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.

Addressed to: people from a variety of disciplines, with different backgrounds and professional orientations (from artists to professors, architects, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, activists, curators, psychologists, etc.) who share an interest in research as a collective learning experience and who feel drawn to projects that connect art and artistic practices with human sciences and social, political or institutional action. There are no age requirements or academic prerequisites, but profiles with a certain experience, or an academic or professional track record, who can share their knowledge with the rest of the group, will be appreciated.

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

Visiting Professors: Franco Berardi Bifo, Marcelo Expósito, 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

Telf. 93 481 79 05



This new cycle, with a shared academic direction, brings a richness and diversity to the programme that fosters clearly positioned and complex thought, in the interest of addressing the difficulties running through contemporary antagonisms. The programme does not understand knowledge as based on the idea of an accumulation of facts, but rather as drawing on the power of collective study and bringing theory into action. In pursuit of that goal, it harnesses the tools and methodologies of critical theory, artistic research, cultural materialism, feminist and queer thought and practices, and decolonial critique.
Three core lines of study (Critique and Thought, Cultural Ecologies and Technologies of the Body) are related and intersect with other lines of exploration such as pedagogies, visual narratives, undisciplined knowledge and writing as tools for activating the language, sharing experiences and articulating the research.
The programme consists of class sessions, workshops and other formats that are open to the public, including international seminars, monographic courses and lectures.

One of the main goals of the PEI is to foster a critical capacity that allows for unrestrained movement between thought paradigms. We are not interested in ideological apriorisms or self-contained categories. The PEI is not a space for self-representation but for questioning existing representations. An antagonistic political imagination must be able to construct the fronts of its aesthetic and political struggle in a welcoming and creative way, without falling into the hostility and aggressiveness characteristic of global capitalism.
Developing a critical stance, today, involves the patient task of listening, shared learning and reciprocity among languages. Along those lines, we propose the following seminars. Each will tackle a different challenge in current thinking, employing different working methodologies. The goal is to move beyond amassing knowledge of authors and content, in order to also develop different approaches to the exercise of thinking for oneself and in conjunction with others.

This block focuses on the need, today, to rethink the connections between imagination, culture and ecology. Where cultural studies aimed to lay out a response to the political crisis of the international communist movement at the dawn of the Cold War, today we need “cultural ecologies” that can provide us with new compasses and tools in a period that is even more pressing in its contemporary antagonisms. The historical caesura represented by the fall of the Berlin Wall led to the collapse of the short 20th century (as Eric Hobsbawm would say) and, with it, the communist utopia aligned with (or critical of) the October Revolution and the history of the Soviet Union, whose dystopian development sparked the arguments articulated by intellectuals of the new left like E.P. Thompson, Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall. Today, what is on the verge of collapse is not a certain variant of modernity, as was the case with so-called real socialism, but rather the entire “civilization” that has spread across the planet for at least the past five centuries. The problem is that this entropy of civilization has the potential to sweep away not only the remnants of other pre-capitalist cultures or the weak equilibriums—where they have persisted—that sustain social market conditions, but much of the life that is encompassed in the Earth’s ecosystem: in fact, this is already happening. Beginning in the late 1950s, cultural studies posited culture as the anchor for a totalizing vision of social reality that questioned both the crude reductionism of the economicist analyses of orthodox Marxism and the restrictions of the disciplinary field of the humanities—still indebted to the influence of classical culture and the autonomy of artistic and literary expressions—with the intention of re-situating the analysis of the specificity of cultural practices within the broader network of their interrelations with the economics, politics and society of the time. Responding to a similar desire, today we need to engage in an ecological revision of the historical project of cultural criticism. The culturalist expansion of the study of the aspects that shape human societies should be extended to the analysis of the socio-metabolic sustainability of how we organise our life in common. This diagnosis can drive the emergence of a materialist imagination with an eco-social slant, providing a critical update to the tradition of the connections between art, aesthetics and politics outlined by the 20th-century avant-gardes.

This line also has a collective research group for those participants who are particularly interested in cultural ecologies, for the purpose of helping them engage in research focused on the dialogue between history, the imagination, culture and ecology.

This line examines certain analytical tools that address the body, sexuality and the construction of gender in a context saturated by capitalism, colonialism and the mechanisms of biopolitical control. The area looks at feminisms, sexual dissidence and other theoretical-practical approaches that provide us with critical mechanisms for social, micropolitical and subjective analysis, as well as how these mechanisms can become instruments and materials for the production of discourse. An important focus will be the dissident nature of revised discourses, since they emerge as a force that runs counter to the hegemonic logics of capitalism and the heteronormativity, androcentrism, colonialism, racism and Eurocentrism of the modern discourse which underlies the construction of the contemporary European subject. These discourses challenge the systems of control laid out by modern social construction, investigating the practices of resistance that emerge through activism and cultural production.

