Mute was founded out of a desire to produce critical analyses of art and technology rooted in practice and social awareness. The organisation has evolved around the production of Mute magazine, which was launched in 1994 and is presently published online and as a biannual journal.
To date, Mute has produced an influential, interdisciplinary body of work discussing the intersections of cultural and knowledge production, information politics and the networked global economy. Proud to be Flesh (2009), an anthology of these texts, demonstrates the impact digital networks had around the end of the millennium on interconnected communities of thought and practice, ranging from philosophy to hacking, activism and art. Building on this publication, Mute Books is a new imprint specialising in cultural politics. It aims to give more space to the many distinctive voices that Mute has hosted or whose contribution to contemporary culture deserves a more sustained focus.
As an organisation, Mute Publishing embraces the challenges of theory and practice in tandem, concentrating particularly on the needs of independent producers and small organisations, with whom it shares lessons learnt experimenting with new formats, technologies and distribution models. Through the digital agency, OpenMute, the organisation also promotes and advocates for tools and infrastructures which embody its values, empower itself and its user community, and enrich the public experience of the internet.
OpenMute ran the Art of Digital London programme of digital strategy workshops from 2009/10, supporting Arts Council London’s regularly funded organisations. TheKnowledge, currently in pre-release, is an online extension of this programme that goes live in Summer 2011.