For those who would seek to influence others, the dissemination of ideas is paramount. Similarly, for those holding ambition to secrete knowledge for reasons of authority, or to protect the fruits of intellectual labour for reasons of profit or ethical concern, distribution is key. Certainly before, but more importantly since the Gutenberg Bible, the predicament of the power of knowledge has lain not with its generation but with the control of its dispersion.
This new volume in the critically acclaimed Occasional Table series of books published by Open Editions focuses attention on the act of distribution as a subject for serious creative consideration and one of great social and economic importance. Contributors from a variety of backgrounds paint a big picture that embraces the actions of the individual alongside the workings of global markets. From the attention-seeking impulse of the poseur, to the democratisation of art and knowledge in the form of books, pop music, digital networks, self-organised libraries, and the question of what can be known, and by whom, the urge to disseminate is explored here as an elemental phenomenon of our time.