varia (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam) is a space for developing collective approaches to everyday technology. As varia members, we maintain and facilitate a collective infrastructure from which we generate questions, opinions, modifications, help and action. We work with free software, organise events and collaborate in different constellations. varia figures things out as they go, tries to keep notes, is multilingual, has open hours and can be contacted at info[@]varia.zone.
Being considerate about the channels that we use to communicate, we negotiate our on-line dependencies by self-hosting our digital infrastructure. Varia members are involved in the use and development of federated networks like XMPP group chats and Mastodon instances, RSS feeds, available in Dutch and English, or the mailing list. Find more about our Online Hosting tools below.
Similarly, the space itself can host collective moments and has resources like an electronic parts depot, tools and workbenches, as well as printing facilities. Find more about our Physical Hosting below.
From the initiative of its members, various public events are organized at Varia.
Varia likes to meet up and look at things together; we call these smaller formations work groups. There are often days on which interested parties gather to study, discuss or work on a specific subject. Depending on the work group, these can be open to the public.
The current work groups are the homebrewserver.club, the Varia Library group, Riso Group, pub.club and Rotterdams Electronica Depot.
As a way to share skills which we have among the group, varia members offer a curriculum, shaped and reshaped by the occupations and preoccupations of the members.
Find more information here.
During open days, we offer various activities, including installing Linux operating systems, discussing free and open source design programmes and game sessions.
We are located at the corner between Gouwstraat and Wolphaertstraat in Charlois, Rotterdam. We use the space to organise and host events, but also other types of get-togethers. Fragments of what happens in the space are documented and stored in our budding archive. If the interests and concerns of the space seem to be in line with something you're working on, please feel free to contact us at info[@]varia.zone for details.
There is a modest physical library in the space, which can be consulted whenever the space is open.
Members have access to different printing tools:
Since many of the independent electronics stores in Rotterdam have permanently closed their doors, it has become nearly impossible to hop on a bike and quickly get some parts. In response to this varia started the Rotterdam Electronics Depot, a community resource where members can purchase common parts parts at cost.
One of the core interests of varia is to relate to technology by installing or making it ourselves. We host multiple services on the Varia server. These are free to use, however, please keep in mind that the purpose of these tools is to experiment, they are possibly unstable.
varia hosts a server for the federated chat protocol XMPP, supporting all the latest features.
Get in touch with us if you want to have an account on our server.
Etherpad is an open source collective writing space that the members use to collect thoughts, write messages together and keep each other informed.
We work with Etherdump to turn a collaborative writing practice into a collaborative publishing practice. Etherdump is a command line tool that extends the multi writing and publishing functionalities of the etherpad by exporting the pads in multiple formats. To explore and investigate various collaborative publishing potentials of etherdump, we forked the project into etherpump.
As part of our practices, varia members write situated software that we make public on our gitea instance. This website, for example, is fully available to be copied and multiplied or studied and reimplemented.
Practices of copying, appropriation, piracy and sharing are messy in different ways: politically, legally, culturally and economically. We are in the process of (re)considering our license policy. Copyright is not always the answer, open licenses are also not always ideal. Opinions might vary in the group and different situations ask for different publishing conditions. All our content is therefore published under copyright at this moment, unless mentioned otherwise.
Last updated: Tue 19 January 2021