home about
  • varia comes in many forms:
  • mailinglist
  • RSS feed
  • Nederlands
  • English

  • Read & Repair - The Automated Body feat. Katarina Jazbec and MELT (Loren Britton + Isabel Paehr)
    2021-06-27 11:00:00
    Published at 14 June 2021

    Every last Sunday of the month the Varia Library and the Rotterdam Electronica Depot hold Read & Repair events. Due to current circumstances, most of them have been in an online format. We invite you to visit our online space, make yourself comfortable, read or repair some things together, and share thoughts and ideas.

    In 2021 our Read & Repair sessions will be paired, we will take two months to explore one theme. During May and June 2021, we will be exploring the theme Automated Body. How can we read our bodies? With self-reflective modes of reading and moving we will re-consider our bodies and their actions towards texts and our physical environment. We will discuss movements that cannot be automated, in a machine controlled world.

    On Sunday 27th June we have a READ by Katarina Jazbec followed by a REPAIR with MELT.


    Date: Sunday, 27th June 2021

    Time: 11:00-13:00 CEST

    Location: We will meet at Gouwstraat 3 and go to the park nearby.

    NOTE: This reading session will be held in English.

    The text selection and our reading choreography in June was made by Katarina Jazbec (1991, Slovenia), a Rotterdam-based visual artist. In 2016, she filmed Our Bearings, a short about reading together with the female members of her family at the cave close to her home village. She continued her fascination for reading with the inmates of a Belgian prison in Permeating Hearts (2018). Her most recent short You Can’t Automate Me (2021) about harbour workers, art of poetic movement and stowaway animals premiered this month at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Katarina builds heterotopias and looks for new forms of storytelling while exploring the urgent questions of ethics, identity, agency, and pitfalls of our current dominant economy.

    This Read session will be overflown with no bullshit tales on living and dying together on damaged earth. How are we to live in the ruins with the dead and the living? Arundhati Roy’s ghost vultures and Anjum, a Muslim Hijra, in her opening chapter of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and The Camille Stories in the closing chapter of the Staying with the Trouble by Donna J. Haraway, speculative fabulations, will render us capable of response in disturbing times. Be careful, to read about and follow the five future generations of Camille People and the Monarch Butterflies, until the year 2425 when human numbers are largely reduced, even if coated in the context of science fiction, is not an innocent undertaking. Before you know it you’ll be deep down your knees in the compost.

    There is no prior reading needed before we come together to Read, we experience the texts for the first time together and will send out a link for download during the event.


    Date: Sunday, 27th June 2021

    Time: 14:00-16:00 CEST

    Location: https://bbb.constantvzw.org/b/cri-yp7-stj-8oc

    NOTE: This reading session will be held in English.

    The Repair session of this theme is hosted by arts-design researchers MELT. As MELT, Loren Britton and Isabel Paehr are arts-design researchers who work with games, tech and radical pedagogy. Investigating the political & material conditions of tech infrastructures, they re-distribute agency in socio-technological systems with the methods of queer play, unlearning and leaking. Their work crumbles structures, unbounds materials, dissolves technology and makes collectivities. MELT is exploring how to make something but to keep it open to change, and is doing this through formats like video artworks and workshops. MELT has been influenced by (melting) Ice, Freezers, Software, Signal, moving too fast/slow, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Digital Materialism, Decolonial thinking, Gifs, Climate Protests, Anti-Racism and Dancing.

    Ritual As Repair: Enacting 🧊Crip🔮TransTech🔥Praxis👾*

    For this repair session we will work with and around the project Rituals against Barriers by MELT which is inspired by the multiple practices of survival in the face of oppression which take the form of ritual practice. Rituals can invite a stepping away from whatever normativities and can allow entry into practices such as: Refusing to ignore a feeling, refusing to not listen to your body because doing so would make apparent the ableism of any space, refusing to speed up even if that is the normalised tempo. Rituals can be moments of joy, of refusal, collective practice, of uncomfort and unlearning. Rituals are often a pathologized aspect of a lived disability experience (what makes something a ritual and not a habit?). One example of this is stimming, the repetition of movements or sounds that one finds calming or joyful. In this repair session we will practice some pre-described rituals from the project and be prompted to invent new ones as ways of finding access into spaces, places, feelings and technologies.

    The next themes we'll be looking at in 2021 are Digital Solidarity, and Community Memory.

    Read is alternatively guided by a Varia Library group member, the following Read (in the next month) is guided by a guest. Both sessions revolve around the same theme, with different texts and methods to read them. The guest Read session is accompanied a Repair session. The Repair session is a practical exploration of the same theme, led by a guest or a Rotterdam Eletronica Depot member. It is an active workshop you can experiment with at home, and one day in our Depot, when we can physically gather.

    Our January-November 2021 programme is funded by Gemeente Rotterdam.