This line also incorporates one of the programme’s collective research groups, dedicated to recovering the memories of sexual dissidence in Barcelona.

In addition to the main lines of study, the programme offers transversal seminars that address visual narratives, pedagogies and undisciplined knowledge. With the intention of challenging the disciplinary frameworks of the history of art or aesthetics, as well as those of the traditional practices of essay writing, art or curating, the programme addresses how the arrangement, intervention, multiplication, and mediatic socialization of images have a powerful influence on our everyday reality, shaping fictions and narratives, producing bodies and identities, and generating new forms of political subjectivity. Taking up clearly undisciplined positions, we address how artistic practices and the production of images activate not only imaginaries, but also ways of seeing, understanding and situating oneself in a world that is shaped by the scopic regime of the networked society. Through various seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions, the epistemic-critical aspect of images is underscored, as well as their relationships with art, politics and power. The analysis of the temporality of images, in their capacity to redefine the connections between imagination and history, is a key element in understanding their centrality in the production of counter-hegemonic narratives and in the reconfiguration of the exhibition format as a narrative device and a tool for political intervention. Along the same lines, the programme revisits the pedagogical tradition that has its roots in a critique of the Enlightenment model of education and that delves into the possibilities of pedagogy as a political practice and a practice of liberation. In that sense, there is an emphasis on questioning the fixed categories in education, as well as the idea of learning as the accumulation of knowledge and the preparation of professionals within the framework of cognitive capitalism. The organization of knowledge is addressed as a political space that challenges the hierarchies of what can or cannot be learned.

Within this framework the AMOR ROJO (Red Love) research group envisions a future publication in reader format, led by the artist Dora García, for those participants who are particularly interested in writing and artistic practice.


First term, April–June 2019
BODY AND THOUGHT. Seminar led by Marina Garcés. Six sessions between April and May 2019.
DÉRIVES IN BARCELONA. Tours of Barcelona, from the city centre to the periphery. Three sessions in April 2019.
SEMINAR: PEDAGOGIES AND EMANCIPATION. Led by Pablo Martínez and Yera Moreno. Five sessions in April 2019.
BODY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUAL DIFFERENCE. Seminar led by Lucía Egaña. Two sessions in April 2019 + presentation of the collective research project.
CULTURAL ECOLOGIES I. Culture, History and Nature. From Gramsci to Populist Post-Marxism. Seminar led by Jaime Vindel. Two sessions in May 2019 + presentation of the collective research project.
SEMINAR WITH YAYO HERRERO I. Two sessions in May 2019.
SEMINAR LED BY FRANCO BERARDI “BIFO”. Three sessions in June 2019.

Memories of Sexual Dissidence in Barcelona, with Lucía Egaña
AMOR ROJO (Red Love): group dedicated to research, writing and practice, with Dora García
Cultural Ecologies, with Jaime Vindel
Group presentations in May 2019. Three work sessions per group in June.

Second Term, September–December 2019
THOUGHT AND RECIPROCITY. Seminar led by Marina Garcés. Five sessions between October and November 2019.
SEMINAR WITH CARMEN ROMERO BACHILLER. Four sessions in October 2019.
SEMINAR WITH SILVIA RIVERA CUSICANQUI. Seven sessions in October 2019.
CULTURAL ECOLOGIES II. Entropy, Aesthetics and Discomfort. From the Utopia of the Society of Work to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Seminar led by Jaime Vindel. Three sessions in November 2019.
WRITING WORKSHOP. Led by val flores, in November 2019.
WRITING WORKSHOP. Led by María Salgado, in November 2019.

► COLLECTIVE RESEARCH. Six work sessions per group (distributed between September, October and November 2019).

Third Term, January–April 2020
TEACHING THOUGHT. Seminar led by Marina Garcés. Five sessions between January and March 2020.
SEMINAR: ALTERNATIVE MODERNITIES. Led by Daniel Inclán. Four sessions in January 2020.
BODY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUAL DIFFERENCE II. Led by Lucía Egaña. Three sessions in February 2020.
WORKSHOPS: PIGS SELF-MANAGEMENT. Three sessions in February 2020.
CULTURAL ECOLOGIES III. Nature and Culture. From Darwin to Amerindian Perspectivism. Three sessions in January led by Jaime Vindel.
SEMINAR WITH EMILIO SANTIAGO MUIÑO. Three sessions in February 2020.
SEMINAR WITH YAYO HERRERO II. Three sessions in March 2020.
SEMINAR WITH ATHENA ATHANASIOU. Three sessions in March 2020.
GLOSSARY. Workshop with Pablo Martínez. Three sessions between January and April 2020.
SEMINAR WITH ANA LONGONI. Four sessions in March 2020.

