2019-2020 COOP study group: CHUSMA: a dirty editorial. Tutor Team: Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga, Francesc Ruiz. Partner: State Of Concept

Tutor team:

Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga

Francesc Ruiz

CHUSMA: a dirty editorial

“Chusma” is a common word in spanish used to refer in a despective way to the lower classes and to those who are vulgar, dirty, gossipy and loudmouth. In his book Disidentifications, queer performance theorist José Esteban Muñoz further defines it as a form of behavior that is in excess of normative comportment: an attitude judged to be too poor, too black, too queer. It foremost indicates a stigmatized class identity, but can also be used as a racial slur to indicate a deficient fitting to an idiosyncratic framework (such as in the case of recent migration) as well as, conversely, excessive nationalism and forms of populism. Someone who deploys a sexuality deemed flagrant and excessive can be referred as chusma as well. In sum, it refers to those who practice inappropriate behavior that subvert standard conventions of decorum. The chusma is a wild, shameless, monstrous and unruly social assemblage. And a deeply ambivalent one: being either or simultaneously read as an object of fascination or repulsion, it triggers forms of exploitation and policing as well as appropriation and celebration.

In the current political and cultural landscape, the chusma appears as a fertile category where multiple aesthetic, social, economic and material elements intersect. This COOP proposes not only to critically analyse its different manifestations ranging from style to slang, but to also assume them as an experimental terrain hosting subversive practices. To do so, we want the group to become an editorial — understood as a collective organ of reproduction and distribution— aimed at producing and tracing the inscription and circulation of signs that deal with the excessive, the dirty, the inappropriate, the loud. The language of the chusma is opaque and convoluted; it does not demand clarification or transparency, but to remain ambiguous in order to resist capture. The editorial will thus operate through contamination and contagion, activating a series of tactics, ie.: short-circuiting the policing of excess and the construction of violence that ensues; intervening in the material politics of style, and the sociabilities it deploys; infecting language, so as to index the social codification of gestuality, slang, insult, hygiene and the performativity of shame; or creating futuristic visions of porn, pleasure and dirty dancing.

In line with this research, Muñoz envisioned in the chusma a form of disidentification, which he theorized as a performative strategy in which subjects rework the hegemonic cultural codes without being assimilated. They remain permanently in tension with the social convention and engaged in turn in future worldmaking, yet to be.

All the collective work of the group will be organized around a publishing and distribution experimental structure focused on exploring dirt from different aspects. This publishing organ will develop different branches throughout DAI COOP WEEKS. Results will be kept among the students and tutors as if they were dung beetles.  

Ideally, as a starting point we are proposing some main areas of study of dirtiness. 


Stains as an informational unit may contain many data addressing different sociocultural aspects. From the way we deal with personal hygiene to the characteristics of our jobs, from the way we eat and the kind of food we consume to our sexual habits. Could we think of stains under the reproductive logic of a print and make them wearable? Could we publish stains and distribute them without losing any of their unstable components? This materialistic approach to the stain will work as an introduction to our next meetings where we will explore other physical and symbolic stains in our personal research on dirty, “lo sucio”; i.e.: smell, etc. This first experimental print will make us understand what can be published under an expanded view of what it means “printed matter”.


Waste, rubbish, weeds, garbage, litter. This part of our study group will take us to pay attention to those circuits, systems and infrastructures that invisibilize our waste, garbage, what we excrete  Organised through drifts and walks the purpose of this activity is to identify the cracks in those systems, the places where cannot be applied or where its application is denied or neglected. When the sanitized control fails, all those things that were opaque emerge bringing a lot of information. Those cracks could be reproduced once we have identified all the opaque channels. A small sabotage or a little obstruction in the system could produce a temporary overflow, a leak, that we would understand as a publication.


Porn is still a controversial place inside or culture. We have invited “Instituto de Estudios del Porno” to led a seminar at our COOP Study group. Founded by Ona Bros, Lucía Egaña and Francesc Ruiz the Institute of Porn Studies (institutodelporno.net) is born to analyze and critically experience the explicit representation of sexuality, in the multiplicity of possibilities in which it is presented, omitting the prohibitionist versions that consider sexuality a taboo. The Institute is proposed as a laboratory for experimentation and learning, as a space for thought production and a place to work on practices between the visual and the spiritual. The result of the seminar will be a group of publications that explore futuristic visions of porn through drawing and texts.


From Brazilian favelas funk dance, to Puerto Rican perreo or post-Katherina twerking, the emergency of oversexualized popular dances have experienced a 20 years trajectory until they became part of mainstream culture. Its political importance will be analysed through readings, movies and dance lessons. We will publish some of the learned movements and distributed them on a party.


Video “Sin perreo no hay revolución” (nota: seguro que encontramos un documento mejor)

COSMIC ASS - Marilou Poncin / Fannie Sosa


Language, dialects, accents, slang are embodied expressions of otherness that can provoque racist, misogynistic, LGBTIQ-phobic reactions. During this week will work on languages performance, we will use parodic and disidentifications tactics to generate texts, performances, comics…

As a part of this module we will count with Mercedes Azpilicueta.


Nails and hair (human and animal), make-up and beauty salons have been traditionally deemed as vulgar and popular, but are today hailed as terrains of resistance, communication and fantasy. What are the politics and sociabilities hosted at beauty salons, that are so hyped up by mainstream culture nowadays, and what can we learn from them? How has the neoliberal industry of wellness and wellbeing savagely commodified these practices and turned them into a celebration of individualism? Glitter and litter go hand in hand


As a homeopathic remedy, as a vaccine, a small amount of toxicity can provoke a positive reaction into an organism or a structure. In this final module, we will explore how can our different publications can affect a specific context. We will also work on the ways we can show or activate our research. Gossip, memes, jokes will be a way of intervention. Collectively we will think about our final presentation where our publication organ will be deployed.

> iLiana: on Gossip & the binary of violence in toxicity and slow and fast violence -Look at Rob Nixon and the environmentalism of the poor. 

(This proposal is a starting point that will evolve with the group's collective learning)


Los Frikis

John Waters, Pink Flamingos

Alex de la Iglesia, Acción mutante

Paul Verhoeven, Showgirls


José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications. Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics

Fatima El-Tayeb, European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe

Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih, The Creolization of Theory

Jack Habelstarm, on the concept of wildness

Elsa Dorlin, Se défendre

Nestor Perlongher’s poetry

>> iLiana Fokianaki: on gossip as community-solidarities building amongst women

>> Mercedes Azpilicueta, on insult and on Neo-baroque language & aesthetics

Student participants: To be announced in November 2019

From November 2019 onwards:

CHUSMA: a dirty editorial from Month to Month & Chronicles