COOP ~ CHUSMA: a dirty editorial from Month to Month
Seminar 1: 1-4 December 2019
Together with tutors Julia Morandeira and Francesc Ruiz, this first week will be devoted to setting up the horizon of desire, of possibility and action of this COOP: how to constitute a chusma group and a dirty editorial. To do so, we will delve into the methodological potentials that José Esteban Muñoz foresaw in the chusmería, namely “a tactical refusal to keep things pristine and binarized, a willful mistmaching of striped and floral print genres, and a loud defiance of a rather fixed order”. In relation to this and the editorial, we will explore through a set of chusmaesque trashy workshops what Francesc has termed “disturbing distribution” by contaminating and threatening different systems of communication and distribution that operate around us.
This short COOP transition will be dedicated to introductions amongst group members and tutors. We will also share the constellation of topics that we tentatively plan to work on throughout the year.
Monday / Tuesday mornings: BEAUTY SALON
The Beauty Salon will be a fixed recurring space in our COOP’s seminars, aimed at tuning in the tone and the conceptual framework of each seminar week while we engage in collective activities related to pleasure as activism, self-fashioning and style, glamour and excess, or hair and nails — all of them understood as sites of resistance, care, resignification and fantasy. A series of texts will be read aloud while other activities are undertaken.
For this week, we will be reading extracts of José Esteban Muñoz Cruising Utopia, Michael Warner’s Fear of a queer planet, Judith Halberstam’s writings on wildness, Deborah Cowen “Rough Trade? Sex, Death, and the Queer Nature of Circulation” from the The Deadly Life of Logistics, Zoe Angelis and Blake Gutt’s Stains and adrienne maree brown’s Pleasure Activism; films and clips will also be screened, and we will be sharing a series of comics with all the group.
It is a moment of sharing references, materials, gossip, collective speculation; of setting an ambiance and mood. We are also entertaining the idea of doing the second Beauty Salon in the heated swimming pool, if the group is ok with it and the space allows it.
Monday / Tuesday afternoons: DIRTY PLACES WORKSHOP
Waste, rubbish, weeds, garbage, litter. This part of our study group will take us to pay attention to those circuits, systems and infrastructures that invisibilise 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 regulations cannot be applied or where their application is denied or neglected. When the sanitised control fails, all those things that were opaque emerge, bringing a lot of information with them. The purpose here is to identify the opaque channels, to be able to reproduce the cracks. A small sabotage or a little obstruction in the system could produce a temporary overflow, a leak, that we would understand as a publication.
After a visual introduction to the ideas around dirty places, infrastructure, distribution and disruption, we will work on the fantasy of sabotaging Nieuwvliet systems and distribution circuits, identifying the better spots to make public, to publish, what it is usually opaque or invisible in the area. We will explore the surroundings of our location and will collectively create a plan to turn Nieuwvliet into a different place —for better or for worse. All this work will be done by making maps, drawings, collages, models and some “printing” actions.
Monday night: FIRST STAIN CONTEST
This night activity will consist in an award-like ceremony celebrating the power of stains to transmit ideas and feelings, social constructs and affective economies. Every contestant will carry a stain on its body, clothes, etc. accompanied with a narrative making reference to a real or fictitious event in which the stain is involved. The stain can be real or fake. We will create different award categories based on the feelings that each stain presentation generates: shame, fun, attraction, disgust...
Tuesday night: STICKY LETTERS
Inspired by early mail art and the work of Ray Johnson, this activity wants to initiate an organised network of individuals interested in micro sabotaging the postal service, as well as the COOPs and the larger DAI structure. The network members will use the postal systems to communicate and plan different disruptions: addressing messages to the workers, testing the limits of the system and its standards and by making the sending of every single letter a possibility to affect and infect other letters.
We will take this final morning to decompress, evaluate the experience and plan ahead the next seminar week.
All COOP members should bring their make-up and any other self-fashioning tool at hand for the Beauty Salon and the First Stain contest, as well as any “sticky” communication element. Bring your swimsuits. Two readings are recommended: Latina Performance and Queer Worldmaking; or, Chusmería at the End of the Twentieth Century by José Esteban Muñoz and Jack Halberstam Wildness, Loss, Death which we will share by mail.
OST for this first seminar: Evelyn Cornejo, La chusma inconsciente
“Somos los mal hablados, los mal pensados, los mal vestidos, los mal portados...”