Independent Studies Programme (PEI), 2019-2020

7th Edition: 1 April 2019 – 30 June 2020

The Independent Studies Program at MACBA is a learning mechanism whose fundamental goal is to mobilize critical thinking and activate the political imagination, at the crossroads between artistic practices, the social sciences and political-institutional interventions. One of the key features of the program involves developing critical capacity, so as to facilitate free movement between thought paradigms. In this regard, the PEI (for Programa d’Estudis Independents), quite beyond its role as a space for the affirmation of representations and identities, seeks to query enclosed categories by activating an antagonistic imagination, able to elaborate fronts of aesthetic and political struggle from out of new possible forms.

The para-institutional nature of the program (both inside and outside the museum, beyond the realm of the university) makes it possible to break with the preconceived idea of what an institution of “higher learning” might be, as well as fully circumvent the logic of acquired competences and professionalisation. The PEI believes that the organisation of knowledge is a political domain where contents are related to a variety of traditions in pedagogical and discursive experimentation. These traditions are understood not only as subjects of study, but also as a set of living practices, able to configure new spaces for knowledge.
The program constitutes an intellectual and experiential challenge, for its students as well as its academic leadership, professors and the institution that promotes it. The fissures opened up by students of different origins, and their contributions in the form of various epistemologies and thought traditions, encourage the program to be constantly looking for a new balance, where being radical can only be understood as “going to the root of things”, where practice is engaged on the basis of empathy. It is a space for the mobilisation of various forms of knowledge and the reconfiguration of actions, where students and teachers take on the challenge of putting a conception of education as a space for experimentation and liberation into practice.

One of the fundamental concerns of the program is to think of the ways that studying might create new forms of political subjectivity from progressive, feminist, anti-racist and critical perspectives. The program takes on this difficult challenge together with its participants, conceiving of research as a space of commitment with the world, rather than in terms of the development of a semio-capitalist subject-I-brand. Responding to this commitment from out of life itself, in the new cycle begun in 2017-18, the program is particularly concerned with activating a political imagination linked to the material grounds of survival. Basing itself on eco-feminist positions, it conceives of interdependence and vulnerability as the necessary basis from where to respond to the neo-liberal forms of capitalism that represent a total mobilisation of life, breaking up each day into a diversity of differentiated crises: migratory, ecological, institutional, political, and so on.

This new cycle, under shared academic leadership, brings to the program sufficient plenitude and variety (as well as a degree of complexity, undeniably) to encourage thought on the edge, able to take on the difficulties that distinguish contemporary antagonisms. In this edition, the program will continue to reflect on the possibility of forging bonds with the community of southern Europe, with the goal of strengthening networks between Mediterranean countries sharing similar geopolitical realities.

The program does not conceive of knowledge in terms of the accumulation of information, but rather from out of the potential of collective study and the activation of theory. To accomplish this, it draws from the tools of critical theory, artistic research, cultural materialism, feminist and queer thought and practice, as well as decolonial critique. Three major orienting features—Criticism and Thought, Cultural Ecologies and Technologies of the Body—are related to other exploratory terrains, such as multiple pedagogies, visual narratives, a-disciplinary knowledge and writing as a tool in activating language, sharing experiences and articulating research.

The program has been organised over four trimesters, from April 2019 to June 2020 (with no classes in July, August, half of September and December). Apart from featuring lecture-style classes, workshops are included with the aim of initiating specific research projects (collective and individual), along with other events that will be open to the public as international seminars, monothematic courses and lectures. Throughout the course of the program, students will do their own research (whether individually or in groups, accompanied by a tutor connected to the trajectory of the PEI, such as members of the academic direction, former students, program professors or museum curators). At certain times, they may have the opportunity to discuss their respective projects in open debate with the other students. These research projects can be presented in any final form deemed adequate, including as a performance, in film, as a curatorial project or as academic research, amongst many options. Furthermore, during the program three projects in collective research will be carried out (“Cultural Ecologies”, with Jaime Vindel; “Memories of Sexual Dissidence in Barcelona”, with Lucía Egaña; and “RED LOVE”, a research, writing and practice-based group, with Dora García). Each student will be required to choose one of these three groups for the collective research project, an essential feature of the program’s methodological proposal, grounded as it is on the idea of cooperation, collaboration and coexistence. These projects will generate working methodologies that step beyond the productive logic of privatised and individualised knowledge, spilling over the edges of traditional disciplines while settling in an a-disciplinary space.

