How I Would Gaze in Wonder. Imagination and Ordinary Beauty

Sociología Ordinaria Encounters #12

Friday, 24, and Saturday, 25 May 2024 - Check programme

Free, until full capacity is reached

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200, and online platform
200 people
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía and the research group  Sociología Ordinaria - Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
Dara Birnbaum, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978–1979. Museo Reina Sofía
Dara Birnbaum, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978–1979. Museo Reina Sofía

How I Would Gaze in Wonder. Imagination and Ordinary Beauty is the title of a new encounter by Sociología Ordinaria, a transdisciplinary research group that explores the daily knowledge deemed ordinary, superficial or frivolous from a traditional academic and intellectual viewpoint. This fresh edition looks to address the power of imagination in daily life, beauty as method and imaginative methodologies to invoke futures that are already here and pasts still to be discovered.

In a world shaped by uncertainty and damaging forms of vulnerability, imagination allows us at once to conceive of hopeful futures and endows us with the necessary creativity and innovation to make these visions a reality. It drives us to think unconventionally, to escape the “waffling” of pre-conceived ideas and the opinionated, stereotypical “in-law” to challenge and disregard the whole “that’s the way it goes; it is what it is” and search for other orientations outside established norms.

Furthermore, the premise that beauty can be a method is indebted to Afro-American academics and writers Christina Sharpe and Saidiya Hartman and their studies on racism, slavery and colonisation. For both, aesthetics and perception embody powerful tools for resistance, healing and transformation amid oppression and trauma. Thus, beauty as a method entails a reconceptualization of aesthetics as a form of resistance to violence and dehumanisation.

This activity’s programme is, therefore, articulated from a selection of proposals received through an open call from the Complutense University of Madrid. It aims to provide an open and diverse space with the capacity to welcome transdisciplinary interventions that combine different vital styles, formats, generations and situations.

Sociología Ordinaria is a research group from the Complutense University of Madrid’s (UCM) Sociology Department. Formed in 2011, its concerns revolve around developing new research and teaching methodologies that enable sociological imagination to be applied to contemporary daily life. The group seeks to place value on the dense socio-political roots of the ordinary, an aspect which is often indiscernible in predominant academic analysis. Under the slogan “learning from the banal, the frivolous and the superficial”, its members look to render an account of the complexity and power relations underlying such diverse social and cultural phenomena as the use of dating apps, language around COVID-19, the world of the cuplé, reality shows, pyjama parties, popstars, TikTokers and club culture.


Friday, 24 May 2024

Ways of Making – The Materialities of Imagination

10am Ordinary Presentation

10:30am Doodles: Imagination and Charcoal

For a Monumental Imagination. Exercises in Blurring and Memory

— Conducted by Carla Boserman Romero

Shoddy Pictures, Doodles, Smudges and Other Meaningless Ways of Imagining

— Conducted by Ignacio Tejedor

11:30am Coffee with Posters I

The Artificial Body: Re-imagining the Possibilities of Aesthetic Intervention

— Conducted by Lucía García Fernández

The Strength of Imagination in Virtual Spaces: Door to a Universe of Shared Meaning in the Slash World

— Conducted by Ana Leirós Vilas

The Visibility of (Extra)ordinary Death: Notes on Artistic and Therapeutic Writing in the Mutual Support Groups of Suicide Survivors

— Conducted by Andy Eric Castillo Patton

Sticking, Sewing, Chatting: Radical Imagination to Inhabit the Neoliberal City

— Conducted by Pablo Alonso García, Cristina Briongos Garcés, Candela Castillo Crespi, Iván Gallardo Esclapez, Saioa Marrón Pérez, Biel Navarro López

12:30pm Listening, Writing, Mapping

Listening to Pink Floyd as a Space of Health

— Conducted by Rebeca González

“Writing is to inhabit a parallel, imagining is to explore it”. Speculative Methodologies for the Study of Pain

— Conducted by Dresda Emma Méndez de la Brena

Mapping Bodies-Territories. Towards New Imagined Worlds

— Conducted by Valeska Morales Urbina

1:45pm Break

4pm Back to the Future: Times of Imagination

Manual of Chronodiversity: Imagining Other Times

— Conducted by the Institute of Suspended Time (Raquel Friera and Javier Bassas)

Archive of External Memories. The Extension and Resignification of Ordinary Experience

— Conducted by Youssef Taki

5pm We Need to Talk: Materials of Academic Extractivism

What You Do to Me Is Not Nice. Notes on Academic Extractivism Carried Out by a Subject of Study

— Conducted by Fernando Balius

6pm Sound Imaginations (and Apparitions)

An Electronic Kitchen: Re-imagining the Domestic

— Conducted by Helena Mariño and Enri La Forêt

Beyond Sociology. “Meta-lecture” by Jesús Ibáñez

— Conducted by Informe

Saturday, 25 May 2024

Ordinary Imagination for Another City

10am Everything Sends Me Round and Round

Tell Me Where You Drink and I’ll Tell You Who You Are. Bar/Pubbing Aesthetics and Politics

— Conducted by Francisco Javier Rueda Córdoba

Round and Round the Roundabout: Urban Pathologies on the Outskirts

— Conducted by Manuel Padín Fernández

11am R/existences

If a Lesbian History Barely Exists, Do I? Representations of Lesbian Identity in Spanish Urban Space in the 1980s and 1990s

— Conducted by Catarina Botelho

Imagining to R/exist: Collective Experiences of Activist Sex Workers

— Conducted by Ana Rosa B. Gonçalves

12pm Coffee with Posters II

I’ve Dug my Trench on Calle Ferraz. Accounts of Extreme-right Demonstrations in Spain

— Conducted by Sofía Gómez Ramírez


— Conducted by Maca8

Imagination in Daily Displacements

— Conducted by Alessandra Coppari

Migrant Seeds: Re-imagining the Connection with the Earth that Nourishes Us

— Conducted by Karen Rodríguez Campos

1pm Imaginations for Eco-Social Emergencies

How Much Forest Is There in Your Neighbourhood?

— Conducted by Manuel Cabrera de Diego

Phantasia on the Edge: Disruption, Absence and Time

— Conducted by Víctor Alonso Rocafort

Cultural Studies of Imagination (and Beauty)

4pm Pop-imagination

And if We… Talk About Science Fiction? Collective Imagination to Transform Reality

— Conducted by Elisabeth Méndez Pérez and Octavio Barajas Torrubias

Sad Boys: Representations and Paradoxes of a New Masculinity

— Conducted by Paula Jiménez Argumosa

Exploring the Tittle-Tattle: The Ins and Outs of the Sálvame Community on Twitter/X

— Conducted by Mikel de Aralar Armendariz, Ignacio Ceinos and Teresa Martínez

5:30pm Imagination on the Dance floor

Flowers in the Hair. Dancing Music and Ritual Performances as Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet

— Conducted by Antonio Girón

Tuttipari in Granada: Music and Performativity to Construct Otherness in Andalusian Electronic Club Culture

— Conducted by Miguel Ángel Bonilla Rodilla

6:30pm Barely Spoken: Writing and Beauty

Textual Rituals of Beauty: The Academic Doesn’t Divest Itself of the Coquettish

— Conducted by Sopa Sólida (Selina Blasco, Gloria G. Durán and Javier Pérez Iglesias)

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