Freerange Press

Freerange Vol.4: Almost Home

In this issue, our contributors explore home – as a place and a sense –  by literally climbing their local landmarks, by poking around the concept of shelter as a human right, by questioning our cultural interpretations, and more. Some of these enquiries seem timeless, stretching back to before humans were even humans, others are very much topical, predicaments of the 21st Century.

Ultimately home is the whole planet, the universe and beyond. We share our home with billions of other humans, and billions upon billions of other species. As we “make ourselves at home” here, let’s not forget we’re not the only ones. Maybe it is best for everyone if we remain always and evermore “almost home.”

Freerange Vol.4: Almost Home main page. 

 

The problem with books…

So we run a small publishing company here at Freerange, which loosely means we try to marry author and creators of work with an audience via some sort of printing process, digital or physical.  I am also a student who needs to read and study books for the phd I am undertaking.  Both these activities have got me thinking about books, and the logic of books, at least the process where “something interesting that someone has written” gets “into my brain through my eyes“.

Traditionally this process would have gone through quite a few layers of industrialised systems: negotiating contracts, setting out a book, raising funds, printing several thousand copies, distributing to book wholesalers, selling to book stores, and then we’d find a lovely book sitting their innocently waiting for us to buy.    This process favoured safe publishing as large quantities were needed to make the economic logic work, but we did know where to get the books we wanted into our hands.

Two new technologies have transformed this process and made it much more free and confusing.  The first is that we can now read things on screens without printing.  I know I know, people love books. I do too, but to assert that as the main point is to miss the fact that reading on the screen enables us to read peoples work without the massive systems needed to get a book to print in a store.  This freedom of publishing that is the internet definately has its downsides with common lack of editorial oversite and quality control, but hey, this is a good problem, it also has its upside with the consumption of less resources. (less physical resource anyway, still uses energy).  The second new technology is newer faster smaller printing devices that break down the old need to print large expensive runs of books.  The printing of Freerange Journal is made possible by the invention of TruePress printers of which there are only 2 in Australasia that enable us to print small runs of our journal reasonably affordable.

What is frustrating me is that in NZ and Aus we are in an annoying between the old models of beautiful bookstores and some future of beautiful digital efficiency, and this space between seems to be worse than either.  So today I wanted to get my hands on two books. 1. Hannah Arendts “The Human Condition” and 2. “The Resilient City”. Neither are particularly popular books, but both are in print.

It would be nice to visit a bookstore and buy them, but because of the changed economy of books there are not many stores with large collections now and I don’t want to waste half a day visiting them to walk away empty handed, and sadly in NZ the 2nd hand bookstores and good bookstores don’t seem to have their catalogues accesible.

I wouldn’t mind buying them digitally to have as high quality files that are readable and searchable on the computer either, but for some insane reason the e-versions are more expensive than printing, wharehousing and shipping them halfway across the planet.

So I can buy online, and spend 3/4 of the cost of them book on shipping them to NZ.  I can’t understand why all the books in the world need to come from the UK or the States when surely most of them are printed in China now.   Why can these companies not have big warehouses in different locations to cut on shipping?  Either that our get Print on Demand working better so books are printed locally.

Every time I try to find NZ or Aus places to buy these books all they seem to be doing is ordering them from overseas and putting a mark up on them for that.  As much as I like to support local business that is just wasting money.

The cost breakdown of the books was:

1 The Human Condition

via Amazon:  $US10 to buy $18 to ship to NZ

via Book depository: $NZ23 including postage.

Not available as an e-book.

2. The Resilient City

Via Amazon: $US23 to buy $US18 to ship.

Via Book depository: $NZ42 including postage.

E-b00k. $NZ60!

The end of this rant is:

1. The stores in smaller places need to digitise their collections so I can know what they have in their store and visit it to buy it, and enjoy the beauty of a proper bookstore.

2. The big international online suppliers need to sort their shit out so the supply chains are more sensible, when oil starts hitting 3 then 4 then 5 then 6 dollars a litre they are going to have to anyway.

3. Finally the big e-battle between Apple via i-pad, Amazon via kindle and Google via their opensource system is making the whole online thing confusing and difficult, as a reader why should I pay more for a digital version, and as a publisher why should I have to reformat a book 8 times and make lots of separate contracts with different suppliers for them to make all the money off.

 

 

 

 

 

New Book: 10.98 Seconds Of Wellington Artists

Freerange Press is now selling copies of Lennart Maschmeyer’s fabulous new book 10.98 Seconds of Wellington Artists. 

$NZ50.

Click Here to go the Freerange shop to buy it. 

Over the past two years, German-born photographer Lennart Maschmeyer has been working on a Portrait of Wellington’s thriving art community. The resulting book titled “10.98 seconds of Wellington Artists” is the first work of its kind in Wellington. Its aim is to capture an authentic impression of the people creating and carrying the spirit of the city.

Read more

Chur Chur now for sale!

Churchur is now for sale!  Only $NZ10 plus postage.

Click here: Freerange Shop.

