From 7–13 April 2019, Asia Art Archive (AAA) presents Cata-log-in Zines—a public talk, workshop, and residency featuring zine librarians and producers from London and Hong Kong. This programme is organised in partnership with the Wellcome Trust as part of Contagious Cities, an international cultural project that fosters conversations around the global challenges of epidemic preparedness.


Cata-log-in Zines proposes a reading between the notion of contagion and zines as an art medium that spreads ideas without control. Participants of the programme include Nicola Cook and Loesja Vigour, zine librarians at the Wellcome Collection; Holly Callaghan from Tate Library; and Display Distribute, a Hong Kong-based art collective and zine distributor. They will explore zines as a self-published medium that circulates outside mainstream channels, and will also inquire into the politics of production and distribution of zines, the challenges of acquisition and cataloguing, and the radical approaches that zines require librarians to take on. The programme coincides with AAA’s efforts to build a zine section for its Library Collection.


In the public talk, the speakers engage in a close reading of selected work from their zine collections, and discuss the processes of building their collections, including relevant acquisition policies and circulation. The workshop provides an opportunity to learn from librarians and art professionals in Hong Kong about acquisition needs, and some practical and ethical concerns in collecting zines. During the week, the overseas zine librarians will also participate as AAA Residents—conducting research on AAA’s zine collection, as well as making acquisition visits to local zinesters and arts practitioners.