Independent Studies Programme (PEI), 2017-2018
The Independent Studies Programme, called PEI after its acronym in Spanish, is a learning laboratory that takes place inside and outside the museum institution, and whose main aim is to develop critical thought from the intersection of artistic practices, social sciences and political and institutional interventions.
For the last decade, PEI has become an experimental programme working with new means of producing knowledge, as well as a place for setting up spaces where thought can resist and overtake the ceaseless spectacularisation of culture in the context of global tourism and cognitive capitalism. For its current session, PEI returns to its 2006 origins and establishes itself as a programme untied to any university, so as to better adjust to its foundational goals. PEI's update breaks away from the preconceived notion of what a place of ‘higher learning’ is supposed to be, and tries to escape any kind of programme based on the acquirement of skills or professionalisation, understanding the organising of knowledge as a political space, where contents are in radical, feminist and experimental pedagogy, not just as study subjects but as living practices, capable of setting up new spaces for knowledge.
The contents of the programme are organised around large, intersectional areas that deal with critique and thought, political imagination, visual studies, artistic research, feminist studies, queer theory, and post-colonial critique. For the coming year’s course, a new section was introduced, one that will approach the crisis of civilisation and ecological collapse, starting by reflecting on the limits of growth, climate activism and the possibility of producing imaginaries of new ways of post-capitalist life in a world without fossil energy.
During its history, PEI has received students from over 27 different countries, particularly Latin America, with very diverse educational – as well as professional, academic, and social – orientations. Gathered around an international faculty team, they've worked on a political vision for the museum, and an understanding of education as a place for experimentation. One of the specifics of PEI is the production of critical discourse that takes on the epistemologies of the Global South and ponders on the colonial and post-colonial relations between those countries. This current incarnation solidifies the relationship with Latin America and strengthens the links with Mediterranean and neighbouring countries by intensifying the ties with institutions from places such as Greece, Portugal and Italy. Southern European countries share similar realities, including high rates of public debt, being victims of the Troika's austerity policies, having their economies intervened at different levels, and seeing citizens who mobilise themselves met by similar political responses; this has strengthened the political and affective ties between these countries, which is why PEI can foster the development of thought that organises and links these diverse actions and realities.
The forthcoming PEI will take place over four terms, from March 2017 to June 2018. In addition to theoretical classes, the programme offers collective and individual workshops, as well as formats open to the public (PEI Obert), which include international seminars, monographic courses and lectures. The academic administration for the 2017–18 period is in the hands of a faculty consisting of Lucía Egaña, Marcelo Expósito, Marina Garcés, Dora García, Pablo Martínez, Emilio Santiago Muíño and Jaime Vindel.
CRITIQUE AND THOUGHT
Eduard Aibar, Xavier Bassas, Marina Garcés, David Gràcia, Daniel Inclán, Albert Lladó, Santiago López Petit, Ester Jordana, among others
Nowadays, we still maintain the need for critical thought in every aspect of our interaction with others: education, art, politics, media... But, one must question the way critique has evolved and where it can be implemented today. These days, critique ranges between an empty word and, on the other hand, a sectional and specialised practice, particular to art critics and academia. This subject explores the genealogy of critique as a modern attitude and its transformations in the world and contemporary practices. We will question our own current critical maps, so as to put them up to date, and organise tools of thought that help us intervene honestly and radically in the current world. Critique and Thought will revolve around three axis: critical thought as a modern tradition; critique's current evolution, its cartographies and subjectivities; and finally, the relationship between critique and emancipation.
