Tue 20 Jun 2023

Reading Group: Katherine McKittrick’s “Footnotes–Books and Papers Scattered About the Floor” and Aymeric Mansoux’s “How deep is your Source”



Femke SneltingEva Weinmayr

Reading Group: Katherine McKittrick’s “Footnotes–Books and Papers Scattered About the Floor” and Aymeric Mansoux’s “How deep is your Source”

This time we will cross read black feminist thinker Katherine McKittrick’s (2021) text “Footnotes–Books and Papers Scattered About the Floor” with the text “How deep is your Source” (2013) by media researcher, artist and musician Aymeric Mansoux.

In her text, Katherine McKittrick gives an account of her own lively practices of sourcing and resourcing knowledges and ideas:

By observing how arranging, rearranging, and collecting ideas outside ourselves are processes that make our ideas our own, I think about how our ideas are bound up in stories, research, inquiries, that we do not (or should not claim we) own.

She attempts to re-invent a practice of citation that is beyond academic signposting: “I show the images because I want to be as honest as I can about my intellectual history while also recognizing my dishonest memory. I show the images because I want to be honest about where my ideas come from while recognizing that this is also a process of forgetting.”

In the second text “How deep is your source” (2013), Aymeric Mansoux tracks the history of open source software and looks at the processes of translation that are put in place, when free software licences are applied to the field of cultutral production. His reflections are based on practical aspects addressing the problems of a simplifying and universalising one-size-fits-all approach.

While written from different perspectives, practices and concerns, we think (hope) that by bringing these texts in conversation with each other, we can find out something about a possible politics of re-use.

Reading instructions

We will read together McKittrick page 14—19 (PDF).
With Aymeric’s text we will focus on the part Towards the Borges Public License,

Literature List

Katherine McKittrick (2021) “Footnotes, (Books and Papers Scattered about the Floor)”, in: Dear Science and Other Stories, Duke University Press,. DOI: 10.1215/9781478012573-002.

Aymeric Mansoux (2013), “How deep is your source?”


Femke Snelting

Femke Snelting develops projects at the intersection of publishing, feminisms, and Free Software. In various constellations, she works on re-imagining computational practices to disinvest from technological monoculture and the regime of The Cloud.

With Miriyam Aouragh, Seda Gürses and Helen Pritchard, she runs The Institute for Technology in the Public Interest, a trans-practice and para-academic gathering of activists, artists, engineers and theorists that creates spaces for articulating what computational infrastructures in the “public interest” might be when “public interest” is always in-the-making.

With Jara Rocha, she edited Volumetric Regimes: Material Cultures of Quantified Presence (Open Humanities Press, 2022). The publication results from a collective disobedient research project which interrogated the concrete and at the same time fictional entities of “bodies” in the context of volumetric technologies.

In the research project Ecologies of Dissemination ​​​​​​ she develops, together with Eva Weinmayr, feminist and decolonial approaches to Open Access.

Until 2021, she was responsible for artistic direction of Constant, an association for art and media based in Brussels. Constant generates performative publishing, curatorial processes, poetic software, experimental research and educational prototypes in local and international contexts.

Femke regurlarly teaches at New Performative Practices (Stockholm University of the Arts) and supports artistic research at MERIAN (Maastricht). She also contributes to Nubo, a cooperative which provides locally hosted, Open Source digital services.


Eva Weinmayr

Eva Weinmayr’s collaborative practice is grounded in contemporary art, radical education and institutional analysis. In 2020 she published her doctoral thesis, titled Noun to Verbon a MediaWiki. This research is concerned with the micropolitics of publishing from an intersectional, feminist perspective. (HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg, SE)

As interims chair of faculty Art and Education at Munich Art Academy (2022-23) she co-initiated together with students kritilab, an open source platform for discrimination-critical teaching in the arts. From 2019 to 22 she co-led the EU-funded collective research and study programme “Teaching to Transgress Toolbox” inspired by US activist, teacher and theorist bell hooks (with erg, Brussels, BE).

As part of Ecologies of Dissemination (HDK-Valand, 2023-24) she is currently Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University (UK). Ecologies of Dissemination​​​​​​, a collaboration with artist Femke Snelting, seeks strategies for dissemination and a politics of re-use that acknowledge the tensions between feminist methodologies, decolonial knowledge practices and principles of Open Access. More specificly, they explore in which way the current drive drive to universal access policies might overlook relational aspects.

Recent artistic research-based projects include “Teaching the Radical Catalog – a Syllabus” (2021-22, with Lucie Kolb), “Library of Inclusions and Omissions” (2016-20), “The Piracy Project” (2010-15, with Andrea Francke), AND Publising (2010-ongoing, with Rosalie Schweiker).