Independent Studies Programme
Academic direction 2012-2013: Marcelo Expósito and Beatriz Preciado
Permanent Faculty: Xavier Antich, Manuel Asensi, Franco Berardi Bifo, Marcelo Expósito, Ana Longoni, Beatriz Preciado, Suely Rolnik and Jordi Bonet.
The aim of the INDEPENDENT STUDIES PROGRAMME (PEI) is to explore the field of the artistic practices that connect art to human sciences and to social, political and institutional intervention. The programme is conceived as an interdisciplinary education forum that can prepare those who participate in it to embark on critical professional work in the field of art and culture.
Backed up by its six year history and its international prestige, the PEI has been able to operate as a device for training individuals who are qualified to experiment in the institutional sphere without losing sight of the social context and political conditions of arts and cultural institutions. Based on an understanding of art as a form of production at the intersection of many kinds of knowledge, systems of representation and of social codification (critique of discourse, gender studies, queer theory, decolonial critique, social movements, critical urban studies, etc.) the Independent Studies Programme accepts students from a wide array of professional, academic and social backgrounds: artists, architects, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, designers, activists, curators, psychologists, etc., who come together around an international team of teachers who share a political vision of the museum and education as spheres for critical and social experimentation.
The PEI positions itself as a pivot between museum and university, and rejects the traditional division of knowledge and the museum-based logic of the cultural industries, as well as the ecosystem targeted at the education of an ‘intellectual workforce’ in the neoliberal context. As such, the PEI challenges the idea that the accepted notions of ‘cultural management’ and its techniques are the only way of operating professionally in the artistic and cultural production system. Instead, it fills the need for a pedagogy based on subaltern forms of knowledge, with a special emphasis on critical theories, grammars of feminism and the languages and practices of decolonisation. The programme ultimately seeks to become inextricably linked to the critique knowledge production processes.
The Independent Studies Programme is made up of a series of interconnected mobile work spaces that generate a range of different activities: seven core subjects (Critical Theories of Discourse, Strategies of Desire, The Economy of Culture, Gender Technologies, Political Imagination, Art and Visuality, and Right to the City) gradually interact with a programme of seminars and lectures scheduled throughout the course, as well as specific workshops on archival research, mapping, discursive or curatorial experimentation, and the production of cultural and social intervention strategies.
Academic calendar 2014-2015
The next course begins in January 2014 and ends in March 2015.
Duration: 15 months.
Teaching hours: Monday to Friday, 5 to 9 pm*
The academic calendar is divided into three academic terms and a term of presentation of end of course projects. Each term consists of:
- Either two or three subjects, with classes held Monday to Friday, 5 to 9 pm.*
- Reading Workshops about the used bibliography.
-One public seminar or conference. These will be held on weekdays or Saturdays.
- A research workshop (to choose one of several options) with intensive sessions held periodically throughout the three terms.
* This schedule is subject to change, in some cases it can be extended to mornings and Saturdays.
• Agreement with the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB). The PEI is accredited as "Own Master in Museum Studies and Critical Theory" (60 ETCS credits).
• Agreement with the University of Buenos Aires for the recognition of the PEI credits as credits of free election in their own qualifications.
• Agreement with the Group of research Body and Textuality, linked to the Department of Spanish Philology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and directed by Dr. Meri Torras. Recognition of the PEI as credits of the doctorate program.
It will consist of ongoing evaluation (60%) and the public presentation of the final project (40%).
Work experience programme
The PEI offers two types of work experience in different departments of the MACBA:
1) Practices related to the research workshop, overseen by curators from MACBA as part of the final work.
2) Optional work experience to promote the student’s professionalization. This may include internships in one of the various departments of MACBA (subject to availability).
- PEI Application formdoc — 26.5K
The PEI consists of three core subjects from which other subjects are articulated.
CRITICAL THEORIES OF DISCOURSE
Manuel Asensi and Xavier Antich
This is the backbone of the programme and lays the groundwork that all the other subjects will build on. It addresses the methodologies, metalanguages and tools that philosophical thought has developed throughout history in its attempts to critically approach the art institution. It entails a systematic overview of key texts from structuralism and post-structuralism, semiology and theories of language, psychoanalysis, Marxism, etc.
TECHNOLOGIES OF GENDER
Feminism as a critical theory and a practice for social change has given rise to a whole series of strategies for intervention in the public sphere and the production of visibility and knowledge. This subject explores the complex theoretical legacy that is the result of subaltern discourses and practices, feminism, decolonial critique, queer, trans and crip theories, and also of the politics of the body in relation to institutional critique, artistic practices and visuality. The idea is to trace the counterhegemonic artistic and discursive practices that have displaced dominant ideas around identity, by means of a cartography made up of texts, analytical tools and conceptual models that make it possible to understand the many grammars of sexual, racial and gender emancipation that are attempting to redefine the modern project.
