Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Call for submissions - COMMONSense

*** We've now extended the deadline for submissions till 17th October - so there's still time to contribute... ***

I fear this blog is starting to gather dust. Sorry about that! It has been a busy and exciting time - not least with the official launch of School of Everything and us getting boingboinged!

On the off-chance that anyone has been missing my ramblings, you might want to check out the post I wrote for the Everything blog last week - How I stopped worrying and learned to love the market!

Meanwhile, I'm editing a little magazine for Access Space in Sheffield - and looking for contributions from around the world on the theme of COMMONSense. Here's the details - do pass them on, as appropriate:

Collaborative Cultures // COMMONSense

A call for submissions

Access Space in Sheffield is seeking contributions for a magazine to be published this autumn. The issue will reflect a theme which connects the activities of Access Space to the wider world.

The theme of the issue is COMMONSense. Not so long ago, the only people who talked about "the commons" were historians; today, the language of the commons is central to debates around intellectual property, environmental protection, and resistance to globalisation. These international debates find their echoes here in South Yorkshire - in the activities of Access Space, recycling waste technology and promoting Open Source software, or in Grow Sheffield's efforts to build local food networks and seed city centre wasteland. Can talk of "the commons" help us find common ground between these kinds of projects? Does using the same words mean we've found a common language - or can it disguise different meanings and intentions?

We're looking for pieces of COMMONSense: prose (stories, thoughts, book reviews, bibliographies...), poetry, songs, pieces of code, photographs, cartoons, drawings, graphics or anything else you can think of. These might approach the theme in relation to green issues, land ownership, social relations, the internet, the music industry, copyright, software, or anything else that makes sense to you.

The format of the magazine means that each contribution will take up a single A5 page. With that in mind, we're looking for the following:

* written texts of up to 200 words
* or poems of up to 20 lines
* or black and white drawings, cartoons, photos or other graphics

Images should be at least 300 dpi and in JPEG, PNG or TIFF format.
Texts should be in TXT, ODT or DOC format.
We ask that your contributions be made available to us under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial license (see ) The magazine will be freely accessable from the web.
Although we cannot pay for contributions, there will be a limited print edition and each contributor will receive a free copy.

The deadline for submissions is 26 September 2008 [EXTENDED TO 17 OCTOBER 2008]
Please send your contribution by email to
Attachments should be no more than 6 Mb.

The magazine will be edited by Dougald Hine and the creative direction will be by artist Anne-Marie Culhane.

It will be launched at Access Space during the Off The Shelf literary festival on 24 October 2008

Contact us at



Jay Cousins said...

Hi Dougald, hard to get down to 200 words but here we go.

Dougald Hine said...

Thanks, Jay - glad to have your contribution!

Jane Holland said...

Hey there Dougald

How are you doing? Busy, I see!

On the same note, I wonder if you might be right for reviewing for a new online arts magazine I'm editing - all unpaid, of course!! - as I'm looking for well-read, intellectual, critically engaged reviewers with plenty to say. Sound like you?

Let me know if you're interested, via my Raw Light blog or Facebook or Salt Publishing. You can read Horizon Review at

Cheers, Jane x

SimplyTim said...

Hi Dougald,

You might find the following mapping project of interest:

The legend at the bottom of the file is very helpful in interpreting the future map they created


Dougald Hine said...

Hi Tim -

Good to hear from you! And thanks for the link - very interesting indeed.

I've been thinking a lot about craft and making over the last few weeks, partly because it seems to be one of the areas where we get a particularly enthusiastic response to School of Everything. It's fascinating seeing the way that craft networks have adopted the internet and how the hands-on and the virtual work well together. (Reminds me of the HTML Patchwork project that my friend Ele does -

I was struck by the "Drivers" listed on the IFTF map. "Access to Tools" was the subtitle of the original Whole Earth Catalogue. "The Rise of the Professional Amateur" reflects a pamphlet called "The Pro-Am Revolution", which was co-written by my colleague Paul Miller and Charlie Leadbeater, who's on the SoE advisory board. (Also, I notice they reference Dorkbot - our CTO set up Dorkbot London...) So yes, a huge amount of overlap between what we're trying to do and what they've mapped. And the map itself crystallises things nicely. I'll try to write something more articulate about it on the SoE blog in the next day or two.

One other thought - I'm interested in how the trends their mapping may interact with more dramatic changes arising from climate, resource and economic crises than they seem to be taking account of...? (Not necessarily part of their brief, but of interest to me.)

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