Mapping as a Battlefield

Javier Rodrigo and Aida Sánchez de Serdio

Mapping as a Battlefield:
Antagonism and Collaboration in Urban Processes

Public lecture
Tuesday, 1st October 2013

This week's lecture is part of an intensive 1-week workshop conceived and run collaboratively by Javier Rodrigo, Aida Sánchez de Serdio and Alberto Altés at the Laboratory of Immediate Architectural Intervention (LiAi) and entitled  "Remapping the Social: Relational Mapping, Antagonism and Collaborations".

The livestream of the lecture by Javier Rodrigo and Aida Sánchez de Serdio:

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The workshop aims at exploring strategies for collaborative research and work on the social through the construction of collective maps. It will focus on an expanded notion of mapping, one that does not focus on the ability of the map to reproduce or represent diverse layers of reality but on the performative power(s) of maps: what can we do with a map? What does the map do? In that sense, the maps to be produced should not only give a complex account of the relations at play in the situations we will be looking at, but manage to produce 'unexpected' results and effects.

Rather than bracketing off reality from attempts to document it, [...we] need to expand the narrative terrain in which all versions of events - including inferred and even fabricated forms of witnessing - operate in tension with one another to evolve new meanings and whose productive or disruptive potential can't be calculated in advance.

Susan Schuppli

Redistributing the narrative field by telling another version of a crucial myth is a major process in crafting new meanings. One version never replaces another, but the whole field is rearranged in interrelation among all the versions in tension with each other.

Donna Haraway

The workshop will develop analytical and interpretative strategies as well as fieldwork methodologies on the complexity of the social in order to articulate a critical gaze onto the spatial politics, ways of coexisting, and processes related to the making of the city. In this regard, the seminar will relate the challenges and working models of the politics of collaboration with the frictions, dissent, and conflicts arising from an understanding of political intervention in space fundamentally informed by an 'antagonist' perspective. Moreover, the workshop will also question and problematize the notions of urbanism and spatial design, as well as the role of the architect in relationship to new forms of collective research and work around the 'common/collective'.

During the week, we will present and discuss examples of collaborative and antagonist practices, proposing a specific working space/scenario in which the participants - organized in small working groups - will put in practice and further develop strategies and tools for collective research. At the end, groups should have produced a series of collective maps in/through which alternative modes of presentation/representation, speculation/projection and performance/transformation are rehearsed, in order to address the multiple problems and dimensions of the chosen situation, as well as the conflicts, relations and tensions at play, be them those belonging to the context of the intervention/research or be them those emerging within the group itself and its becoming.


Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín 

Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín is lecturer at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Barcelona where she teaches courses on Sociology of Art, Visual Culture, Art Education and Qualitative Research Methods. Her fields of specialisation are Visual Culture, Collaborative Art Practices, Arts Education, and Cultural Politics. Her PhD focused on the notion of relational politics and conflict in collaborative art projects. Her current research interests revolve around the work conditions of cultural workers, higher education in the arts ad culture fields, and visuality and politics of representation. She is coordinator and lecturer of the MA in Visual Arts and Education of the University of Barcelona. She is also member of the research group 'Esbrina, Contemporary Subjectivities and Learning Environments' at the University of Barcelona, with which she has carried out several research projects on the work conditions of higher education teachers and on migration, gender and education, often through visual research methods.  Besides her work at the University she has collaborated with several institutions and organizations such as La Virreina Centre de la Imatge (an art centre specialising on photography practices and cultural politics), TEB (an educational youth organisation), or Artibarri (a non-profit working with art for social change).


Javier Rodrigo Montero

Javier Rodrigo Montero is an art educator and researcher. Coordinator of the cultural and pedagogical project 'Transductores' in all its different international venues: Granada, Medellín, Quit. He has lectured and coordinated workshops in different universities, cultural centers and MA's internationally (Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, EEUU). Editor and writer of 'Desacuerdos6', 'Dialogical practices' and the two volumes of 'Transductores', as well as author of various articles and book chapters on cultural practices, collective pedagogies and political interventions. He is also a community worker in several projects about youth action research, critical mediation in museums and collective production. Partner with institutions like Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, MACBA, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miro, etc, Javier likes biking, slow food and overall slower politics and education.