Reading Room #42 — Online Reading and Repairing with Varia

‘Repair’ by Sophi Anne

Page Not Found and the Reading Room are happy to invite you to a two-part online reading session around ‘repair’, with Cristina Cochior, amy pickles and Joana Chicau of Varia.

In this Reading Room session we will consider the modes in which our bodies interact with, are perceived by and operate through, with and against everyday communication technologies. This collective work will be carried out on an Etherpad, an open-source, web-based collaborative editor, allowing authors to simultaneously edit a text document and see all of the participants’ edits in real-time. What intimate relations are bound within our screens and machines? What does our body learn while flowing in these zones?

As a group we will look into practices of “annotating” text. We will make digital annotations as we read, digesting the words while we highlight, underline, write in the margin, look up meanings and take notes, making the text more accessible to the next person who encounters it. By creating new modes of accessing and countering text, reading together becomes a continuous re-reading.

The thoughts central to this reparative reading session are formed by scholar Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. In the essay, “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading; or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Introduction is About You”, Sedgwick tells us that rearranging what we read can be a form of sustenance. Through sharing our differences in what is nourishing, we hope to recognise the limits of what can be read and what can be repaired.

Varia (NL) is a Rotterdam based initiative focused on working with, on and through everyday technology. At its core the initiative aims to be a social infrastructure from which to collaboratively facilitate critical understandings on the technologies that surround us. The initiative is a membership-based organisation striving to become a space for questions, opinions, modifications, help and action. 

Cristina Cochior is a Rotterdam-based researcher and designer. Her work revolves around situated feminist software, affective archival interfaces, digital infrapunctures, vernacular language processing and digital knowledge organisation and transmission. Together with other members of Varia, she works on collective, non-extractive digital infrastructures.

amy pickles is an artist and loosely formed educator. In her work, she experiments with ways to hold onto, and consider, pervasive colonial infrastructures we are a part of. In our work, redistribution (of knowledge, tools, finances) and collaboration are methodologies to refuse individual ownership.

Joana Chicau is a graphic designer, coder, researcher — with a background in dance — currently based in London. In her practice she interweaves web programming languages and environments with choreography. She has been actively participating and organizing events with performances involving multi-location collaborative coding, algorithmic improvisation, open discussions on gender equality and activism.

This online session takes place in two parts: the first part from 14:30-16:30 and the second part from 17:00-19:00. Participants can choose to attend one or both parts of the session.

While a small introduction will be held over Zoom, the session itself does not take place through video-call but through the interactive Etherpad document. 

Texts for this session will be provided in the moment and there is no need for reading in advance.

Please confirm your attendance for one or both parts of the session by sending an email to