The Publishing House for Handbooks was founded in Stuttgart in 2014 with the aim to investigate mechanisms of change. It is likely that the place – a city of engineers, stronghold of the techno-fetish and protestant ethics was more prone to trigger the appearance of a publishing house around the genre of the handbook. Surrounded by the ever present call for efficiency and the prerogative of a compulsive realpolitik the publishing house started to test how things work (out), analyse the promise of the functional and the strategies of its enforcement.
Our authors are artists, that through their singular expertise confront the rhetorics of the handbook. Up until now eleven handbooks have been published in two collections (organon 1 and 2). Furthermore we interpret handbooks as scripts for a Theatre of Operationality and collect existing handbooks in Safe Operations.
The contemporarily most ubiquitous instance of the handbook is the instruction manual. It lacks both a price tag and an author. Public libraries do not collect it and the question of design is mostly neglected. Literary morphology assigns it (if at all) a place at the fringes of nonfiction among reportages, scientific and bureaucratic texts.
The instruction manual claims that things work out. Its inherent truth claim on what a thing is is naturalized to such an extent, that it governs the realm of sense-certainty almost unchallenged and thus informs our interaction with objects. The task of the Publishing House for Handbooks then must be to question this claim, liberate sense-certainty and set up an experimental fermentation lab for the recipes of the future.
Studio Sara Cristina Moser
V_____erlag für Handbücher
Kraft, Kühn und Schiefer GbR
(c) 2019 Verlag für Handbücher