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Inicio arrow Rutas de la potencia. En la América Latina de los contrapoderes arrow Collectiveness as a Means of Research Workshop

Collectiveness as a Means of Research Workshop

Venue: Aula del Rectorado de la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (UNIA). Monasterio de Santa María de las Cuevas, Isla de la Cartuja (Sevilla)
Date: 12th, 13th and 14th of November 2008
Coordination: Colectivo Situaciones
Local Speakers
: Arquitectura y Compromiso Social, Asamblea de Mujeres de Granada, Asociación Mesa de la Ría, AulAbierta, BNV Producciones, Casa Invisible, CatarQsis, Creador*s Invisibles, CSOA Sin Nombre, eSpuma, Indymedia Estrecho, Intervenciones en Jueves, Mujeres de Negro, Oopart, Plataforma de Reflexión de Políticas Culturales-PRPC, UNIA arteypensamiento, Zemos 98 




During the last few years, Latin American countries have lived through great changes. Meanwhile, UNIA artandthinking has been analysing these events through research and publications from the group Colectivo Situaciones.

A “new governability” is being set up in that region, which has a progressive tone, which in many situations is in conflict with the social movements that have served as a base and support for their electoral victory. Research carried out by Colectivo Situaciones attempts to open up these dynamics taking into account the current moment of “impasse” which is produced both as a consequence of the reality of these governments, as well as the movements themselves and the new experiences that attempt to be developed. In this way, the debate about what is happening in Latin America and the ways in which dynamics are named and conceptualised are an open process, ebullient.

This new phase of the project Routes of Power is set precisely within the attempt to expand debate spaces and networks, their propagation and encounter and at the same time an attempt is being done to back new militant research with experiences that tour and tense the social and political space nowadays.

Collectiveness as a Means of Research Workshop

Routes of Power. Collectiveness as a Means of Research WorkshopCollectiveness, both as a process of differenciation of links, perceptions and languages, does not end nor is to be fulfilled in the political institution, nor in the existence of the so-called “social movements”, groups or associated individuals. However, beyond the ways in which it inevitably becomes crystallised, collectiveness can be experienced as an index of what is public. 

Our group’s proposal ( ) consists of carrying out these workshops of exchange in Seville, in which we invite a group of speakers to participate in a workshop experience that assumes “collectiveness as a means of research”. What images, what concepts, what expressive ways can we use in our vocation of making common things political?

Our invitation consists of interacting as of a set of sensitive, conceptual and expressive procedures that we, as Colectivo Situaciones, are testing. By means of this experience,  we suggest checking the potential of such procedures as of the encounter with people who, coming from other areas, can share their preoccupations (worries, queries) on collectiveness with us.

This activity implies the participation of people belonging to different groups that form part of artistic and political initiatives in Andalusia, with whom there will be an exchange of images, concepts and experiences.

The proposal will unfold during three days, each one dedicated to sharing the levels of our experience in militant research:

- Image as a sensitive perception

- Conceptualisation as an instance of mapping

- Construction of expressive ways

In each debate space different materials will be presented and discussed, materials that come from our current activities in the manner of triggers that have motivating an exercise in common thinking as their main aim.

Session 1 - Nostalgia for the Present

As stated in the poem by Borges (“Nostalgia for the Present”), we have the almost daily living experience of feeling that something separates us from our ability to act. The powers that cross through each situation at the same time, evade it. As if they belonged to another dimension of the present and a plane of glass separates us from them, placing them out of reach while we perceive them yet cannot open them up; or as if that “pure doing” which the capitalist discourse constantly enhances, feeding an unstoppable dispersion and our ideas escape without any possible remedy and at the same time all initiatives dilute. Or in their third modality, as if the power always existed under the shape of a content that is encapsulated, pre-formatted and ready for consumption.

Many of the headings and intervention elements that were created by experiences nearer in time for making social acts political, today return as standard mechanisms ready for consumption, captured in media jargons.
The first day of the encounter will be dedicated to sharing a set of images that defy our capability to read the present. These are scenes that condense certain features of the complexity of the current times in Argentina. Signs that unsettle us because they form part of a reality that is mediatised, capable of unarming the collective efforts of thought. What does it mean today to construct collective perceptions?

Session 2 - Commons Notions

With normalisation, each one of us attempts to find his or her hide-out territories. There it is possible to choose between subjectiveness and objectiveness, instances that flow together in an unilateral stance: while objectiveness confirms that reality is unchangeable, subjectiveness is arranged as an intimate enclosure populated by ghosts, promises and frustrations, subject to the privatisation of experience, disconnection with others and “therapeutisation”.

Collectiveness goes beyond that false alternative if it manages to become a critical interface between objectiveness and subjectiveness. How to make sensations public, constructing a language that we do not perceive as rotten, a language that is capable of expressing one’s own perplexity? When we talk about creating concepts we do not refer to practices of knowledge but rather what happens with thought that opens out in this interface.

