Acts of Learning

Or how to sensibly comprehend curiosity, will, and chance

November 7, 2014 - November 14, 2014

Intro

How do we form, express and comprehend new sensibilities? How is critical thought formed and manifested through aesthetic experience, and, what are its ends? What is the role of the symbolic, and the place of intuition, creativity and artistic innovation today? How, what and why can we learn from art? Why is it important to unlearn or let go of ideas, to interrogate emotions and question beliefs? These are some of the questions that gave rise to, and which will be publicly posed by, Acts of Learning —or how to sensibly comprehend curiosity, will and chance. This fourth edition of the annual Fundación Cisneros Seminar is an occasion to learn with a group of people who are actively responding to these questions, both in theory and in practice. Acts of Learning takes place from November 7–14, 2014, and consists of several programs held at different venues in Caracas and online. Convening 23 presenters from Venezuela and abroad, and entailing collaborations with key cultural spaces in the country, this seminar is open to the general public.

Acts of Learning is a seminar for considering not merely arts pedagogy or education systems, but, moreover, for exploring forms of learning with art and about culture. A lectures series, held on the mornings of November 7th and 14th, presents theories on learning developed after experiencing or while making artworks and exhibitions, as well as developed through the design of specific projects, schools and research institues, specifically in Latin America. A Pecha Kucha program, which will be held on the evening of those two Fridays, presents ideas and case studies of formative learning experiences in different fields, bringing together some of the most important cultural figures in Venezuela. Between those two dates, there will be three different workshops —on learning, unlearning and relearning with or from photography, theatre and poetry— that were especially designed on the occasion of Acts of Learning by ONG, TET and Lugar Común. Also, in the coming weeks, two online debates on the topic of forms of learning with art will be published in this website.

All of the programs in Acts of Learning will be open to the general public, and be free of charge. Since space is limited, it will be necessary to register beforehand to each session or so-called Acts. Admission is applicable only upon registration and seating will be provided on a first-come, first serve basis. Please show a printed or digital copy of your ticket at the registration desk at the entrance of each venue on the day of he program. If you will be using the free transportation service especially provided for this edition of the seminar, you will be require to show this ticket, too.  

Admission to the workshops organized in conjunction to the seminar is, however, through an application and selection process; please apply directly to each of the organizing and hosting institutions. To learn more about these workshops, please check out the Workshops section of this webpage. As you will notice there, each workshop’s instructor has detailed their application requirements and selection process. Tuition costs for these will be waived by a special CPPC grants program managed by each hosting institution and thus be free of charge to eligible participants.

Information and video documentation of the three previous editions of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros can be found on this website, and this platform will eventually serve for archiving video documentation of Acts of Learning.

 

Programs

Act I: Lectures

Friday Nov 7, 2014

Venue: Fundación Cisneros, Caracas HQ

8:00–8:50 AM
Good Morning

For admission to the Fundación Cisneros Seminar, please go to the registration desk. If you have already registered online and have a ticket, which we highly recommmend to do before this date, just present it at this desk to gain admission. We also suggest to arrive early. If you didn't register online, this will be the time and place to do so, but take note that, on this day, admission for those without tickets will be granted on first-come first-served basis and depending on space availability.

Once in the room, please enjoy the coffee and pastries that will be served. This time period will be an opportunity to mingle with other audience members, and to informally meet and greet the seminar speakers before we begin the day's program.

Are you wondering how do we get there? To make the Fundación Cisneros Seminar's program and venue more readily accessible to audiences, we will offer a free shuttle service from Avenida Andrés Bello to the CPPC headquarters. These shuttles will run every 15 minutes during this time period. For those driving there, a service for valet parking will be available. Please take note that to use this transportation service you must present your ticket to Acts of Learning, which means you must have registered online before and have in hand a printed version of your ticket.


