metaLAB is committed to developing and experimenting with new models of scholarly and cultural communication. Its publishing projects involve partnerships with university presses, museums, libraries, and archives, and explore the boundaries of both print plus and post-print publishing. Print plus refers to innovative intertwinings between digital and printed artifacts; post-print to purely digital/multimedia models of dissemination.
There are four main areas of publishing that we are currently exploring:
- ◉ alternate futures for the scholarly book (the metaLABprojects series)
- ◉ multichannel publishing (ludic variations on the metaLABprojects series books)
- ◉ iterative and instant publishing (print as process, not as product)
- ◉ digital publishing (natively digital publishing experiments)
Beautiful Data Publications
These publications serve as entry points to engagement with both the material and the modes of inquiry that shaped the Beautiful Data workshop. With the intention of “open-sourcing” the elements and processes that came out of the workshop, these publications complement the material available on this website, offering routes for exploration of this material that are meant to be applicable in diverse contexts. We hope that you will activate whatever elements seem useful to you, fostering the continuing evolution of Beautiful Data.
- ◉ The field guide documents the concepts and flows of information that came out of the Beautiful Data workshop, linking critical discussion with invitations to experimentation and making. Using a range of modes, including case studies, maps, activities, and prototypes (and linking to online documentation of these elements), the guide aims to serve as a resource, providing various entry points into the dialogue surrounding Beautiful Data and promoting further experimentation around this material.
- ◉ The prototyping game provides a set of raw materials for remixing and rethinking the ways in which we design experiences with objects. This playful framework, drawn from institutional missions and contexts, offers springboards for discussion, ideation, and project development.
- ◉ The provocation cards, drawn from the work of participants in Beautiful Data’s weekend workshop component, provide prompts for adventures in museums, lightly provoking users to engage with these spaces in new and generative ways.
Developed with our partner, Harvard University Press, the series provides a platform for emerging currents of experimental scholarship, documenting key moments in the history of networked culture, and promoting critical thinking about the future of institutions of learning. The volumes’ eclectic, improvisatory, idea-driven style advances the proposition that design is not merely ornamental, but a means of inquiry in its own right. Accessibly priced and provocatively designed, the series invites readers to take part in reimagining print-based scholarship for the digital age. The first three books in the series are:
- Matthew Battles, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, The Library Beyond the Book
- Johanna Drucker, Graphesis – Visual Forms of Knowledge Production
- Todd Presner, David Shepherd, Yoh Kawano, HyperCities – Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities
The “provocations” strewn throughout The Library Beyond the Book may also be found in playing card deck form:
Inspired by mid-twentieth century experimental publications like Aspen Magazine, metaLAB is planning a “documentary in a box” project that will serve as a lab archive, time capsule, and collection of remixable provocations in material form. The publication, with sandBOX for its working title, will consist of a set of objects—maps, field guides, card decks, lego sets, and sundry unnameables that breach the analog/digital divide—delivered to its audience in a box. Under the editorial direction of metaLAB fellow Maggie Gram, sandBOX will eventuate through an iterative cascade of publishing phenomena beginning in early 2015.