2024 mh bio Barefoot Documents

# Barefoot Documents - Mike Hales March 2024 For 35 years and more, *Barefoot Documents* has been a tag for the civil-society work of me, Mike Hales. It’s a brand under which I continue to publish public documents, from Seven Dials, Brighton, Sussex, England.

I’m a designer/organiser/facilitator of infrastructure in the commons, mobilised in making a Living Economy; notably, digital infrastructure. I also - or rather, primarily - work in the sphere of ‘theory of practice’, in skilfully cultivating activist formations that have the capability to skilfully make a living economy: the work of ‘formación’.

Original logo 1986. Hand-pixellated! On a BBC Micro!! It took days.

Work of these kinds began as a ‘technologist/economist’ within the remarkable London Industrial Strategy team led by Robin Murray at the Greater London Council, in the 80s. This is when I first applied the *Barefoot Documents* tag.

Well, actually, the theory-of-practice practice began further back in the 70s, with bailing out of a nascent career as a chemical engineer in a global corporation, with a DPhil at Sussex in the 70s, *Operational research and the forces of production - A Marxist analysis of science and ideology*, with the editorial collective of *Radical Science Journal* and with ‘fieldwork’ for *Living thinkwork - Where do labour processes come from?*, back inside the global corporation, under cover.

30 years later - This was created in 10 min, on an iPad.

But these are longer stories. Briefly: I’m a ‘retired’ anthropologist and labour-process researcher-developer: a culture hacker. A continual query of mine is: “Hi, I’m from Mars: what is it you folks do around here?” I work in the medium of pattern language and federated wiki; for example here, a wiki-space for evolving pattern language of activist practice in the commons: [foprop weave](https://wiki.foprop.org/view/welcome-visitors/view/making-the-living-economy---the-foprop-weave)

Under *Barefoot Documents* I also publish first-person reflections arising, travelogue fashion, in journeying in class geography and emotional landscape: the ‘longer stories’ alluded to above. Notably these collections (palimpsests, bricolages) are: - *Living thinkwork - Where do labour processes come from?* (1980). - *Science or society - The politics of the work of scientists* (1982) - *Location - Some explorations of power and landscapes of design* (2016). Selected writing on ‘work’ and class geography 1975-1995. - Humble origins 1 - *All roads lead to Halifax* - Humble origins 2 - *Every place is itself* - Humble origins 3 - *Activists and the long march home - Class geography, conviviality, melancholy territory (some prospects for libertarian socialist adventures)* - A draft monograph in honour of economist Robin Murray: *From economics to organising - Formación, scope and making a living economy* (2021)

These can all be found here: - [Barefoot Documents - mh books 2016- ](https://share.mayfirst.org/s/LzbJ26KnxRp2Yeb). Other approaches to biographical summary are here: [mh biog](https://share.mayfirst.org/s/Ajne9RMLfdgyAb9) and here Biography.