Aphelis is an archive of items related to communication, technology and art. It also acts as a research blog about the loose ends of the ideals of community (see below). In doing so, it provides adequate source attribution for each and every one of its entries. Aphelis is maintained by Philippe Theophanidis, associate professor at York University, in Toronto (Canada).
Over the years, the site has been referenced or linked to by a number of significant publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Wired, Variety, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Kos, Notebook, Flavorwire, Indiewire, and The Dish. Its content has been quoted in peer-reviewed journals and in books.
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“Ideals of community” refer to the various beliefs either that human beings once have lived together harmoniously (nostalgia for a lost community) or that it is their upcoming destiny (hope in the coming community). Those ideals tend to see community as being positive both in the sense that it is believed to be substantial (it is thought to be something) and in the sense that it is believed to be good (it is thought to be a desirable value).
The need to research the “loose ends” of those ideals stems from the experience of actual conditions of coexistence. The “loose ends” are the pieces of everyday life that don’t quite fit the picture: conflicts, catastrophes, dissensions. More importantly, the need for this inquiry rise from the paradoxical fact that such deadly confrontations often are carried in the name of safeguarding the communal life.
In order to be able to think through this deadlock, ideals of community must be turned upside down. This research blog intend to document the process by which “community” or human coexistence can be thought of along different paths. In doing so, it will explicitly explore the trails opened by Jean-Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito and others. Community here won’t be approached as something substantial but on the contrary as a gap. It won’t be given a positive value but instead will be treated as an existential condition.
The attribution method I’m using is quite simple. Each entry is an item archived and structured in the following way:
- Title linked to a permanent URL;
- The item itself ― Most of the time it’s either a quote or an image;
- Adequate source attribution ― Basically I want to provide enough information so it could be used in an academic paper. It’s usually possible when the item is a quote. I’ll provide the author’s name, the title of the book or article, the name of the translator and publishers, as well as a place and years of publication (both for the first edition and the edition cited if it applies), page number(s) and a URL (a link to Google Books or to the publisher’s official website for example) in order to provide a way to verify the attributed information.
When the item is an image, it can be more difficult. If it comes from a book, I’ll treat it as a quote. But sometimes I’ll refer to Flickr or the artist’s official website. I usually want to put a date on the item and, if possible, give the dimensions and some information about the medium used. If I can’t find the name of the artist or the year of production, I’ll put as much relevant information as I can find through a thorough research (Google’s Search by Image tool is a great way to look for such information when adequate credit is missing).
- All of the above is enough for me to create an entry. However, since I moved the archive on this self-hosted WordPress blog back in November 2010, I usually try to add complementary information as well as some thoughts regarding the featured item. In this section, I’ll also try to provide adequate source attribution (while quoting blog articles for example) but I may also use in-text linking since otherwise the references may become too heavy.
I don’t think of this structure as a model everyone should adopt. First because it’s far from being perfect. Some of the entries featured here have poorer source attribution than others. Second and most importantly because the fact it fits my needs doesn’t mean it fits everyone else’s needs. In fact, I’m confident it will be downright inadequate and impractical for other kinds of online activities. A longer analysis of this issue is available here: Some remarks on authorship and source attribution.
This site was hand-coded using Coda, Text Wrangler and Transmit. It’s periodically tested in Safari, Chrome and Firefox. It’s also optimized for popular mobile devices. If you find any bug in here, or feel that something is not working as it should, please contact me.
The orange and grey color scheme used both Aphelis was inspired by the Draplin Design Company website.
Aphelis was originally styled out of Hybrid Orignal, a child-theme working under the Hybrid parent theme developped by Justin Tadlock, the man behind Theme Hybrid. In 2021, the nice folks at Atémi rebuilt the site with Elementor.
Though I own a lot to those guys (and others), the bugs and bad taste on this website are all mine.
- All works found on Aphelis are copyrighted by their respective creator. Unless I clearly state so, one must assume they are not public domain. I give adequate references to each and every post I publish (i.e. references to the original creator, date of creation, context of publication and URL links when available). If you wish not to see your work reproduced here, feel free to contact me and I will comply.
- My own original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License: you’re free to copy, distribute and transmit the work if you properly attribute it to Philippe Theophanidis (and, optionally, link back to Aphelis.net). You may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.