Recuperating, reprocessing, relaunching: after BookCamp Kosmopolis

Bookcamp Kosmopolis BCN ’10.

When I talked to Juan Insua and his team about the possibility of organizing a BookCamp in Barcelona I never thought the initiative would be so well received and the result so effervescent. My experience at the Toronto Bookcamp 2009 allowed me to live through an unconference, to discover its mechanisms, to follow the emerging discussion and to make many contacts with people in the industry. Some, like Stephanie Troeth were encouraged enough to cross the Atlantic and organize their own sessions at BCK10!

The session I coordinated wanted to reflect on the evolution from the papyrus and clay tablets to the iPad. The objective was to discuss the evolution of interfaces in reading and writing in a long term. Basis. Mutations that previously took centuries (from the tablet to the papyrus, from the papyrus to the codex) now happen in less than a generation. During the meeting other issues related to textual interfaces arose, from the real possibility of having devices to access the network to the risks concerning digital text in the future … Will we be able to read a PDF or an HTML document in two centuries time?

BCK10 consisted on five simultaneous sessions per hour and two alternatives: a deep dive into any of them or switching from one to another. Since I could not participate at them all, I attended the one coordinated by Mara Balestrini, that focused on mobile devices, reading and mBooks and the one coordinated by Javier Rodríguez, the author of Bibliofrenia. At the Balestrini session the application for Ipad Alice in Wonderland was the star. Being able to see this product fed the debate and the desire to experiment with new devices and interactive formats. I was eager to hear the conversations of other meetings, such as Project Archinhand, the Mashup session dedicated to books or the widely attended session on Illustrated books for children and new technologies. Luckily I could find out what had been discussed throughTwitter / Twubs and through interviews. What follows here is a very personal selection of interesting tweets:

@kosmopolis_CCCB #bck10 Alguns editors ja parlen més amb el terme “app” que el de “llibre”

@pdavenne Habla un señor con libreta y boli sobre lo malos que son los mashup books #asinosepuede #bck10

@librosfera #bck10 ¿Es deseable que los distribuidores (Amazon) se “salten” a la editorial para negociar directamente con los autores?

@MariaFa quizás es un cambio de paradigma…. Nunca hubo tantos ipads en cccb! #bck10

@librosfera #bck10 La GRAN pregunta: ¿son o no son libros? XD

@bydiox Esta tarde o voy al #bck10 o a la AppleStore de La Maquinista a toquetear el MBAir de 11.6″. Difícil decisión.

@panotxa #bck10 l’important, crec, no és si són llibres: el que són de debò són lectures

@lrius: “El libro perdurará por razones tecnol: secuencialidad, el.paratextuales, legibilidad, estabilidad, perdurabilidad” J Rodríguez #bck10

@kosmopolis_CCCB #bck10 debat intens a la taula sobre “Llibre il·lustrat”:nadius digitals per als nous suports? “Els nens no neixen ni analògics ni digitals”

@monrodriguez #bck10 llibres com a instrument, llibres com a recurs… Com a objectes artistics s’obre un nou espai d reflexio en la nocio de llibre…

@AticoLibros Sesión de Joaquín Rodríguez RT kosmopolis_CCCB #bck10 Bibliofrenia: “Los libros son un sistema operativo estable”

@silviaclemares: Shakespeare era el pare del mashup perquè recuperava els textos i els transformava #bck10

@gansoypulpo #bck10 Seguro que a Carroll le encantaba su iPad Alice, tanto por la edición como por el código

@rogersegu Xavier Belanche ‘Los disenadores tienen un gran trabajo por hacer siempre y cuando olviden las coordenadas del libro en papel’ #bck10

@pdavenne Me entra la risa cuando se ponen con lo de “el diseñador desaparece/no desaparece” #hablarporhablar #bck10

@marabales: solo ejercitando una voluntad bondadosa y distribuida escamotearemos las estructuras d poder. Una lucha sin combate. Sensaciones post #bck10

@Idealibros #bck10 ¿puede cualquiera autopublicarse y tener éxito sólo en internet? ¿No hay mucho ruido?

@MauriOB: El #bck10, debates +enriquecedores, contenido +interesante, puse a cara a gente de la que soy follower y +gente a la que follow, fué GENIAL!

As you can see (or listen?) the BCK10 was pure polyphony. While there were no apocalyptic speeches à la Eco and Carrière, some participants fought ferociously to support the validity of the “organic” device (Eco dixit) while others were fully affiliated to the digital option. Mutation of literacy interfaces generates speeches, arguments and positions while at the same time they impose renovated commercial, cultural and professional challenges. No actor can remain on the sidelines, the process affects both publishers, authors, educators and readers. A great deal of these issues were part of the conversational agenda at BCK10.

I leave for another time my opinion on the two evening lectures, each one of them unique in its style but both compelling and highly political. Zygmunt Bauman spoke of the inequalities of our world from his wisdom and experience, sharing his concerns and questions, while Lawrence Lessig gave a politically incisive lecture narratively devastating. I think the question that Bauman arose- Who will carry out the transformation? – found a first answer at Lessig’s presentation.

It is very difficult to “summarize” or transmit the “conclusions” of BookCamp BCN 2010. More than difficult: it is impossible. The BookCamp generated a divergence in debate and challenges. Rather than a list of converging conclusions i think we should call it a divergent bang of views and ways to look forward to the future. As the title of this post says, now we (all of us organizers and participants, which should actually be called co-organizers) must recover the talks, reprocess them and re-launch them through other events and new areas of discussion. In other words, we must now identify the patterns that emerged at the sessions, discover unresolved nodes and create opportunities to keep on talking.

And I finish it up with a tweet:

RT@kosmopolis_CCCB La Jornada Kosmopolis ha sido un éxito absoluto, 1500 personas en presencial y otras 1500 online! #bck10

View comments2

  • Cesar Reyes Najera | 26 October 2010

  • Laura | 26 October 2010

Leave a comment

Recuperating, reprocessing, relaunching: after BookCamp Kosmopolis