a SYSTEM_TEST and a Live Mail Art Piece. They have also been known for sending a bot called «Random Darknet Shopper» on a three-month shopping spree in the Darknets where it randomly bought objects like Ecstasy and had them sent directly to the gallery space.  

Jamie Woodcock is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is the author of Marx at the Arcade (2019, Haymarket) about videogames, and Working The Phones (2017, Pluto), a study of a call centre in the UK - both inspired by the workers' inquiry. His research focuses on labour, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organising, and videogames. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Belowand Historical Materialism


Work, property, metrics is a series of seminars, workshops, and talks investigating the transformations of work, property relations, and mechanisms of social control resulting from the processes of digitisation, computerisation, and automation. These transformations are reflected in a crisis of institutions responsible for the universal access to social goods and services: employment, care, education, housing etc. With our research activities we want to investigate, support, and develop practices emerging in response to this crisis - ranging from alternative organisational models, collective forms of work, all the way to refusal. In its first round of events, this series is focusing on the institutions responsible for the provision of communication, information, and education - the postal service, the library, and the university.

Post Office is an exercise in imagining counter-institutions in response to the crisis of those very institutions. It is an endeavour in devising practices that collectively re-configure public infrastructures against the onslaught of managerial neoliberalism and technological acceleration. As a research collective (connected to the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University), it is a horizontal experiment in knowledge production and action situated between theory and technology, politics and poetics, the inside and the outside of the university. Post Office follows a methodology of affirmative critique. Our projects are both critical and performative: actively changing the situations in which they intervene while helping devise protagonist-centered approaches to organisation, methodology, and technology. We are involved in changing scholarly and creative writing, publishing, libraries, open access, universities, cultural production, the humanities, technologies, and labour relations, and want to create alternatives for a more just, diverse, and equitable future.


Experimental Publishing II – Critique, Intervention, And Speculation

A half-day symposium with talks by Mark Amerika (UC Boulder) and Nick Thurston (University of Leeds) 

2:15-5:30pm May 28
Centre for Postdigital Cultures
Teaching Room
3rd Floor Lanchester Library
Coventry University
Registration (free):   

In 2019 and 2020, the Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) will be hosting a series of symposia exploring contemporary approaches to experimental publishing. Over the course of the series, we will ask questions about the role and nature of experimentation in publishing, about ways in which experimental publishing has been formulated and performed in the past, and ways in which it shapes our publishing imaginaries at present. This series aims to conceptualise and map what experimental publishing is or can be and to explore what lies behind our aims and motivations to experiment through publishing. As such, it forms the first activity within the CPC’s new Post-Publishing programme, an initiative committed to exploring iterative and processual forms of publishing and their role in reconceptualising publishing as an integral part of the research and writing process, i.e. as that which inherently shapes it. 


Mark Amerika, a Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado, has exhibited his artwork internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and The ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.  He is the author of many books including The Kafka Chronicles (FC2), Sexual Blood (FC2), remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press—, META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press), remixthecontext (Routledge), and Locus Solus (An Inappropriate Translation Composed in a 21st Century Manner) (Counterpath Press).

Nick Thurston is a writer and editor who makes artworks. His most recent books include the co-edited collection, Post-Digital Cultures of the Far Right (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2018), and an experimental Spanish-language translation of his last poetic book by NO_LIBROS (Barcelona, 2019). Recent and current exhibitions include shows at Transmediale (Berlin, 2018), Q21 (Vienna, 2018), MuHKA (Antwerp, 2018) and HMKV (Dortmund, 2019).


Experimental publishing can be positioned as an intervention, a mode of critique, and a tool of speculation. It is a way of thinking about writing and publishing today that has at its centre a commitment to questioning and breaking down distinctions between practice and theory, criticality and creativity, and between the scholarly and the artistic.

