Bibliotecha at the Manila Biennale


An instance of Bibliotecha was part of The Manilla Biennale Zine Fest. The Filipino instance was renamed to Hoholtecha, as a reference to Xerox Hohol – a series of book pirating parties held in a small coffeeshop located right next to a copy shop on Sucat Road, Manila.

Hoholtecha @ Manila Biennale 2018 Hoholtecha @ Manila Biennale 2018

Hoholtecha at Manila Biennale – No budget to buy zines? Iz hokay. Everything is free at HOHOLTECHA. Free PDFs for every all. All you need is a smartphone or a laptop. With love, Hardworking Goodlooking

The story behind Hoholtecha starts in ZineCamp 2017, where I met Clara Balaguer, a cultural worker based in Manila who was in Rotterdam for a residency in Print Room. She is the founder of Hardworking Goodlooking – design studio and publishing arm of The Office of Culture and Design – and facilitator of Xerox Hohol. When attending one of her talks, it seemed that a digital distribution hub for the pirated publications could work well too. As Clara was interested, Florian Cramer provided a raspi, then Clara and I met for a ‘Bibliotecha session’ after which we had an instance (almost) ready to use – a few details were finished a couple of days after. Clara took the raspi with her to the Philippines, where Hoholtecha did a good job at distributing files at the Biennale. 🙂 Bibliotecha thanks everyone that was somehow involved!

Bibliotecha goes to Radical Networks, New York!


Andre, Lucia and myself had the chance to present bibliotecha at Radical Networks conference at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (MAGNET) in collaboration with EYEBEAM on 24th –25th October,  2015. Bibliotecha project was present during the event through an installation, which provided a local book distribution network for the participants and audience, a short presentation and a workshop.

Radical Networks gathered developers, artists and designers coming from all over the the world for two intensive and productive days filled with presentations, panel discussions and workshops on themes such as mesh networks, distributed telecommunication systems, DIY networking, portable web servers etc. Some of the highlights and key speakers were: Sophie Toupin “Anti-Colonial Hacking” – a case study of an autonomous encrypted communication network developed during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; “Alternet” by Sarah T. Gold – an insight into how a decentralized approach could radically reshape the governance and control of the digital infrastructures we use everyday and “In The Final Days Of The WWW” – a showcase of various artistic interventions by Dennis de Bel and Roel Roscam Abbing. The whole program can be found here:  and a live stream of the presentations at:
bibliotecha installation@RN
bibliotecha presentation by Lucia Dossin & Michaela Lakova

Bibliotecha workshop

The workshop group of participants consisted of developers, designers, illustrators, a community garden leader and NYC Public Library developer. The participants although coming from different context, and having different expectations were all familiar with programming specifically text-based Unix programs (command-line tools). This helped us to achieve the workshop goals in the short span of time available. Given their knowledge we were also able to solve a couple of issues that occurred during the process. These strategies were noted down during the workshop and currently incorporate Bibliotecha’s manual and the body of knowledge that develops around the project. By the end of the work session, all participants had a working Bibliotecha node, which they could bring home and use further 🙂 An interesting discussion on  Bibliotecha and other book-sharing tools and strategies took place towards the end of the workshop about possible implementations of bibliotecha. For instance NYC busy subway network was discussed as a potential infrastructure to facilitate free sharing of electronic books.

Our participation at Radical Networks also made us more certain of the potential of bibliotecha and are string to further developed into a more stable tool, but also to seeking alliance with other collective that speculate on the future of books and reading, such as Hackers and Designers initiative and Read-in collective.


Bibliotecha workshop by Andre Castro & Lucia Dossin
bibliotecha workshop

& Big THANKS to Sarah Grand, Erica Kermani & Amelia Marzec for organizing Radical Networks!

  • Our participation at Radical Networks was made possible with the financial support of Small Contribution Voucher generously provided by Creative Industries Fund NL.