9:00–9:15 AM
"Acts of Learning"
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy

The CPPC’s contemporary art curator welcomes us to the fourth edition of the Fundación Cisneros Seminar. As she will note in her introductory words, over the course of the day, we will consider forms of learning with contemporary art, and through cultural production in a more ample sense of the term. The aim of this seminar is to learn how to create -- work, occasions, spaces or even time or simply routes-- for better sensing, thinking and moving in our times and futures to come. During this morning lecture series, we will hear about and discuss histories of art and artistic formation, geneologies of critical thinking, as well as manners in which an artwork, a poem, an exhibition, an event or even an accident have been or could be the seed that radically shapes perceptions, realities, granting individual and social potentials.    


9:15–10:00 AM
"Artistic Practices and Emancipation"
Sandra Pinardi

An exploration of the various ways in which sensibility is shaped, which is generated, expressed and understood in artistic practices and divergent modes of thought and reflection as arising from and in works of art, while recognizing the multiple connections that can be established between art, philosophy and politics.  


10:05–10:50 AM
"The Art of Unlearning"
Benjamín Mayer Foulkes

What is unlearning? What is its significance? And its procedures? How does it relate to art? Is there artwork about unlearning, that enables it? Can such condition or effect be transmitted? Is there a possible community of unlearning? These questions will be addressed through the work of Evgen Bavcar and Ariel Guzik, and the formation of 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos in Mexico City.


10:55–11:15 AM
Discussion and Brainstorming

After the first two lectures, we will spend some time to listen to the audience. This will be the time to ask questions to the speakrs, and for audiences to contribute their ideas to the topics at hand.


11:30–12:15 PM
"Same, Same, But Different"
Paul Ramírez Jonas

In the 1950s, American painter Robert Motherwell (1915 – 1991), a founding member of the New York School, wrote the mission statement for the Art Department of Hunter College. At that time, Motherwell was a professor of painting at this public university; today, it is where Ramírez Jonas teaches art. This presentation, which is titled after a Thai common expression, will use that original mission statement as a starting point to reflect on art pedagogies within a university context. 

This presentation will be live streamed in real time from the art school SOMA in Mexico City to the Fundación Cisneros Seminar in Caracas.


12:20–1:00 PM
What's Been Learned and Unlearned

After the morning session, we will devote some time to collectively reflect upon what was discussed throughout the day. This will be time to ask more questions to the speakers. The conversation will be moderated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy.


1:00–6:00 PM
What to do?

Maybe you met friends or colleagues during the morning session. Maybe you came alone and striked conversations with people you hadn't met before. Whichever the case, we suggest you head out to lunch and to visit some exhibitions in town with someone you've met during the morning, and that you meet us all again in the second act of the seminar, starting at 6pm at the nearby Centro Cultural Los Galpones. 


 

Act II: Pecha Kuchas

Friday Nov 7, 2014

Venue: Centro de Arte Los Galpones

6:00–6:50 PM
Mingle

For the first Pecha Kucha session, we have convened a curator, three artists, a poet, a filmmaker and a theater director to share with us the ways in which they learn and unlearn. Each of them has been given a slot of 6 minutes and 40 seconds to make their presentation. Expect a dynamic evening, part of which will be likely spent thawing condensed ideas for the pleasure or learning.

At your arrival, please present your ticket at the registration desk, assuming you've registered online before the date. If you didn't register online, you will be able to register there and then, but note that tickets will be given upon room availability on a first-come first-serve basis. Please take note that to use this transportation service you must present your ticket to Acts of Learning, which means you must have registered online before and have in hand a printed version of your ticket.

Most importantly, please note that during this period of time refreshments will be served. We encourage you to join us, and to chat and mingle with audience members and the seminar participants who will be hanging out in the beautiful gardens of this venue. Most galleries and spaces of Los Galpones will be open late this evening, so you can visit them, too. 

Are you wondering how to get to there? The Fundación Cisneros will offer free-shuttle transportation from the subway station Los Dos Caminos to the Centro Cultural Los Galpones. These shuttles will run every 15 minutes during this time slot.


