Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl Herbarium | PubPub

Open Humanities Press is pleased to announce the publication of Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl Herbarium, edited by Gabriela Méndez Cota. 

Like all Open Humanities Press books, Ecological Rewriting is available open access (it can be downloaded for free): 

Book description 

Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl Herbarium is the first book in the Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers series. Supported by the COPIM project, it is the creation of a collective of researchers, students and technologists from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Led by Gabriela Méndez Cota, this group of nine (re)writers annotate and remix The Chernobyl Herbarium: Fragments of an Exploded Consciousness by the philosopher Michael Marder and the artist Anaïs Tondeur (originally published in OHP’s Critical Climate Change series) to produce what is a new book in its own right – albeit one that comments upon and engages with the original. 

In the Mexican context, experiments with art, writing and technology have a history that is tied less to academic publishing or avant-garde scholarship and more to community-building and grassroots organising. It is important, then, that in creating Ecological Rewriting the collective led by Méndez Cota are inspired by locally influential Cristina Rivera Garza’s theorization of re-writing as dis-appropriation, rather than appropriation of another’s work. Alongside philosophical concepts such as Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘literary communism’, Rivera Garza’s ethical poetics is here turned into the proposition that the reuse of open access materials does not need to be understood as appropriation or reappropriation of ‘knowledge’. Instead, it can be conceived as a creative exercise in ‘unworking’ or ‘disappropriating’ academic authorship which responds to The Chernobyl Herbarium’s invitation to think through (vegetal) exposure and fragility. Thus, the authors challenge property and propriety by creating singular, fragmentary accounts of Mexico’s relation with Chernobyl. In the process they explore ways of bearing witness to environmental devastation in its human and non-human scales, including the little-known history of nuclear power and the anti-nuclear movement in Mexico – which they intersect with an experimental history of plant biodiversity. The resulting book constitutes both a practical reflection on plant-thinking and a disruptive intervention into the conventions of academic writing.

Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl Herbarium exists as an online version ( and as a print version (forthcoming). The online version is an experimental publication with links to the original sections of The Chernobyl Herbarium that the writers responded to, so that the reader can follow an associative trail between the two publications.



Gabriela Méndez Cota, Etelvina Bernal Méndez, Sandra Hernández Reyes, Sandra Loyola Guízar, Fernanda Rodríguez González, Yareni Monteón López, Deni Garciamoreno Becerril, Nidia Rosales Moreno, Xóchitl Arteaga Villamil, Carolina Cuevas Parra

Editor Bio

Gabriela Méndez Cota is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México. Inspired by deconstruction, psychoanalysis and technoscience feminism, her research explores the subjective and ethical dimensions of technological/political controversies in specific contexts. Her books include Disrupting Maize: Food, Biotechnology and Nationalism in Contemporary Mexico (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Among other places, her work has appeared in New Formations, Media Theory, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identities (2020). With Rafico Ruiz, she co-edits the open access journal of culture and theory, Culture Machine ( Between 2019 and 2021 she led a practice-based educational initiative on critical/feminist/intersectional perspectives of open access, which included a collaboration with the COPIM project led by the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University, UK, and resulted in a collective rewriting of The Chernobyl Herbarium (Open Humanities Press, 2015).


Ecological Re-writing is published as part of the Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers series, edited by Janneke Adema, Simon Bowi

Martin, L. & Neufend, M. (2023) Zukunftsmusik oder State of the Art – Experimentelle Formate für Bücher? Bericht zur Erhebung | Zenodo

Martin, Linda, & Neufend, Maike. (2023). Zukunftsmusik oder State of the Art – Experimentelle Formate für Bücher? Bericht zur Erhebung (1.0). Zenodo.

Der vorliegende Bericht fasst wesentliche Ergebnisse einer im Rahmen des BMBF-geförderten Projektes durchgeführten Erhebung zusammen. Es wurden mithilfe eines Methodenmix Untersuchungen zur Wahrnehmung von experimentellen Formaten für Bücher in Deutschland vorgenommen. Die Auswertung bildet die Grundlage für die Entwicklung von Handlungsempfehlungen, die verschiedene Akteur*innen adressieren.


Single Source Publishing and HTML for Publishers

Definition: Single Source Publishing (SSP) is an approach used by technical publishing systems that focuses on using one source file, shared across content creation and production stages.

In the world of publishing, content creation and production are often disconnected processes. Content creation happens in isolation from the production phases, and the technical systems and file formats used in each stage are often completely separate.

Single Source Publishing (SSP) utilizes a single source file throughout the content creation and production phases.


Performing Patents Otherwise: Archival conversations with 320,000 clothing inventions

Performing Patents Otherwise is one of several experimental book pilot projects conducted by the experimental publishing group at the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs project. In the spirit of open infrastructures, we documented the publication process for each pilot book. Towards this end, the experimental publishing group curated the Experimental Publishing Compendium, which collates experimental book publishing tools and practices and examples of experimental scholarly publications. While we share some insights on the making of experimental scholarly books in the compendium, we will zoom in here on what it takes to make database books and Performing Patents Otherwise in particular.
In the Compendium, we categorised Performing Patents Otherwise as a database book. We define database books as books containing a dynamically searchable database within their pages; or books generated from a database. In ‘making of,’ we reflect on the making Performing Patents Otherwise in the hope that it will be helpful to other authors and publishers who are experimenting with database books.



