A*DESK has been offering since 2002 contents about criticism and contemporary art. A*DESK has become consolidated thanks to all those who have believed in the project, all those who have followed us, debating, participating and collaborating. Many people have collaborated with A*DESK, and continue to do so. Their efforts, knowledge and belief in the project are what make it grow internationally. At A*DESK we have also generated work for over one hundred professionals in culture, from small collaborations with reviews and classes, to more prolonged and intense collaborations.

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Itinerary 1: Emergent Cultures


Attitudes and procedures within artistic research.

How is artistic and cultural emergence produced? How can moments of cultural transformation be investigated and how can they be influenced through the practices of art, education, curating or critical theory?

The first itinerary in the Barcelona Study Programme of A*DESK 2012-2013 incorporates 2 workshops, 7 seminar sessions with invited agents and 9 laboratory sessions for the tutored production of projects. As well as the possibility of realizing the whole itinerary, it is also possible to realize each one of the workshops, laboratory sessions and seminar programmes separately.

The itinerary has the aim of unfolding the whole range of attitudes and procedures by which one understands research today and relates it to artistic practices, as well as providing tools and resources with which to analyse processes of emergence and cultural innovation, in relation to artistic creation as much as to curating, education, collaborative working practices, new technologies and the media.

The component of research is a key aspect in the development of production processes based on innovation. In this sense just as the changing status of art requires the continuous opening up of new perspectives for analysis, research is also currently understand to be indispensable with regards to generating these very processes of emergence and transformation. In this sense a symbiosis is proposed between creative practice and research that has given rise to new attitudes and procedures, while also establishing a debate surrounding the new paradigms related to the practice of art, as well as to mediation and research.


26 November 2012 – 31 January 2013

Seminars y laboratory sessions: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 16.00 – 20.00.

Workshops: consult the programme in each case.



The first itinerary in the Barcelona Study Programme of A DESK*2012-2013, Emergent Cultures, incorporates a group of seminar sessions in which different agents have been invited to tackle, from very diverse positions, the question of research into and production of cultural innovation. In this way the role that research has in relation to the different processes linked to artistic processes and mediation, will be observed, and at the same time debated, with the provision of tools relating to different paradigms such as; ethnomethodology, cultural sociology, qualitative research, artistic research and collaborative research.

In the laboratory sessions different dynamics will be proposed for the analysis of cultural environments and participants will be invited to develop processes of investigation, which can be continued in the following itineraries of the Study Programme, while also being publicly presented in different formats, in relation to the digital platform and the actual A*DESK space in Barcelona. In line with this, the process will benefit from the tutoring of different agents linked to A*DESK.

Seminar Programme:

12 .12. 2012: Octavi Rofes. Anthropologist. Lecturer in Art, Design and Society, and the Design of Elements of Identity, on the Design Degree, at Eina.

13.12. 2012: Andrés Hispano. Audio-visual producer, curator, artist. Soy cámara. (I’m a Camera) Television programme of the CCCB.

18. 12. 2012: Manuel Segade. Art historian and curator of exhibitions. La qüestió del paradigma. Genealogies de l’Emergència en l’Art Contemporani a Catalunya (The paradigm question. Genealogies of Emergence in Contemporary Art in Catalonia).

19. 12. 2012: Tere Badia. Researcher specialised in cultural policies, network theory and innovative processes. Director of Hangar.

09.01.2013: Oriol Vilanova. Visual artist and architect.

10.01.2013: Cristian Añó. Sinapsis. Research into cultural mediation. Cultural mediation programme at the Centro de Arte in Tarragona and the Espai Baumanlab in Terrassa.

15.01.2013: Mery Cuesta. Art critic and exhibition curator.


Practical sessions led by Oriol Fontdevila.

Tutorials given by Montse Badia, Pilar Bonet, David G. Torres and Antonio Ortega.

Dates: 26.11.2012; 04.12.2012; 20.12.2012; 08.01.2012; 16.01.2012; 17.01.2012; 29.01.2012; 30.01.2012; 31.01.2012



Workshop with Eloy Fernández Porta

Workshop Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 November from 16.00 – 20.00


Final session, open to the general public: Wednesday 5 December at 18.00

Alienated or sensitive, abject or relational: behind recent discourse about the arts there always throbs the question of emotion. What is the emotional code prioritized by artistic discourse? What type of culture does it call upon and how does it generate a work? In this workshop, from a perspective of the sociology of the arts, we will try to identify some of the contemporary politics around sentiment and their trans-media embodiment, developing practical exercises aimed at creators, curators and critics.

Eloy Fernández Porta (Barcelona, 1974) lectures in New Literary Fields on the Master in Creative Writing at the UPF and on Contemporary Art within the HESP programme of the same institution; he has also collaborated with the Palais de Tokyo, the Architectural Association and the Istituto Europeo di Design. He has published books of stories such as Los minutos de la basura and Caras B, la anthology Golpes (con Vicente Muñoz Álvarez) and the books on cultural criticism Afterpop, Homo Sampler, EUR®O$ (Premio Anagrama) and Emociónese así, and has been translated into English, French and Portuguese. He has carried out four performances based on his books, the most recent of which being Rulers of Your Feelings, and has also collaborated with Agustín Fernández Mallo in the duo Afterpop Fernández & Fernández. He has written for Cultura/s, salonKritik, Exit Book and Fluor.



Workshop with Tirdad Zolghadr

Workshop Wednesday 23 to Friday 25 January, from 15.00 – 20.00

This workshop addresses the politics, tropes and mythologies of “mediation” in curatorial practice. Curators elaborate on art for a variety of reasons – pedagogical aspiration, institutional accountability, professional anxieties. But rarely are these motives considered as such. The means and methods are just as varied, from a faux-naïve embrace of empirical description to a paranoid sheltering of art from contamination by language. Some curators believe in the capacity of language to innocently describe the work, others claim too much descriptive language can actually damage the art’s potential. Our workshop will compare a variety of approaches, and include models from other disciplines. It will further examine the specificities of speech as compared to writing, particularly in light of current discursive practices in the field. Finally, the module will explore notions of referentiality beyond speech and writing altogether.

Tirdad Zolghadr is an independent curator and lecturer at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College NY. He writes for Frieze Magazine and has also contributed to Parkett, Modern Painters, Bidoun, Cabinet and other publications. Since 2004, Zolghadr has been (co)curator at Cubitt London, IASPIS Stockholm, Kunsthalle Geneva, various Tehran artspaces, the UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2009, the Taipei Biennial 2010 and the Sharjah biennial 2005. His second novel, Plot, has been published 2012 by Sternberg Press.


Price of the itinerary: 780 €.

Please consult the different itineraries within the Barcelona Study Programme of A*DESK 2012-2013 to obtain discounts.

The Itinerary 1: Emergent cultures forms part of the Barcelona Study Programme of A*DESK 2012-2013, that aims to establish an environment for continuous learning, for students and professionals, where questions relating to contemporary creation, cultural mediation –curating and education – and artistic research are reconsidered. The programme extends through until June 2013 and includes the realization of seminars, laboratories and workshops delivered by recognised professionals within different creative fields.

For more information, to reserve a place or matriculate, write to


Image: Alba Mayol Curci: The Science of Fake. 2010

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