In this series of events we propose to explore contemporary approaches to experimental publishing as:

  • an ongoing critique of our current publishing systems and practices, deconstructing existing hegemonies and questioning the fixtures in publishing to which we have grown accustomed—from the book as a stable object to single authorship and copyright.
  • an affirmative practice which offers means to re-perform our existing writerly, research, and publishing institutions and practices through publishing experiments.
  • a speculative practice that makes possible an exploration of different futures for writing and research, and the emergence of new, potentially more inclusive forms, genres, and spaces of publishing, open to ambivalence and failure.

This take on experimentation can be understood as a heterogeneous, unpredictable, and uncontained process, one that leaves the critical potentiality of the book as a medium open to new intellectual, political, and economic contingencies.


Thermal Objects and The Nature of Data Centers: new double issue of Culture Machine

We are excited to announce the publication of the latest edition of the open access journal Culture Machine ( This is a special double-issue, consisting of:

Culture Machine Vol. 17 (2019):  Thermal Objects, edited by Elena Beregow

Culture Machine Vol. 18 (2019): The Nature of Data Centers, edited by Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

The contents of each issue are provided below.

Established in 1999, Culture Machine is now edited principally by Gabriela Méndez Cota and Rafico Ruiz. Its aim is to seek out and promote scholarly work that engages provocatively with contemporary technical objects, processes and imaginaries from the North and South. Building on its open ended, non-instrumental, and exploratory approach to critical theory, Culture Machine is actively calling for creative proposals that contest and come up against globalizing technical narratives and the environmental logics of extraction.

Culture Machine is part of Open Humanities Press


Vol. 17: Thermal Objects, edited by Elena Beregow


Editorial: Theorizing Temperatures and the Social − Elena Beregow

Time, Temperature and its Informational Turn – Wolfgang Ernst
Hot and Cold Techniques in the Longue Durée of Media − Erhard Schüttpelz
Cooked or Fermented? The Thermal Logic of Social Transformation − Elena Beregow
Thermocultures of Memory – Samir Bhowmik
Natural Ice and the Emerging Cryopolis: A Historical Perspective on Urban Cold Infrastructure – Paula Schönach
Infernal Machinery: Thermopolitics of the Explosion − Nigel Clark
Thermal Violence: Heat Rays, Sweatboxes and the Politics of Exposure − Nicole Starosielski
As ‘index and metaphor’: Migration and the Thermal Imaginary in Richards Mosse’s Incoming − Niall Martin
Distance Runners as Thermal Objects: Temperature Work, Somatic Learning and Thermal Attunement – John Hockey and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Posthuman Dance: Body Heart and Haptic Intimacy in ORA – Hilary Bergen
Thermal Envelopes: Heat and Warmth in Installation Art − Gunnar Schmidt
Performative Raw Clay Practices and Ceramic Firing Techniques − Agustina Andreoletti



Vol. 18: The Nature of Data Centers, edited by Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

Editorial − Mél Hogan and Asta Vonderau

Resurrection from Bunkers and Data Centers − Adam Fish and Bradley L. Garrett
Emplacing Data Within Imperial Histories: Imagining Iceland as Data Centers’ ‘Natural’ Home − Alix Johnson
Silicon Forest and Server Farms: The (Urban) Nature of Digital Capitalism in the Pacific Northwest − Anthony M Levenda and Dillon Mahmoudi
The Second Coming: Google and Internet Infrastructure – Vicki Mayer
An Apple a Day: Listening to Data Centre Site Selection through a Sonospheric Investigation − Matt Parker
Managing Carbon and Data Flows: Fungible Forms of Mediation in the Cloud − Anne Pasek
The Data Center as Technological Wilderness − A.R.E Taylor
Data Centres as Impermanent Infrastructures − Julia Velkova
Storing Data, Infrastructuring the Air: Thermocultures of the Cloud − Asta Vonderau
When Infrastructure Becomes Failure: A material analysis of the limitations of cloud gaming services − Sean RM Willett


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