#020 Esther Planas, Escuela de Calor

Ferrer I Guardia decía que el aprendizaje era de por vida….por eso , desaprender o re-aprender es siempre posible..


“School of Doubt and Des-education” …


This is how it started 6 years ago, as part of a longer sentence, about the incipient project that was to be launched as a performance workshop during eme3 edition in the summer 2011.


I like to go back to the even more “incipient” times were there was a shift in to my interest and therefor the focus of my practice.


in 2009 with a performance Lecture called:  I  just Know I know Nothing, at Five Years’s  Free School.


My proposal, a one hour intervention, inspired in the Socratic approach to knowledge and the context for Plato’s  Symposium, a place where important matters where discussed wile eating and drinking .

Wine, olives and bread were offered to everybody.


To follow this small action in 2009, I had two more extended experiments of this nature.


One in Barcelona in 2010, and the other in Guatemala Jan,  2011. Those early workshops were occupying the gallery space/ or some of the duration of my solo shows.


During a time that could have being solely dedicated to the showcasing of my work, those workshops,The BCN Psychotropic Workshops or Close Encounters with Ultravioleta ( at Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala) were the first steps and signs of a practice that was felt as a need to accomplish a notion of service, militancy, and engagement to challenge a kind of reality – if we call reality to what was, by then, a subjective perception of an art world context deeply unsatisfying and felt as if contaminated with a huge zombie capitalist spectre – *(see zombie capitalist definition by Suely Rolnik )


So what started as something belonging to my subjective micro politic activity, placing the focus of my practice on “workshops / actions / performances” with highly subversive structure, derived on to a more conceptually political enterprise.


Escuela de Calor, starts during Eme3 2011, proposing a short time “action” that will stand as a primal gesture of dis-obedience, or on Situationist terms:  as a Derailing of what a Workshop is supposed to be like. And this Situationist principles applied on the urban context, linked with Psycho-geographic strategies and critical observation of the context, were already a sign of a need for us as individuals to be able to question whatever that the corrupt urbanist of Barcelona or elsewhere with the Architects complicity, was made to make our daily lives in our Cities.






A workshop, belongs to the schooling structure, as a convention and known format, so the idea of calling the project Escuela de Calor and a workshop, had to do with all this various elements that under this title I could reclaim as an horizontal relation between “teacher” and student, and the creation of a situation from where, on a sort of improvised exercise, one can experience a shift of the “order” in which social conventions about learning and behaving are established, and of course indeed free to attend, so simultaneously opening the question to all artist that ask for big amounts of money for us to attend to their workshops or seminars.


To meet at unconventional places is an essential radical “gesture”, that has been used to materialise dissent on a very basic and effective level, the street improvised seating place or bar, the swimming pool or the beach, walking, seating under the shadow of a tree, etc .


Free School, De-Schooling activities that stand out as critical practice, and a “cut” a “fissure”, or the crack from where walls start to fall…towards the Northern Protestant Capitalist world and global control (Weber) feeding constantly this accelerated decadency and spiralling madness, that the Art World is not only sustaining but in deep dependency to continue to exist as the laundry machine of dirty money it actually is.


When I started my free workshops/ actions in 2009 with the Socratic situation as if in The Symposium at Five Years, the strikes and protest of Occupy, Tahir Square, Greece Genzi Park and Istanbul and M15, plus all this parallel crisis and Cuts to Education etc had not yet materialised.


Those were “incipient” times were there was a shift in to my interest and therefor to the focus of my practice. We have to think of what had not yet happen, but that was “on an incubation process”.


I have to make clear this: that my enterprise, has meet organically with a social context, but that the issues that made me want to direct my practice towards this focus where only to do with my tiredness of the ways things where and still are in London where I live, and in the rest of the neoliberal world, as they follow the Anglo American North norm on detriment of countries considered from the south or what they call the PIGS ( Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain)

Their ways of writing History (totally subservient to Anglo-centric models) and in ways of seeing and doing.

Including the exacerbated Cognitive Capitalist hype and zombifications of all the Art World.





The Cognitarian Subjetivation discussed by Franco Bifo Berardi, is here/today very relevant.


To do workshops of the kind I entertained previous to and with the Escuela de Calor project goes with the need of “disappearing “ from that horribly unbearable neoliberal zombie world.


Wile doing as much as I can to question it and dismantling it.


The Author as Producer, becoming the Producer as the No-Teacher, the guide/medium, to dismantling techniques as in Jacotot’s, Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich….etc etc.


The production of Situations, the gathering of references and the archiving of the works and links to the ideas of leading figures that questioned Education wile retrieving the essence of what it means to learn and to teach freely for a common good that can vary depending where its happening, and not for the uses of Nation State and the control of its subjects remains urgent and increasingly relevant as this discussion and theme that today is been discussed here and is part of the Volume publishing project.   


This text was  read live for the talk and  presentation of Escuela de Calor at Conversations withVolume for Eme3/15 Barcelona.


back to Aformal Academy