Bibliotecha@Workshop for the New World, Bureau Europa


If happen to be in Maastricht between 1 May – July 5 visit Bureau Europa
Workshop for the New World exhibition where bibliotecha was invited to
host books related to the exhibition! Workshop for the New World is a project
by monnik commissioned by Bureau Europe.

Workshop for the New World explores the past, present, and future of work;
how work determines our physical and social environment. By looking at work’s future, we investigate possibilities for a sustainable and inclusive world….

More info at →




Ideas for the construction of the White Elephant Bibliotheke


Ideas for the construction1 of the White Elephant Bibliotheke

The White Elephant2 Bibliotheke3 is a multidisciplinary research project that investigates the construction of a library in a particular time and space. It is a model for a network that brings together many different types of information gathered through present encounters.

This library could be described as a conceptual institution that is dealing with the concrete actions of producing or reproducing certain constellations of edited data (text/book) and to imagine ways to share them in a particular context. Its interests are to relate different kind of texts between themselves, always grounded to a particular social space.

The criteria for what kind of information contains this Bibliotheke are been built at every certain moment regarding to what the individuals who activate it decide.

The sum of all these criteria conform the institutional criteria.

Last year 2014 a device programmed by Bibliotecha4 embodied the White Elephant Bibliotheke. This allowed the library to share information through a microcomputer running open-source software that works over a local wifi hotspot. The shape the data can take inside this machine are pdf, epub, djvu and txt files. The disconnection from the Internet opens the opportunity to the library to be present in a different time rather than the web.

From the programming view is important to have your own server at home. At the same time, for this project these ideas are suitable for the concrete context the library is aiming for.

The library with this shape, stayed for one year in an art institution in the Netherlands (Jan Van Eyck academie) at Maastricht, as a way of establishing a communication between different participants who stayed there for one year. Also it was functioning for one week in an apartment in Madrid. The same week, the project was presented in a seminar called No Room for Books, which was trying to comprehend what is happening with our relation with books in this post-digital time.

All the collection of information until now has comes from those experiences.

At this moment the library is running in an apartment in Amsterdam, waiting for a better environment, which could host the library and relate it to a particular space.


Bibliotecha device hosting the White Elephant Bibliotheke. 2014-2015

  1. The idea of a project under construction (or the social landscape itself been constructed) is an old idea informed by some particular readings such as La Construcción de la Torre de Babel by Juan Benet and some certain writings about the decomposition of the society by Lygia Clark. Some notions in Naturalmente by Vilem Flusser were also a big influence in the way of seeing culture and its role as a producer of nature.
  2. The name White Elephant was inspired by an old Siam tradition (todays Thailand). It is said that the white elephants were extremely sacred for the Siam’s society. The emperor was the owner of many white elephants. If he wanted to punish a servant, he gave a white elephant to him/her as a present. The servant had must to feed the animal and to receive anyone who wanted to see it. This act was the economic collapse for the servant. Only an organized community could assist the white elephants. This was the founding metaphor we encountered for working together in the construction of this library. As the project evolves it also brings some questions and problems to the process. That’s why we also talk about the decomposition of this network and how it evolves and transforms along the pass of time.
  3. The name bibliotheke comes from the ancient greek βιβλιοθήκη (bibliothēkē) and it means a book’s room. The books in a wide view can be units of information edited by someone. In this project the books are understood as the house of any possible information that can be stored or described.

Bibliotecha afterlife at ‘Are you being served’ (notebooks:)))


Are You Being Served? (notebooks) publication(s) by Constant are out there!
Together with several other projects Bibliotecha is featured on the Afterlife section. It has been a long journey since the project was presented on ‘Are You Being Served?’, December 2013 at Constant, Brussels. We are pleased to be included once again into this ‘multicolored’ publication(s).
The book is available as a single printable pdf or a website, which offers multiple entries allowing us to revisit and (re)discover the vivid content of ‘Are You Being Served?’.
Are You Being Seved?Book_spread