Grants:PEG/Theredproject/Print Wikipedia DE - PEG

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Theredproject/Print Wikipedia DE - PEG
Execute an exhibition of the German version of Print Wikipedia at Import Projects in Berlin, including events. Print Wikipedia is a multi-modal digital project wherein I create a print version of the ubiquitous online encyclopedia we write.
targetDE Wikipedia
strategic priorityIncrease Reach via in person and media impact. Increase Participation via events that increase editor retention.
start dateMay 5
start year2016
end dateJune 5
end year2016
budget (local currency)9,066.78 $5,608
budget (USD)9,066.78 $5,608
grant typeIndividual
non-profit statusNo
contact(s)• Michael(_AT_)


I am applying for funding to execute an exhibition of the German version of Print Wikipedia at Import Projects, a non-profit art gallery in Berlin. Print Wikipedia is a multi-modal digital project wherein I create a print version of the ubiquitous online encyclopedia we write. The exhibition opens on May 28th, and will run through July 4; the upload will take place over the first 8-10 days (May 28 - June 5). During the upload period we will have three public events to discuss the work. For more on Print Wikipedia, please see the short video below.


Activities: Production Information and Timeline[edit]

After 6 years of work, I premiered Print Wikipedia in Summer 2015 at Denny Gallery NYC. I installed a version of the work at Arizona State University this winter. For this Berlin exhibition I will create a German version, based on the German language Wikipedia. Making language versions is one of my long-term goals for the project, and German is the ideal language to begin with, given its place in the history of printed books and the ensuing enlightenment, as well as the robustness of the de wiki

Scale considerations: Wikipedia in other languages are smaller than English, but are still very large. The German corpus is about 40% the size of the English version. I am basing all my time estimates off of 40% of the en wiki times, which were 2 weeks of wallpaper fabrication and install time, and 3 1/2 weeks of upload supported by two people. This is a reasonable, but potentially variable assumption. As such, I am planning on a 11 day fabrication and install period, and a 12-14 day upload period.

Pre-upload (August 2015-May 15, 2016): Over the last 6 months I have rewritten sections of the code to improve stability, and performance, based off of observations from the en wiki upload. At present, I am testing the code with the German corpus, and working through several bugs specific to the technocultural practices of de wiki (the library I am using can't parse some of the wiki markup patterns), and several bugs with the EU supply chain. Both of these will be resolved in the next 2-3 weeks, allowing for enough time to download the [most recent de wiki dump] and begin the long process of creating the files for upload. I expect the pre-production process to be complete by May 15th.

Installation (May 17-May 28): The exhibition consists of custom wallpaper, a set of books, and a durational performance of the upload process. The wallpaper files have to be sized, created, printed, and installed on site. I will arrive on May 17th, and my assistant Jonathan Kiritharan will arrive on May 22nd. From May 17-21 I will be measuring the walls and fabricating the wallpaper to those exact sizes. When Jonathan arrives we will install the wallpaper (2 days) and set up and test the upload process (2 days). The exhibition needs to be ready by May 26 for photographs the gallery is taking for publicity.

Upload (May 28-June 5): The English version took 3 1/2 weeks to upload (running 24 hours a day), plus about 2 weeks of clean up work. The upload needs to be attended to by Jonathan and myself: during the en wiki upload the code typically crashed every 2 to 6 hours, as there is a hiccup with the process. Restarting is relatively simple for someone experienced with the code, but beyond what we would ask of a gallery attendant or curator. Furthermore, the Import Projects is typically only open four days a week, but during the upload we (Jonathan and I) will keep the gallery open every day during business hours. In NYC we kept the gallery open 24 hours for the first weekend, which made a lot of sense given that it was in a storefront in the Lower East Side, a high foot traffic late-night neighborhood; in Berlin it doesn't make sense to do that as it is second floor in a low foot traffic neighborhood, but it is symbolically important to have it open each day.

Events: During this week, we will have three different public events (6-9PM)

  1. An art opening on May 28th. Main audience is local Berlin art audience.
  2. A Wikipedian focused walkthrough and discussion on May 31st. Main audience will be German Wikipedians
  3. A public conversation about the work in dialog with a new media art scholar (finalizing participation) on June 2nd. Will appeal to both German Wikipedians, and international art audience which will be in Berlin for the Berlin Biennale that opens the next day.


Target readership[edit]

German Wikipedia, as well as the global Wikipedia community and general audience via the global media reach of this project.

Fit with strategy[edit]

What crucial thing will the project try to change or benefit in the Wikimedia movement? Please select the Wikimedia strategic priority(ies) that your project most directly aims to impact and explain how your project fits. Most projects fit all strategic priorities. However, we would like project managers to focus their efforts on impacting 1–2 strategic priorities. Examples of strategic priorities can be found here.