During the second day we will work with concepts that arise from the conversations that will form the book titled The Impasse, which will be soon published within the framework of the project Routes of Power as a co-edition between Tinta Limón Ediciones and UNIA artandthinking. Between the axis that will be approached there will be those associated to militant research in a context of exhausting social movements and the appearance of new governabilities. We will pay special attention to the challenges that expressive practices encounter when general mediatisation of statements imposes an open crisis in language. We will also approach the possibility of a politisation of sadness, as the force of a thought that manages to read, in the moments of dissolution, the signs of a mutation which is taking place now.

Session 3 - Expression and Politisation

In this third and last day, we will open up a debate on the questions that have been bottled up in our more practical tours. The idea is to present the logic of the impasse from the point of view of a desire to politicise that we feel is still persisting.

In the first place, if there is no place for nostalgia, the image of reconstruction of sociability cannot become ”fixed” to the shapes that acquired visibility in recent years. Secondly, because it is necessary to investigate the new conflicts that arise in a terrain marked by problematic coexistence between a pro-state rhetoric and a persistent normative neo liberal standardisation that is capable of regulating productive processes.

Thus, how to cross a moment of impasse without seeking resource in false (and easy) polarisations nor nostalgic images? How to discern in this state of suspension the silent disposition of thought and fighting as signs of politics?

Colectivo Situaciones





· 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Workshop: Internal working debates with local speakers

· 7 p.m.*

- Talk: Current theoretical and political impasse seen from the Argentinean (and Latin American) singularity, by Colectivo Situaciones

The crisis is a sign of a present that coexists with exceptionality as if it were a habit. But what truly characterises our era is the fact that this reality that is open and unstable does not manage to be represented by the political rationalities we have inherited. Thus the conflicts cannot be thought in terms of constitution of subjects or social standard identities. However it is not difficult to perceive the existence of an incessant social mobility that pokes holes over and over again in the attempts of standardisation, foddering for battles on all levels and updating figures that express what is common to all. The impasse we confront is, above all, a challenge for theoretic imagination, an invitation to recreate our political grammar, radical questioning of all forms of government, of institutional aspirations and established systems of valuation and judgement.

- Debate


· 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Workshop: Internal work debate with local speakers


· 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Workshop: Internal work debate with local speakers


* The afternoon session on Wednesday 12th of November will be open to the public. The rest of the sessions will have an internal nature between Colectivo Situaciones and the local speakers.

Venue: Headquarters of Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. Monasterio de la Cartuja. Calle Américo Vespucio 2. Isla de la Cartuja, Sevilla.

Further information can be found in




Colectivo Situaciones (Buenos Aires / Argentina)
A militant research group that has autonomously carried out co-investigations with various social experiences for the past eight years, among these are Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados de Solano, the street-art group Grupo de Arte Callejero, the Mesa de Escrache Popular, and the Educational Community “Creciendo Juntos”, etc. The materials produced in these thought encounters can be found in the web page of Colectivo Situaciones. To publish and expand these and other texts, a self-governing editorial company called Tinta Limón has been created.


Arquitectura y Compromiso Social (Sevilla)
An association established in 1993 in the university of Seville. Made up of professionals and students in areas to do with architecture, it dedicates its efforts to the improvement of local habitats. It carries out projects on an international level with works of technical advice to local communities affected by urban planning. It has fostered actions for training in other universities that are not aligned with the logics of the market and public debate on urban conflict of our city.

Asamblea de Mujeres de Granada (Granada)
Established in 1975, at the same time as the development of other groups that were backed by the Feminist Workshops held in secret in Madrid during that year. Today it is a plural movement, in constant internal and external controversy that continues the course of commitment with reality, aspiring to cooperate in the questioning of identities of sex/gender, creating an environment for debate that is not assumable by the status quo and covering a public space with claims.

Asociación Mesa de la Ría (Huelva)
A social movement formed by over 30 groups which include political parties, unions, ecologists, etc. and citizens that individually participate and collaborate in activities and debates backed from Mesa de la Ría. This movement has its maximum representativeness in the Assembly which is the forum for organisation, debate, communication and other activities that are adopted by them as a consensus. They attempt that, as activity cycles in industry –which are currently located in the avenue Francisco Montenegro- go into recession, this territory will become free for the city in such a way that no new industries of their type become established in Huelva’s environs. ;

AulAbierta (Granada)
Experience in design and construction of a community of learning that is self-ruled within the University of Granada and formed by its students. Aulabierta is a space that is in open dialogue and at the same time a physical reality that attempts to constitute itself as an active community in research and production of knowledge, by taking up the social nature of knowledge as something collectively constructed. ;

BNV Producciones (Sevilla)
A company engaged in contemporary cultural production that is in charge of producing and coordinating exhibitions, aiding commissioners and/or artists to edit and supervise publications. It backs projects that attempt to expand a dialogue between art, thought and contemporary thinking as well as social space, transferring and interrelating artistic experience and contemporary thought with the context where it is presented, and in turn they understand that the context is not only a place for presentation but a place that generates its own discourses.