► COLLECTIVE RESEARCH. Six work sessions per group (distributed between January, February and March 2020). Shared discussion among all groups: four sessions at the end of March.

► INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH. Shared discussions of individual research projects in January. During this term, there are more frequent group and individual advisement sessions to discuss personal projects.

Fourth Term, April–May 2020
► INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH: April: advisement. End of May: personal research projects due. Mid-June: presentation of individual research projects.


First Term, April–June 2019
Seminar led by Marina Garcés
Six sessions between April and May 2019
One of the great fallacies of Western hegemonic thinking is that we only think with our minds. That is not true: we think with our entire bodies. This is not a new discovery, although contemporary thought has strongly defended corporality. In this seminar we will work with a number of texts that break with the body/mind duality from different philosophical and cultural traditions, and we will discuss the challenges posed today by a non-dualist conception. Key authors will include Lucretius, Spinoza, Diderot, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Arendt, Deleuze and Judith Butler.
Methodology: creative reading. The seminar will centre mainly on texts, which we will attempt to understand and analyse: in discussion with participants, we will share the questions suggested by the texts and the thoughts they evoke.

Three sessions in April 2019. Tours of Barcelona, from the city centre to the periphery.

Seminar led by Pablo Martínez and Yera Moreno
Five sessions in April 2019
Based on collective readings and through methodological experimentation, this seminar presents an approach to some fundamental texts from the pedagogical tradition that has its roots in a critique of the model of Enlightenment education and that delves into the possibilities of pedagogy as a political practice and a practice of liberation. In that sense, the fixed categories in education will be questioned, as well as the idea of learning as the accumulation of knowledge and the preparation of professionals within the framework of cognitive capitalism. The goal of the seminar is to answer the questions: “What do we want to learn together?” and “What are the possible new avenues for social emancipation?”
Methodology: reading and creative discussion. The seminar will take place in different spaces and will incorporate dérives, food and drink as possible tools to explore the meaning of independent study.

Seminar led by Lucía Egaña
Two sessions in April 2019
This seminar explores questions such as “When does someone begin to have a body, a gender?” and “What are the bodies of experimentation, the bodies of feminism?”
We will analyse some of the devices that affect the body’s construction and its sexed condition. Through the concept of gender technologies, tied in with representation (Teresa de Lauretis), we will address the effects and paradigms of machinic and capitalist technologies in the construction of our sexuality and everyday life. The limits between the human, the animal and the machinic (Donna Haraway) will be discussed, along with the different connections and possible relationships between body and technology.

CULTURAL ECOLOGIES I. Culture, history and nature. From Gramsci to populist post-Marxism
Seminar led by Jaime Vindel
Two sessions in May 2019
This first seminar will focus on the relationships between Marxism, culture and the concept of nature in the span of time that runs from the interwar period up to the present. With this aim, the figure of Antonio Gramsci, central to the cultural redefinition carried out by Western Marxism, will serve as our guide. In the first part we will analyse the re-reading of his idea of the philosophy of praxis in the work of anthropologists like Ernesto de Martino or filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini, for whom the towns of southern Italy represented a form of resistance to capitalist modernization, articulated through a series of shared imaginaries and rituals that conjured the potential revolutionary aspect of tradition. The cultural ecology of these communities, not without their ambiguities, harboured a relationship with nature based on a cyclical conception of time, deeply rooted in farming cultures, which contrasts with the arrow of time we associate with the advent of modernity. Straining against that tradition, Gramsci’s historicist rationalism attempted to incorporate those cultures into a moral reform project intended to expand the popular base of the communist revolution. The second part of the seminar will revisit some of the key points of Gramsci’s project through its impact on cultural studies, Spanish heterodox communism or populist post-Marxism. The discussion that will guide us will focus on how the cultural emphasis from Gramsci’s conception of the class struggle can be reconciled with a political project that centres on the current dimension of the eco-social crisis.

Second Term, September–December 2019
Seminar led by Marina Garcés
Five sessions between October and November 2019
The entirely of the history of thought is permeated by the border between “us” and “them”. It is not only a cultural division, but a geophilosophy based on conceptual domains that have excluded certain ways of thinking and left them out. Who are the “others” of thought? And what does it mean to think, in conjunction, based on this geography of exclusion? In this seminar we will address this problem and its different responses, attempting to move past the opposition between universalist positions and those positions that defend particular identities. In the global world, is it possible to conceive of ourselves based on a reciprocal universal? The references for this course will mainly be texts from non-Western philosophy.
Methodology: discussion. The seminar sessions will centre on the preparation of philosophical dialogues based on conflicting notions. The resources for preparing these dialogues may be texts, artistic materials, personal experiences, etc.

