Teaching Portfolio

Speculative Infrastructures

This activity was my contribution to escuelita, an informal school at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid devoted to transdisciplinary exchange, collective study and the non-traditional forms of knowledge production.

The escuelita, initiated by Margarida Mendes and Julia Morandeira, spurs out of the need to dislocate academic research and its systems of validation, and to develop in its place modes of performative and situated modes of research that establish new geopolitical positions, affective alliances and bodily forms of knowledge:

Following Stephano Harney and Fred Moten, we want to embrace study as a practice of gathering and spending time with others, determining collectively through the material without any imposed goal; in short, gathering out of the desire to learn together. A kind of study disconnected from the imperatives of individual accreditation, instrumentalisation, completion, competition and graduation, we are instead aligned with the collective desire of self-development. We understand knowledge production as contingent, collective and contaminated, with this gathering of resources and intensities standing against the specialisation-specific construction of meaning in epistemological traditions and their self-instated superiority and self-containment. The subjects covered at escuelita will be produced through critical premises rather than existing types of knowledge, and in so doing, will summon alternative imaginaries, archives and affects while re-configuring ruling systems of value, denomination and legitimation.

The escuelita is structured through seasons, defined by the development and inquiry of a problematic. Each multiversal and open-ended set of questions is marked by contemporary urgencies, articulating the programme of the school as a fractal vis a vis many kinds of activities, including encounters, reading groups and seminars to performance, dance and workshops. The first season of escuelita investigated the properties of speculation and infrastructural fictions in a moment of potentiated democrisis and climate warfare.

My contribution to escuelita first season on Speculative Infraestructures was based on my dissertation work. Entitled Artistic responses to Fukushima. Visual Archive and onto-ethic epistemology as an approach to research, it consisted on a 3h workshop conducted on June 6th 2017. The activity was included as part of the public program of Environment Week in the city of Móstoles.

From the case study of the artistic responses to Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, my workshop explored forms to navigate as both researcher and activists the current time-space of environmental devastation. Takins as a theoretical framework the interdisciplinary discussion of the Anthropocene, and critical formulations such as Jason W. Moore’s Capitalocene and Donna Haraway’s Chthulucene, this escuelita session explored ways of knowing how humans and other creatures are staying with trouble of a nature-culture altered by radioactivity in Fukushima. With their different figures and metaphors, Capitalocene and Chthulucene are alternative epochal names to the hegemonic Anthropocene, bringing other ontologies and epistemologies from the fields of contemporary Marxist theory, eco-techno-feminism and multispecies ethnography. Repurposing Anthropocene, Capitalocene and Chthulucene as analytical apparatuses and ways of knowing nuclear catastrophe, this talk proposed an onto- epistemology with which to construct an experimental narrative about the meaning of Fukushima in current discourse regarding environmental challenges on a planetary scale, combineing real and imaginary, primary sources and scientific studies, artworks and pop culture, grouping together heterogeneous media, bridges various disciplines of knowledge and establishes relations between different dramatis personae, objects, places and stories.

Participants included artists, architects, curators, PhD and master students, local government representatives in the area of Environment. My pedagogic choice included the use of Quizs as a way to engage the assistants.

The activity was a great opportunity to get to know escuelita experimental methods, as a methodology able to be applied in specific situations in a university context.

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