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the dewline newsletter - Marshall McLuhan

A Hybrid Publishing Consortium research report
By Simon Worthington and Christina Kral


A research case study focused on traces on the archive, revealing the hidden journey of a user through an archive, based on the Marshall McLuhan collection at the McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin. The case by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium (HPC), investigates the future of publishing and user engagement with museums, archives and libraries. HPC is dedicated to Open Source software development and enabling crossmedia interoperability.

Hybrid Lecture Player interface

'Finally Getting the Message: McLuhan's Media Practice'
A lecture by Graham Larkin given at the Marshall McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin, in 2011

A publishing research prototype by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium

View the player -

The Hybrid Lecture Player is a new open source platform release that allows you to turn lecture documentation into a multi-format publication.
The case study focuses on the long-running video documentation of an insightful lecture by the historian and curator Graham Larkin on Marshall McLuhan’s own experimental publishing and media practice. The player unpacks the lecture’s sections to transform it into a hybrid lecture environment that reveals the knowledge contained in the video in exciting ways, encouraging users to watch it further and engage with McLuhan archives.

Bttf cover
Book Launch! - from the Hybrid Publishing Consortium

Read online, download or order a print copy

The Book Liberation Manifesto is an exploration of publishing outside of current corporate constraints and beyond the confines of book piracy. We believe that knowledge should be in free circulation to benefit humankind, which means an equitable and vibrant economy to support publishing, instead of the prevailing capitalist hand-me-down system of Sisyphean economic sustainability. Readers and books have been forced into pirate libraries, while sales channels have been monopolised by the big Internet giants which exact extortionate fees from publishers. We have three proposals. First, publications should be free-at-the-point-of-reading under a variety of open intellectual property regimes. Second, they should become fully digital — in order to facilitate ready reuse, distribution, algorithmic and computational use. Finally, Open Source software for publishing should be treated as public infrastructure, with sustained research and investment. The result of such robust infrastructures will mean lower costs for manufacturing and faster publishing lifecycles, so that publishers and publics will be more readily able to afford to invent new futures.

Organizer: Dr. Yuk Hui, Simon Worthington, Hybrid Publishing Lab, Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg

Date: 12th May (13:00) - 13th May (evening)

Venue: Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res, Sülz­tor­str. 21–35, 21335 Lüne­burg, 2. Floor

In the past decades, the proliferation of digital objects, the emergence of new technologies, and the globalisation of cultural objects, demand new conceptualisations and practices of annotation. Ontologies (formal ontologies, web ontologies) find their limits to fully contextualize the modes of existence of digital objects, since most of them are still derived from a narrow reflection and without considering the nature of the digital. Annotation finds its place, not only in the sense of assisting information processing and enhancing the searchability of digital objects (for the objects themselves, or in the objects), but also as interaction and concretisation of relations between the users and the objects with which they interact. This recalls us of what the ancient call Scholia, a commentary and annotation practice which finally shaped the scholiast and also the scholar. Annotation in this sense is less about classification, but closely related to learning, meaning that one learns and concretizes his or her knowledge through annotating or writing. With digital technologies, the concept of annotation has to be taken further, since it introduces semantic technologies, collaboration, sharing, recommendation. However annotation is either not taken seriously or shadowed by mere interaction, or slowly taken over by automation as in the case of Google and other semantic technologies. The workshop “Future for the annotation of digital objects”, hosted by the Hybrid Publishing Lab is an attempt to gather researchers from different disciplines, and to look into different practices and tools that have been developed and concerns which have yet to be resolved.


Archives Ark


April 2015



Presentation of the Hybrid Lecture Player by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium at the annual Libre Graphics Meeting. An exploration of the Marshall McLuhan collection held at the McLuhan Salon in the Canadian Embassy, Berlin.

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium is pleased to announce the Hybrid Lecture Player, a new research publishing case study by the Lüneburg (Germany) based lab. It will be presented as part of the Libre Graphics Meeting on April 30, 2015, 13.20pm at the University of Toronto, Canada.



Time: Saturday 18th April, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location A Public Library, Oranienstraße 72, Berlin, 10969 Germany

Book Remixing #03 is the third in a series of workshops for designing and making new types of hybrid books. The hybrid book, or unbound book, is an experiment to investigate what happens once the book is free of its current form of a printed book and usable in multiple and malleable digital forms.

The third workshop will focus on sharing, discussing and excerpting passages from ‘books about books’ that explore publishing histories, the future of the book, the unbound book, the library as book, Open Access books, the digital book, and so on.

Traces of McLuhan – A Media Sprint at the Marshall McLuhan Salon

Traces of McLuhan – A Media Sprint at the Marshall McLuhan Salon

In late November, the Hybrid Publishing Consortium held a one day workshop at the Marshall McLuhan Salon in the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. This intense and positively stirring event brought together McLuhan scholars and software developers who all shared their views on working with and publishing from the archive. Together we mapped out these perspectives, potential needs and approaches.


Slides < PDF - for the Post Digital Conference

The Consortium develops Open Source software for public infrastructures for publishing, covering key parts of the publishing workflow–lowering cost, speeding up production cycles and introducing new forms of publishing. We support software producers to innovate existing Open Source platforms. We also want to innovate the digital book and reading experience

Christina Kral
Manifeste Cover

A case study with Fotomuseum Winterthur by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium

This publishing research case study will focus on one particular publication and exhibition—Manifeste! Eine andere Geschichte der Fotografie (Fotomuseum Winterthur, 13 September to 23 November 2014). Manifeste! is the first exhibition to explore the historical relationship between photography and the manifesto, collecting together statements from across the history of photography.

Simon Worthington
McLuhan Woody Alan

A Media Sprint at the Marshall McLuhan Salon #tracingmcluhan #mcluhan

Date: 26 November 2014

Location: The Marshall McLuhan Salon, The Canadian Embassy, Berlin

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium is organizing a one-day media sprint using material from the McLuhan Archive (hosted at the Canadian embassy in Berlin), as well as documentation from the McLuhan Centennial ‘Re-Touching McLuhan’ conference.

Inspired by book sprints, we are using the same model of speedy production. Yet, instead of producing a book, we’ll be focusing on experimental visualizations that trace a user’s approach to the archive, crisscrossing through various media formats.

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