Varia is a Rotterdam based initiative, which started in 2017 from the need to open up their members' practices and organise ad-hoc public or semi-public moments among different configurations; at its core it aims at developing critical understandings of the technologies that surround us. Varia experiments with tools for building physical and digital infrastructures of affinity in a collective way.
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.
You can subscribe to our mailing list to be kept up to date with what's going on.
Another way to stay in touch with Varia is by subscribing to our RSS feeds.
From the different constellations that the members organise themselves as, various events emerge.
varias like to meet up and look at things together; we call these smaller formations work groups. There are often days or evenings in which interested parties gather to study, discuss or work on a specific subject. Depending on the work group, they can be open to the public.
As a way to share skills which we have among the group, and at the same time to reach towards a more sustainable model, 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: installing Linux operating systems, discussing free and open source design programmes, 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.
Get in touch with us if you are in need.
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. They are free to use for anyone passing through, 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 neither 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 😵.