[NetBehaviour] Critical Making | handmade books Garnet Hertz

netbehaviour netbehaviour at furtherfield.org
Wed Jul 10 11:01:12 CEST 2013

Critical Making | handmade books Garnet Hertz


Critical Making is a handmade book project by Garnet Hertz that explores 
how hands-on productive work ‐ making ‐ can supplement and extend 
critical reflection on technology and society. It works to blend and 
extend the fields of design, contemporary art, DIY/craft and 
technological development. It also can be thought of as an appeal to the 
electronic DIY maker movement to be critically engaged with culture, 
history and society: after learning to use a 3D printer, making an LED 
blink or using an Arduino, then what?

The publication has 70 contributors ‐ primarily from contemporary art 
and academia ‐ and its 352 pages are bound in ten pocket-sized zine-like 
volumes. The project takes the topic of DIY culture literally by 
printing an edition of 300 copies on a hacked photocopier with booklets 
that were manually folded, stapled and cut. Academic publishing is at a 
point in history where it deserves to be questioned, and this project 
proposes that a small-scale run on a photocopier by one person can have 
more impact than an academic monograph from a major university press.

The 300 finished copies were primarily given away for free to project 
contributors, individuals and institutions important to them. Some of 
the handmade copies were traded for reviews, photographs, videos, 
lectures and were given to library archives. As of February 2013, 
approximately twenty hardcopies exist, and the project is exploring 
wider distribution formats that challenge the medium of academic 

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