PEDAGOGIES AND EMANCIPATION
Valeria flores, Marina Garcés, Stefano Harney, Adelita Husni-Bey, María Iñigo, Pablo Martínez, Fred Moten, Jordi Solé Blanch, among others
This section proposes a revision to the pedagogical tradition, critiquing the model of illustrated education, and inserting itself in the possibilities of pedagogy as a political and liberating practice. As an experimental pedagogical laboratory, PEI wishes to ponder on the potential that radical pedagogy has to build critical subjects and incite new forms of political subjectivities. In this sense, prominence will be given to questioning fixed categories in education as well as the conception of learning as an accumulation of knowledges and professional training within cognitive capitalism. Through a viewpoint that researches epistemologies of the South and the possibilities of decolonising knowledge through epistemo-diversity, this section will approach organising knowledge as a political space, defying hierarchies of what should be learned or not. The tradition of feminist and libertarian pedagogy will help reconfigure the order of what's sensitive and the limits of what's given. Faced with a neoliberal horizon and ecological collapse, it's time to ask what new ways towards social emancipation exist.
POLITICAL IMAGINATION AND CULTURAL MATERIALISM
Franco Berardi (Bifo), Marcelo Expósito, Nico Sguilglia and Jaime Vindel, among others
Political imagination and cultural materialism revolves around historical and contemporary connections between art, critical theory, cultural studies, politics and activism in order to offer a tasting, so to speak, of the temporal space extending between 1917 and 2017. The goal is to recover the specific manner in which various constellations of images, stories, bodies and critical positions have contributed to creating forms of organising experience in which the production of subjectivity and the construction of hegemony appear as indivisible processes. The focus will be on analysing the ways in which these practices took hold in specific intervention devices that tried to be inserted in ways of life and sociopolitical conflicts of subaltern classes: from artistic avant-garde communication experiments, to new prototypes of political organisation, including modes associated to the constitution of an opposing public sphere, and synergies between activist art and social movements. Through different chronological incisions, we'll try to show how critique becomes concrete materiality, and takes part in birthing common and cross-generational meanings and affections whose transition lines and discontinuities, mutations and survival, contribute to reconfiguring the social composition of anti-capitalist struggles. A look at a longer cycle should make exploring/imagining the way critical vectors that traversed history in the last century can be updated for our current times easier, by also incorporating a strategic agenda of social and political change.
THE CARTOGRAPHIES OF CRISIS
Yayo Herrero, Razmig Keucheyan, Jordi Maiso, Joan Martínez Alier, Ferran Puig Vilar, Jorge Riechmann, Emilio Santiago Muiño, among others
Framed by a crisis of civilisation, socio-ecological collapse and possibilities for post-capitalist transitions, this course tackles capitalism by reflecting on the limits of growth, climate activism and the possibility of producing imaginaries of new ways of life. The goal is to perform a diagnosis of the times that suits the complexity of our present moment and allows us to understand what's at stake today, and redefine the margins of political emancipatory action as an ‘art of what's possible’. To this end, there are three structural axis: solid foundation in theory, one that can build a true scope of the ‘socio-ecological question’, beyond any conceptual deficiency implied by the notion of ‘environmental problem’; a detailed cartography of the crisis if civilisation that takes into account not just describing global unsustainability and its urgency (energy decline, climate change, ecological overload), but can also penetrate the structural engine that feeds it (industrial-technical system, economic-capitalist system and modern cultural paradigm); and, finally, exploring the horizons of post-capitalist transition that remain open and their implications, from organising political activism to reformulating collective imaginaries.
TECHNOLOGIES OF THE BODY
AMOQA (Athens Museum of Queer Art), Lucía Egaña, valeria flores, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, among others
This section takes a look at the different analytical tools that approach body, sexuality and the construction of gender, in a context imbued by capitalism, colonialism and biopolitical mechanisms of control. This subject covers feminism, sexual dissidence, and other theoretical and practical stances that award us with critical devices for social, micro-political and subjective analysis. It also covers the fact that these devices can become tools or supplies for our own discursive production. An important focus will be the dissident traits of the discourses to be studied, as they constitute opposing forces to the underlying capitalistic hegemonic logics, heteronormativity, androcentrism, colonialism, racism and eurocentrism that construct the modern discourse of contemporary European subjects. These discourses are ones that defy systems of control, as illustrated by modern social construction, by delving into practices of resistance that come from activism and cultural production.
