Three times a year a workshop takes place at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst. For each workshop, a guest is invited to select a book from the collection of the library, which she or he will then use as the starting point for a two-day workshop. Incorporating book excerpts, discussions and associative journeys through the library, the basic idea is to approach a topic together. The workshop series is organized by Annett Höland and Simone Koller.

Workshops 2016/17

“Whether you are an accountant or a zoologist, chances are you use the written word everyday to inform, to document, to promote and to persuade.” (John Simmons)—In October 2016, the artist Delphine Chapuis Schmitz gave a workshop in which we were experimenting with different ways of reading and writing, based on texts found in the library. The two upcoming workshops until fall 2017 deal with the interplay between reading and writing, too. Based on the collection of the library, we experiment with unusual and playful ways of working with text.

11–12 March 2017
I Send You This Individual Word
Our next workshop will be held in English: Together with the writer John Simmons, we’ll explore writing and language, crossing the borders between different genres to see how fictional writing—poetry, storytelling, song lyrics—can be a positive influence on our everyday conversations and on everyday writing, be it email correspondence, project descriptions or letters of application. And perhaps even vice versa.

Through a series of exercises, the participants will be invited to create short texts, inspired by the library and its surroundings. Using a novel by the artist, critic and poet John Berger as a first starting point, we’ll explore too how other creative forms, particularly visual, relate to and inspire the verbal. In the evening, John will read from his own books, and describe how photography played a part in the writing of his new novel.

JOHN SIMMONS is a writer and consultant whose books – such as the Dark Angels trilogy – have influenced the way that brands use language to create distinctiveness. He runs workshops in remote retreats, which aim to promote more creative writing for business. In recent times he has developed his original love for fictional writing; he initiated and participated in the writing of a collective novel with fifteen writers which was published in 2014. His novel Leaves was published in summer 2015 and his next novel Spanish Crossings will be published in April 2017. More information here.

The workshop will take place on the weekend of 11–12 March 2017 at Alpenhof. It will be held in English. Apart from language skills no special knowledge is required in order to participate.

260 CHF (students: 160 CHF) for workshop incl. accommodation and food. An additional voluntary donation is much appreciated.

Via e-Mail by 25 February 2017. The number of participants is limited.

Past Workshops

“…‘reading a book’ is just a variant of ‘gathering’ in the authentic sense. This means laying one thing next to another, bringing them together as one—in short, gathering…” (Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, Trans. by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 131)—Following this motto, 2012–2014, the library held five workshops: Proceeding from “Self and Others” by R. D. Laing, author and philosopher Aaron Schuster led the participants through the history of the psychiatry and anti-psychiatry movement. The second workshop explored everyday linguistics: In collaboration with artist Tine Melzer, a publication was created, in which idioms were taken ad absurdum. A year later, the artist, feminist, and art educator Doris Stauffer provided insight into her work and creativity. In the fourth workshop, using his books—of which twenty-two are to be found in the collection of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst—, artist, publisher, book dealer, and Rotaprint printer Jan Voss told about his way of making books, and, with the participants, produced “Leere Taschenbücher” (Empty Paperbacks). For the fifth workshop, improvisation musician Andy Guhl presented the main principles of his working process, and, with the participants, attempted to produce sound using the most rudimentary means available.


Delphine Chapuis Schmitz
Andy Guhl
Jan Voss
Doris Stauffer
Tine Melzer
Aaron Schuster