The 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
Issue #5: Shared Machine Shops image

Issue 5: October 2014

Despite the marketing clangour of the “maker movement”, shared machine shops are currently “fringe phenomena” since they play a minor role in the production of wealth, knowledge, political consensus and the social organisation of life. Interestingly, however, they also prominently share the core transformations experienced in contemporary capitalism. The convergence of work, labour and other aspects of life — the rapid development of algorithmically driven technical systems and their intensifying role in social organisation — the practical and legitimation crisis of institutions, echoed by renewed attempts at self-organisation.

Each article in this special issue addresses a received truth which circulates unreflected amongst both academics analysing these phenomena and practitioners engaged in the respective scenes. Questioning such myths based on empirical research founded on a rigorous theoretical framework is what a journal such as the Journal of Peer Production can contribute to both academic and activist discourses. Shared machine shops have been around for at least a decade or so, which makes for a good time to evaluate how they live up to their self-professed social missions.

Here is an executive summary:

  • Shared Machine Shops are not new.
  • Fab Labs are not about technology.
  • Sharing is not happening.
  • Hackerspaces are not open.
  • Technology is not neutral.
  • Hackerspaces are not solving problems.
  • Fab Labs are not the seeds of a revolution.

Table of Contents

Editorial Section

Edited by Maxigas (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and Peter Troxler (International Fab Lab Association, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences)

Editorial Note: We Now have the Means of Production, but Where is my Revolution? by maxigas and Peter Troxler [html] [pdf]

Digitally-Operated Atoms vs. Bits of Rhetoric by Peter Troxler and maxigas using sources by Ursula Gastfall, Thomas Fourmond, Jean-Baptiste Labrune and Peter Troxler [html] [pdf]

Critical Notions of Technology and the Promises of Empowerment in Shared Machine Shops by Susana Nascimento [html] [pdf]

Distributed and Open Creation Platforms as Key Enablers for Smarter Cities by Tomas Diez [html] [pdf]

Fab Labs Forked: A Grassroots Insurgency inside the Next Industrial Revolution by Peter Troxler [html] [pdf]

Cultural Stratigraphy: A Rift between Shared Machine Shops by maxigas [html] [pdf]

Peer Reviewed Papers

Technology Networks for socially useful production by Adrian Smith [html] [pdf]

The Story of MIT-Fablab Norway: Community Embedding of Peer Production by Cindy Kohtala and Camille Bosqué [html] [pdf]

Sharing is Sparing: Open Knowledge Sharing in Fab Labs by Patricia Wolf, Peter Troxler, Pierre-Yves Kocher, Julie Harboe, and Urs Gaudenz [html] [pdf]

Feminist Hackerspaces: The Synthesis of Feminist and Hacker Cultures by Sophie Toupin [html] [pdf]

Beyond Technological Fundamentalism: Peruvian Hack Labs and “Inter-technological” Education by Anita Say Chan [html] [pdf]

Becoming Makers: Hackerspace Member Habits, Values, and Identities by Austin Toombs, Shaowen Bardzell, and Jeffrey Bardzell [html] [pdf]

Shared Machine Shops as Real-life Laboratories by Sascha Dickel, Jan-Peter Ferdinand, and Ulrich Petschow [html] [pdf]