Diagrams of the new political imagination
This subject offers an overview of some of the historical links between artistic avant-gardes and political vanguards (from the Russian-Soviet avant-gardes and Berlin Dada to institutional critique...), and then hones in on the articulations between the artistic practices and forms of political invention that characterise our own current historical cycle. In this subject, participants will attempt to collectively produce maps and diagrams of the forms that these articulations have taken from the eighties to the present.
STRATEGIES OF DESIRE
Art as micropolitical experimentation
This subject studies the convergences and divergences between the spheres of artistic creativity and psychotherapy. Drawing on Suely Rolnik's career as a therapist and art theorist (her work has been linked to figures such as Félix Guattari, Lygia Clark and Cildo Meireles), this subject takes a hybrid approach that lies somewhere between theoretical reflection and psychotherapeutic exercise, and considers arts practice in terms of experimenting with the production of subjectivity.
THE ECONOMY OF CULTURE
The arts of invention in cognitive capitalism
Franco Berardi Bifo
This subject takes an anti-idealist approach to artistic practices based on a critique of the political economy of 'cognitive' capitalism. However, rather than thinking about the art system as a structure that is simply overdetermined by the economy, Bifo takes a dynamic approach to the relationships between 'artistic' invention and experimentation and the economy, focusing precisely on the potential autonomy of artistic labour.
ART AND VISUALITY
A 'decentred' history of art from a Latin American perspective
In the spirit of the PEI's desire to review existing historiographic accounts from the perspective of an explicit critique of coloniality, this subject will focus on the tempestuous history of the artistic avant-gardes in Latin America, essentially from the 1920s onwards. From the 'foundational' milestones of Argentina's artistic avant-garde in the sixties to the forms of artistic activism and political creativity that developed in Latin America in the eighties and nineties, this 'decentred' history of art is an implicit critique of the models of visuality that have historically been considered valid in the Eurocentric narrative of modern art.
RIGHT TO THE CITY
The city conceived by those who live in it
Imparted by Jordi Bonet
This subject continues the PEI's ongoing interest in critical urbanism and the analysis of the urban phenomenon, but this time the experience will be more geographically rooted in the city. The idea is to come up with a reading of Barcelona's metropolitan environment as it is now, with the input of a series of individuals and groups who are currently actively involved in constructing a city model that offers an alternative to neoliberal commodification.
Apart from classes, the PEI is articulated through elective workshops aimed to initiate specific research projects both in the academic environment and in the production, according to the interests of the student.
Xavier Antich was the academic director of the Independent Studies Programme until 2011. He has a doctorate in Philosophy and is professor of Aesthetics and Director of the Master's degree in Communication and Art Criticism at the University of Girona. He is the author of a book on the metaphysics of Aristotle (Introducción a la metafísica de Aristóteles) and several translations of contemporary philosophers such as Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Léveinas, Franco Rella and Chantal Mouffle. He has had some eighty articles published in specialist journals and collective publications, basically on issues relating to philosophy, aesthetics and contemporary art, and has won the Joan Fuster Essay Prize for and the Espais Award for art criticism. He is on the editorial board of Cultura/s, the cultural supplement of La Vanguardia, and of the magazines L'Espill (Valencia) and Trame (Venice).
Manuel Asensi is professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the Philology Department of the University of Valencia and has been visiting professor at several universities in Europe and the United States. He is director the Humanidades collection for the publishing house Tirant lo Blanch and a cultural critic for Cultura/s, the cultural supplement of the newspaper La Vanguardia. His field of research basically revolves around literary theory and criticism, Spanish literature, film and art criticism. His published works include: Historia de la teoría de la literatura (two volumes), Los años salvajes de la teoría and Crítica y sabotaje. He directed the Spanish critical edition and translation of Gayarti Spivak's Can the Subaltern Speak?
Franco Berardi Bifo
Franco Berardi is a philosopher, writer and mass media theorist. In the seventies, he was actively involved in the Italian autonomist movements and in alternative communication projects that made history, such as Radio Alice. In the following decade, he supported the explosion of the incipient net as a vast social and cultural phenomenon, and from 2005 onwards he was an agitator for the Italian tele-streets movement. He has published many books, including The Factory of Unhappiness and Il sapiente, il mercante, il guerriero, both of which have been translated into Spanish. He currently works with the online platforms th-rough.eu and SCEPSI (European School of Social Imagination) and is participating in dOCUMENTA (13).
Jordi Bonet i Martí
Jordi Bonet i Martí has a PhD in Social Psychology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and teaches at the Department of Pedagogy, Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Since 2005, he has been a researcher at the IGOP (Institut de Govern i Polítiques Públiques), Universitat de Barcelona, and since 2008 he has formed part of the SIMReF (Seminari Interdisciplinar de Metodologia de Recerca Feminista) advocacy group. He has written numerous books and articles on social exclusion, civic participation, urban policies and feminist research methods.
