About this exposition
The Pedagogy of the Anarchive is a research proposal that aims to collectively build a hub for neurodiverse/crip/queer art and arts education practices. It is an in-disciplinary three-year project that will deliver multimodal outcomes, like an ever-mutating assemblage/installation, a film and publications.
The boldness of the proposal relies on making visible underrecognized modes of perception and relationalities in arts education and artistic research, critically approaching them with pedagogies that deconstruct the archival neurotypical tendencies.
To prototype the iterations of the material assemblage, we will use diverse materials and textures, like textiles, pieces of furniture and art supplies. Ideally, the space will be co-composed as we host activities. We will employ the anarchive as our conceptual and operational apparatuses.
The anarchive emerged from the necessity to overcome the idea of archiving a past event or proposition. It understands the register or the objects not as representations or essences but through their traces that potentially can activate new propositions. Materials, like furniture, textiles, tape measures, acrylic tools, raw treated bamboo, paints and cardboard, are understood relationally. We ask: how can we assemble them to privilege underrecognized modalities of perception? It is “not documentation of past activity. It is a feed-forward mechanism for lines of creative process, under continuing variation (…) a cross-platform phenomenon (…) between media, between verbal and material expressions, between digital and off-line archiving, and most of all between all of the various archival forms it may take and the live, collaborative interactions that reactivate the anarchival traces, and in turn create new ones.” (Massumi, 2016).
The theoretical framework we use is transdisciplinary, in the intersection of process philosophy (Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, Alfred North Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari), Queer Theory ( Lee Edelman, Paul Preciado, José Esteban Muñoz, Jack Halberstam), Critical Disability Studies, Neurodiversity and Neuroqueerness (Melanie Yergeau, Mel Baggs, Dan Goodley, Justine Egner) and the New Materialisms (Karen Barad, Stacy Alaimo, Jane Bennett).
What the scholars from this extensive bibliography share, besides different their theoretical affiliations, is the appreciation of the concepts of relation and relationality beyond the human scope, recognising the agency of non-human bodies. For us, it is urgent to foreground that to begin undoing the neurotypical ableist and functionalist dominion of arts and arts education. It is also critical to bring awareness to the complex relations of causality that entangle the anthropotechnical construction of the man at the cost of the consequences of the Anthropocene.
At the same time, the concerns and concepts shared by these scholars must be "bent" and re-thought by the lenses that detour the dominance of the Global North onto-epistemologies. Pereira (2019, p. 64), while talking about Decolonial Queer Theory, affirms that bending implies "a rereading of the Global North’s theories in order to revise them, bend them, scrutinise their silences and obliterations, and to make them speak differently".