The hackathon that re-invented the book. And the winners are…

8 Feb 2016
What happened at HackTheBook? Which are the books of the future? Who created them? Who won? What are the prizes?
After an intensive three-day course of presentations, hacking, making and pitching, the jury anounced on the evening of Sunday the 24th of January, the three winning teams that will be continuing to the business workshop in London with the REMIX team. All three teams managed to propose new narratives on the concept of the book through different starting points by reusing the Europeana open content. HackTheBook is part of a series of ongoing initiatives introduced by the Onassis Cultural Centre aiming at becoming the physical and digital meeting point of different creative communities and groups.

Click here for the video.
#vivl.io [Michalis Kalamaras, Ivan Kanakarakis, Aris Keratarakis, Lena Metheniti, George Papanagiotou, Panos Papanagiotou, Anna-Maria Sichani, Andreas Triantafyllides] draws upon literary classics and aspires to enable readers, especially children and pre-adolescents, to create their unique book-specific universe, both at home and in the classroom.

#Cook-Lee [Nikoleta Balothiari, Angeliki Zervou, Panagiotis Sempos]  is an interactive artist’s cookbook, aiming at enriching the cooking experience by combining knowledge on contemporary artists and their work with recipes.

#SinkAFuture [Spiros Kokkonis, Anna-Maria Vlassopoulou, Giorgos Roussos] narrate the scenario of a future dystopia with population displacements, data control centers, geopolitical changes, environmental disasters and capitalist ruins. Their project consists of a series of physical encrypted data fragments, that pass on unnoticed as ordinary 3d printed objects. Through the technique of steganography they hide sensitive (or not) data in these particular objects.

A representative of each team will be travelling to London for a Business Model Workshop by the REMIX team of experts, a pioneering label on cultural entrepreneurship. The team with the strongest business plan will proceed to an intensive three months incubation process by REMIX and Europeana Space Network, in order to capitalise its proposal.
Another seven teams participated at HackTheBook’s hackathon, challenging the jury with their ideas on redesigning the book and the reading experience. Each of them adopted a different approach on the concept of the book and addressed different audiences. Nevertheless, all teams made use of the vast repository of Europeana and its digital cultural content.

DigitalHeritageGeeks [John Panagiotopoulos, Constantinos Caravatellis, Anna Nakou, Phoebe Konstantinidi, Vasiliki Christopoulou, Christos Christopoulos]
ArcBook [Katerina Michalopoulou, Antonis Touloumis]
Experience Designers [Maria Kozari – Mela, Stavros Michalopoulos, Dimitris Agathopoulos]
MnemoTrace ‪[Katerina Antonaki, George Tsavalos]
Calculus ‪[Niki Analyti, Daphne Monastirioti, Phaedonas Yalis]
BoxTheBook [Katerina Brani, Christina Nakou, George Koumanos]
Muzine [Heracles Papatheodorou, Konstantinos Doumpenidis]  

#HackTheBook ‘s first day, on Friday the 22nd of January, consisted of an educational agenda with  five keynote speakers, Antonella Fresa (General Director at Promoter Srl), Joanna Zylinska (Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London), Gary Hall (Research Professor of Media and Performing Arts, and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media, at Coventry University), Chris Meade ( Founder at If:Book UK) and Simon Cronshaw (Managing Partner & Co-Founder at  REMIX) debating on concepts such as the book, the role of the creator, as well as on the business model sustaining an idea.

Joanna Zylinska raised the issue of transcending boundaries between the roles of the academic, the artist, and the curator in the digital arts and underlined that in the context of open technologies each and every person is a curator. More specifically, she showcased her work on hybrid publishing and presented Photomediations, which consists of an open book on photography based on archival material provided by multiple repositories.  Joanna Zylinska initially emphasized on the significance of open and hybrid publishing and the historical effect of collaborative production and concluded that the book has never been a fixed medium, but a rather negotiable and volatile subject of discourse between the creator and the reader. 

Garry Hall referred to the need to approach books less as physical media and more as interaction, as a chain of production and even as an industry of content production. Hall highlighted the concept of hacking as a means of allowing critical approach on the book, while simultaneously enabling us to envision the unexpected, the element of surprise and finally the freedom generated by innovation. 

Chris Meade delivered a highly articulated presentation on the future of the book through his work, Nearlywriting. In a particularly critical and entertaining tone of voice, he pronounced the present era as an era of “nearly”: nearly famous, nearly a writer, nearly an artist. The fashion in which all human, financial and social relations are structured is tangled in a constant negotiation, challenging and incompletion. The era of Internet of Things is genuinely an era of “nearly”.

#HacKTheBook’s first day ended with Simon Cronshaw, Managing Partner & Co-Founder at REMIX, which is the institution undertaking the business modelling for all winning teams during the Europeana Space hackathons, as well as the process of turning them into sustainable enterprises in the Creative Industries. Cronshaw underlined the importance of the triptych of culture industries, the creation of new jobs and finally the possibility of sustainability and successful entrepreneurship through the utilization of the cultural and cognitive capital aggregated by the participating teams.

The next two days, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 of January, were entirely devoted to the process of prototyping ideas with the aid of the GeniusBarExperts: Hercules Agiovlasitis (Innovation Management and funding consultant), Ismini Adami (Co-Founder, Co-Publisher and Creative Director at Dapper Dan magazine), Hlias Giannopoulos (Fixers), Nasos Drosopoulos (National Technical University of Athens), Evangelos Kaimakis (Industrial designer, artist, co-founder at E.D.O.) and Dimitris Koukoulakis ( IT Engineer, Commonslab). The jury that evaluated the participants ideas and prototypes consisted of Simon Cronshaw, Thanasis Deligiannis (coordinator of the Open Technologies Group and member of the eGovernment Group at the Greek Free & Open Source Software Society),  Antonella Fresa, Gary Hall, Prodromos Tsiavos (Head of Digital Development  at the Onassis Cultural Centre),  Theodoros Chiotis (Project Manager at Cavafy Archive, Onassis Foundation) and Joanna Zylinska.

#HackTheBook took place in the exhibition space at the Onassis Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Europeana Space, Goldsmiths College University of London, Coventry University, the Cavafy Archive, PostScriptum and with the support of GFOSS (Greek Free / Open Source Software Society).  #HackTheBook invited designers, publishers, content curators, start-uppers, developers and creative people through an open call published in the end of October 2015 to design the book of the future, today.






ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, under GA n° 621037