Saturday, Septembre 26, 2020. Session with Tlacuilo
*Books loaned by Tlacuilo in this session: Las venas abiertas de América Latina, Eduardo Galeano. Conversación al sur, Marta Traba. Soft sculpture and other soft art forms, Dona Z. Meilach. Poesía rebelde de América, Miguel Donoso Pareja. Figure sculpture in wax and plaster, Richard McDermott Miller. Jean-Luc Moulène, Centre Pompidou.
Friday, September 18, 2020. Talk with Luis Felipe Ortega
I know the thoughts I have are not mine, they are built by a series of interactions that I have with other people, with the world. I think that if I name those who have given me an idea at some point in my life, it is like supporting the notion that knowledge is the product of the collective, of my interaction with the world, with its inhabitants, in a broad sense and that position, that of privileging the collective and the solidary, in which I recognize the names, that is, the participation of others in my thinking, is one of the perspectives I want to maintain in my life.
Due to the pandemic I had some days of confusion, between the confinement and not being able to carry out several projects in person, like this one, it's been quite "interesting" days... For this reason I began to feel the sincere need to resonate all these ideas, thoughts and feelings with someone else that have some time and could listen to me and advise me, so I wrote to one of the main teachers I had when I studied art at SOMA Mexico (5 years ago).
Luis Felipe Ortega is an artist and a teacher who I appreciate and respect a lot. We decided to start reflecting on:
why we do what we do, what are those utopias that we believe in and want to incorporate into our respective practices and lives, how a specific experience affects us and how that experience makes us think and live in the everyday, as a person, as artists, in our community but also in relation to the world...
Thursday, August 6, 2020. Prohibido Pronunciar Su Nombre
Continuing with the process of the book of Los Invisibles Laboratory, that the boys and I will design for 2022, on Tuesday, August 04 I went to the studio of Pedro Reyes because he lent me some books on prison literature, and we also talked a little about the situation of the Laboratory in times of pandemic.
In addition, because at the moment the Laboratory cannot be carried out in person, we decided to schedule a series of remote activities for the remainder of the year, taking as a reference the book Learning to Love You More by Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July, we will implement a series of notebooks with some instructions such as Write the story of your life on a couple of sheets or Observe, protect, take care of a plant that is in an unexpected place and alone...
In these notebooks, the boys will record in different ways the activities they are doing, and I will also be recording videos for them from my home, to explain the exercises in more detail, and to perform together with them, at a distance, the same instructions.
When the conditions are more favorable, probably at the beginning of next year, we will begin to meet as we did before.
Also today I started reading the book Prohibido Pronunciar Su Nombre by Sofia Bassi
*Books loaned by Tlacuilo in this session: Prohibido pronunciar su nombre, Sofía Bassi. Campo militar número uno, Horacio Espinosa Altamirano. Los errores, José Revueltas. Liberando historias tomo I y II, autoras varias. Iván Illich obras reunidas, tomo uno.
Sunday, June 7, 2020. New plans are coming
At the moment, the laboratory's on-site activities are on hiatus. However, we continue to imagine and plan the projects that will happen in the following months from home. For now, we are starting to work together with the philosopher Rafael Mondragón on the desktop publishing of a book on radical pedagogies and childhood, the illustrations for this book will be done in collaboration with the boys who are in the Readaptation Center.
I have also started compiling images, texts, and drawings that we have made at the Laboratory since 2018, in order to self-publish the book of the Los Invisibles Laboratory by 2022.
Finally, I am planning the management of an artistic installation that we will carry out in the main courtyard of the Readaptation Center for the beginning of 2021. We will exhibit the sculptures of 100 hands of some of the boys with whom we have been collaborating.
We are motivated to think about art and its link with society!
Saturday, April 25, 2020. Amnesty Law in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF)
Good news! On April 22, Amnesty Law official decree was issued in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF). In this publication, it is reported that the current President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announces the entry into force of this new law.
The law has a total of eight articles that contemplate which crimes may be forgiven and the specifications of each one, as well as those that will not have access to this benefit.
Thanks to this law, amnesty will be given for the crime of abortion to mothers who terminated their pregnancy. To doctors and surgeons, midwives or certified-nurse midwives, or other authorized health services personnel who have assisted in the procedure (as long as it was carried out without violence)and those family members who helped the mother in the abortion.
Regarding the crimes against health referred to, they will have amnesty when the person who has committed them is in a situation of poverty or extreme vulnerability. Exclusion and or discrimination, having a permanent disability, by indication of a person with blood relationship, sentimental or even, for fear of some criminal organization.
Those who belong to indigenous villages will have amnesty when they are in any of the above cases. And those consumers who have possessed narcotics in amounts higher than up to twice the maximum dose for personal and immediate consumption.
Wednesday, March 2, 2020. Reading-together
At Los Invisibles Laboratory, we believe in making a herd through our voices. We like to use our differences to build a joint project, like Reading-together.
After reading, we imagine.
This is the video in which we record a fragment of the reading that we did aloud and in a group on the text "A Kind of Upright Gravestone; Hence, also a Pillar," by Jimmie Durham. The book is titled "Between Furniture and the Building (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)," edited by Alias in Mexico City, 2010.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Collaborations
Talking with others is always exciting because, as the Chilean biologist Humberto Maturana says, "knowledge is generated through conversation."
New perspectives and artistic processes are beginning and gradually consolidating in the Readaptation Center, all for the boys' benefit. Yesterday I spoke with a painting and a woven facilitator to understand what they are interested in sharing/observing/reflecting with the boys in the rehabilitation center. For now, they told me that they are interested in offering them the techniques. My perspective is that there must be discussion, brainstorming, and references beyond the techniques, as a means of reflection. It is essential that the boys also learn, through different readings shared aloud, the ideas of other people beyond Mexico and from this time. Thanks to this talk, I have come up with references for the boys and the other facilitators, we are in the process of continuous change and exchanging ideas...