Academic Direction 2019-2020: Lucía Egaña, Marcelo Expósito, Marina Garcés, Dora García, Pablo Martínez and Jaime Vindel.

Visiting Professors: Franco Berardi Bifo, Yayo Herrero, Aurora Fernández Polanco, valeria flores, Daniel Inclán, Germán Labrador, Ana Longoni, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Carmen Romero Bachiller, María Salgado and Emilio Santiago Muiño, amongst others.

Photo: Desplegando mapa de mar Mediterráneo, workshop by Ideadestroyingmuros, March 2018. © Dani Cantó

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Tel.: +34 93 481 33 58

Practical information

1 APRIL 2019 – JUNE 2020

Duration: 15 months
The course consists of four trimesters, offering a total of 350 classroom hours, including teaching hours, workshops, research groups and presentations.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 4–8 pm, with 3–4 classes weekly of three hours each. International workshops and seminars may also take place on Saturdays.
Programme publication: September 2018
Accreditation: The PEI determines its own curriculum and is part of the MACBA Study Centre: it is not attached to any university. On satisfactory completion of the programme, a MACBA accreditation is awarded. The level of complexity of the programme is equivalent to predoctoral academic studies (postgraduate or official master's degree). Non-regulated alternative studies will also be recognised.

Reception of applications from 1 to 31 October 2018.
Documentation: Applications must be sent by email to, providing the following documentation in a single PDF:
• Application form
• Motivation text (500 words)
• Abstract of the project in progress or to be developed (artistic, theoretical, collective, pedagogical...) (300 words)
• Curriculum vitae (if necessary, the selection committee may request supporting documentation)
• The submission of letters of recommendation (optional) will be assessed
• Copy of your ID or passport
Only requests received by email will be accepted.
All documents in PDF format should be attached to the same mail.

The PEI is not a professional training programme, but a space for exploration and activation of knowledge. The selection committee, made up of the Head of Programming, the academic coordinator and members of the faculty, will assess the diversity of profiles and careers not only from a strictly academic perspective, but taking into account the wider aspects and ways in which knowledge takes place, including artistic practice, activism, research, working and studying experience.
The selection criteria will take into account:
- The materials provided within the registration period.
- The relevance of the experience and activities of the applicants, whether academic or professional, to the contents and objectives of the programme.
- There is no age limit.
Selection scale:
- Excellence of curricular and practical training (10 points)
- Relevance to the programme (10 points)
- Submitted project (10 points)
If considered necessary, an interview will be conducted (in person or online).
Communication of acceptance: Candidates will be notified from 26 November 2018.
This communication will be by email.

Dates: 1 January – 1 March 2019
Registration fee: 3000 euros. Payment may be made in two instalments.
Scholarships: MACBA awards full tuition scholarships and half scholarships (50% of the registration fee). Selection will be made by members of the faculty and the academic coordinator. More information soon.


Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Tel.: +34 93 481 33 58


Studied art, aesthetics and documentary media and holds a PhD in Audiovisual Communication from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She is a writer and researcher on feminism and transfeminism, representation, post-pornography, technology, free software and error. She has developed educational processes in institutional and informal contexts and her artistic work has been shown in Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, Spain, France, Norway, Ecuador and Colombia, among others. She organises the nomadic festival Muestra Marrana; has published the book Enciclopedia del amor en los tiempos del porno (Cuarto propio, 2014); and collaborates with various collectives and artists, mostly in the medium of performance. She is a member of the research group FIC (Fractalidades en Investigación Crítica, UAB) and has developed, together with Miriam Solá, the research project ‘Máquinas de Guerra, políticas transfeministas de la representación’ (2014–15).