© 2023 Julien McHardy & Kat Jungnickel, chapters by respective authors. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. Data from the Politics of Patents research project hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London, and funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (#819458).


Experimental Publishing Compendium | Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

The Experimental Publishing Compendium is a guide and reference for scholars, publishers, developers, librarians, and designers who want to challenge, push and redefine the shape, form and rationale of scholarly books. The compendium brings together tools, practices, and books to promote the publication of experimental scholarly works. Read more

Beta 1.0 (2023)

Version 1.0 has been curated by Janneke Adema, Julien McHardy, and Simon Bowie. Future versions will be overseen, curated, and maintained by an Editorial Board (members TBC).

Back-end coding by Simon Bowie, front-end coding by Joel Galvez, design by Joel Galvez & Martina Vanini.

Special thanks to Gary Hall, Rebekka Kiesewetter, Marcell Mars, Toby Steiner, and Samuel Moore, and everyone who has provided feedback on our research or shared suggestions of examples to feature, including the participants of COPIM’s experimental publishing workshop, and Nicolás Arata, Dominique Babini, Maria Fernanda Pampin, Sebastian Nordhoff, Abel Packer, and Armanda Ramalho, and Agatha Morka.

Our appreciation also goes out to the Next Generation Library Publishing Project for sharing an early catalogue-in-progress version of SComCat with us, which formed one of the inspirations behind the Compendium.

The compendium grew out of the following two reports:

Adema, J., Bowie, S., Mars, M., and T. Steiner (2022) Books Contain Multitudes: Exploring Experimental Publishing (2022 update). Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). doi: 10.21428/785a6451.1792b84f & 10.5281/zenodo.6545475.

Adema, J., Moore, S., and T. Steiner (2021) Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books: Strategies for Publishers and Authors. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). doi: 10.21428/785a6451.2d6f4263 and 10.5281/zenodo.5572413

COPIM and the Experimental Publishing Compendium are supported by the Research England Development (RED) Fund and by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

Experimenting with Copyright Licences | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Hall, G. (2023). Experimenting with Copyright Licences. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). Retrieved from

As part of the documentation for the first book coming out of the Combinatorial Books Pilot Project, we are discussing our rationale for chosing a CC-BY licence for this project as well as the limitations and potentials of this licence regarding more collaborative scholarship.

This is the sixth blogpost in a series documenting the COPIM/OHP Pilot Project Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers. You can find the previous blogposts here, here, here, here, and here.

When it comes to publishing a book, many authors and presses show a surprising lack of concern about whether the copyright licence used is consistent with what’s actually being said in the content of the work. Now it’s not our intention to single anyone out for particular criticism: our reservation is about a system more than individuals. But perhaps we can start with a brief analysis of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s 2017 book Assembly, just to explain what we mean and illustrate why the choice of license matters far more than most people seem to think.  

We are taking Hardt and Negri as our example because, as the authors of volumes such as Empire (2001), Multitude (2005) and Commonwealth (2009), they are among the most politically radical of theorists at work today. But we’re also focusing on them because, like us, they are interested in the generation of new forms of human and nonhuman collaboration. What’s so intriguing about Hardt and Negri in this context is that, in terms of their relationship to the decentralised, self-organising mobilisations they take inspiration from in Assembly – the Occupy movement, the Indignados movement in Spain, etcetera – these two autonomous Marxists can be seen to repeat much the same behaviour they criticise platform capitalist companies for engaging in with regard to the social relations of their users.




Open Sourcing Reuse | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Adema, J., Bowie, S., & Kiesewetter, R. (2023). Open Sourcing Reuse. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). As part of the documentation for the first book coming out of the Combinatorial Books Pilot Project, we are introducing and discussing the set of modular, open source writing, editing, annotating, and publishing software, tools, and platforms we have used. This is the fifth blogpost in a series documenting the COPIM/OHP Pilot Project Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers. You can find the previous blogposts here, here, here, and here. In the context of the Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers Pilot Project one of our aims has been to use, wherever possible, modular and open source writing, editing, annotating, and publishing software, tools, and platforms. We wanted to show how these can be used in the context of reusing and rewriting existing open access books or collections of books. Instead of creating our own custom solutions we have tried to create (technical) workflows that consist of existing open source applications, to enable other authors and publishers to apply or adapt these to their own writing and publishing workflows. At this stage of the Pilot Project we want to share some preliminary insights and reflections in combination with a closer description of the tools and platforms we have used. We will do so in textual form and as part of an audio interview with Simon Bowie, who is working as an open source software developer on the COPIM project. Specifically, we want to share our rationale for using open source applications, and reflect upon how these tools can either be integrated into or require adaptations to classical editorial and publishing workflows, timelines, tasks, and relationalities between those involved in publishing a book (for example those between tool and platform providers, publishers, developers, and editors).