Studio & Events
Since 2013 the U5 studio is located in the attic of the former Brieger Verpackungen building in Albisrieden, Zurich. Under the name XOX, various cultural events took place in the 200 square meter space. We always saw XOX as an organism that could be brought into different moods: a transforming cameleon. In the middle of the studio, where art was otherwise created, formats such as performances, concerts, film screenings, happenings, meals, workshops and discussions, etc. took place regularly in a holistic atmosphere. U5 acted in various roles: as host, curator, organizer, promoter, initiator, participant, artist, employer, cook, technician and cleaner. The available technology (such as a projector, music system, ceramic kiln, screens, microphones, lights, computers, video cameras, photographic equipment, tools, etc.) allowes us to use the space flexibly and in a variety of ways. The room can be reduced and enlarged using curtains. The lighting mood can be changed using various LED spotlights.
From 2013 to 2015, XOX was open every Tuesday evening without exception under the name Automatenbar. The name refers to the drinks vending machine installed in XOX. Beer and lemonade were available for CHF 2. From 2015 to 2020, the events took place less regularly, but with more variety. U5 organized formats such as concerts, readings, performances, screenings, exhibitions and lectures. Among others, Black Cracker, a rapper and artist from Berlin/New York, the Zurich electro duo Dave Eleanor and the Chilean artist Montaña Extendida performed live, Milenko Lazic and Hans Platzgumer gave readings and Francisca Silva (Macho and her gun) tattooed. Videos and works by the artist Maya Rochat were shown and, as a cooperation between U5 and Helmhaus Zurich, the Deep Brain Stimulation Conference took place as part of the exhibition Hinter jedem Berg steht noch ein Berg, an evening program that revolved around the topic of the brain, with a lecture by neurosurgeon Dr. Martin Stienen, video projections as a collaboration between the scientific illustrator Lucius Fekonja and U5 as well as a concert by UOM and Fred Hystère, who brought the evening to a close.
Up to 250 visitors were present on such evenings. In collaboration with the City of Zurich, XOX became one of several guest venues for the exhibition Kunst: Szene Zürich in 2018. U5 curated and organized an exhibition with 13 artistic positions from the city of Zurich.
Since 2021 (post-COVID), we have mainly organized events with a smaller number of visitors (up to 50 people). These include dinner evenings with invited guests, which we put together as diversely as possible, supporting programs for workshops. In September 2023 for the workshop Methods and Media of the Absent/Present - Visual Approaches to Vodun and Vodou at the University of Zurich (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) with international participants from Accra, Dakar, Mumbai, Paris, Dallas, etc.
In 2022 and 2023, the Windtunnel Festival, which promotes the exchange between art and science and is affiliated with the Zurich University of the Arts, was co-hosted by U5, as were various events organized by the ETH Chair of Art and Architectural History.
A ceramic kiln was installed in XOX in 2021. Since then, pottery workshops have been held on a regular basis in a non-commercial setting. U5 has made pottery with children, architecture students, visitors from Colombia who had traveled to the studio as part of an ETH project, research partners and people who happened to find their way to the studio, and throughout the years, regular studio tours have been held at XOX for schoolchildren and students of all ages, for interested parties, for company visits and for collectors.