Fernando Colina, Dora García, Equipo Palomar, Javier Peñafiel, Pantxo Ramas, The Army of Love, Yes we fuck, among others
The starting point and reference for this section has been taken from Erving Goffman's quote from Encounters (1961): ‘To be awkward or unkempt, to talk or move wrongly, is to be a dangerous giant, a destroyer of worlds. As every psychotic and comic ought to know, any accurately improper move can poke through the thin sleeve of reality.’ Under this lens, the concept of inadequacy encapsulates a large spectrum of behaviours and knowledges that deviate from the norm, so as to be able to, from outside the boundaries, study, organise and modify discourse, understood as a social tie based on language. To achieve a path fitting to this task, we have divided the very complex concept of Inadequacy into the following pairs: Deviation/Exclusion; Basaglia/Radicality; and Language/Censorship.
VISUAL NARRATIVES AND NON-DISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGES
Georges Didi-Huberman, Aurora Fernández Polanco, Pablo Martínez, Vincent Meessen, Raqs Media Collective, Eyal Weizman, Akraam Zaatari, among others
Looking to defy the disciplinary framework of the History of Art or Aesthetics, as well as the traditional practices of essay, art or curatorial work, this section tackles the manner in which the media's disposition, intervention, multiplication and socialisation of images powerfully influence our day to day, creating fictions and narratives, producing bodies and identities, and inciting new modes of political subjectivity. From clearly non-disciplinary positions, this course approaches the ways in which artistic practices and image production bring about not only imaginaries but modes of seeing, understanding and of situating oneself in a world made up of the scopic regime of online society. Throughout various seminars, we will highlight the epistemic-critical aspect of images, as well as its relationships with art, politics and power. Analysing images as temporal, in their capacity to redefine the liaisons between imagination and history, is a key element in understanding its central role in the production of anti-hegemonic narratives and the reformulation of the exhibition as a device for narrative and political intervention.
Faculty PEI 2017-18
ACADEMIC DIRECTORS 2017-18
The position is shared by the faculty made up of Lucía Egaña, Marcelo Expósito, Marina Garcés, Dora García, Pablo Martínez, Emilio Santiago Muiño and Jaime Vindel.
FACULTY AND GUEST LECTURERS 2017-18
Eduard Aibar, AMOQA (Athens Museum of Queer Art), Xavier Bassas, Franco Berardi (Bifo), Fernando Colina, Lucía Egaña, Marcelo Expósito, Stefano Harney, Adelita Husni-Bey, Equipo Palomar (Mariokisssme + R. Marcos Mota), Aurora Fernández Polanco, valeria flores, Marina Garcés, Dora García, Yayo Herrero, Georges Didi Huberman, Daniel Inclán, María Iñigo Clavo, Razmig Keucheyan, Albert Lladó, Santiago López Petit, Fred Moten, Joan Martínez Alier, Pablo Martínez, Javier Peñafiel, Ferran Puig Vilar, Pantxo Ramas, Raqs Media Collective, Jorge Riechmann, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Emilio Santiago Muíño, Jordi Solé Blanch, The Army of Love, Jaime Vindel, Eyal Weizman, Yes we fuck (Antonio Centeno and Raúl de la Morena), Akram Zaatari.
Academic Administration Bios
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.
EMILIO SANTIAGO MUÍÑO
Holds a PhD in Social Anthropology with a doctoral thesis on the systemic transition in Cuba since the fall of the USSR. He was a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology and Spanish Philosophical Thought of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is a member of the Transdisciplinary Investigation Group on Socio-Ecological Transitions (part of the project HUAMECO: Humanidades ambientales. Estrategias para la empatía ecológica y la transición hacia sociedades sostenibles), and of the Consejo del Instituto Universitario DEMOS-PAZ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). He was an active member of the group behind the manifesto Última Llamada (2013). Besides his scientific publications, he has written the books No es una estafa, es una crisis (de civilización), (Enclave, 2015), and Rutas sin mapa (2nd Catarata Essay Prize, 2015). Founder of the social transformation project Rompe el Círculo (Móstoles) and an activist of the Instituto de Transición Rompe el Círculo. He is currently Head of the Department of the Environment at the Móstoles City Council.