Monday, February 17, 2020. Leaves
After "The Little Treatises" by Pascal Quignard, we continued thinking in words, so today I proposed to the boys that we model different plaster words using the inclusive sign language. Although I am far from someone who knows this language in-depth, I love learning words with my hands. For me, the hands are significant; it is what I observe the most in a person and also in myself. To this end, I decided that we would start with the word "leaves," so three of the boys offered to draw that word with their hands and model it in plaster, that is, they lent their hands to the class so that the word "leaves "could appear as a sculpture. The name of this activity and these plaster pieces is precisely WORDS.
Monday, February 3, 2020. We finally start classes!
The dream came true after a few intense weeks in which we finished preparing the new space for artistic exploration within the Readaptation Center.
We will invite other teachers of visual arts, literature, and music to share their ideas, reflections, references, etc. We also have a small press with which we hope to make a small independent publication at the end of the year...
Today we reviewed the work of Georges Segal (book loaned by Tlacuilo Librería / Pedro Reyes), and we read some excerpts from Pascal Quignard's, treatises, a book edited by sexto piso.
"The Little Treatises" by Pascal Quignard led me to imagine so much that I became addicted to its reading. I repeated the book a couple of times before deciding to share those snippets with the boys at the readaptation center. Although I did not know if this text would resonate with them as much as it did with me, I took a chance and brought it to them.
To my pleasant surprise, one of the boys started playing with one of the fragments until he finished writing:
A philosopher, a book, a book? In search of a hero.
Wednesday, January 15, 2019.
One of the fundamental purposes that we have at the Los Invisibles Laboratory is to focus on the process of social reintegration. We know that during this process, the support of the boys' families is essential; as well as of the people with whom they live every day in the Readaptation Center. For this, we seek to integrate into our activities all officials at all levels of the Readaptation Center as well as the families of the boys and also allow all members of the Laboratory to have the opportunity to explain in their own voice the ideas that led them to develop in some way or another their own projects.
The date of the first group show that we carried out this year within the Readaptation Center, was Wednesday, January 15. In this small exhibition, we had the opportunity to have the presence of different officials from the Readaptation Center and the relatives of the boys who are in the lab.
I allowed myself to write a text and read it to share with everyone the references and ideas that, some years ago, led me to develop this project.
Beyond the biological, I think, What is the body? What hurts us? Why are we different? How does our life history influence what we do? How do we feel what is happening to us? Why do we change? Why do we behave in a certain way? How do we learn?
For the anthropologist David Le Breton, culture does not explain our behaviors; what defines our behaviors is what each of us through our life history does with his culture. Following this idea, I agree with what the biologist Humberto Maturana says, the only constant in life is change, and the human being, like any other living being, is born loving by nature.
At Los Invisibles Laboratory, we believe in change in the transformation of thoughts, feelings, and the body, and we see Education as an act of love. As the philosopher, Hannah Arendt said "Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. And Education too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new, something unforeseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world".
Let's defend the right to dream! in the words of the writer Eduardo Galeano.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
After reading this wonderful edition of the UNAM magazine, I am left with many thoughts about the vital role our children and young people have in the world. And the immense responsibility that we adults have to help them build the best possible place and care for them.
Our mission is to reach out to them whenever we can and watch over their childhood, do everything we can so that it is not destroyed, and they never stop imagining and dreaming, and with that build a better place than the one we had.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Second feedback with Pedro Reyes.
In addition to showing me his work process, various pieces in development, as well as the different production areas in his studio. He lent me a book on the work of George Segal that can serve as a reference for the work we are doing with the plaster masks in the Readaptation Center.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019.
I finished reading Rafael Mondragón's, School as a Utopia Space, published by UNAM. This book was a great finding as it inspires me to imagine other ways to learn and share knowledge. The book is full of beautiful ideas about Education, the mystery of the transmission of knowledge, and love. The subject is approached from Latin American anarchist thought; however, its references transcend geographical borders.
In the words of Rafael M., author of the book, "we decided to start with an epigraph by Hannah Arendt. Because we are convinced that her words can help us think about the problem of Education from a different place than the psychological theories of learning, so common today, whose hegemony in the last decades has sometimes collaborated in the technification of pedagogical knowledge, indeed, that knowledge thinks of itself as a set of techniques, methods, and recipes dedicated to efficiently accelerating the incorporation of content in the minds of learners: you have to make people learn; that they do not stop learning throughout their lives; that they can learn more things in less time ... And yet, as anarchist pedagogues well knew, the pedagogical relationship is not only a teaching-learning relationship but also, and fundamentally, a relationship based on the mystery of transmission (...)
...Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. And Education too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new, something unforeseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world (Hannah Arendt).
Rafael Mondragón is the author of this wonderful and supportive research; he is a professor and researcher of Latin American Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy at UNAM.
Saturday, August 24, 2019. First feedback with Pedro Reyes.
In his study, we talked about Los Invisibles Laboratory and also about how difficult it is to facilitate workshops, organize meetings, share experiences, and at the same time, do personal work. Pedro made several observations and suggested ideas that I can apply to be able to share with the boys in the workshop and not neglect my work.
On the other hand, the exercise of the masks that we make in the Laboratory was interesting to him, since that allows us to build and imagine other stories outside the prison.
He also shared with me the methodologies that he has used when giving workshops. Finally, the work of Ivan Illich, we both admire, came out during our conversation. He gave me a couple of books, and through his public library project, he lent me two more.