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José Arispe

The Art of Giving Instructions. Conceptual Backlashes for Times of Controlled Societies


Registration open



04/16/2024 — 04/30/2024

Artist and curator José Arispe proposes a space for learning and collective making based on the concept of “sensory-conceptual space” coined by Brazilian artist Ricardo Basbaum, relating it to the dominance dynamics present in modern societies.

This LABORATORY emerges as a backlash against hegemonic strategies that seek to control these societies, trying out other ways of giving instructions that lead to individuals arriving at the conceptual space of “participant-work.” The goal is to defy sensory processes inherited from artistic movements and researchers within the arts.

Argument: Many artists in the history of art from the 20th century onwards developed descriptive instructions for creating artworks as part of their practice. The propositions ranged from poems made up from newspapers to modified objects, street posters, or performative actions. Either way, the artistic experience transforms itself and the aesthetic experience no longer lies on a static object but rather in the activation of it, in what we call a “sensory-conceptual space.” This concept was developed by Brazilian professor Ricardo Basbaum, from the Universidade Federal Fluminense, and it will be the theoretical foundation for this workshop. One of our main goals will be to question the artistic experience regarding an object and transferring it towards the body and the actions of the participants.

CONVERSATION: Ricardo Basbaum with Ulisses Carrilho

Almost as if they were an instrument’s sheet music, all participants will be invited to dare to read and collectively execute these artworks that arise from instructions. Through this, we will seek to create a space for collective orchestration that will foster the political organization of a group by means of sensory artistic stimulation. During the 2020 pandemic, we were forced to follow instructions such as washing our hands, using facemasks, avoiding public places, queuing for vaccines, etc. This workshop serves as a backlash against these hegemonic strategies that seek to control our societies, trying out other ways of giving instructions, aimed at producing artistic conceptual results and defying the sensory dimension.

The pedagogy of the avant-garde indicates how to produce membranes that generate contact and potentialise experience: becoming other with the artwork points towards a model for action, for modelling the subject and being transformed by it, outside of formal limits.

Ricardo Basbaum


1st session: Introduction and theoretical presentation of the workshop: the sensory-conceptual Space. 

2nd session: Instructions throughout the history of art in the 20th century. Brief overview of artists and artworks. 

3rd session (practice): Reading of instructions, organization and designation for each participant. Practical exercise in the collective classroom. Discussing the documentation formats, be they photographic or videographic. 

4th session: Viewing of artistic works and reflections. 

5th session: Viewing of artistic works and final conclusions.


Visual artists, performance artists, students, curious people, and general public interested in or excited about the challenges of conceptual art and 20th-century avant-gardes.

5 sessions

Tuesdays and Thursdays
April 16, 18, 23, 25 and 30, 2024
6:00 PM (Bolivia Time)
Via Zoom
Open Registration