Michael Mandiberg talks about Print Wikipedia
Wikipedia page from Contributor Appendix (detail)
Artist Michael Mandiberg and his assistant Jonathan Kiritharan of the "Print Wikipedia" project, at the "From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!" exhibition, on the day before its opening at Denny Gallery, New York City, USA.
  1. Increasing Reach: This project will increase the number of people reading Wikipedia globally, and thinking about its scale and cultural significance through this compelling Visualization. As a result of this exhibition of Print Wikipedia with its Contributors Appendix, the WIkipedia community, and the world at large will have a concrete understanding of just how big the German Wikipedia and how big the community is in concrete terms. This reach can be quantified in two ways:
    1. Attendance: at least 500 people will see the work in person during its exhibition (50-75 at each event, plus 10-15 people per day for the duration of the exhibition)
    2. Media impact: It is likely that millions will see it via its media impact. In the 2015 this project demonstrated enormous media impact, with nearly 200 articles in over 30 countries, including some really high-impact venues (New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Artforum, ARTnews, and others). The WMF press team believes that the 2015 press reached 10M people, which is the highest media impact achieved by any Wikipedia story with a community origin. While I don't expect the same overwhelming level of coverage, it will still be substantial. And while the direct goal of the project is to create this physical installation with its virtual counterpart, the very widespread reach of this coverage will undoubtedly spread the idea of editing Wikipedia to people who will begin editing. This project is unique in that it exists at the nexus of three very different areas: technology, art, and knowledge. It provides an entry point for various community members and, in doing so, creates bridges between communities that might not otherwise meet or collaborate.
  2. Increasing Participation: This project substantially impacts editor enrichment and retention: Jonathan and I were in the gallery most of the 3 1/2 weeks of the NYC exhibition, and each had dozens of conversations with Wikipedians who came in to see the show. I knew the Wikipedians because they all went up to the Contributor Appendix and methodically searched for their username, and each of them found it. I met dozens of active Wikipedians who never attended WM NYC events, but felt the pull to visit. Some came from afar. en:User:Nowa came from Connecticut, en:User:Haeb stopped by on a layover on their way to Europe and en:User:Jimbo Wales visited from London. These points of contact and enrichment necessarily help with editor retention.
    1. WMDE has agreed to be involved in doing community outreach during the exhibition period, in particular for the May 31st event. Given that many Wikipedians who were not involved with the chapter came to the exhibit in NYC, this could be a good opportunity for WM DE staff or volunteers to meet with or gather contact info from community members who do not usually turn up at events or on chapter forums.

Measures of success[edit]

Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed. See the PEG program resources for suggested measures of success.

  1. At least 150 people will attend all events combined.
  2. At least 10 high impact media outlets will cover the story.
  3. I successfully upload the full set of the German version of Print Wikipedia

Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some global metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

Resources and risks[edit]


  1. The code works. I have spent 6 years working on this code, contributing my own time, as well as securing or providing nearly $40,000 in funding to develop this project. And as we proved in Summer 2015, the code works
  2. My experience with the upload process. I have done the upload once before, so I know what to expect. I have refined the code, so there should be less bugs, and a smoother process
  3. My experience with the installation process. In addition to the first full installation of the wallpaper and books, I completed a successful installation at Arizona State University, which allowed me to get a better sense of the timeframe and challenges of doing an installation on site, away from my home base and resources. It was successful, and I can use that experience to make this a success
  4. My experience holding informal events and conversations, like the second of the two events proposed (May 31, June 2). I have 15 years of teaching experience, have spoken about my work widely, and have spent a large part of the last five years organizing similar conversations. See the New York Arts Practicum, or my upcoming Arts in Practice talk at the Museum of Modern Art.
  5. Jonathan Kiritharan, who has been assisting me on this project of the past 2+ years. Items 1 & 2 both apply to him as well.
  6. Support from WMDE community team. I have recently made contact with WMDE communications and community team members, who are very excited about the project, and are prepared to help with community outreach and communication.
  7. Strong support from, who have been and will continue to support the project by assisting with technical and supply chain debugging. They will also help with communication.
  8. Support of Import Projects, who will be assisting with installation, events, and communication.
  9. Support of Denny Gallery, who will be assisting with logistics and communication.
  10. Taking place during the Berlin Biennale, and part of the special/auxilliary programming.
  11. International interest. This project captivates the imagination of a extraordinarily broad range of audiences, both Wikipedian and non-Wikipedian.