All proceeds to Architecture for Humanity project in Christchurch.

On the 22nd February 2011 the people of Christchurch experienced  the most destructive earthquake in New Zealand’s young recorded  history. It was the third large earthquake to hit the region in the past six months, the first being a 7.1 earthquake on the 4th September 2010. 182 people have died, thousands are homeless, scores of buildings have been destroyed, and the central city is still closed to the public. This special issue of Freerange is a window into the experiences of some who are affected.

“Many people are still homeless and jobless, and some have lost loved ones. I can get my head around the physical damage that Christchurch has sustained, but the emotional I find hard to understand.  I wish I could assure my friends that it will be over soon… but it won’t. I can’t relate to their trauma and shock, to the stress they are living in, and I can’t share their burden of a life so changed by one event. But I can listen to their stories and I hope that helps. That is what this special edition of Freerange is about. Let’s listen, it’s the least we can do.”

Gina Moss

“It’s helpful to tell our stories and that’s mine. I have life and limb and all my loved ones but the emptiness reminds me  that I’m human and I need love and support. I know I have  that in big measure. Whether we’ve lost a little or a lot the  reality is that for each one of us in Christchurch that day,  life has changed forever. I will never be the same again.  I don’t say that in an airy fairy way, I just know that my heart has been broken in a way I can’t explain and it has affected me at a very basic level.”

Madeleine Peacock.

 

 

 

Congress Book

This is the first attempt to document the amazing history of student architecture congress that has run from 1963 (ish) till today.  The event has moved around New Zealand, Australia, and PNG and amazing survived without any overarching parent organization while attracting some of the worlds most interesting speakers and architects.

This book is the hurried result of research gathered over the last few weeks (and in a way the last few years, and decades), which sets out to remind stu-dents who are attending Flux, in Adelaide in 2011, that student-led Congress has a long and marvel-lously incohesive (and sometimes incoherent) history in Australasia. It dates back – at least we think – to 1963, when some New Zealand students invited Aldo van Eyck to Auck-land to talk about the Social Aspects of New Housing. An organised mass gathering of architecture students has happened somewhere around New Zealand or Australia at least thirty times since.This modest & messy booklet is the start of a larger project to more coherently collect and productively re-flect on the residue of Congress in Australasia. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Click here for free download

 

Pledge Me

Freerange recently used an Australian based funding platform called Pozible to raise $AU1500 to print a special book we have made called Chur Chur: Stories from the Christchurch earthquake.   It worked!  We were lucky enough to have support for our fundraiser from a similar new platform in NZ called Pledgeme.  Basically some deal as Pozible and the international Kickstarter, but all NZ owned and operated, so perfect for projects located in the Shakey Isles. Go well.

PledgeMe is the 1st funding platform in NZ. We want to offer the same opportunities that your project had but right here. It is 100% Kiwi owned and operated and aims to bring together those wanting to complete a project they have a passion for, with those who are willing, and able to support them financially.

Crowdfunding allows those with a dream to publicise their goal and attract pledges from as little as $5. In return they offer rewards that will be awarded if their target sum is reached. Content and authenticity of a project are checked before upload and a timescale is set.

A project target can be as little or large as the imagination desires, you are only limited by your ideas. It is free to add a project; charges only apply if the target is reached.

We operate through the website, www.pledgeme.co.nz, and are open to a range of creative talents: arts, circus, dance, film, photography, music, theatre, stand up comedy and other fields such as food, design, fashion, technology, games, comics, journalism, among many others.

So don’t just sit there NZ – get Crowdfunding……

Camilo Borges

Come and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pledgeme

www.pledgeme.co.nz

Infostructures

Freerange Press is proud to release the first of its academic publications.   Increasing energy costs (Guardian Article today saying Britain needs to prepare for 70s style oil shocks) are putting massive pressure on our existing transport systems. This combined with ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives is creating new dynamic opportunities in public transport. INFOSTRUCTURE presents the vision of interactive and responsive urban public transport environments where new forms of communication and information access are enabled through an overlay of urban digital media technologies.

Featuring research and projects undertaken by master students in architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney and Bachelor students in design computing at the University of Sydney, the book explores the augmentation of existing public transport environments with urban digital media technologies, to set in motion a transformation from infrastructure to ‘infostructure(s).’

Precedent based research and technology investigations underpin the twenty featured student projects, that address a nexus of space, urban media, sensor and mobile phone technology. The research presented in this book is a foundation for a series of future infostructure projects.

Only $25 online. Please go to the Freerange Shop for purchasing details.

The authors of this book combine several years of experience in designing for public transport environments and in urban computing.

  • Nicole Gardner is an architect with project experience in infrastructure planning and design and is currently teaching and lecturing at the University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Dr. M. Hank Haeusler has researched, taught and designed media facades and information architecture and has written and published several books on media architecture. He is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Dr. Martin Tomitsch has a background in informatics and interaction design. His work has been published in international conferences on human-computer interaction and ubiquitous computing. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Sydney.