Personal research, whether done individually or in groups, is present throughout the entire programme, accompanied by a tutor with previous connections to the PEI (members of the academic leadership, former students, visiting professors, museum curators). Over the academic year, specific periods are reserved for the students to present research and discuss it collectively with other participants and members of the teaching staff. This research can be presented in any final form: as performance, in film, as a curatorial project, in an academic research project, and so on. The final presentation will be made in June 2020.
Collective research groups make up an essential part of the methodological proposal of the programme, and are grounded on the ideas of cooperation, collaboration and shared experience. In collective research, working methodologies are created that challenge the productive logic of private and individualised knowledge, going beyond traditional disciplines to set themselves up in a non-disciplinary space. Activity is carried out using tools drawn from artistic research and practice, community labour, translation, collective writing, archival practices and curatorial work. The working groups are engaged with writers, artists, activists, researchers and curators, as well as with museum departments and other spaces in the city of Barcelona.
Each research group is led by a member of the teaching staff and is linked to the subject matter of the programme. After the general presentation of the project, each student will choose from one of three collective research groups, whose activity will involve two or three-day sessions each month, starting in May 2019 and running until the research projects are completed, in April 2020. Over the course of this research process, each group will host various visitors, to be proposed by the tutor and the participating students themselves (each project has its own assigned budget). The work of each student within any of these groups could be spun off into a final individual research project.
The initial proposals for group research are as follows:
Memories of Sexual Dissidence in Barcelona, with Lucía Egaña
A working programme has been proposed in relation to memories of local sexual dissidence, which is articulated as a cartography with various facets unfolding over the map of the city. The idea is to research through memories localized in a set of spaces, which after various processes of gentrification and erasure no longer can be distinguished by the events that once took place there. This group will work using situated and embodied research methodologies, and the result of the collective effort will be shown in exhibition format on the lower floor of the CED.
Amor Rojo (Red Love): Research, Writing and Practice Group*, with Dora García
This group will participate in RED LOVE, a future publication in reader format, which is an initiative by Dora García. The publication project will feature collaborations from Peio Aguirre, Ingo Niermann, Aaron Schuster, Dena Beard and Michele Masucchi, and is grounded in the utopian and applied traditions of Alexandra Kollontai, Charles Fourier and Michel Foucault.
The central idea is love in the commons and the alternative lifestyles it might give rise to (what would, for example, include The Hearing Voices Network, mutual aid entities like Radio Nikosia, or organisations dedicated to the production of work, such as The Icarus Project and Sensibili alle foglie). The project is focussed on the relationship of avantgarde aesthetics and politics, with a clear interest in the idea of red love, that is, love in a communist or commons economy.
Along with activity in research, writing, editing and publishing, practical and educational seminars will be featured, with special emphasis on the participants’ artistic practice, in all formats possible. This could then derive into participation in various forms of public presentation.
Cultural Ecologies*, with Jaime Vindel
Closely related to the content of the area of cultural ecologies, this collective working group seeks to address the possibility of putting into practice research situated in the dialogue between history, imagination, culture and ecology. By means of various methodologies, drawn from curating, writing and archival work, a research project will be developed with the aim of creating new maps that might help situate environmental struggles in Spain in a wider context, together with other forms of protest that have played out since the 1970s. A critical historiography of certain artistic and communicative policies in relation to the environmental movement can only be done using new methodologies, able to move beyond disciplinary limitations and the fragmentary character of resistance struggles taking place in final decades of the 20th century. Over the course of the entire research project, one of the fundamental goals of the field will remain front and centre: the need to encourage the appearance of a materialist imagination dedicated to the eco-social sphere, critically updating the legacy of articulations forged between art, aesthetics and politics as laid out by the avantgarde movements of the 20th century.