CULTURAL ECOLOGIES II. Entropy, Aesthetics and Discomfort. From the Utopia of the Society of Work to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Seminar led by Jaime Vindel
Three sessions in November 2019
This second seminar will propose a critical reconstruction of the impact of thermodynamic theory on the imaginaries of work from the mid-19th century to the present. The metaphor of the human body as the motor of modern industry—based on its capacity for work—was originally supported by the first law of thermodynamics, which describes the processes of energy conversion in the universe. By contrast, the law of entropy pointed to the equally universal tendency toward the dissipation of energy, which is increasingly less available for the performance of useful work. Entropy thus threatened the realization of the society of work and was manifested in the bodies of manual and intellectual workers in the form of syndromes such as fatigue or neurasthenia. Beginning from this historical context, the seminar will analyse the impact of the images of protein energy and entropy on the approaches of aesthetic theory and contemporary artistic practices, from the technocultural productivism of Walter Benjamin to the visual entropology of Robert Smithson. At the same time, it will trace the changes that have taken place in the relations between work, culture and discomfort due to the decline of the image of the human motor (Anson Rabinbach), the automation and computerization of production, the crisis of the society of work, and the spread and diversification of psychosocial disorders such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, bipolar disorder or attention deficit disorder.

Third Term, January–April 2020
Seminar led by Marina Garcés
Five sessions between January and March
Thinking is not writing, but a large proportion of the traditions of thought we are familiar with involve writing, at least in part. Artistic production also, increasingly, incorporates moments of writing. The mastery of theoretical writing and the standardization of academic writing are making us forget, however, that writing can happen in many ways and that without trial runs (in the etymological sense of an “essay”), in the active and experimental sense, there is no writing in thought. In this seminar we will address different types of essays and written expressions (personal, collective and anonymous) and we will also try out different ways of writing and thinking. We will bring our ideas into play, experimenting with how they emerge in writing.
Methodology: writing exercises. We will examine different types of textuality in which thought takes on form, rhythm and varied textures, and we will engage in exercises putting them into practice.

Seminar led by Lucía Egaña
Three sessions in February

CULTURAL ECOLOGIES III. Nature and culture From Darwin to Amerindian Perspectivism. Three sessions in January led by Jaime Vindel
This third seminar will focus on how different authors and critical discourses have contemplated the relationships between nature and culture. The discussion will begin with a brief genealogy of the materialist tradition that fuelled the radical reconsideration of the concept of nature in the field of evolutionary biology and social theory during the 19th century, particularly by looking at the approaches to the work of Darwin and Marx by authors such as E.P. Thompson, Richard Lewontin, Richard Levins, Stephen Jay Gould and John Bellamy Foster, among others. This proposal will help reveal the lines of continuity and discontinuity between nature and culture, unravelling the received ideas that persist in how both concepts are considered. In turn, the seminar will discuss the worldviews that establish an abrupt division that completely separates the domains of nature and culture: the ones that tend to reduce nature to a cultural construction (from the Frankfurt School to Timothy Morton’s ecology without nature) or those that obviate the specificity of the historical-cultural constitution of human societies (as in some of the approaches of new materialisms). In this context, we will analyse contributions from decolonial anthropology, such as Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s work on Amerindian perspectivism or Philippe Descola’s proposal to overcome the naturalist paradigm based on the nature/culture binomial.

Fourth Term, April–May 2020
Seminar led by Germán Labrador
Germán Labrador is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. His interests include cultural and literary history, memory studies, poetry, social movements and urban cultures. His main research area is modern and contemporary Iberian cultures. His many publications include Raptured Letters: Chemical Poetry during the Spanish Transition to Democracy (Devenir, 2009), about a group of underground poets from the 1970s and their relationship with the psychedelic utopias of 1968 and heroin consumption in the 1980s, and Guilty of Literature. Political Imagination and Counter-Culture in the Spanish Transition to Democracy (1968–1986) (Akal, 2017) on the importance of alternative movements in the transition to democracy, with their defence of a break with the Franco regime, and citizen participation. In March 2018 he gave the lecture Ephemeral Lights. Civil Aesthetics and the Neoliberal Order in the context of the PEI.

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Telf. 93 481 79 05




This year the PEI is under the academic direction of Lucía Egaña, Marina Garcés, Dora García, Pablo Martínez and Jaime Vindel.

