In the Andreas Züst’s library, the session Geologie in the shelves is at eye level. It comes before the session Vulcanologie and Terremotologie. PalenteologyGeologyTerremotologyMineralogieCavesGlaciologie, are side by side in the ground floor. They form a horizon of related subjects making one entire side of a corridor, as a line drawing a chain of mountains.

Above these shelves there are books on Meteorology, Winds, Storms, Natural Hazards, Climate, Climate Change, – it is the sky above the geologic layer. On the other side of this configuration of weather and geology, we find Astronomy, – as a complementary opposite. Above the line at eye level on the side of Astronomy, there is an important block on the subject of light, physique and chaos. This block of content forms the universe, one where the sky touches the Earth. Or, seeing this single wall with shelves on two sides we study Earth with weather on top hiding the universe on the other side.

One Volume: In the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964, published in the Human Ecology collection of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. in 1970, “Lessons for coping with disaster” comes after the “Impact of the Earthquakes”.

In the studies of the post-disaster period (Appendix), it is first analysed the Migration data. Then comes the Measurement of School Enrolment. – School frequency measures trust on the land. Education gives stability, or a ground.

The Economic Effects of the Disaster (p. 58) were analysed before the Impact of the Event on Health and Mortality (p. 77). What does this choice of sequence mean?

In “Lessons for coping with disaster” the author writes about the issue of warning. He says: “The movement of the ground in earthquakes of moderate or severe intensity is so obvious that the events provides its own warning signs”. After that, he lists actions that will minimise the probability of injury and death’: 1. Move as quickly as possible to locations where falling objects cannot hit you.

Another volume: In the book Confronting Climate Change – Risks, Implications and Responses, from 1992, editor Irving Mintzer first asks, “What do we know so far about the foreseeable dangers of climate change?” At the end of his introduction, he says “climate change offers an important and unique opportunity to use the threat of global environmental change as a vehicle for expanding international cooperation”. The word “opportunity” seems inopportune in 2018, it can be associated to the arrival of a new market, – which in reality it is. Cooperation may also be less humanitarian than we would think, as it may be tied to the benefit of some.

In the organisation of contents, “The Science of Climate Change” comes before the “Impacts of Global Climate Change”. As it is, explaining and discussing climate change adds negatively to its impacts, it delays the elaboration needed from understanding the impacts themselves. It is as if a patient before being treated needed to listen to the doctor presenting his professional life.

The only photograph in this book is of the surface of Mars. In the page before the picture, an analysis of the “vanished greenhouse of Mars”. We may think the author considers Mars to be our future: frozen. But afterwards, it says Earth averted the deep freeze of Mars because the Earth’s crust has remained geologically active. We thank the volcanoes and all tectonic movements, other disasters etc.

In this book’s index under the letter “w”: “Wait and see strategy”. See also “Business as usual” scenario; “No regrets” strategy. After all other “w” entries, comes the final Worst case scenarios.

November 2018
Text: Mabe Bethônico

A pile of books. A wall of books, a barricade, a rampart.
To dig a hole in a pile of books, to gently caress them, to give and feel pleasure, the wisdom of pleasure (never the other way round).

During my stay in the library I have tried to hold all the books I could. I have touched every one of them and felt the smell of many. I have heard the sound of their different papers and, from all of that, built a weightless portrait of many things that might have been overseen other times these books were read.

It was an exercise of approaching the library from pleasure before wisdom and, in doing so, recognizing the wisdom that lies within pleasure, a knowledge often missed out that felt eager to be felt.

If you hold a stone
Hold it in your hand
If you feel the weight
You’ll never be late
To understand
(Caetano Veloso)

Watch on vimeo.

November 2018
Text: Theo Firmo

I found myself wandering through the narrow corridors of a vast library, right at the very top of the mountains. Staying steady on one path was a difficult task in such an extensive archive. However, I could hear a mysterious bell singing constantly, every time I turned a book’s page.

These humming bells seeped through the book bindings as if they were the clouds slowly emerging behind the mountains. I found you there first. You were posing as the object of the painting, the detailed rendering of the scientific book, and on the embroidery patterns. I saw your happy portrait on the chocolate wrapping paper and on the wooden souvenirs. You were peacefully grazing on the steep hills, above the clouds; a vision of your silent plot.

It came as no surprise when the book’s spines turned into the warm animal back. The crisp white pages felt like sweet milk. The endless lines, every path you roam. The words, the rambling hoofs on the grassy slopes. Your breath, the steam of the grass and the echo of the clouds: the valley was the open book. You also told me the story of how you spend your time amusing yourself by imitating the shape of clouds and how they replied back with the same games. I couldn’t tell if I was in the library or on the field, the inner and outer world seemed the same.

It was clear then that the library and the valley shared a common substance: the space created by the books, between all the timelines and phenomena and the projection of every desire, was a dreamy construction, as was this vertigo caused by the clouds and the cows playing above them.

November 2018
Text: Marianne Hoffmeister Castro

Where does one start in such a comprehensive library? I am familiar with many of the books by artists, so I began downstairs with music, literature and world phenomena. A book on the Channel Islands caught my eye, (I grew up there,) and right next to it, one about the AINU OF JAPAN, a hairy aboriginal tribe, who made moustache lifters to drink their ceremonial wine. Chinese maidens in the Ming Dynasty laughed so much they spilled tea all over their robes, while an explorer in Mongolia had to strain water though charcoal to make it palatable. The Irish Islander didn’t know what the stuff was when crates of it washed ashore after a shipwreck. Gary Snyder wrote a poem about delivering Guernsey milk by bicycle and Jack Kerouac drank tea with him on the Matterhorn in California. When Ezra Pound came to for tea with Gertrude Stein, Alice complained that he broke the pot. Miss Smilla was smitten when the mechanic made spicy tea for her during a snowstorm… I drank no tea at the Alpenhof.

