The Situationist Times and some thoughts on Memefest publishing

The Situationists had an immense influence on Memefest from its very beginnings in 2002. The concepts of détournement and dérive played a big role in developing our own tactics and are still part of Memefest arsenal of tools when we develop public interventions or teach about them.

One of the very important tactics Memefest used is publishing, which we see as a intervention into the public sphere. In 2003 Memefest started a blog, which back than- written in Slovenian language was the first of its kind in Slovenia. It was a regular publication about communication, design and art and their critical relationship to the colonized public sphere. In 2005 we started to regularly publish an English blog. After years of regular publishing, and the implosion of the blogsphere into tiny little self referential clusters of online publications we discovered (again) the printed medium. In its ethos connected to the zine culture, but true to Memefest principles of bridging different cultures of knowledge production our books are a mix of radical and institutional publishing. Here the three bigger book projects: http://memefest.org/en/memebooks/

Another publishing platform that we have developed is our on-line social network- free of embedded surveillance, advertising and hidden forms of value extraction. We do think it is important. As a form or radical self publishing and a small alternative social network it operates modestly but steadily. We have to admit, people, even activists, seem to find it difficult to leave stupid Facebook. We use it too, in intervals and largely for promotional reasons, but we regularly publish on this alternative medium and maintain it.

Than there is the Memeblog, which is used for occasional posts about what we do as well as about what we think. In its best form it is used as a platform to discuss strategic issues or particular topics, which we feel are important and of our great interest. Here we sometimes invite close comrades from our core network for a public discussion.

The Openblog, another publishing channel is here for anyone who has a profile on memefest.org to use as a open blog platform.

It has been a while since all this tools have been designed and put online on our web site. But lately a new discussion has emerged in our network about the web site and some say we should start working on an app. The thing is that memefest.org operates as a slow web. It is not even designed for smart phones. We like it like that but we are keen to extend our reach.

New collaborations are emerging and with them new fields of knowledge stream into the discussions. Cybernetics, digital design, data design to name a few, and we are curious and excited.

Our Memeblog will become more lively again. We plan to start a series of interviews and see venues to than translate them into printed publication via micro publishing projects. And we plan to start working on our next big new book soon, published in collaboration with an independent academic publisher. After a little online publishing break walking in a weird black hole, we got our digital inspiration back- and it feels great.

This is of course inspiring too. The Situationist Times, with video material explaining the history of the zine. And on top of this post, check McKenzie Wark discussing the legacy of the publication. Here you go and come back to this place for more soon!



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