A graduate in arts, aesthetics and documentary, she holds a doctorate in Audiovisual Communication from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). She writes and researches on subjects related to feminisms and transfeminism, representation, post-pornography, technology, free software and error. She teaches in institutional and informal settings and her artistic work has been exhibited in Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, Spain, France, Norway, Ecuador and Colombia, among others. She currently has a long-term residency at the Hangar arts centre (Barcelona). She has published the books Atrincheradas en la carne. Lecturas en torno a las prácticas pospornográficas (Entrenched in the flesh: Readings about post-pornographic practices, Ed. Bellaterra 2017) and Enciclopedia del amor en los tiempos del porno (Encyclopaedia of love in times of porn, together with Josefa Ruiz-Tagle, Cuarto propio, 2014) and works with different collectives and artists, mainly in the performance field. She is part of the Fractalidades en Investigación Crítica, (Fractalities in Critical Research, or FIC) research group at the UAB and, together with Miriam Solá, carried out the research project Máquinas de Guerra, políticas transfeministas de la representación (War Machines, transfeminist representation policies, 2014-2015).

She is a philosopher and lectures at the Catalan Open University. Her work centres on the sphere of politics and critical thought, and on the need to construct a philosophical voice able to appeal and commit. To this end she develops her philosophy as a broad experimentation with ideas, learning and forms of intervention in the modern world. Among others, she is the author of the books Un mundo común (A common world, Edicions Bellaterra, 2013), Filosofía inacabada (Unfinished philosophy, Galaxia Gutenberg 2015) and Fuera de clase. Textos de filosofía de guerrilla (Outside class: texts on guerrilla philosophy, Galaxia Gutenberg, 2016), Nueva Ilustración radical (New radical enlightenment, Anagrama, 2017) and Ciudad Princesa (Princess city, Galaxia Gutenberg, 2018). Since 2002 she has promoted and coordinated the Espai en Blanc (Blank Space) project, a collective opting for a committed, practical and experimental relationship with philosophical thought.

She is an artist and researches the parameters and conventions of the presentation of art, the question of time - real and fictitious - and the limits between representation and reality. She makes use of a range of media to generate contexts in which the traditional scheme of communication - sender-message-receiver - is disrupted, upsetting the traditional relationship between the artist, their work and their audience.
In 2011 she represented Spain at the Venice Biennale with the project Lo inadecuado (the Inadequate) and at the 56th edition in 2015 she presented the performance and installation project The Sinthome Score, based on the transcription of Jacques Lacan’s 23rd seminar Le Sinthome. Jacques Lacan is one of the points of reference for her recent work. she came to him thanks to the writer James Joyce, about whom she has reflected in depth in works like her film The Joycean Society. In 2018 the MNCARS organised Segunda Vez (Second Time), an open journey through many of her previous works under the title of the 1974 short story by Julio Cortázar and presenting the artist’s projects revolving around the figure of Oscar Masotta. She is currently working on RED LOVE, an exhibition and publishing project set up in 2018 in Tensta Konstall, Stockholm, which explores love as something shared and the possible alternative modes of life it leads to.
Dora García has had solo exhibitions at the CGAC (Santiago de Compostela, 2009), Index Stockholm (2009), Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2010), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013), the Torcuato di Tella University (Buenos Aires, 2014) and Toronto Power Plant (Toronto, 2015), as well as at MNCARS (Madrid, 2018). Her work is exhibited at ProjecteSD (Barcelona), Galería Juana de Aizpuru (Madrid), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam) and Galerie Michel Rein (Paris and Brussels).

He has worked as head of programmes at the MACBA since 2016. He has been in charge of Education and Public Activities at the CA2M (2009-2016) and associate lecturer in the History of Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid (2011-2015). He edits the et al. series of essays (MACBA-Arcàdia). His lines of research include educational work with the body, as well as research into the power of images to produce political subjectivity. He is editorial secretary of the research journal Re-visiones and a member of the research and action group on education, art and cultural practices Las Lindes. He has edited published publications including Arte actual. Lecturas para un espectador inquieto (Art today: readings for a concerned spectator, CA2M, 2011) and No sabíamos lo que hacíamos. Lecturas para una educación situada (We didn’t know what we were doing: readings for a situated education, CA2M, 2016); he has curated exhibitions by Werker (2014) and Adelita Husni-Bey (2016), and has collaborated in numerous collective publications including Visualidades críticas y ecologías culturales (Critical visualities and cultural ecologies, Brumaria, 2018), Patricia Esquivias. A veces decorado (Patricia Esquivias: sometimes decorated, CA2M, 2016), Willem de Rooij. Index (Koenig Books, 2016) and Pensar la Imagen, Pensar con Imágenes (Thinking the Image, Thinking with Images, Delirio, 2014).

