The Point of Publishing

The Anonymity of the Centre

Category: inside out

8.9

What happens at point of sale complicates how we peruse and acquire, requiring manoeuvres through real and unreal offerings, negotiating differences, price points, currencies, tax rates, decimal points of discounts, testing the degrees of difference that allow restrictions on transmission of meaning.

Browse there, buy here, store in another place, keep, dispose, admit or deny, ship from islands and enclaves, obscure or advantageous tax points. All eyed up by governments and regulators, busy business skips between the satisfaction of customer appetites and commercial goals.

Ends of the telescope are interchangeable when writing histories. Blind eyes are used when appropriate.

8.8

Grid lines, points of intersection and reference,  starting points: topography, cartography, map and aerial vision provide palimpsests of meaning, images, locations, human effects, that tell a story in space and time, showing changes of nature, use and ownership, overwritten by digital records.

One text is a counterpoint to the other, published as proximal stimuli dictate, creating warp and weft of culture clothing.  Each addition purposefully placed in the context of a publishing tradition is now smeared with markings from the thrown-together, the incomplete.

Publishing is not everything they say it is.

8.7

There are things that rest inside the publication and those that lie beyond.  Spread over countries and continents as well as in the ligatures and synapses, there’s a multitude of structures and designs, features and benefits, add-ons and take-aways.  Relevance can be reviled, revered, rescued.

Even if the intention is to copy or repeat paradigms of publishing, a thorough inspection sometimes requires scratching the surface to determine qualities or stepping back a little to gauge the size and quantity.

Mundane metadata is the core of this, but the flesh of the entire organism has much more to offer.

8.6

Proselytising or passion can take any message to the outside.  Part of this is done with readings, shows, performances, that are now part of the dipping in, dipping out, reaching near to saturation point.

Experts and those they serve tend towards deconstructed digital relicts:  written down and may be used against you.  What most think deleted, disappeared and gone like the youth or dotage that spawned it, lies haunting, spectral.

Digital legacies, granted or assumed, do not reflect lives and written records through the eyes of family, friends, acquaintances, enemies, individuals.  They are determined by non-knowers, non-carers, non-discriminators.

8.5

Machines translate to give standard published versions, built not on the experience and sensibility of a translator or a reader, but crowd-sourced from all translators and readers in a mish-mash of meaning.  Algorithms have finite sources and variations, and alembicated processes solidify results to no purpose.

Publications can pervert the presentation of detail but not the thoughts of people.  Stick with humans.  They validate the local, where town and county media counterbalance blanket localisation brought about by versioning and aggregation.

Publishing in all conceivable languages and argots increases useful comparisons, engagement not possible from non-human intelligence.

8.4

Exchanging languages cannot mean equivalence or pure negotiation, but recognition of the between-two-languages state where new meaning makes tensions irresolvable, creating understanding by paralleling differences rather than providing the less satisfying definite answers.

With no language perfectly mastered, a norm of translingualism shows possibilities and extends the limits of chaos, humility, diffidence.  Translation contributes to a more complete interpretation, even in languages half-known.

The reader never gets it all right in mother or other tongue. Different lives and loves suggest different meanings and conclusions.

8.3

Publishing happens at a place, with real or cyber topography. A locus of origin can be disguised, unacknowledged, where once, like legal registration and deposit, it was required by custom or by law. On the record, reminding of traditions of openness and exploration, the place of publication conjures a community of this daring, done in and for public spaces.

Places we can go to or avoid; native habitat, digging in as occupiers, passing through or flying over.  Easy or hard places offer possible pleasures, rewards, dangers and risks.

There’s a chance to invest and profit: reputation, influence and a big bank balance. Or a chance to dare and suffer: solidarity, fear, courage and resolution.

8.2

Voices, manuscripts come out of drawers and onto shelves, move through this or that checkpoint, take a journey across a physical or political boundary.

Somersaults in time move dated texts in and out of currency, back from the future and forward from what’s long been scripted and set. Timelessness of everything now cheats the death of the book and bookishness, preserving without judgment but not without prejudice.

Daggers, crosses and stars direct the reader to another meaning, to the recently or never dead.  The many crossing points in the text, print not linear, betray the hypertext not so free, scheming like the cookie monsters of the now so structured web.  Spiders with plans.

8.1

Publishing takes place at a time, in time, a real time as real as real-time.

Texts and images reflecting the passing of time: replicated, revised, renewed, replaced, rejected.  The dates, times, zones take time from the minutes, days, weeks, months, years that make up time: calendars, schedules, expectations, records, histories.

Dotting the is and crossing the ts, watching ps and qs, policing the point sizes and making sure of the imposition liberates rather than constrains the purpose of publication, making all time shine with the virtue of the visible now.