2019, Fri, Nov 08

#2 Situating: Workshops

Cascajal Island | © Grupo de Archivo y Memoria de la Comuna 6

Cascajal Island | © Grupo de Archivo y Memoria de la Comuna 6

Day 1 | Day 2

The New Alphabet School is a collaborative format for artistic, curatorial, poetic and activist research practices. Over the course of two years and in eleven editions, the School will open up a space for research going beyond academic and disciplinary boundaries. Workshop participants become a part of the New Alphabet School and are invited to contribute to the programming of all subsequent editions.

For edition #2, three workshops will deal with the concept of situated knowledge.

9.30 am Welcome
10–10.30 am Introduction
10.30 am–4.30 pm Workshops
4.30–6 pm Final Discussion

Workshop #1
Stretching, Stumbling, Scribbling. Exercises in Purposeful Disorienting.
Convened by Sophie Houdart, Samuel Garcia Perez, Maxime Le Calvé and Benoit Verjat
Guest: Natalie Loveless

Contemporary art and design practitioners are equipped with a variety of devices to give new contours to known worlds, to enrich them and at the same time to involve their inhabitants in the way we handle them. This insight is the starting point for Créalab’s Atlas – a collection of creative practices through the lens of critical ethnography. Since 2011, they have held a monthly workshop at the University of Paris Ouest around the ethnography of creative practices. This collective work-in-progress is intending to map – in the form of a set of cards, each dedicated to one of those instruments – observation, attention and writing devices that can be useful in conducting anthropological investigations.

“Situating” through those observation/writing devices requires unlearning, especially if one wants to consider those protocols as valid scientific methods. By taking advantage of collaborations with the art worlds, social scientists can enrich their inquiries and make themselves more sensitive to observed realities. In return, they can trouble the conditions of felicity of the scientific fact making, giving more room and legitimacy for artists and activists to face the dominant objectivist paradigm.

This interdisciplinary workshop will cross-pollinate Créalab’s work-in-progress with those of artists, activists and academics of other backgrounds, while focusing on the heuristics of the “situating” effects of their Atlas. Through interdisciplinary practice and practical exercises, the workshop wants to add a new entry to the yet existing forty entries of the Atlas.

The workshop will provide participants with a choice of writing/observing/situating experiments to conduct beforehand, which will be contributing to the session.

Workshop #2
Different Ecologies, Mutual Disasters: A Collective Mapping of Situated Knowledges
Convened by Ezgi Hamzaçebi and Kamran Behrouz
Guest: Karin Harrasser

This workshop aims to bring together situated knowledges and experiences of ecological struggles from different contexts, initiate active contacts and processes, and establish collective practices between the participants. The workshop will focus on both intersecting and incompatible points of those experiences of ecological crisis – ranging from socio-environmental issues to affective relations between humans and non-humans –, and will seek to create a space of encounters, contacts and conflicts. The focus will explore and discuss the wide range of what “ecology” might mean and how the concept can be politicized beyond individual and subjective environments. Sharing the (individual/local) incompatibilities of seemingly global ecologies will point to the asymmetries within the discourse itself.

Central to this workshop is the creation of an interactive map, weaving local images and imaginaries, guiding keywords/concepts and new strategies. Through this practice, participants will engage in questions of possible “other” (decolonial, anti-patriarchal) emancipated ways of environments, ecologies and the human and non-human subjects within.

Reading material will be provided beforehand and participants will be asked to bring their own examples of (localized) ecological struggles and resistances to discuss during the workshop.

Workshop #3
Artist-in-Exile: Towards an Ethics and Network of Situated Artistic Practices
Convened by Walter Solon
Guests: Liliana Angulo Cortés and Juan Rodrigo Machado Mosquera

This practical workshop is aimed at creating a solidarity network between artists-in-exile while reflecting the elasticity and potentialities of placement/displacement and mobility/immobility within artistic and curatorial contexts.
There is a historical tendency of artistic practices to situate themselves in centers of power, democratic societies with freedom of speech and public funding and/or rich patrons. How does this movement of symbolic capital and brain drain integrate the international political economy? As Donna Haraway suggested: “The issue is dispersion: the task is to survive in the diaspora”. But where is the diaspora and where is the promised land? When tackling representation – of the self, or when claiming a heritage and origin as one’s own, how do artists negotiate their situatedness?

After a historical and geographical input – analyzing the current state of Berlin as the privileged ground of the questions raised above – the workshop will focus on the individual and collective experiences and practices of the participants towards developing 1) a solidarity network and 2) an ethics of exile, in an attempt to map and assess Berlin as a potential polis (city) of exiles. The workshops main trajectory is to enact and understand that all these representations "should not be allegories of infinite mobility and interchangeability but of elaborate specificity and difference and the loving care people might take to learn how to see faithfully from another's point of view” (Haraway).

Reading material will be provided beforehand.

Day 1 | Day 2