European Doctor of History of Art and Master of Philosophy and Social Sciences, he is the author of various essays and publications (
He has worked in universities in Argentina, Chile and Spain, enabling him to research the intersections between art, activism and politics in these contexts from the 1970s to the present. He is a member the Red Conceptualismos del Sur (Southern Conceptualisms Network) and was part of the curating team for the exhibition Perder la forma humana. Una imagen sísmica de los años ochenta en América Latina (Losing the human form: a seismic image of the eighties in Latin America, MNCARS, 2012).
His post-doctoral research focuses on different episodes and critical dilemmas connected with heterodox Marxism, cultural practices and ecological sensitivity from the Cold War period to the present. His work includes the rediscovery of the intellectual career of the Hispano-Mexican philosopher Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez, the reconstruction of the relations between art and Maoism during the political transition in Spain and a proposal to rethink cultural studies from a materialist, de-colonial perspective to take account of the multi-dimensionality of the eco-social crisis.
He is the author of the books Transparente opacidad. Arte conceptual en los límites del lenguaje y la política (Transparent opacity: conceptual art at the limits of language and politics, Brumaria, 2015) and La vida por asalto: arte, política e historia en Argentina entre 1965 y 2001 (Life for asphalt: art, politics and history in Argentina between 1965 and 2001, Brumaria, 2014) and has edited or co-edited, among others, the books Visualidades críticas y ecologías culturales (Critical visualities and cultural ecologies, Brumaria, 2018) and (together with Jesús Carrillo) the volume Desacuerdos 8. Crítica (Disagreements 8: Criticism, MACBA, 2014).

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Telf. 93 481 79 05

Practical information

Dates: 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.

Addressed to: people from a variety of disciplines, with different backgrounds and professional orientations (from artists to professors, architects, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, activists, curators, psychologists, etc.) who share an interest in research as a collective learning experience and who feel drawn to projects that connect art and artistic practices with human sciences and social, political or institutional action. There are no age requirements or academic prerequisites, but profiles with a certain experience, or an academic or professional track record, who can share their knowledge with the rest of the group, will be appreciated.

Reception of applications from 1 to 31 October 2018. Extension of the registration period until 15 November.
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.
Available places: 30

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Telf. 93 481 79 05




Research Programme

Personal Research
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.

Group Research
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.

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Telf. 93 481 79 05

Guest lecturers

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

Franco Berardi “Bifo”
A writer, philosopher, cultural agitator and media activist, in 1977 he founded the historical magazine A/traverso, the fanzine of the creative movement in Bologna (Italy). He was involved in Italian Autonomism movements and in historical experiences in alternative communication, such as Radio Alice. In the next decade, he anticipated the future impact of the internet network as a mass social and cultural phenomenon, while since 2005 he has been an active agitator in the “telestreet” movement in Italy. He is the author of various essays on the transformations of work, innovation and communication processes in capitalism, publishing in various countries. Some of these works have been translated into Spanish, including La fábrica de la infelicidad. Nuevas formas de trabajo y movimiento global (Traficantes de Sueños, 2003), Máquina imaginativa no homologada (Ediciones de Intervención Cultural, 2004), El sabio, el mercader y el guerrero. Del rechazo del trabajo al surgimiento del cognitariado (Acuarela & A. Machado, 2007), La sublevación (Artefakte, 2013), Después del Futuro. Desde el futurismo al cyberpunk. El agotamiento de la modernidad (Enclave de Libros, 2014), El trabajo del alma. De la alienación a la autonomía (Cruce Casa Editora, 2016) and Fenomenología del fin. Sensibilidad y mutación conectiva (Caja Negra, 2017).

Marcelo Expósito
His work as an artist has generally tended towards the fields of critical theory, publishing, curating, teaching and translation. He has sat on the PEI board since helping to set it up in 2006, acting as co-director of the fourth edition (2012-2013), and has taught in academic and autonomous institutions in Europe and Latin America such as the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona), the Elisava School (Barcelona), the Fine Arts faculty of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Cuenca), the UNAM University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), the Art Research Centre (Buenos Aires) and the universities of Buenos Aires (UBA) and La Plata (Argentina).
He was co-founder and editor (2002-2006) of the journal Brumaria; he has been part (2006-2011) of the editorial collective of the multilingual webzine transversal, published by eipcp (european institute for progressive cultural policies); and he has also taken part in militant research networks like the Universidad Nómada (Nomad University) and the Red Conceptualismos del Sur (Southern Conceptualisms Network). He has written or published, alone or in collaboration, books on critical theory, cultural activism and the history of artistic avant-gardes including Plusvalías de la imagen. Anotaciones (locales) para una crítica de los usos (y abusos) de la imagen (Appreciation of the image: (local) notes for a criticism of the uses (and abuses) of the image, Rekalde, 1993), Chris Marker. Retorno a la inmemoria del cineasta (Chris Marker: return to the non-memory of the film-maker, Ediciones de la Mirada, 2000), Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (Ways of doing: critical art, the public sphere and direct action, Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca 2001), Historias sin argumento. El cine de Pere Portabella (Stories without a plot: the films of Pere Portabella, Ediciones de la Mirada, 2001), Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional (Cultural output and establishing practices: fault lines in institutional criticism, Traficantes de sueños, 2008), Los nuevos productivismos (The new productivisms, Barcelona, MACBA, UAB, 2010), Walter Benjamin, productivista (Walter Benjamin, productivist, Consonni, 2013), Desinventario. Esquirlas de Tucumán Arde en el archivo de Graciela Carnevale (Disinventory: splinters of Tucumán Arde in the Graciela Carnevale archive, Ocho libros, 2015) and Conversación con Manuel Borja-Villel (Conversation with Manuel Borja-Villel, Turpial, 2015).
Involved as an activist since the nineties in movements to combat neoliberalism and support social and political rights, he is currently a member of the Spanish parliament, where he is third secretary of the lower house.