His artistic work tends to focus on the fields of critical theory, editorial work, curatorship, education and translation. He has been a member of PEI’s academic staff since its inception in 2006 and was co-director of its fourth edition (2012–13). He has taught in institutions such as Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona); School of Fine Arts of the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Cuenca); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo de la UNAM (MUAC); Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas (Buenos Aires), and the universities of Buenos Aires (UBA) and La Plata (Argentina).
Co-founder and editor of the magazine Brumaria (2002–6), since 2006 he is a member of the editorial collective of the multilingual webzine transversal, published by eipcp (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies). He has written and edited, on his own or in collaboration, books on critical theory, cultural activism and the history of the artistic avant-gardes. Among others: Plusvalías de la imagen. Anotaciones (locales) para una crítica de los usos (y abusos) de la imagen (1993); Chris Marker. Retorno a la inmemoria del cineasta (2000); Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (2001); Historias sin argumento. El cine de Pere Portabella (2001); Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional (2008); Los nuevos productivismos (2010); Walter Benjamin, productivista (2013); Desinventario. Esquirlas de Tucumán Arde en el archivo de Graciela Carnevale (2015); Conversación con Manuel Borja-Villel (2015).
An activist in movements of civil disobedience, against neoliberalism and in favour of social rights and democracy since the 1990s, he is currently a member of the Executive Committee of Barcelona En Comú, as well as a member of parliament for Barcelona en Comú and Third Secretary in the Congress.

Philosopher and lecturer at the Universidad de Zaragoza. Her work focuses on the fields of politics and critical thought, and on the need to articulate a challenging and committed voice. To this aim, her philosophy has developed as a wide experimentation of ideas, ways of learning and forms of intervention in today’s world. She is the author of books such as En las prisiones de lo posible (2002); Un mundo común (2013); El compromiso / Commitment (Col·lecció Breus, CCCB, 2013); Filosofía inacabada (2015); and Fuera de clase. Textos de filosofía de guerrilla (2016). Since 2002 she has coordinated ‘Espai en Blanc’, a collective project in favour of a committed, practical and experimental relationship with philosophical thought.

An artist and researcher on the parameters and conventions of the presentation of art, questions of time – real or fictional – and the limits between representation and reality. She uses various supports to generate contexts in which the traditional system of communication – transmitter, message, recipient – is altered, thus modifying the traditional relationship between artist, work and public.
In 2011 she represented Spain at the Venice Biennale with The Inadequate, and in the 56th edition of 2015 she presented the performance and installation project The Sinthome Score, based on a transcription of Jacques Lacan’s 23rd seminar Le Sinthome. A reference in her recent work, she discovered Jacques Lacan thanks to James Joyce, on whom she has reflected deeply in works such as her film The Joycean Society. She is currently working on Óscar Masotta and the notion of repetition and her ongoing project El café de las voces, which began in Hamburg in 2014 and is still taking place in different cities.
She has had solo exhibition at CGAC (Santiago de Compostela, 2009); Index Stockholm(2009); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, (2010); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013); Universidad Torcuato di Tella (Buenos Aires, 2014); and Toronto Power Plant (Toronto, 2015). Her work is represented by ProjecteSD (Barcelona), Galería Juana de Aizpuru (Madrid), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam) and Galerie Michel Rein (Paris and Brussels).

Head of Programming, MACBA. His research focuses on educational work with the body and the potential of images for constructing political subjectivity. He was Head of Education and Public Activities at CA2M (2009–16), and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2011–15). He is Editorial Secretary of the journal of art and visual culture Re-visiones and a member of Las Lindes, a research and action group working on education and cultural and artistic practices. He has co-edited, with Yayo Aznar, Arte actual. Lecturas para un espectador inquieto (CA2M, 2011) and is editor of the forthcoming No sabíamos lo que hacíamos. Lecturas para una educación situada.

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Tel.: +34 93 481 33 58

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