Casa Invisible (Málaga)
A network formed by residents, citizens and local creators that started up a Social and Cultural Centre for Citizen Management called La casa invisible (The Invisible House). This is an attempt to open up a space destined to back self-organisation of the citizens, critical thought and cultural production. Spaces are needed and access is needed for all means of cultural production, but while these rights are in the process of being acquired, it is necessary to grant a license for producing, in each site and vacant space, a space-time area for free and collective creation.

CatarQsis (Granada)
A group made up of young architects that work in territories and architecture in a trans-disciplinary and collaborative way. For them, architecture is also a technology, that consists in a conjunction of spaces and activities. These people carry out critical research and analysis work and are immersed in projects that join artistic and collective practices with architecture.

Creador*s Invisibles (Córdoba)
A platform of people involved in creation and training, who converge from different disciplines into a group ruled by certain criteria, sharing types of thinking and critical action regarding the cultural texture of the base of the city and its possibilities for building alternatives to these.

CSOA Sin Nombre (Sevilla)
A squatted Social Centre in the district of San Bernardo, a space that has been abandoned during recent decades due to speculation. From its start, it has had strong links with the neighbours that are hounded and they fight against the abandonment of the neighbourhood. In the installations of this old abandoned school besides numerous experiences of self government and collective creation, they have the largest covered public rock-o-drome in Andalusia, a studio for politically committed architects, groups of musicians and artists and many other activities.

eSpuma (Sevilla)
Neither a closed group nor a cultural space, eSpuma is a place shared by people that move within the sliding/overwhelming field of visual constructions. Settled in the territorial and symbolic axis of social Pumarejo, the tasks of each one of the members are associated to transformational collective fluxes. Constructing while creating context.

Indymedia Estrecho (Cádiz)
A communicational project that forms part of the global network of Indymedia associated to social movements in the geo-political space of the Straights of Gibraltar (South of Spain and North of Morocco). Ever since its establishment in 2003, it has played a fundamental role as amplifier and connector between movements, battles and initiatives associated to immigration issues, social precariousness and employment, defence of territory, cultural centres and free culture. Indymedia Estrecho is much more than an on-line space for information exchange; it is situated as an organisational and enounced support, a novel and necessary institution of movements. Today it is the on-line platform of the social movements that has received more visits and is consulted the most in Andalusia.

Intervenciones en Jueves (Sevilla)
A group created in 2005 to develop a project of artistic intervention in the well-known “Mercaillo del Jueves”, joining the concepts of art, commerce and neighbourhood. Every year they congregate a large group of artists to carry out interventions of all sorts on El Jueves, placing their work as managers and organisers to this event.

Mujeres de Negro (Sevilla)
The International Network of Women in Black, to which the group of Seville belongs, was born in Jerusalem in 1987 joining forces between Jewish and Palestinian women. This network, that today has expanded throughout the world, attempts to create a space for voices against war from the point of view of reflections and feminist practices as well as anti-militaristic practices.

Oopart (Granada)
A group of students of the School of Architecture of Granada, interested in questioning their own discipline as well as the ability of architecture to hybridise with other fields. Their short experience arose around the shared concerns that cover technical-technological aspects, systems of participation, of data visualisation, etc.

Plataforma de Reflexión de Políticas Culturales-PRPC (Seville)
The consideration of culture as part of the show business gains more and more force every day. Biennials and other macro-cultural events proliferate like mushrooms devouring the budgets of culture, filling pages of newspapers and producing an overwhelming sensation of zapping. The PRPC was constituted as a space for reflection on cultural policies that has as its aim the articulation of a local network that serves as a critical voice and at the same time is a means of intercommunication with institutions that have stated their goal to celebrate a Contemporary Art Biennial in Seville.

UNIA arteypensamiento (Sevilla)
A project of the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía which has as its goal the incorporation of the university institution to debates, production, expansion and consolidation of contemporary creations and reflections. It is articulated around the concept of re/thinking, applied to the field of art in its relationship with culture and society; and as a result of this, seeks to re/formulate models, formats, ways of presentation and expansion: workshops, laboratories, seminars, talks, encounters, projects on the Internet, publications.

Zemos 98 (Seville)
A group for creation and cultural production with an international scope that has carried out its activity in Seville since 1995. It is formed by a team of communicologists and sound and image technicians that inhabit the net as yet another space for communication, learning and creation.