Aurora Fernández Polanco
PhD in Art History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and full professor in the History of Contemporary Art. Her research areas focus on changes in perception in the appreciation of contemporary art and problems related to visuality, thought and writing, subjects she has dealt with in articles, lectures, courses, seminars and books. These include Formas de mirar en el arte actual (Edilupa, 2004), Otro mundo es posible ¿Qué puede el arte? (2007) and “Pensar con imágenes: historia y memoria en la época de la googleización”, in the book Arte y Política. Argentina, Brasil, Chile y España, 1989-2004 (Editorial Complutense, 2010). She is also the editor of the indexed journal Re-visiones and has curated exhibitions for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Arts Santa Mònica and the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, amongst others.

valeria flores
A writer, researcher and Lesbian activist, Flores worked as a primary teacher for 15 years in public schools in the city Neuquén, Patagonia. Her field of interest intersects with her activity as a writer of essays and poetry as modes of political and aesthetic intervention, as well as activism, feminist theory and sexual dissidence, and anti-normative pedagogies. She was part of the team that founded in Argentina the Archivo Digitalizado del Activismo Lésbico Potencia Tortillera [Digital Archive of Lesbian Activism Dyke Power] (2011), and was a member of Fugitivas del desierto [Desert Fugitives] (2004-2008), a group of Lesbian feminists working to intervene politically, culturally and theoretically. She is the author of Notas lesbianas. Reflexiones desde la disidencia sexual (Editorial Hipólita 2005), Deslenguada. Desbordes de una proletaria del lenguaje (Ají de Pollo, 2010), Lenguaraz, written together with Macky Corbalán (La Mondonga Dark, 2012) and Bruma coja (La Mondonga Dark, 2012). She is also the editor of Chonguitas. Masculinidades de niñas (La Mondonga Dark, 2013), together with Fabi Tron and Desmontar la lengua del mandato, criar la lengua del desacato (Colectivo Utópico de Disidencia Sexual, 2014), amongst other articles and essays published in a variety of magazines and books.

Yayo Herrero
Anthropologist, social educator and technical agricultural engineer. She works as a professor and collaborator with the UNESCO Chair in Environmental Education and Sustainable Development (UNED) and is a founding partner of the Garúa Cooperative. A leading researcher in eco-feminism and amongst European eco-socialists, she has participated in various social initiatives to defend human rights and social ecology, a field where she has published more than twenty books and various articles. She was general director of the FUHEM foundation from 2012 to 2018 and coordinator of the Centro Complutense de Estudios e Información Medioambiental of the General Foundation of the Estudios e Información Medioambiental, at the Fundación General Universidad Complutense de Madrid, from 2009 to 2012. A member of the publishing board of Hegoa and the editorial board of Papeles, she was also the confederal coordinator of Ecologistas en Acción, from 2005 to 2014.

Daniel Inclán
A teacher at the Economic Research Institute of the Universidad Autónoma de México, his areas of research include the history of Latin American geopolitics and community economies and systemic bifurcations. He is a member of the Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica, whose goal is to research the critical node where systemic and civilization projects are engaged, discussed and remodelled, on the basis of which hegemony and power relationships are built, studying them from a perspective accentuating territoriality as a basic dimension of the organisation of social existence.

Germán Labrador
Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. His interests include cultural and literary history, studies on memory, poetry, social movements and urban cultures. His main research area is modern and contemporary Iberian cultures. His many publications feature Letras arrebatadas. Poesía y química en la transición española (Devenir, 2009) on a group of underground poets from the 1960s and their relationship to the psychedelic utopias of 1968 and heroin consumption in the 1980s, and Culpables por la literatura. Imaginación política y contracultura en la transición española (1968-1986) (Akal, 2017), on the importance of alternative social movements in the democratic transition and their advocacy of a break with the Franco regime and in favour of citizen participation.