November 2018
Text: Ann Noël

F(ai)tichism is about production and books. Books as objects of desire, subjects of an obsession which the collector Andreas Züst beautifully suffered of. F(ai)tichism is about manipulation of content, production of form and circulation of knowledge. It’s about the act of making (‘faire’ in French) triggered by the very eclectic, dense, sometimes useful, sometimes merely enjoyable knowledge contained in Züst’s library.

F(ai)tichism is a platform gathering 4 different outcomes, produced in 4 weeks, created after 4 different publications, subjectively picked within this very personal library. A restrictive selection built up around one common thread: the line.

Week 1: Line as a path
Selected book: ‘The Peruvian Ground Drawings’ by Maria Reiche, Kunstraum München E. V.
Outcome: A series of prints (+ bonus series of videos)

Week 2: Line, trace and measure
Selected book: ‘Grafik’, Sol Lewitt
Outcome: An installation

Week 3: The written line
Selected book: ‘Silence’, John Cage
Outcome: Two sound variations

Week 4: The straightening/straitening line
Selected book: ‘Minimo-Pendel und Widerstands-Apparate’, Dr. Caro
Outcome: A publication (+ bonus animation)

Explore F(ai)tichism here:

April 2018
Text: Virginie Gauthier & Christof Nüssli

I did so much writing and researching while at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst that I actually still don’t know where to begin when reflecting on the process. My project sought to explore and contrast aliens with astronomy in such a way that utilized the Bibliothek’s extensive archive on those two subjects, while also incorporating the uniquely spectacular landscape of Appenzell into the production, while also exploring contemporary mass delusions of xenophobia, conspiracy theories and “fake-news”. The process itself unfolded in a variety of ways, the primary being that of an online performance on the project’s blog, Twitter and Instagram where Matvei Petrovich Bronstein posted excerpts from the archive and wrote about his own complicated search for the truth. The reference materials from the the Bibliothek Andreas Züst were moved downstairs into the building’s basement and became the archive of The Z Files Archive and Observatory which was in itself something between an actual as well as an imitation of an archive and observatory. From there the work developed into light installations photographed in the local landscape, temporary constructions from natural materials, a one night performance and even a short children’s book. Even though the residency was only for a month, the production which occurred in the relative isolation of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst resulted in a multifaceted and relatively prolific generation of work.

Is the truth still out there?

April 2018
Text: Justin Tyler Tate


Zeichnend Ordnung schaffen
gegen die heillose Überforderung.
Das Zeichnen als Verfahren,
mit etwas umzugehen.
Gedanken wandern durch die Hand,
zeichnen eine Sammlung aus
der Sammlung. Langsam,
unvollständig. Wenn wir jedes
Buch verzeichnen wollten,
bräuchten wir zehneinhalb Jahre,
zu zweit fünf Tage die Woche.
Das gäbe ca. 13000 Zeichnungen,
etwas mehr als eine pro Buch.

«Die Bibliothek Andreas Züst durchzeichnen –
Some lines are grass and some lines are shadow»
Dominic Fiechter und Madeleine Stahel
81 Seiten, A4, SW Tonerkopie, klebegebunden, 2017
Auflage: 17/17

Januar 2018
Text: Dominic Fiechter & Madeleine Stahel

Für die Independent Art Publishing Fair VOLUMES 2017 erstellten die Studierenden des Studiengangs der Visuellen Gestaltung von der F+F Schule für Kunst und Design eigene grafische Produkte. Den Ausgangspunkt dafür bildeten Texte und/oder Bilder, die unter dem Oberthema OFF THE GROUND stehen. Aus vorgefundenen Materialien musste eine eigenständige Narration oder Fiktion entwickelt werden, die die Fundstücke neuinterpretiert. Im Alpenhof wurde die Recherche mit Fundstücken aus der Bibliothek Andreas Züst ergänzt, überarbeitet und kontrastiert.

Mit Beiträgen folgender Studierenden:
Zoe Milena Bonavoglia, Elena Lechner, Stefano Candela, Yannic Cserhati, Fabienne Iten, Aileen Howlett, Joel Cavin, Seraina Fels, Valentina Morrone, Natalie Hinzmann, Renald Lenzin, Yannick Billinger und Verena Gehr

November 2017
Text: Ilia Vasella

Michel Serres refers to a “crevasse” that emerged as the font of the great monotheistic religions and became the home of Greek philosophy and of Greek and Arab science. It stretches from the city of Memphis by the Nile to Olynthus, Greece via Nippur, Iraq. These were the lands of biblical prophets, of both Christianity and of Islam; and also witnessed the birth of writing, money and the manufacture of iron and bronze.

A point on the Earth’s surface is pulled by the weight of all the library’s books as latitude and longitude coordinates. Its resting place is one where every book has influenced it: 58°57’56.3″N 39°16’57.8″W or 480 km southeast of Greenland. Between the coordinates of some 10,400 titles, a line marks a crevasse of the library: one lake to another.

[img. 1]
Looking southeast towards the center of the library. A poem from information deemed as places by an Information Extraction Pipeline.

[img. 2]
Crevasse between two Swiss lakes, altitude 3386 m.a.s.l. [detail].

[img. 3]
Floating roof along the crevasse [detail]. It encapsulates the geographic center of the library.

[img. 4]
‘Nuances and Details in a Curved Stream’ [Film Still], HD video, 02:10 mins.

November 2017
Text: Valle Medina & Benjamin Reynolds