7:00–7:10 PM
Recap

To kick-off the evening's program, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC, will briefly talk about what was discussed during the morning session.


7:10–7:30 PM
Conversation with Santiago Pol

And to get some ideas rolling, the first part of the evening will entail a conversation with Santiago Pol about ways to learn and unlearn from design.


7:30–7:37 PM
"Is What We See... What is?"
Ariel Jiménez

In his presentation, independent curator Ariel Jiménez will attempt to show, with three short examples, that an artwork is not a closed sense of order but a kind of sounding board that always responds differently depending on who --and of when and how he or she -- is doing the questioning.


7:37–7:44 PM
"Dialogues from the Beasts Inside"
Ángela Bonadies & Juan José Olavarría

This artist duo present both a reflection and an epilogue to their experience in collaborative projects developed in and about social contexts. Focusing in what appears to be unmarked meeting points of several disciplines, they give particular consideration to La Torre David, which has become a kind of opportunistic genre and exotic brand.


7:44–7:51 PM
"Un-Glossary for the 21st Century"
Alejandro Castro

The 21st century imposes a new challenge for humanity: to reignite the tongue after a long lapse of numbness. If we don’t start trusting again in words and restore their emancipatory force, let’s at least reclaim our (minimal) right to them. In this presentation, a poet proposes an impossible dictionary of the language of our times.


7:51–7:58 PM
"Music: Creative Strategies in an Era of Post-Production"
Rodrigo Figueroa 

Like other artistic expressions or disciplines, contemporary music may expose cultural practices previously un-heard of. But how can we comprehend some of the creative strategies arising from music? This presentation sets out to explore how musical range and its various proponents offer new forms of production and relations in worlds yet to be discovered.


7:58–8:05 PM
"Imagination and Learning"
Tupac Amaru Rivas Estanga

This presentation will explore human's ability to think, create and renew, which opens a range of possibilities that involve not only the intellect but also the emotions. Enhancing skills from the individual to the environment can be the starting point to generating and exchanging ideas for transcending and survival that contribute to the development of the human being.


8:05–8:12 PM
"See You at the Theatre"
Juan Souki

How is it that, after so many death threats, theater has still not disappeared? Why do we keep doing theatre? Why do we keep performing, attending, watching? And, how could theatre even be eliminated, if such an end were to be in fact desired? The playwright and theatre director stages these and other questions in his presentation.


 

 

Act III: Lectures

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Venue: Fundación Cisneros, Caracas HQ

8:00–8:50 AM
Good Morning

For admission to the third act of this year's edition of the Fundación Cisneros Seminar, please go to the registration desk. If you have already registered online and have a ticket, which we highly recommmend to do before this date, just present it at this desk to gain admission. We also suggest to arrive early. If you didn't register online, this will be the time and place to do so, but take note that, on this day, admission for those without tickets will be granted on first-come first-served basis and depending on space availability. 

Once in the room, please feel free to enjoy the coffee and pastries that will be served. This will be an opportunity to meet and greet other audience members and the seminar's speakers before the lecture's begin.  

Are you wondering how do we get there? To make the Fundación Cisneros Seminar's program and venue more readily accessible to audiences, we will offer a free shuttle service from Plaza Venezuela to the CPPC headquarters. These shuttles will run every 15 minutes during this time period. For those driving there, a service for valet parking will be available. Please take note that to use this transportation service you must present your ticket to Acts of Learning, which means you must have registered online before and have in hand a printed version of your ticket.


9:00–9:15 AM
"Some More Acts of Learning"
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy

The CPPC’s contemporary art curator welcomes us to the fourth edition of the Fundación Cisneros Seminar, and gives a summary of the first two acts of the seminar and related workshops, which took place during the course of the week. As she will note in her introductory words, the aim of this seminar is to learn how to create -- work, occasions, spaces or even time or simply routes-- for better sensing, thinking and moving in our times and futures to come. During this morning lecture series, we will hear about and discuss the foundation of different schools and the place that literature and theatre had in their conception, as well as on comprehending formative experiences in art exhibitions and with Worldly companions. 


