2020 – what a rollercoaster of a year!
We are very sad we had to cancel VOLUMES 2020, which would have taken place on the 28th and 29th of November at Kunsthalle Zürich, but we are super excited to announce here the three winners of our first VOLUMES Award ever! You, the public, have voted and chosen the winners. You can still find all the submissions in the Archive section. With this first VOLUMES award we wanted to highlight and support some of the production and producers of 2020, most especially artists and publishers with small means, making meaningful and selfless work.
We wanted to share here some of the content you would have been able to discover throughout the weekend. Find here a complete list of all the artists and publishers who have applied to VOLUMES 2020, a draft of what our poster would have looked like and introductions to the five „Carte Blanche“ projects, which would have had a special display. Also we will of course continue developing our archive project, to which so many of you have contributed. Stay tuned, many things will come!
Stay safe and take care, we can’t wait to see you all again in the future!
Anne-Laure, Gloria & Patrizia
VOLUMES AWARD: We are very happy to present this year's winners!
In alphabetical order:
greek dog days by Ilja Niederkirchner
I love it when translation can be found to agree with our weird desires by Ulufer Çelik & Alaa Abu Asad
Through the Mask by Aurelia Peter
Congratulations and thank you SO much to all the participants. We were impressed by the quality of the submissions and are very happy to have started this new project with you. All publications will now be part of the VOLUMES archive and have also been listed on @edcatnet. Our archive gets activated and showcased within curated libraries throughout the year. Keep an eye on our Instagram account to follow the upcoming activities around it.
With this first VOLUMES award we wanted to highlight and support some of the production and producers of 2020, most especially artists and publishers making meaningful work with small means.
Artists and publishers from all over the world were invited to submit their production and we welcomed everybody to vote online for their favorite. The 3 publications with the most votes receive a cash prize of CHF 500 each to support their work.
This year and for the first time at VOLUMES, we had invited and given a carte blanche to five incredible collectives.
We will continue to work with them in the coming months. Let us introduce them to you:
Decolonize Zurich, Futuress, MACACO PRESS, Station of Commons, Wir Publizieren
Although Switzerland never obtained any colonies, it cannot be understood without colonialism. Everyday ideas and concepts are colonially embedded. Some paradigmatic examples are the "colonial goods", as trade goods from "exotic" regions are called and sold in stores like Schwarzenbach Kolonialwaren; racist representations can still be seen on the facades of public buildings and non-European forms of knowledge and regions are constantly subjected and exploited. Moreover, the social conflicts of migration and integration are rooted in the colonial past. Current global inequalities and dependencies can also be attributed to a colonial dimension. Switzerland therefore must come to terms with its own colonial past and acknowledge the late effects of colonialism in the present.
Decolonization aims to question, destabilize and, in the end, overcome asymmetrical constellations and ruling ideologies. Due to the constantly changing world situation, a multitude of possible actions must be developed to rectify and reduce the social, political and cultural grievances. Therefore, decolonization constantly requires new measures.
We take postcolonial theories as the starting point of our reflection on action. Decolonial problematization in the academic, political, cultural and social context is central to transform patterns of thought and expanding the canon of knowledge and practices. We understand decolonial action as a diverse range of practices that intervene in the colonial structures, discourses and practices within the city of Zurich. The interventions should always raise new questions, deliver different answers and spark discussions. In the context of the city of Zurich, where people from around 180 nations with different residence rights live, questioning social differences and the scope of action of marginalized individuals and groups are important and very topical.
For Volumes 2020, we had planned to launch and display our first fanzine “colonial. one concept at the time”. Fanzines are an excellent medium for subcultural and counter informational political expression. Decolonial critique positions itself similarly on the border between marginalized and hegemonic knowledge production. In addition, collaboration, self-organization and resourcefulness are key to the fanzine production, meaningful tools to every decolonial action as well. Although, we will produce our fanzine during spring 2021, we want to take the invitation of Volumes 2020 to start a similar collaborative action: a decolonial archive! Zurich has already long-standing communities, organizations, groups and collectives fighting against colonialism, discrimination, injustice, inequality and racism. These social, cultural and political actors have produced books, pamphlets, fanzines, radio transmissions, videos, websites, posters and other works to this end. We want to continue the fight creating a place where people can go and read, look and listen to contributions towards a non-discriminatory, non-racist, non-colonial society.
We invite you to be part of this decolonial archive within the Volumes Archive. Send or lend us your books, fanzine, pamphlets or whatever format you have produced to criticize colonial structures or to imagine decolonial futures. Your contributions will be displayed on the website of Volumes and Decolonize Zurich and be accessible to the public in the Volumes library as well. Let’s collectivize to decolonize!
Welcome to Futuress: An online magazine and community space for design politics. The newly launched publishing platforms understands design as an expansive social and political practice, and examines the objects, systems, and structures that shape our lived realities. With its queer intersectional feminist outlook, the site strives to be a home for the histories, people, and perspectives that have been—and still often remain—underrepresented, oppressed, and ignored in design at large.
Futuress’s model is two-fold: The team runs online workshops on design research, and also publishes original reporting and critical writing. Its digital community space seeks to foster transnational networks of solidarity, and the research by workshop participants is also published in the magazine. Futuress features nuanced, rigorous, and accessible stories centered around an expanded notion of design—and in this, is committed to the power of storytelling to convey untold histories and underrepresented perspectives to a broad audience. Its bold mission is to hold power accountable, give space to those who are seldomly represented, and make more just futures imaginable.
