VV.AA. – Manifestos: Manifestos For The Internet Age

VVAA_Manifestos for the Internet age

Greyscale Press, ISBN-13: 978-2940561001, English, 140 pages, 2015, France

Greyscale Press’ Manuel Schmalstieg understands publishing after the Internet. Not only because its catalogue of books is full of critical texts originally available only online, but mainly because it applies skilled editing qualities and ideas to the confusing amount of interesting content that can be accessed on screen. When it comes to manifestos, many of these have been forgotten in recent decades, languishing in unpopular websites or mailing lists, even when they are extremely important. Moreover, the manifesto format is a synthesis of impetus and analysis in a short amount of words, one that continues to work today because of its distinctive communicative aspects (it is authoritative, clear and short.) Traditionally, manifestos had to be very visible, posted in a popular public square, or published in a relevant newspaper or magazine. Significantly this seems to be of constant value, as the “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” which became definitely popular after its publication on Wired magazine. This collection is divided chronologically (before 2000, and then into its first two decades) and hosts much more than the classics (like Computer Lib, GNU, Unstable Media, Lo-Fi, Critical Engineering, etc.), with an attention to critical technology-related and artistic pieces. So, for example, we find Hactivismo, the Web Indépendant, the New Clues and the Xenofeminism manifestos, and all of them in a small paperback format that makes them both ideal to be carried anywhere and a good case of an edited and archival use of print.