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UNTOUCHABLE / UNACCEPTABLE / INTANGIBLE

1 May-29 August 2015

about the imaginative aesthetics of change

 

 

The unacceptable reveals the limitations of the acceptable
The untouchable foreshadows the adventurous discovery of difference
The intangible offers a speculative sense towards the radically other

 

What is the possible relationship between art and social change? When forced into the corner of economic demands on the one hand and the need for aesthetic subversion on the other, a lot of artist workers feel the need to defend their ‘right to be’ through critical strategies and political transparency. In defence of the power of aesthetics this block tries to pry open the difficult paradox between criticality and imagination, between the power of the subject and the passive resistance of the object, between political critique and artistic re-imagineering strategies.

In a famous essay, Isabelle Stengers borrows from Dostoevski, through Deleuze, a conceptual character : the Idiot. Stubbornly believing that “there is always something more important”, the Idiot slows everybody down and consequently opens ‘interstices in the soil of good reasons’. During this block, we will use this Idiot figure as a conceptual totem, ‘in the presence of which’ we might challenge our aesthetic certainties and ethical values.

Over the past decade a renewed interest occurred in the arts in practices that have been labelled as ‘neo-animism’, ‘neo-shamanism’, ‘object oriented performance art’, ‘speculative’, etc…. These movements seem inseparable from the general crisis of modernist avant-garde forms of art that, one way or another, based their authority on the exclusive reference to progress, universality, authoritarian formalism, self-referentiality, critical conceptualism and so on and so on…. In that sense they announce a large and deep unfolding crisis, because one does not get rid so easily of the Modernist agenda of aesthetic and political concerns that has served as a compass for the Euro-American art scene since its unfolding at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, a necessary crisis, because the aesthetic mind frames of the current arts scene are blind to the actual novelty of the current era, marked by a reevaluation, through practice, of the models of production of aesthetics and subjectivity.  New models that pose a threat to the accepted contemporary artist identity and its well-defined role within society. “New Age fabulation!, Idiotic!, Superficial!, Overly therapeutical!, Dangerously spiritual!, Fuzzy dreams!, Pseudo-Metaphysical!, Not serious enough!…”, a whole bunch of despising critiques erupt regularly. Mocking what produces discomfort and what demands a redefinition of the ways one reads art and ultimately of who one is.

Here in a.pass, when we practice and discuss the outcomes of aesthetic speculations, of magical practices and of spiritual performativity, it is because these practices/modes of thought are too often defined as purely utopian, ineffable, abstract or just disconnected imaginations unable to get a grip on reality. In response, we want to consider them as forms of agency, concerns, as localized potentialities. The sense we can make out of such unacceptable, untouchable, intangible proposals are linked to their consequences, to the modifications in the understanding of the present they perform.

Animating objects to animate our agencies.
Fictionalising  the real as a critique to produce alternatives to ideology.
Speculating on the impossible to construct a possible.
Considering imagination not as escapism but as an operative vehicle for change.

The unacceptable reveals the limitations of the acceptable.
The untouchable foreshadows the adventurous discovery of difference.
The intangible offers a speculative sense towards the radically other.

 

Pierre Rubio, March 2015





block information

Self-Interview & Peer-to-Peer mentoring

self interview
SELF / Throughout the block we develop a self-interviewing practice. PEER / On top of the dedicated mentoring and the self-interview practice you will also mentor - and be mentored by -a peer researcher.
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block information, research

a.pass research centre The House of Spirits

10 May-24 July 2015

House of Spirits

The House of Spirits is a common space for the (re)collection, digestion and transformation of the traces of the individual researches and workshops. The House opens up a space for the shamans/conservators of the Research Centre, as well as some of the participants. Every week another shaman practices in the House of Spirits, working with the case objects of the participants or with left-overs of the workshop, developing a shared ritual for the a.pass group. The strategies of the shaman include reordering, cataloguing, magical transformations, ritual alchemy, displacement and fictionalisation.

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workshop

Pierre Joachim / Geert Opsomer / Pierre Rubio ECOLOGY OF AFFECTS

25-29 May 2015 / a.pass

Studio 54, Halloween 1978, Hasse Persson
'A revolution is as much a reorientation of our affective relations as it is of social relations and cannot be one without the other.' Jason Read, ‘Economies of Affect / Affective Economies’, 2013
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workshop

Sara Manente / Marcos Simoes THIS PLACE

1-5 June 2015 / a.pass

The workshop unfold a series of extra sensorial practices as tools for collaboration in groups, couples or with objects. The dispositives used, for example the telepathic approach, offer the possibility to create a third existence which is “a self”, “an entity” other than us, with own quality and ability to perform. Like an “experimental magic”: there will be magic without magicians. Can we create the magic by creating the situation for the magic to happen? We create the rules therefore we create the magic. Is it possible to empower an object, a person, a situation through speculation? With the stubbornness of “the idiot”, we will practice and question again and again opening up the creative process to the immaterial and the immaterial.
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workshop

Abu Ali * Toni Serra THE UNSEEN WORKSHOP

8-12 June 2015

Filmstill, Exodus OVNI 2008
For this workshop Abu Ali offers a selection of footage from the video archive O.V.N.I (observatori de video no idenitficat) based in Barcelona, which deals with the ‘Unseen’. Based on these projections Abu Ali will experiment with us on practices of not seeing. Challenging the relation between the gaze and action, vision and perception, the imaginary and the experienced, we will cruise through a network of text, video, and physical practices that open the vision for the unseen and the un-seeing.
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workshop

Oscar Parada TOWARDS A COLLECTIVE RITUAL

22-26 June 2015 / a.pass

circle
The objective of re-knowing and re-producing the sacred in connection with a performative ritual space is to operate a transformation and that is what we can call medicine. Medicine is everything that transforms us. The workshop proposes techniques and practices to open the body not only as an artistic tool but also as a medicinal tool. We will question and challenge the limits of what ‘self’, ‘presence’ and ‘relation’ mean. Hence, the workshop will also a research into creating individual and collective rituals in different ways.
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workshop

Peter Stamer / Luanda Casella SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

29 June-3 July 2015

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-28 um 13.59.09

In 1969, the American psychologist Stanley Milgram designed a study to explore if two randomly selected individuals, strangers to each other coming from different American states, are nevertheless connected by acquaintances in between. Starting the test in Kansas/Nebraska, linking people to one individual in Massachusetts, the experiment suggested that an individual knows of any target person only by six degrees of connecting steps: Mr X from Kansas knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Mrs Z, living in Massachusetts.

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