Currently based in Switzerland, Futuress also casts a critical eye towards its own locality and design traditions. The project was dreamt up in the summer of 2020 by Swiss journalist and editor Corin Gisel, British-German writer and editor Madeleine Morley, and Brazilian curator and design researcher Nina Paim. During uncertain and unstable times, they came together to imagine a space for togetherness, generosity, resistance, growth, social purpose, and emotional support.
The publication has launched this week with an array of stories—many centered around femininst publishing histories—including:
- An interview with the co-founder of India’s first feminist press, Urvashi Butalia
- Remembering the community of a 1980s San Francisco newsletter for and by Asian/
- Pacific lesbians
- The subversive secret behind the logo of Leïla, a 1930s feminist journal from Tunisia
- A timeline of trans and travestis lives and politics in Brazil
- Unpacking the design of “matchbox” houses in South African townships and the challenges of Covid-19
MACACO PRESS explores the relation between self-publishing and performance and plays with notions of identity and authorship based on strategies of visibility and invisibility, legal and illegal productions.
We conceive this project as a material which is not something fixed but which is constant evolution and changing, difficult to define as only one thing:
sometimes MACACO are illegal workers
sometimes MACACO are foreigners
sometimes MACACO are ephemeral performances
sometimes MACACO is printed matter
sometimes MACACO is a dog dealer
sometimes MACACO is another artist
sometimes MACACO is experimentation
sometimes MACACO are flags
sometimes MACACO is exchange
sometimes MACACO is infiltration
sometimes MACACO is a selfie
sometimes MACACO is multiple
sometimes MACACO is an association
sometimes MACACO is a social initiative
sometimes MACACO are teachers
sometimes MACACO is a political statement
sometimes MACACO is a deviant practice
sometimes MACACO is a joke
sometimes MACACO is art
sometimes MACACO is something else…
Sometimes MACACO is a vindication of a multiple and mobile way to create, in a social context limited by economic forces.
Our usual practice does not differ much from a trip, we occupy momentary places, to present materials and get in direct contact with different audiences. Our process: We explain with publications what we are doing, what other artists are doing, what is being done in the margins, we reissue materials for their history and their potential impact on the present.
Station of Commons is an ongoing collaborative initiative on digital commoning practices by Grégoire Rousseau (Helsinki) and Juan Gomez (Geneva). Initiated in February 2020, it investigates the possibilities of reappropriating technology within public space. The point of departure of the research questions both centralized knowledge and data centers operated by major organizations and its underlying social implications. What are the interdependences between the users, the providers, the services, the technology and related knowledge at work? And how to rethink another model of shared empowerment situated in time and space unique to its agent, or communities?
Station of Commons stands for radical alternative strategies to the neo-liberal system in terms of digital means of production, communication and distribution. It operates as an easily integrable on-line platform for sharing local resources. Resources as commons integrate the ideas of shared data, Open Source practices, artefacts and real time broadcast. The sustainability of exchange, the ways they interoperate, the ecologies of interaction between the Stations of Commons produce provocations for a better collective understanding on how the Commons are in constant flux and also at risk.
Each Station depends on its own means of production, way of thinking, learning and sharing. This position of autonomy reflects on the original concept of Internet: the equality in the relation client to server and the openness of the algorithmic process. The Station of Commons operates as a vibrant thinking space dedicated for tutorials, live performances and critical discussions around the practice of commoning and open technologies.
Since March 2020, Station of Commons assembles together practitioners from various fields; educators, designers and coders, curators and artistic practice at large. Their intervention for Volumes reflects on Station of Commons work about radical digital practices in the framework of editing practices and forms of artistic practices. Station of Commons researches on the possible agency of critical discursive content together with digital art practice. How to produce a space developing both radicality in digital practices and opening to theoretical propositions? How to organize a laboratory of ideas and matters centered around digital commoning practices always in the making?
The project is based on an archive of independent and mostly Swiss publications from the 1960s onwards, which has been created, curated and studied at HKB. The archive contains magazines produced and published by young people, designers, artists, and social agitators termed Bewegte, who explored ways of sharing their thoughts without applying any professional filters. Little consideration, if any, was given to target audiences or mainstream mediation and dissemination methods.
Featured in this exhibition are the archive’s current holdings of around 500 publications that range from art and culture to politics and social movements. Magazines and distribution structures, current research and early results are presented; two questions are explored: What evidence is there for an increased interest in print media? How have topics, approaches, aesthetics and attitudes changed in independent publishing since the 1960s – and why?
Within the framework of the exhibition, regular public talks are held with designers, artists, authors and editors of the publications from the collection, who explore questions of self-organisation, role assignments, orientation, distribution, financing, cooperation and self-empowerment.
We have been collecting independent magazines from art, culture, politics and various movements in Switzerland since 1960. The focus is on publications in which social bonds were created and which favored collective practices. The magazines can be viewed in the HKB media library, the Swiss Social Archives, the Swiss National Library, in the Kasama and Bern information shops. We want to collect and link not only magazines, but also knowledge about publishing, for example, between underground publications, magazines by artists, political magazines and post-digital projects. Our collection does not claim to be complete but reflects the current status of our research. We are grateful for tips, corrections and donations. For the time being, informations regarding the collection are only available in German.
As a non-profit organisation and collective depend on funding. We happily accept donations and thank you very much for your support:
Postfinance, IBAN: CH18 0900 0000 6176 3403 3