February 15, 2015

Opening semester

Image courtesy of Kalostra.

Professors: Ana Laura Aláez, Jon Mikel Euba, María Luisa Fernández, Asier Mendizabal, Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego.


The problem with art education lies partly in the difficulty of identifying its specific field of knowledge. Beyond the conventional mechanics ascribed to the artistic disciplines and cultural production—and beyond art history as an allegory of progress—art comprises a specific and differentiated form of knowledge, based on analysis, critique and the generation of form. We depart from an epistemological problem: it is difficult to build a method on a form of knowledge that has no defined object.

A context already exists within our geographical area in which concern for this issue has been a basic motivation. Judging from our experience in this field, accrued in workshops, forums and informal exchange networks, the promotors of this project are confident that we can try out a model, albeit partial, for exploring that problem.

Given the most common way of viewing art education in its intersections and its applications to other fields of knowledge—and having entirely ruled out the idea of passing on professional capacities and skills—our hypothesis in this experimental school is to create an educational model built on the very search for itself. This form of investigation, which needs to seek out ways in which it can be shared, essays and corroborates its own forms of analysis. Praxis as unstated theory.

These processes must inescapably be based on the participants’ subjective experience. These courses, with a limited number of participants and a six-month duration, are intended to generate a situation that is unlike the common modes of access to knowledge. They propose an exercise in concentration at a time when the mode of apprehension of knowledge inevitably tends towards dispersion. The purpose behind the requirement for participants to commit to class presence, to simultaneous and extended participation in this project, is to build a specific type of relationship with the process of exchange and shared learning. However, the ultimate aim of any teaching project for art must always be to generate conclusions and propositions that can be shared by society at large. At any given time, the language of art fosters critical interpretations of the languages that shore up the representation of the present.

The mechanism proposed for this project is to select 15 participants who will work in the Kalostra facilities in Santa Teresa, San Sebastian. The teaching staff, consisting of eight artists, will continuously monitor not only the participants’ work but also the teaching process generated in that relationship. The teachers will take turns to propose a weekly work dynamic. This means that there will always be someone from the teaching staff present at the centre. In addition, these weekly units will provide a certain temporal structure, further marked by a once-monthly pooling process. The purpose of these monthly assessments or meetings is in no way to evaluate the participants’ work; rather they are intended to organise the experiences and results with a view to generating an experimental model of teaching exchange. (In this case the term “experimental” is merely meant to imply an act whose result is unknown.) It is that self-generated experimental model that will be shaped over successive semesters, led by new teaching staff. Ultimately, this is the specific proposal of Kalostra, modulated by the different agents running it. Kalostra, then, is no more than the corpus accumulated in the successive experiences shared by different teachers and participants.

Approximately once a month, we will either receive a guest agent or prepare internal contents to present to the general public in the form of a lecture, presentation or similar.

This project is intended for anyone wanting to integrate the conceptual tools and practices of art into their research, through their relationship with others. It should be of particular interest to people at a preliminary stage in their research; however, this should not be seen as indicating the stage in which they perceive their practice in light of a possible professional or academic development, towards which this proposal is not geared.

Applicants should fill out the enclosed questionnaire and return it with a short dossier, CV and a letter setting out their reasons for wanting to join the project.

More information and the application can be found here.


Kalostra's opening semester

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