European doctorate in Art History and Masters in Philosophy and Social Sciences. He is an art critic and the author of essays and other publications. In recent years he has worked in universities in Argentina, Chile and Spain, focusing his research on the crossroads between art, activism and politics in those contexts since the 1960s to the present. He is a member of the Southern Conceptualisms Network and took part in the curatorial team of the exhibition Losing the Human Form. A Seismic Image of the 1980s in Latin America (MNCARS, 2012).
His post-doctoral research project focuses on aspects of the relations that were established at the end of the Cold War between the philosophy of praxis, materialist aesthetics and historical sociology, as in the irradiations in Spanish art criticism of the ideas of the Hispano-Mexican philosopher Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez, or the activities of the Unión Popular de Artistas (UPA), a forgotten milestone from the last years of Francoism, yet essential for understanding the links between radical politics, urban activism and the artistic avant-garde.
He is the author of Transparente opacidad. Arte conceptual en los límites del lenguaje y la política (Madrid, Brumaria, 2015); La vida por asalto: arte, política e historia en Argentina entre 1965 y 2001 (Madrid, Brumaria, 2014); ‘La imagen de las cosas: cuerpo y objeto ante la crisis de consume’, in A. Fernández Polanco (ed.), Pensar la imagen/pensar con las imágenes (Salamanca, Delirio, 2014); and the editor, together with J. Carrillo, of Desacuerdos. Crítica, 8 (Barcelona, MACBA, 2014).
SECOND CALL OPENED UNTIL 9 JANUARY 2017
FROM 27 MARCH 2017 TO 30 JUNE 2018
Duration: 15 months
Teaching hours (approx.): The course is divided into four trimesters, with a total duration of approximately 450 hours. Monday to Friday, from 4 to 8 pm, with three to four three-hour classwork sessions per week. Workshops and international seminars may be programmed during weekends.
Registration fee: 3,000 euros. Payment may be made in two instalments.
Grants: MACBA offers three full- and four half-grants. Selection criteria take into account applicants’ economic situation, curriculum vitae and suitable profile for the programme. The selection will be made by the academic staff and the coordinator.
Those wishing to apply for a grant must do so in writing when submitting the documentation.
Application for admission:
- First call from 10 October to 25 November 2016.
- Second call from 12 December 2016 to 9 January 2017
- The selection process of the first call will take place from 26 to 30 November 2016.
- The selection process of the second call will take place from 9 to 15 January 2017. The committee will evaluate the new applications and the waiting list.
Communication of acceptance:
- Communication of acceptance in the first call: 12 December 2016.
- Communication of acceptance in the second call: 16 January 2017.
The selection of applicants will be based on the material provided.
• The relevance of the experience and activities of the applicants, whether academic  or professional, to the contents and objectives of the programme will be evaluated.
• The programme’s academic level is equivalent to pre-doctoral studies (post-graduate
or Master’s degree). Non-regulated alternative studies will also be recognised.
• There is no age limit. A high level of Spanish and English is required. Lectures are  given in Spanish (80%) and English (20%), and 50% of the bibliography is in English.
• PEI is not a professional training programme, but a space for exploration and
activation of knowledge. In the selection of the participating students, the
diversity of their profiles and trajectories will be evaluated to ensure these are
not solely academic, but relate to the different forms in which knowledge is produced:
artistic practice, activism, research, working or studying experience, among others.
Applications must be sent by email to pei[arroba]macba.cat, including the following material collated in one PDF document:
• Completed application form
• Motivation text (maximum of two pages)
• Curriculum vitae (if deemed necessary, the selection committee may ask for
• Where possible, two letters of recommendation are advisable
• Photocopy of DNI, ID card or passport
Only email applications will be accepted. All documents must be collated in PDF format and sent as a single attachment.
- Application formdocx — 13K