Thursday, December 02, 2010

Radix Media update

There are 35 hours left in the Radix Media Kickstarter campaign, and less than a thousand dollars to raise to make sure they get funding for equipment upgrades. Radical media really needs basic infrastructure improvements are pretty much all levels, so that the energy expended by printers, publishers, distributors, retailers, tablers, etc., is not constantly a sort of hamster-wheel affair, where ever-increasing amounts of effort always seem to bring us back to about where we started. A little thing like being able to automate pamphlet-making (the goal of the Radix campaign) can free up critical hours for all the other tasks that keep precarious projects moving forward.

The thing that is probably not clear about alternative media, to those who have not already been absorbed by its concerns, is that, as often as not, a huge percentage of the work involved in being a successful radical printer, or binder, or bookseller, etc., is not the application of your specialized craft, but all the other tasks that come with working against the grain of "the economy." Like it or not, just keeping a serious zine project afloat generally requires one to be artisan, entrepreneur, diplomat, prognosticator, visionary, one-person army in the fight for social change, etc.—and most of our mutual aid networks are not robust enough to much more than balance the support they give with a new set of energy-demands. We have to work hard, but we would do well to work smart—and to contribute to one another's efficiency when we can. There's a delicate balance of devotion and business sense, defensive capitalization and gift economy, that we have to strike if we are to make alternative media something other than a cross that some of us bear. Fortunately, the costs—all the various sorts of costs—are comparatively small, and become rapidly less onerous when we commit to sharing them.

Think, while there's still time in this campaign, about chipping in a little to help Radix Media work both harder and smarter.

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