Marcelo Expósito's work as an artist (marceloexposito.net) expands into the fields of critical theory, publishing, curating and translation. He regularly teaches at institutions and in non-formal contexts in several countries. He is a member of the Universidad Nómada, the Southern Conceptualisms Network and the editorial team of transversal (eipcp.net/transversal). He co-founded the magazine Brumaria and co-edited it from 2002 to 2006. He has published, alone or in collaboration, the books Cris Marker, Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa, Historias sin argumento. El cine de Pere Portabella, Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes and Los nuevos productivismos.
Ana Longoni has a PhD in Arts and teaches at the University of Buenos Aires. She is also a CONICET researcher, playwright, political essayist and one of the most highly regarded historians of avant-garde and contemporary art in Latin America. She has written some key texts such as Del Di Tella a Tucumán Arde and Traiciones. La figura del traidor en los relatos acerca de los sobrevivientes de la represión, as well as an influential essay on Oscar Masotta. She curated the Roberto Jacoby retrospective and, as part of the Southern Conceptualisms Network, a vast overview-in-process on art and social activism in Latin America in the eighties, both at the Museo Reina Sofia.
A researcher and teacher at Paris 8 University, Beatriz Preciado is a philosopher and queer activist He holds degrees from the New School for Social Research in New York and Princeton University, and is a leading international figure in the fields of gender studies and the politics of the body and of sexuality. He is the author of the books Manifiesto contrasexual, Testo yonqui and Pornotopía, and of numerous articles published in Spanish, English and French journals such as Multitudes, Artecontexto, Parallax and Log. He has collaborated in curatorial projects with Annie Sprinkle, Beth Stephens, Mark Tompkins, Oreet Ashery, Ron Athey and Shu Lea Cheang.
Suely Rolnik is a full professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, where she coordinates the Centre for Cross-Disiciplinary Studies of Subjectivation as part of the postgraduate Clinical Psychology programme. Fleeing the Brazilian military dictatorship, from 1970 to 1979 she sought exile in Paris, where, in addition to completing her psychoanalytic training she also studied Philosophy, Social Sciences and Psychology. Rolnik's main lines of work are the politics of subjectivation in relation to the clinic and power, and art as a field of micropolitical experimentation. Along with Félix Guattari, she co-wrote the influential book Micropolítica: Cartografias do Desejo, which she translated into Spanish along with several of her essays on Lygia Clark and Cildo Meireles.
Past PEI teachers
Doug Ashford, Zdenka Badovinac, Lars Bang Larsen, Franco Berardi, Enric Berenguer, Jordi Borja, Rosi Braidotti, Judith Butler, Ximena Briceño, Christophe Broqua, Pablo Ciccolella, Jeffrey Cohen, Lisa Collins, Beatriz Colomina, Douglas Crimp, David Harvey, Elisabeth Lebovici, José Esteban Muñoz, Miren Etxezarreta, Marcelo Expósito, Safaa Fathy, Michel Feher, Maurizio Ferraris, Michel Ferrer, Devin Fore, Maria Gough, Gabriela Gutiérrez Dewar, José Luis Pardo, Robin Kelsey, Andrew Kirby, Ana Longoni, Rita McBride, Jordana Meldenson, Chantal Mouffe, Francesc Muñoz, Lluís Ortega, Doina Patrescu, Cynthia Patton, Jorge Pedemonte, Pilar Pedraza, Víctor Pimstein, Beatriz Preciado, Carlos Prieto, Ferran Pujol Roca, John Rajchman, Jacques Rancière, John Roberts, Joan Roca, Emmanuel Rodríguez, Suely Rolnik, Anne Sauvagnargues, Allan Sekula, Neil Smith, Gayatri Spivak, Eyal Weizman, Brian Winston, George Yúdice.
Applications for admission will be accepted: from 1 July to 15 September 2013.
Admission requirements: applicants must have a university degree and a high level of both Spanish and English. Classes will be imparted in either language depending on the teacher and the subject in question.
Applicants are required to submit the following documentation for pre-registration:
• Application form
• Letter of motivation (two pages)
• Two letters of recommendation
The selection process will be based on the material submitted. Above all, the connections between the content and objectives of the Programme and the applicant’s academic or professional experience and activities will be valued. The applicant’s level of English will also be assessed.
Applications can be submitted by e-mail or post:
Independent Studies Programme–MACBA
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
A minimum of thirty and a maximum of forty participants. MACBA reserves the right to cancel the course if the minimum number of successful candidates is not reached.
Enrolment period: from 15 October to 15 November 2013.
For registration it is necessary to bring in paper:
• Original Certified photocopy of university degree
• Certified photocopy of transcript
• Photocopy of DNI or passport
• Two passport photos
Course fee: € 3,000
Payment terms: € 500 on enrolment and € 2,500 in January 2014.
At this time scholarships are not available.
A series of seminars (partially or fully open to the public) and internal workshops will strengthen and reinforce the core themes that run through the programme, in more systematic or intensive formats.