TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY 18:30 − 21:00 H.
The escuelita is an informal school at the CA2M - Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo devoted to transdisciplinary exchange, collective study and the non-traditional forms of knowledge production. The activity of the school, located in the core of CA2M, spans the institution and overflows from it, operating as a living organism whose metabolic processes are influenced by interchange between its participants. Reciprocity, diversion and collective insight are some processes that will shape the school's path, influencing the course of its mission over time while contaminating the agendas of other departments and uses of the institution. This allow the escuelita to become a laboratory for CA2M’s future programming.
The escuelita spurs out of the need to dislocate academic research and its systems of validation, and to develop in its place modes of performative and situated modes of research that establish new geopolitical positions, affective alliances and bodily forms of knowledge. Following Stephano Harney and Fred Moten, we want to embrace study as a practice of gathering and spending time with others, determining collectively through the material without any imposed goal; in short, gathering out of the desire to learn together. A kind of study disconnected from the imperatives of individual accreditation, instrumentalisation, completion, competition and graduation, we are instead aligned with the collective desire of self-development. We understand knowledge production as contingent, collective and contaminated, with this gathering of resources and intensities standing against the specialisation-specific construction of meaning in epistemological traditions and their self-instated superiority and self-containment. The subjects covered at escuelita will be produced through critical premises rather than existing types of knowledge, and in so doing, will summon alternative imaginaries, archives and affects while re-configuring ruling systems of value, denomination and legitimation.
Being an ecosystem formed along lines of affinity, shared concerns and strategies, escuelita is also a laboratory that actively explore forms of togetherness. It will be defined by its porosity, its hapticality and its capacity for exchange and mutation, bringing forward the importance of zones of contact between bodies, ideas, affects, structures and voices. It will also be a space driven by social choreography, where aesthetic norms are appraised for the social formations they might produce and vice versa, where new types of social interaction are forged into artistic forms.
The escuelita takes place in a permanent installation designed by artists Bik Van der Pol: a modular device informed by logics of structure, coding and recombination in language, communicating what happens within it and evolving according to hosting vocabularies and the needs of the school. This radically oral arena is shaped by utterances, listening, contradiction and contestation.
The escuelita is structured through seasons, defined by the development and inquiry of a problematic. Each multiversal and open-ended set of questions is marked by contemporary urgencies, articulating the programme of the school as a fractal vis a vis many kinds of activities, including encounters, reading groups and seminars to performance, dance and workshops. Its activities and methodologies differ in scale and temporality derive from the questions themselves, in order to summon hybrid, experimental and self-reflexive ways of doing that propose new forms of critical resolution coherent with the issues at stake. Emphasis on the generation of new critical tools is key to this informal school, which works from shared concerns and curiosity to set out for new narrative tactics, representation strategies and signifying gestures that can shed new light over the urgencies that we traverse.
The programme is an ongoing construction, allowing escuelita to accommodate improvisation and spontaneous contributions. Subsequently, an editorial platform will collect its activity and ongoing discussions, serving both as an archive and as its disseminating device. The editorial platform will be connected to another important line of the school that will delve into translation, both as a publication output and as a programmatic intention. Translation is here understood as a geopolitical stance (translation of bibliography that does not circulate outside English-speaking spaces) and as a symbolic process that involves cultural performance. Furthermore, escuelita thinks as a connective body, establishing a network of alliances within the region of Madrid and beyond it. Exchange programmes, visits and study groups will create conversation with affinity partners across the world, allowing for the sharing of concerns, methodologies and conceptual affiliations.
The escuelita exists only through committed voluntary participation. Instead of a closed curriculum, we propose an open approach that grows from the experience of building together on a process of continuous self-reflection about the act of studying, transforming collective insight through furthering methodologies of knowledge production. There shall be no assessments nor grading system, as there are no certainties, only potential.
The working languages for La Escuelita will be Spanish and/or English.
*The image for La Escuelita is a drawing by Diego del Pozo, based on a photo of Pepe Espaliú’s action Carrying