  1. Outreach to German Wikipedia community may not be as successful as hoped. As a lead co-organizer of Art+Feminism we have not been as successful with outreach in Germany, as we have had in other developed WM chapters. This risk is significantly mitigated by the recent enthusiastic interest of key WMDE team members.
  2. The press may not be interested in this new chapter in the Print Wikipedia story. We certainly are not going to get coverage on the front page of the New York Times, but we will likely get some continued coverage from outlets that previously covered the project. More importantly, the major German outlets didn't cover the project in 2015, so there is room for growth there.
  3. I may have difficulty with infrastructure needs in Berlin. For the wallpaper I need a specific kind of paper, and a printer to print on.
    1. At present I am sourcing the paper (though the US distributor can ship to Berlin).
    2. Import Projects is currently doing outreach to art schools, and fab labs to find a printer that I can work on. Our anticipation is that we will be able to find someone willing to let me use the printer, so long as I pay for ink usage (likely $300-400).


Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

I have divided this Budget into four sections. The pre-event costs are costs/funds spent to date, and are not requested from WMF. Core Event costs are the most basic needs for making the event possible. In addition, I have included the costs of book fabrication (some of which is being supported in-kind from, and a small section of the labor that will be required over the next two months. I have included these in modules, so as to allow the PEG committee to understand where the costs/requests lie. Obviously, I seek full support, but I welcome whatever support PEG can provide.

Pre-Event Production Costs Cost Notes
2008-2015 Pre Denny Gallery Development costs (includes $8000 in residency costs from Banff Centre, $5000 in development costs from Eyebeam, $6000 grant from CUNY, $3000 from Art PR specialist in kind, and $15,000 in self funding.) $42,000 Various non WMF sources
Post Denny Gallery Development costs $6,000 from ASU honorarium
Total (already invested in project) $48,000 Various non WMF sources
Core Event Costs Cost
Airfare for Mandiberg and Kiritharan from NYC to Berlin $1.950 funded as TPS grant
Accommodation (week 1): One person, USD 60 per night x 5 + 8% AirBnb service charge $324 moved here at TPS request
Accommodation (week 2+3): Two people, USD 120 per night x 14 nights + 8% AirBnb service charge $1,814 moved here at TPS request
Food per diem: $40/day per person x 33 person-days $1,320 moved here at TPS request
Import Projects gallery space and curator labor (documentation, communication, writing, gallery attendant) $6,000 in kind via Import Projects
Wallpaper printing facilities (16 hours of printer use, at $50/hr) $800 requested by Import Projects from local Fab Lab (in kind)
Wallpaper Materials (3 rolls Phototex paper @$611.26 each, printer ink @$400) $2,233.78 Update: I was just able to locate an EU distributor, and the wallpaper materials are significantly more expensive in the EU (tariffs?). This also means that I will not need shipping -- I also realized that I would likely have to pay customs duties on the paper if I shipped, which would introduce the uncertainty of how long it would take to get through customs. That increases this section of the request by $933.78.
Event costs (3 events @$200 refreshments, speaker honorarium and travel @$400) $1,000
Art PR consultant $3,000 provided by Denny Gallery
Total $18,141.78
Total Requested 6,691.78
Book Fabrication Costs Cost
Wikipedia Contributor Appendix (5 volumes @$35 per volume) $175 I have processed the databases, and there are only 800,000 contributors to DE wiki, which is about 13% the size of the EN wiki. I expect this will actually be 5 volumes, not 20. I have also determined there will be nearly 3500 volumes for the full DE wiki. This reduces this request by $525.
Print Wikipedia - (60 volumes from selected sets to exhibit in installation @$35 per volume) $2,100 ( covering 40 books in kind)
Total $2,275
Total Requested $875
Labor Cost
Software Consultant/Assistant labor offsite (NYC) and onsite (Berlin) @ $25/hr (standard WMF labor rate)
--- offsite (NYC) final pre-production (complete code refactor, last bugs, refresh data and fabricate PDFs) - 100 hours $2,500 self-funded by Mandiberg
--- onsite (Berlin) production (upload script, network/router config, managing upload) - 60 hours $1,500
Artist labor supervising the final software development, code/data preparation, and onsite execution @ 25/hr
--- offsite (NYC) final pre-production (project management, refactor/last bugs, refresh data and fabricate PDFs) - 120 hours $3,000 in kind by Mandiberg
--- onsite (Berlin) production (wallpaper fabrication, installation project management, upload script, managing upload) - 120 hours $3,000 in kind by Mandiberg
Total $10,000
Total Requested $1,500
Total cost of project
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
Additional sources of revenue noted in the tables above. Amounts funded/requested noted above (funded unless specified as requested). Sources include:
  • WMF TPS program
  • Banff Centre
  • Eyebeam
  • CUNY
  • Denny Gallery
  • Import Projects
  • Arizona State University
  • self-funding

Non-financial requirements[edit]

See a description of non-financial assistance available. Please inform the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requests for non-financial assistance now.

Requests for non-financial assistance, if any

Support from the WMF communication team with press outreach

Confirmation of Venue[edit]

Please see this letter of invitation for confirmation of the support from the venue.


Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a village pump, talk page, mailing list. Please paste a link below to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project and Event Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

For grantees

If you are the grantee or representative that wrote this grant submission, you may request changes by using these links: