WHAT IS INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING?
There is no simple map in the planet system of the Indieverse. We practically flew under Visual Flight rules for five years, trying to gather all the encounters at conferences and fairs in Berlin, Shanghai, London or New York, special finds ad the kiosk or in blogs or whatever reached us in our digital or analogue mailboxes. Occasionally, we received a communication from remote corners – a letter from Kyoto, a package from Buenos Aires, a We-Chat message from Ningbo. That was the foundation of the programmes we created for five Indiecon conferences.
We would like to continue further opening up this process in the future: we are setting up sensors to better receive signals, also from geographically or thematically distant publishing planets. In preparation for the seventh Indiecon, we call for personal and empirical, literary and journalistic, scholarly and artistic texts and images or mixed media submissions. They will be the groundwork for the publication and programme of the seventh Indiecon. We are asking: What is Independent Publishing?
Some thoughts as inspiration:
Maybe independent publishing means: being free from the constraints of market research. Which only looks backwards and talks about the future. Those who only search and look in the middle and never at the edges, will only – best case scenario – create crossovers and remixes, brand extensions and spin-offs. Ultimately, more and more of the same. But haven’t the digital media markets – with their ever-improving, fine-tuned segmentation – already incorporated “Indie”? Isn’t it especially the “bubbles” that are worrisome to everyone, the fact that only suitable products and opinions are being pushed into the “feed” – and, as a result, there is a populist instead of a popular opinion, both of which limit your horizon?
Maybe “independence” therefore means: being free from big corporations, maybe also: free from the state. By selling our ideas and products directly to the consumer. By multiplying the result of our work force by a thousandfold – and then work for a thousand readers instead of one employer. Can we reverse the balance of power with this move? What happens when everyone stops buying?
Maybe “independence” also means: free from wage labour. Can journalists even be service providers? And if so, to whom? Is work even work when there is no money being earned?
Maybe independence simply is: being free from attributions from the outside. Don’t give a shit about clothes, don’t give a shit about the hairstyle, and whenever someone says: I get you, we answer: fuck you, you have no clue.
Maybe independence also signifies: refinement instead of brutalisation. Time to think instead of acting – to feel instead of performing. But can one actually buy time by selling their ideas? And is it a viable model to work, work, work in order to provide work?
Send your exposé submission until November 1st 2019.
We are asking: What is Independent Publishing?
Which role do independent publications have in our media system and in our society?
What can they express, what can they achieve, why are they being made?
- maximum of 1500 characters
- or 10 images
- for other formats a comparable amount of content that can be grasped in 10-15 minutes.