9:15–10:00 AM
"The Poetized Education"
Freddy Castillo Castellano

This lecture will reflect on the poetization of the learning process, from the perspective of a college experience born in a writing workshop. The regaining of wonder, the look that penetrates daily life seeking to see anew, and turning learning into a free, poetic experience, are presented as an ideal path for individual and social development.


10:05–10:50 AM
"Brecht in Guayaquil?"
Santiago Roldós

The playwright and co-founder of Muégano Teatro and the art school Instituto Superior de Artes del Ecuador (ITAE), will discuss his experience in the development of those two initiatives, created in a challenging contex lacking questioning and democracy.


10:55–11:15 AM
Discussion and Brainstorm

After the first two lectures, we will spend some time listening to the audience's thoughts. This will be the time to ask questions to the speakrs, and for audiences to contribute their ideas to the topics at hand.


11:30–12:15 PM
"Worldly Worlding: Curating the Imaginal Fields of Science and Art"
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Through examples of artwork and displays created for dOCUMENTA (13), held in Kassel, Germany in 2012, curator Christov-Bakargiev delves on how exhibits based on the accepted separation between fields of inquiry—between the physical and social sciences and art—may be reimagined for the purpose of a worldly ecology, co-evolution, and flourishing. Through this reimagining, she posits how we can see new object/patterns, and make clear why matter matters.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev‘s presentation will be live-streamed from the offices of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in New York to the Fundación Cisneros HQ in Caracas.


12:20–1:00 PM
What's Been Learned and Unlearned

After the morning session, we will devote some time to collectively reflect upon what was discussed throughout the day. This will be time to ask more questions to the speakers. The conversation will be moderated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy.


1:00–6:00 PM
What to do?

Maybe you met friends and colleagues during the morning session. Maybe you came alone and you've striked conversations with people you handn't met before. Whichever the case, we suggest you head out to lunch and to visit some exhibitions in town with someone you've met during the morning, and that you meet us all again in the second act of the seminar, starting at 6pm at the nearby Centro Cultural Los Galpones. 


 

Act IV: Pecha Kuchas

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Venue: Centro de Arte Los Galpones

6:00–6:50 PM
Mingle

For the second Pecha Kucha session, and last act of the seminar, we have convened various visual artists and writers, an actor and pedagogue as well as fashion journalist to share with us the ways in which they learn and unlearn in their fields. Each of them has been given a slot of 6 minutes and 40 seconds to make their presentation. Expect another dynamic evening, part of which will be likely spent thawing condensed ideas for the pleasure or learning.

At your arrival, please present your ticket at the registration desk, assuming you've registered online before the date. If you didn't register online, you will be able to register there and then, but note that tickets will be given upon room availability on a first-come first-serve basis. Please take note that to use this transportation service you must present your ticket to Acts of Learning, which means you must have registered online before and have in hand a printed version of your ticket. 

Most importantly, please note that during this period of time refreshments will be served. We encourage you to join us, and to chat and mingle with audience members and the seminar participants who will be hanging out in the beautiful gardens of this venue. Most galleries and spaces of Los Galpones will be open late this evening, so you can visit them, too. 

Are you wondering how to get to there? The Fundación Cisneros will offer free shuttle transportation from the subway station Los Dos Caminos to the Centro Cultural Los Galpones. These shuttles will run every 15 minutes during this time slot.


7:00–7:10 PM
Recap

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy will come back to some ideas discussed during three acts of the seminar to date session, before we move to the evening presentations and what will be the final program of Acts of Learning.


