2017-2018 COOP study group: Practicing Articulation, Articulating Practice ~ Tutor participants: Nick Aikens, Annie Fletcher, Navine G.Khan-Dossos ~ Student participants: Olivia Abacherli, Jonathan Baumgärtner, Ciprian Burete, Lucie Draai, Elien Ronse, Zoe Scoglio, Maya Watanabe ~ Partner: Van Abbemuseum


COOP ACADEMY ~ Practicing Articulation, Articulating Practice from Month to Month

‘The intellectual's representations, his or her articulations of a cause or idea to society, are not meant primarily to fortify ego or celebrate status. Nor are they principally intended for service within powerful bureaucracies and with generous employers. Intellectual representations are the activity itself dependent on a kind of consciousness that is skeptical, engaged, unremittingly devoted to rational investigation and moral judgment; and this puts the individual on record and on the line. Knowing how to use language well and knowing when to intervene in language are two essential features of intellectual action.’

Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual 

‘Practicing Articulation, Articulating Practice’ is conceived for artists, curators and cross-disciplinary practitioners.

The study group begins from and pursues three fundamental questions:

What constitutes a practice?

How is a practice articulated?

What are the structures and frameworks within which a practice operates?

The title of the study group refers to articulation theory developed in cultural studies and political theory in the 1970s and 80s, drawing on it as a core methodology. Articulation was seen as a means through which two or more elements are brought together to create a new unity. It emerged as a means to combine and fuse many different elements, premised on the fact that the conditions under which our subjectivity is constituted and a practice formed are constantly in flux. We – through our modes of being, thinking and working in the world - are contingent on a range of cultural, strategic and political forces.

Why do we want to focus on the notion of practice?

Today’s current political, social and cultural conditions demand that we - artists, curators and intellectuals etc - need to examine closely what we say and how we say it. Entering second cycle further education or working as curator / researcher / artists in the public realm calls for us to acknowledge and consider attentively what we think constitutes our work. 

  • What does it mean to make work about the world and for the world?
  • How can we present new ways of seeing from from the context of art but extending outwards into public space?
  • What are the possibilities of articulation between different practices, i.e, can the research methods of an investigative journalist lead to making a painting instead of writing an article?
  • How do we learn and articulate our own political position through practice?
  • How do we confront what it means to have an opinion without being fearful of being at odds with the status quo?

The course will aim to draw upon multiple forms of practice:

The practice of articulation itself will be explored through:

  • dialogue with a broad range of guests, primarily artists
  • a series of close readings (parallel texts chosen by tutors, guest tutors and participants)
  • written papers and seminars
  • screenings and workshops
  • and most significantly focus on the practice of the group’s participants.
  • participants will be encouraged and expected to identify their own research interests.
  • presentations at different stages in the course will serve as a forum for us to assess, untangle and reform each other’s work.
  • an itinerant study group that will culminate in a presentation in Athens in summer 2018.


Long list of guest tutors

(final list to be decided with the research group)



Monira Al Qadiri (Amsterdam)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Berlin)

Maria Papadimitriou (Athens)

3137 collective (Athens)

Kyriaki Goni (Athens)

Kassandras/ Matthieu Prat (Athens)

Writers / curators / researchers: Padraic E. Moore (Brussels) Doreen Mende (Berlin / Geneva) Chandra Frank (Amsterdam) Suze May Sho (Arnhem)

Echo Chamber, Van Abbemuseum, 2017

What do we have in mind?

23 - 26th October (Cologne):

Introducing your practice:

All members of the research group (including tutors) to present their practice. Face to face meetings (one day)

Close readings: Jennifer Slack ‘Theories and Methods of Articulation Theory’, and Edward Said Representations of the Intellectual.

Screening and response: Otolith I, The Otolith Group


27 - 30th November Amsterdam / Heemskerk (NL): Led by Annie / Navine

Guest tutor: Monira Al Qadiri (http://www.moniraalqadiri.com)

Keywords: Remembering The Future

Face to face meetings (one day)

Screenings (proposed / introduced by tutor and student) Close reading (one text chosen by tutor / one by student) Welcome To The Desert Of The Real, Slavoj Zizek


December Oldebroek (NL): Led by Nick

By December students should have formulated their own research questions Guest tutor: Lawrence Abu Hamdan (tbc)

Keywords: Freedom of Speech, Face to face meetings (one day)

Screenings / Aural Contract sound archive workshop

Close reading: Forensic Architecture (selected texts chosen with Lawrence) / text chosen by tutor / one by student)


January: Thessaloniki (GR): Led by Navine Guest tutor: Kyriaki Goni (http://kyriakigoni.com) (tbc) Or Karen Mirza and Brad Butler (Istanbul)

Keywords: Citizenship of Invisible Cities Face to face meetings (one day) Screening: TBC

Close reading: The City and the City by China Mieville, Salonica City of Ghosts by Mark Mazower, Indigenous Archaeologies in Ottoman Greece (Essay) by Yannis Hamilakis.

Extension in Thessoliniki with train to Athens


February Epen (NL): Led by Annie / Nick Guest tutor Padraic E Moore (Brussels)

Keywords: Magical thinking/ Culture out of Cult/ The influence of Harry Potter

Face to face meetings (one day)

Screening: Padraic suggestion: Lucifer Rising by Kenneth Anger Close reading: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


March Arnhem (NL): Led by Annie / Nick

Guest tutor Suze May Sho/Probe (Arnhem based)

Keywords Testing and Failing Student Research presentations Face to face meetings (one day) Screening

Close reading: The Queer Art of Failure, Jack Halberstam


April (Barcelona): Led by Annie / Nick in collaboration with MACBA Guest tutors: TBC Daniella Ortiz, Pablo Martinez (MACBA)

Keywords: Counter hegemonic / performance practice from the 1990s, sessions MACBA (L’Internationale Partner)

Student Research presentations

Face to face meetings (one day)


May / June: (Athens)

Preparation for final project



Responding to student presentations


Expectations / methodology:

Texts will be given to the group at the end of the DAI week for the following session. 

All members of the research group will be encouraged to keep a conceptual diary - this should be the place where the development of a reflective, critical writing practice takes place. The conceptual diary will be the basis for face to face meetings. 

All members of the research group will be expected to source material and lead close reading sessions as well as screenings. 

Each member of the research group will be expected to formulate by December a research question which will form the basis of the development of their research leading up to the end of the year in August. 

In March / April members of the research group will be expected to deliver individual presentations presenting their research to the group. 

The research throughout the year will lead to a final project (collective or individual).

Development of an archive of the course / uploaded on to the DAI site as well as presented at the end of the year as a collective project.