Journal of Peer Production - New perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change New perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change
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JoPP Signal:
7.5/10
Title: Hackerspaces and DIYbio in Asia: connecting science and community with open data, kits and protocols
Author/s: Denisa Kera
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Abstract:
Different hacker, maker and DIY activities in recent years form a global culture with alternative networks of knowledge production and sharing, offering a more resilient and pragmatic response to various challenges. This growth of grassroots science and tinkering based on open data, protocols and DIY kits is often understood as part of a geek culture, which has little if any impact on the larger society. The aim here is to discuss hackerspaces as intermediaries and transnational sites offering unique opportunities for translation between scientific knowledge produced in the labs (official academic and research institutions) and the everyday interests, practices and problems of ordinary people in diverse local contexts around the globe. To demonstrate how hackerspaces function as sites of complex negotiations between various forms of knowledge and practice, and to understand how these global flows of kits and DIY protocols work in the local context, we will compare several examples from Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan). These emergent, alternative R&D centers revive a link between knowledge creation and community building, and problematize the common, “East - West”, “Modern (Industrial) - Post-industrial - Pre-modern (indigenous)” distinctions, often used when knowledge transfer is discussed. By integrating community building with prototype testing, hackerspaces embody a community based innovation that provides a more resilient policy model for societies facing emerging technologies and numerous deep and far reaching environmental and social challenges.

Keywords:
Design, indigenous knowledge, prototypes

JoPP Signal:
7/10
Title: DIYbiologists as 'makers' of personal biologies: how MAKE Magazine and Maker Faires contribute in constituting biology as a personal technology
Author/s: Sara Tocchetti
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Abstract:
This article explores MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire’s early contributions in constituting biology as a 'personal technology'. It shows that several elements of the representation of technology promoted in the magazine can be traced to a late version of the American digital generation ideology and to the techno-libertarian pragmatics of the Whole Earth Catalog. This legacy is strengthened by its recombination with the cultural resurrection of the 'maker', a figure embodying the reassuring myth of 'grassroots American innovation' as a natural source of endless entrepreneurial opportunities. Meanwhile, Maker Faires are quickly becoming forums of manufacturing where these practices are entrepreneurially networked. Lastly this paper describes how the inscription of biology as a material and a tool in MAKE Magazine, and the increasing attendance of members from the DIYBio network at Maker Faires, have contributed to making biology understood and practiced as 'personal'.

Keywords:
Personal technology, personal, biology, counterculture, maker, DIYbio, grassroots American innovation

JoPP Signal:
7/10
Title: Hacklabs and hackerspaces – tracing two genealogies
Author/s: Maxigas
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Abstract:
Hackerspaces are workshops organised with an open community model where people with technological interests can come together to socialise, collaborate, share and expand their knowledge. The last few years have seen an increased activity in this area including the founding of many new locations, increasing cooperation and discussions about the potentialities and the directions of hackerspaces. Similar spaces, however, called hacklabs, have existed ever since personal computers became widespread. Hacklabs are typically based on a political agenda. These new and old places are often seen retrospectively as part of a single trajectory and most of the discourse treats hacklabs and hackespaces as equivalent. Outlining the overlapping but still distinguishable genealogies of both hackerspaces and hacklabs will prove helpful in questioning the tendency to confound the two and can further contribute to the contemporary debates over this vibrant culture and movement. The article ends with a reflection from a strategic point of view how hackerspaces and hacklabs contribute to the production of postcapitalist subjectivities through their organisational dynamics. The findings are based on personal experiences and field work, mainly at a now-defunct hacklab in London (the Hackney Crack House) and a hackerspace in Budapest (the Hungarian Autonomous Center for Knowledge).

Keywords:
hacklabs, hackerspaces

JoPP Signal:
8/10
Title: How to make a “Hackintosh”. A journey into the “consumerization” of hacking practices and culture
Author/s: Paolo Magaudda
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Abstract:
In this article it is argued that, in the last few years, hacking practices consisting in the modification and subversion of digital devices are undergoing a process of popularization, and hacking-related cultural references and discourses are growing in terms of visibility among new segments of the population, including not only software experts and computer “geeks”, but also amateurs, laypersons and non-experts. To explain this idea, the article focuses on the emerging practice of the creation of a “Hackintosh”, that consists into the modification of a non-Apple computer in order to be able to be used with an Apple operating system. Then I will consider more closely one specific articulation of the Hackintosh practice: the creation of a so-called “MacBook Nano”, a low-cost netbook transformed to an Apple run software. It is precisely around this particular modification that the hackintosh practice has spread through new cultural representations and new ways of circulation of technical skills required, showing that the heterogeneous realm of hacking is today undergoing a change influenced by discourses and representations typical of different social spheres and especially of the cultural environment where ordinary people appropriate, consume, use and readapts products in their everyday lives. The story of the Hackintosh is theoretically and discussed by adopting a “Practice Theory” perspective, thus looking at the process by which hacking objects, skills and cultures are increasingly influenced by cultural elements and discursive strategies belonging to the realm of consumer practices.

Keywords:
Hacking, consumption, hackintosh, “consumerization”, Practice theory