Ana Longoni
Ana Longoni is a writer, a research at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina), and has a PhD in Arts from the University of Buenos Aires, where she teaches both degree and post-grad courses. She currently holds the position of Programme Director at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS). Her research activity centres on the intersection between art and politics in Argentina and Latin America from the mid-20th century to our days. Recent publications, individually or as co-author, include Del Di Tella a “Tucumán Arde”. Vanguardia artística y política en el 68 argentino (El Cielo por Asalto, 2000; new editions: Eudeba, 2008 and 2010), Traiciones. La figura del traidor en los relatos acerca de los sobrevivientes de la represión (Norma, 2007), El Siluetazo (Adriana Hidalgo Editora, 2008), Conceptualismos del Sur/Sul (Annablume, 2009), Romero (Fundación Espigas, 2010), Roberto Jacoby. El deseo nace del derrumbe (La Central - Adriana Hidalgo - MNCARS, 2011), Leandro Katz (Fundación Espigas, 2013) and Vanguardia y revolución. Arte e izquierda en la Argentina de los sesenta-setenta (Ariel, 2014). She has been involved with Red Conceptualismos del Sur since its beginnings. She has curated various exhibitions, amongst them Roberto Jacoby. Desire Rises from Collapse (MNCARS, Madrid, 2011) and Losing the Human Form. A Seismic Image of the 1980s in Latin America (MNCARS, Madrid, 2012 - Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, 2013 / Museo de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero Buenos Aires, 2014), as well as Oscar Masotta: Theory as Action (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2018). She has written the theatrical plays La Chira (2003) and Árboles (2006), both of which have premiered in Buenos Aires.

Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui
Bolivian sociologist and activist. Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés de La Paz. She has taught at various universities around the world. Throughout her career she has researched anarchist theory, as well as the Quechua and Aymara cosmologies. As an activist, she works directly with indigenous movements in Bolivia, such as the Katarista and coco workers movements, through the Taller de Historia Oral Andina [Andean Oral History Workshop], which she directs and is a co-founder of. More recently, she has initiated the space of El Tambo Colectivo, a cultural centre in La Paz that seeks to connect theoretical knowledge with manual and environmental labour. Her work features a combination of languages, which has led her explore the essay, documentaries, art criticism and exhibition curating.

Carmen Romero Bachiller
PhD in Sociology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she is currently a professor. She has participated in various research projects on transnational migrations and the restructuration of urban spaces, as well as on biomedical discourses and practices in the production of sexed bodies. She has published various articles and has participated in book projects that reflect her interest in areas bringing together intersectional feminist perspectives, post-colonial studies, cultural studies, social studies of techno-science and queer theory. Currently she is working on queer diasporas and homo-nationalism, on the reconfiguration of transnational homes, and on the reworking of sex/gender positions amongst migrants from Ecuador and Senegal settled in the Lavapiés neighbourhood of Madrid.

María Salgado
Poet and researcher. She works with language as the material for texts, sound-texts and actions. PhD in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, with a thesis on poetics oriented towards language in Spain since 1964. Together with Patricia Esteban she began the research group Seminario Euraca. She has published four books of poetry: Ferias (City of San Sebastián de los Reyes, 2007), 31 poemas (Puerta del Mar, 2010; Danke, 2016), ready (Arrebato Libros, 2012) and Hacía un ruido. Frases para un film político (Contrabando, 2016). Since 2012 she has been working with the composer Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca.

Emilio Santiago Muiño
PhD in Social Anthropology with a thesis on the systemic transition in Cuba after the fall of the Soviet Union. He was a doctoral researcher and teacher in the Department of Social Anthropology and Spanish Philosophical Thought at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. He has been member of the Transdisciplinary Research Group on Socio-ecological Transitions, as part of HUAMECO (Humanidades Ambientales. Estrategias para la Empatía Ecológica y la Transición hacia Sociedades Sostenibles), as well as serving on the board of the Instituto Universitario DEMOSPAZ (Universidad Autonóma de Madrid). He also participated in the core group of the manifesto entitled “Última llamada” [Last Call] (2013). Along with his academic publications he has written books such as No es una estafa, es una crisis (de civilización) (Enclave, 2015) and Rutas sin mapa. Horizontes de transición ecosocial (los Libros de la Catarata, 2016, winner of the II Catarata de Ensayo Award. He is founder of the social transformation project Rompe el Círculo [Break the Circle] (Móstoles), and is an activist at the Instituto de Transición Rompe el Círculo [Break the Circle Transition Institute]. Currently he is Director of the Environment for the Municipality of Móstoles.

Contact information

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

Telf. 93 481 79 05

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