LA ESCUELA___ is an artist-run platform for radical learning and collective making in public spaces. Online and on-site across several regions of Latin America, it provides a transdisciplinary program for reflection and the creation of formative projects. These projects are collaborative artistic experiences incorporating both creating and learning. They bring together artists, researchers, institutions, students and local communities to address pressing social, political and environmental issues.
LA ESCUELA___ is rooted in a long Latin American tradition of artist-run schools and collective-based educational models. Curated research focused on this tradition and contemporary practices is available, with original content uploaded to a continuously growing digital resource. Free education programs are provided through an open-access platform, where participants can reflect upon and activate endless new ways of learning.
The joint founders of La Escuela___ are the Venezuelan artist, architect and educator Miguel Braceli and the nonprofit Siemens Stiftung international foundation. Drawing on his experience both as a professor and a student, Braceli sees LA ESCUELA___ as a response to the current status of the arts within the higher education system. The goal is to address the question of how a school can be conceived and shaped as an artistic project, beyond institutional confines. And so, the platform itself therefore functions as a collective work, involving artists and researchers in the creation of its programs.
LA ESCUELA___ offers semester-long programs, with online Laboratories and street-based on-site Classrooms, both presented as formative projects by guest artists. These programs are complemented with lectures by key Latin American artists and educators at the digital Auditorium, and a Library of resources—containing essays, conversations, mappings and practices—that continues to grow thanks to new contributions in the form of commissioned texts, open calls and academic exchanges. In this way, a trans-local network is being woven, ranging in the first semester from ancient indigenous knowledge to cutting-edge tech activisms, and from experiences in the southernmost reaches of South America to de-colonial narratives from northern Mexico and the Caribbean.
Around 60 collaborators from 12 countries will take part in the first semester of LA ESCUELA___, which begins on March 9, 2022 with an opening lecture by the Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña, and a laboratory presented by the Colombian artist and educator Nicolás Paris, starting on March 10. This semester will run until July and will also feature auditorium presentations by Luis Camnitzer, Mónica Mayer and Ricardo Basbaum, online laboratories developed by Felipe Rivas San Martín, Laura Uribe and Patricia Domínguez with Andrés Pereira Paz, and on-site classrooms in public spaces across Chile, Mexico and Venezuela, created by Adrián Balseca, Esvin Alarcón Lam and Laura Anderson Barbata. In addition, as guest scholars the 2022—I semester will also feature the curators and researchers Mônica Hoff and Renata Cervetto, who will contribute to the curatorial perspective of the platform.
For the initial stage, the platform’s institutional allies include Ciudad Abierta and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile); the MUAC-UNAM – Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo and Museo Experimental el Eco (México); the Goethe-Institut Venezuela, the Universidad Simón Bolívar, the Universidad de Los Andes, and the Universidad Central de Venezuela.
The website (laescuela.art) was conceived as an artwork in itself. Designed by Studio Markus Weisbeck, it features artistic interventions by the Yanomami artist Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe.
The content of LA ESCUELA___ is drawn from the collaborative programs and artistic interventions initiated by Siemens Stiftung in Latin America, as well as the body of artistic and pedagogical work produced in public spaces by Miguel Braceli. Staff members include the researcher and architect Manuel Vasquez-Ortega and the artist, editor and translator Marianela Diaz Cardozo.