[Open Design + Hardware] CfP Journal of Peer Production 12: Shared Machine Shops

Kat Braybrooke kat.braybrooke at gmail.com
Thu Feb 9 12:40:43 UTC 2017

Hello open design and hardware friends,

I wanted to share with you a CfP I've been putting together with some very
talented makers, thinkers and builders since last summer's 4S/EASST
conference in Barcelona for the excellent Journal of Peer Production: <
http://peerproduction.net>. I would especially love to see practitioner
commentaries (details below) from the people in this group specifically, as
I know many of you have insights and experiences that those in the more
academic side of things would love to read more of. Thank you in advance,
and please do get in touch if you have any questions or ideas!

- Kat


////// Call for Papers + Practitioner Commentaries!
Journal of Peer Production #12: Shared Machine Shop Institutionalization
URL: http://bit.ly/SharedMachineInst
Editors: Kat Braybrooke, Adrian Smith
Contact: sharedmachines at peerproduction.net

////// Abstracts and proposals due 30 March, 2017 ////////

Two years ago, a special issue of the Journal of Peer Production on shared
machine shops described them as the "occupied factories of peer production
theory". The authors of that issue compiled a theoretically-grounded and
empirically informed analysis of member-owned spaces like hacklabs,
hackerspaces and makerspaces -- spaces that first appeared to be signalling
the power of an emerging democratic revolution in community-based design
and manufacturing, but which on closer look also revealed the many
contradictions of making and peer production movements themselves.

This special issue builds on these efforts by taking a deeper look into the
complex contradictions and possibilities of making, hacking, fabrication
and commons-based practices -- practices that are themselves increasingly
characterised by institutional interventions. The dilemmas of
institutionalisation (regarding both the formalization of practices and the
fact that many practice-based spaces are now being embedded within larger
organizations like museums, municipalities and businesses) provide us with
an opportunity to critically examine networks, spaces and futures that may
be assembling in this new phase.

We invite papers that provide theoretically-informed empirical research
aimed at advancing our understanding of dilemmas and contradictions in
institutionalisation of shared machine shops. Contributions are
particularly encouraged that examine what has changed regarding the
practices, user experiences and regional networks that surround these sites
of institutionalisation -- not only in the last few years, but also across
shared community histories around the world, drawing upon stories of
similar digital spaces, like art-based media labs, that have preceded
today’s shared machine shops. Contradictions between the so-called agencies
and revolutions introduced by digital design and fabrication tools within
these sites will be explored along with the structures of control and power
that surround them. What do these continued contradictions and struggles
tell us about the promised futures of peer production?

Because this issue looks not only at theory but also at practice, we also
invite practitioner commentaries and/or photo series from key makers and
thinkers working in the field, reflecting on what happens when communities
of peer-based making and production attract increased attention from
mainstreamed entities, including schools, galleries, tech companies, local
authorities, and agencies promoting entrepreneurship. Such attention brings
with it ambivalent and complicated opportunities linked to outside agendas.
These institutional encounters additionally bring to the surface multiple
political dilemmas regarding digital fabrication itself. After all, these
are technologies whose computer numerically-controlled histories include
the displacement of skilled workers and the undermining of historic
manufacturing communities. Are practices in maker communities today
actually transforming development processes, or are they simply refreshing
new inputs for business as usual? Educational institutions seek ways of
building public understanding about technosciences and job opportunities.
Local governments get excited about entrepreneurial possibilities.
Corporations see easy design prototypes offered up by the free labour of
skilled fans. How are economies of labour redefined? How transformational,
precisely, are these new peer productions?

This being said, it would be much too easy (and, we argue, lazy) to simply
critique and dismiss. Instead, this special issue aspires to constructively
scrutinize practices through critical, hands-on analyses of both discourses
and practices. What remains of the original transformational aims of a
digitally empowered peer production-based revolution when some of the core
practices are embraced by the very powers that the revolutionary theory set
itself up originally to confront? What new antitheses and innovative
reactions are arising today from recent disappointments? What kinds of
challenges, transformations and opportunities does institutionalization
engender for a new generation’s coming of age? Most importantly, whose
revolution will it now be? The papers and commentaries of this issue will
aim to move beyond condemnation and/or adulation into deliberately complex
and multifaceted understandings of transformation, collaboration and

Contributions will address this new phase of contradictions and
possibilities through three organisational themes which view shared machine
shop innovations and experiences through their tensions, contradictions and
possibilities. First, we will explore whether reconfigurations of new
locations and sites change conceptions and understandings of making and
fabrication within them, a phenomenon we refer to as “new spaces in new
places”. Second, we will ask what new practices are being introduced by
(and in reaction to) increased institutional advances. And thirdly, we will
examine what happens when shared machine shops are situated within new
urban and regional matrices and processes which bring their own
expectations about how machine shops should perform.

Papers and contributions will be organized around 3 thematic areas:
Theme One: New spaces in new kinds of places
Theme Two: New practices + experiences in new places and spaces.
Theme Three: New places in (outer) spaces, from urban to regional.

/////// Important dates and deadlines /////////

5 Feb 2017: Open call goes out.
30 March 2017: Paper abstracts + proposals for alternative pieces due.
30 April 2017: Confirmed paper authors and practitioners notified.
30 July 2017: Full papers + alternative pieces due.
30 October 2017: Peer review process ends, papers returned.
30 December 2017: Revised papers due.
28 February 2018: Final acceptance / rejection of papers.
1st March 2018 - 1st April 2018: Group intros, texts + alternative pieces
April 2018: JoPP Issue #12 published!

/////// Submission guidelines ///////

Extended paper abstracts of up to 750 words + alternative practitioner
pieces are due to the editors at sharedmachines at peerproduction.net by ///
30 March, 2018 ///. Peer reviewed papers should be no more than 8,000
words. At this time we also welcome experimental, alternative contributions
from practitioners + makers, in the form of 500 word commentaries or photo
series that provide reflections from the field on transformations, changes
and impacts with regards to shared machine shops today. The format of these
thought pieces will be discussed on a case by case basis. All peer reviewed
papers will be reviewed according to Journal of Peer Production guidelines.
See http://peerproduction.net/peer-review/process for details. Full papers
for peer review and alternative pieces will be due by 30 July, 2017.

***** This special issue has been initiated thanks to the ideas and
collaborations of the talented thinkers and makers who participated in the
4S/EASST 2016 panel “Digital fabrications amongst hackers, makers and
manufacturers: whose ‘industrial revolution’?” this summer in Barcelona.
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