7:30–7:37 PM
"People Making School"
Antonio López Ortega

The author of the book of the same title as this presentation speaks of the initiative that brought together personal testimonies by a group of Venezuelans who have left their mark on others. People who have surrendered completely to such an endeavor believe that in this act of transference, the other becomes a better person and a better citizen, and in the process proving that learning need not only be sought or achieved through conventional routes.


7:37–7:44 PM
"If You Feel, It Will Become Visible"
Nancy Urosa

The ruling decree on modern education proposed, centuries ago, by Simon Rodriguez (notably, Simón Bolivar's mentor) encompasses noting and articulating what is not felt, what is not understood. This idea, along with those explored in "The Painted Word" by Thomas Wolfe, are the basis of Urosa's presentation, which will look at the aesthetics of reception, particularly from the role of the artist as pedagogue. 

7:44–7:51 PM
"Acts of Learning... and Imagining"
Luis Enrique Belmonte

The poet makes looks at certain perceptive phenomena commonly experienced in everyday life: floating attention, daydreaming, fleeting experience, depersonalization and derealization, masking, sound enchantment, the scanned object, fear, and chance. The lucid experience of these perceptive states could, as Belmonte proposes, potentially expand our imaginative consciousness.


7:51–7:58 PM
"That Moment Made Eternal"
Natasha Tiniacos & Florencia Alvarado

Florencia and Natasha get face to face to challenge each other's beliefs and question modes of thinking, feeling, perceiving and living with art. It is a crossing point of convergence and dissociation between languages of photography and poetry. Do you write with light? Two creative minds that sometimes work collectively discuss the inherent individualism of contemporary art in a clash that triggers self-reflection.


7:58–8:05 PM
"Latin American Fashion: Learning Regionally for Becoming Global"
Amira Saim

Latin America is betting on its artisans and its traditions. As a response to a globalized world, it is looking inward and inviting others to look in-depth. Contemporary fashion initiatives speak of sustainability, cultural promotion and the rescue of local traditions. What brands bet on this? What government strategies support them? What is the context? And, beyond becoming a fashion statement, a design influence or a manufacturing process, what does this inward turn to regionalism mean?


8:05–8:12 PM
"Move! 'Cause Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark"
Carlos Sánchez Torrealba

For an action to correspond to a word and a word to correspond to an action, the body of interpreters must be that of an athlete of the soul --such was the wish of Antonin Artaud -- and, to be an athlete of the soul, a corresponding affinity between mind and heart is indispensable. In other words: what's indispensable is a synapses between emotions and expressiveness, at least for actor, and so, the aim is of becoming both an integral and an integrated person in society.

This closing presentation in Acts of Learning will be a live performance scripted and directed by Sánchez Torrealba, a renowned actor, influential educator and member of TET in Venezuela.


 

Sign up on Eventbrite

Each act requires its own registration

Workshops

"Brief Workshop on Brief Poetry" at Lugar Común

Tuesday Nov 4, 2014

Conducted by Alejandro Castro

Hosted by Lugar Comun

4, 11, and 18 of November - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

To apply to the workshop submit a short poem to be delivered directly to Librería Lugar Común, signed under a pseudonym. Personal information should be included separately in an envelope. Include your full name, identity card number, email, and phone number.

The workshop is limited to 15 people.


 

 

"The Poetic Action and the Action of Politics" at TET

Monday Nov 10, 2014

Conducted by Santiago Roldos

Organized by CPPC and hosted by TET

November 10 to 13 - 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This workshop will explore theater as an ethical and political field for the appropriation and rewriting of the body, memory and space, from a  ludic/critical approach to certain practices and questions of tradition and rupture of the staged performance. It's about learning to unlearn the hegemonic culture, the phallocratic religion, the civilization of spectacle, the patriarchal family, but also the illusion of equality that translates in politesse, utopias lacking in meaning though pretending the birth of a new center, a new sensibility, or a new plutocracy. 

The workshop is limited to 15 people. Please ready below about the application process and deadlines.


Applicants Profile
The workshop is open to students and artists from other disciplines, without prior theatrical experience, provided they comply with the following prerequisites are absolute willingness to play and extreme punctuality.

