MAG.NET READER (2006)
Mag.net Reader: Experiences in Electronic Culture Publishing (2006)
Editors: Alessandro Ludovico, Miren Eraso a Slavo Krekovic
“This short history of Mag.net, as well as the book which it introduces, should however not be read as an obituary, but as a monument to the desire for sharing and working together. The magazines involved represent some of the most important media for the critical reflexion of culture and art in an age strongly influenced by digital technologies and their social repercussions. Their persistence – some of them are still going strong after over twelve years – testifies to the importance of print in a time that purports to be ‘digital’ while remaining intensely analogue in many aspects, for better and for worse.”
– Andreas Broeckmann, artistic director of Transmediale
The relationships between paper and pixel are really strategic for the publishers, even more if they’re among the independent ones, and definitely more if their products deal with the digital culture. Mag.net is just this: a network of five magazines whose slogan (“collaboration is better than competition”) has marked the personal history of five members (3/4 Revue [sk], Mute [uk], Neural [it], Springerin [at] e Zehar [es]). Actually the summa of the collective experience is that a ‘formal’ network dies quickly (as happened to many other similar cases in the same field), because being independent means sometimes not being able to find time and energies to deal with collective decision-making processes, killing even the better intentions. Instead letting the different members free to take up dynamic initiatives, involving some of them, lead to new synergies in a new pragmatic form, and this book is in fact a physical proof of that. The contents include a history of the network, reflections on the paper / electronic publishing relationship (including the new possibilities on the print-on-demand techniques), analysis and alternative strategies to reserve rights on intellectual electronic works, some cases of media preservation, and some peculiar phenomena related to the respective magazines’ originating territories. A sum of materials that emphasizes the motto ‘think globally, act locally’ in the fertile ground of the electronic cultural publishing.