Workshop Description

Each of the three sessions will integrate four moments, not necessarily in the order set out below: group dynamics and physical exercises; writing on paper; writing and friction in space (pre-staging); forum and discussion. There will be a break. The workshop participants should consider: (a) bringing the medium in which he/she is most comfortable writing, e.g., notebooks, sheets, laptops, etc.; (b) wearing clothing suitable for physical work; (c) and, being prepared to be with and without shoes. During days 2 and 3, it may be required to bring extra costumes, props, etc.

To apply, please send via email to nafanasiev@coleccioncisneros.org the following materials no later than October 31, 2014:

1. A statement of purpose (no more than 2 pages) presenting your interests and your work, and why you want to attend a workshop of this nature.

2. A first draft of the biography of your body (no more than 3 pages), written in third person, upon inquiry and memory of all the events in your body, including interviewing parents and older relatives. It is essential to use the third person (estrangement), and not in terms of outsourcing your name: "James came up." No, it would say: "That body; this body; the body." The more thorough the path, the better.

Accepted applicants will be informed of their eligibility by November 5, 2014.


 

 

"Unlearning the Gaze" at ONG

Monday Nov 10, 2014

Conducted by Erik del Bufalo

Organized and hosted by ONG

November 10 to 13 - 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Learning means pursuing something that is before us, grasping with intelligence, memory or a sense of certainty the world around us. In this attempt to comprehend the truth, the photographic gaze has a privileged place, as the images do not come from imagination but from the clash of light against a concrete surface. However, the interaction between the technical image and the world has been challenged even before the invention of digital imaging. In this workshop we will try to reconstruct what these mediations are in order to "unlearn," abandoned those fossilized notions that cause the imagined world to always repeat itself.

The workshop is limited to 15 people. Please ready below about the application process and deadlines.


 

 

Venues

The main programing of the fourth edition of the Fundación Cisneros Seminar, Acts of Learning, takes place on two different dates (Friday, November 7 and Friday, November 14), and each of those dates is divided into two sessions or so-called Acts. The morning Acts consist of a series of lectures held at the Fundación Cisneros HQ in Caracas; the evening Acts consist of Pecha Kucha presentations held at Centro de Arte Los Galpones.

About the Venues

The building that houses the Fundación Cisneros, Caracas HQ, a.k.a. Quinta Patricia, belonged to a seamstress in the early 1950s. She and her family lived on the second floor, and the basement and ground floor were working areas. Her workshops were located in the basement and in the ground floor, now called the Sol Room, is where she held her runways. In the mid 1980s, the house was renovated to serve as the headquarters of the Fundación Mozarteum Venezuela, where the organization remained until moving to their current headquarters in Las Mercedes. A decade later, the Fundación Cisneros and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros set up their offices in this building. Acts of Learning will be held in the Sol Room.

The Centro de Arte Los Galpones, more commonly known simply as "Los Galpones," is a cultural meeting place in Caracas. As an organization, its main aim is to build community through contemporary artistic expressions, such as visual art exhibitions, music events and performances, film screenings, gastronomy and literary events. Its vision is to develop a self-sustaining model for cultural management through a mix of nonprofit and commercial activities, and through revalorating urban space. In 2008, Los Galpones began by conditioning a set of neighborhing hanger spaces (approximately 2000 m), from where, at present, fifteen different spaces dedicated to the arts, literature and design, as well as cafes are fully operating. Its ample shared terrace (200 square meters), framed by 44 monumental ancient mango trees in the heart of eastern Caracas, is intended for holding outdoor events.

Venues Addresses

Fundación Cisneros, Caracas HQ
Final Avenida La Salle, Quinta Patricia
Colinas de los Caobos
Caracas 1050 VENEZUELA

Centro de Arte Los Galpones
29-11 Transversal 8
Caracas 1071 VENEZUELA