The Research Matter works by combining the devices mentioned: Nine Seminars and Ten Critical Nodes. These thematic Seminars are planned annually and through monthly sessions lasting approximately three hours. The coordinators and initiators also make up a salient group of emerging researchers in their respective fields. They will define the schedule, lines of work and the objective of each Seminar. Although these Seminars and Nodes work independently, they cross over via common force lines, feeding into each other as they welcome participants from the Museo’s Study Programme and foster their involvement.

Forms of Culture

Research conducted around practices, processes, products and languages in collectively building formalizable knowledge from the philosophy of design and with TCC (Think+Construct+Communicate) methodologies. Work which fosters an emancipatory and collective participation design by way of minimum reproducible devices is at the heart of this Seminar’s concerns. Coordinated by Pablo Jarauta (European Institute of Design), this group of researchers and designers will focus on the projective study of forms in the cultural sphere.

Literature and Social Imagination

The focal point of this Seminar is literature, socially and historically situated, as conflicting production. From such premises, literary forms are understood not simply as spaces of representation but as laboratories serving political imagination and the collective desires of an era. Therefore, literature as an interposed construction from different institutions, and from literary history, demonstrates its importance in fights for legitimacy and collective participation. The Seminar is set in motion by David Becerra, Raquel Arias and Carolina Fernández Cordero (philologists from the Autonomous University of Madrid, UAM).

Language, Power and Capital

A field of educational knowledge in which the conflictive intersections between language, institutions and speakers are found, and where language is a common good in perpetual dispute. Debates on political communication, new technology, neoliberalism, markets, norms, institutions, social change, culture wars and citizenship form the main lines of this Seminar conducted by Alberto Bruzos (Princeton University), Jorge Gaupp (Museo Reina Sofía), Luisa Martín Rojo (UAM) and Laura Villa (UAM).

Radical History

The focus here is the study of collective relationships with the past. Its landscape bears witness to forms of producing, disputing and sharing history in the context of the Spanish State, with its collapses, erasures and utopias. A critical vocation, with disciplinary challenges and political conversation, turns historiographic work into a dispute on the limits, origins and meanings of historical experience and collective agency, from an understanding of categories and archives through the expression of the future potency of pasts to be shared. The Seminar is articulated by historians Juan Andrade (Complutense University of Madrid, UCM), Carme Bernat (University of Valencia, UVA), Xavier Domènech (Autonomous University of Barcelona, UAB), Mónica Moreno (University of Alicante) and Pedro Oliver (University of Castilla La Mancha, UCLM).

Necropolitics, Aesthetics and Memory

A study of the historical links between aesthetics, resistance and political violence. The Seminar is organised in a dialogue with other research projects: the main one, coordinated by Oier Etxeberria (Tabakalera), Ana Teixeira Pinto (Universität der Künste, Berlin, Leuphana University, Lüneburg) and Germán Labrador (Museo Reina Sofía), accompanies the exhibition Evil Eye. A Parallel History of Optics and Ballistcs (Tabakalera) and centres on the study of technology and aesthetics in relation to colonialism, from the origins of drone perspectives. On the basis of this and other investigations under way (in the sphere of memory studies), the Seminar interrogates citizen forms of testimony, resistance and care confronting the history of modernity as an extractive alliance between states, elites and markets.

Iberian Cultural Studies

The aim of this Seminar is to conduct work around the confluence between cultural history and art and literary studies to consider the possibilities, methodologies and challenges of situated cultural studies. Therefore, it welcomes diverse research projects already under way which interrogate the intersections between work, gender, class, culture, utopia and community in Iberian contexts and beyond their limits. The complex relations between aesthetics and history, between politics and culture, citizenship and democracy, will be at the heart of these discussions. This space under construction is coordinated Germán Labrador (Museo Reina Sofía), María Rosón (UCM), Maite Garbayo (University of Barcelona, UB), Julia Ramírez (UB), Jaume Peris (UV) and María Ruido (UB), among others.

Black Iberian Studies

This proposal from Radio África seeks to blur the social imaginaries which have shaped Blackness in the Spanish State, questioning and fracturing grammars, stereotypes and the secular dehumanisation of the Black subject. At the present time, in awakening Blackness, there is the overriding need to incorporate new narratives in the public sphere. The absence of a reflection on Black presence and its resistance in Iberian spaces speaks of collective and institutional amnesia, when not complicit in racial capitalism and slave and colonial history. The plurality of the Black experience, inside and outside the territory of the archive, contrasts with its silence in the historical construction of Iberian States. Opposite this, there is a search for Blackness in material and oral archives, in historiography, the visual arts, literature, music and in popular culture to create a written and visual narrative allowing for the re-evaluation of its cultural contribution and the recognition and empowerment of Africans and people of African descent in the Spanish State. Tania Safura Adam, Edileny Tome da Mata, Kira Bermúdez and the research team from the Black Spain project will lead this pathway towards Blackness in the form of collective and situated research.

Rethinking the Museum

This questions the practice of the museum institution as an ideological and political device. The museum, and in particular the art museum, has historically been an affirmative space, a certain kind of narration, a certain type of practice and practitioner, and so on. Yet, far from its unequivocal operation, the museum is run in constituent ambivalence: between an organisation of hegemonic thought and a production space of other knowledge, multiple narratives and the experimentation of the Commons, configuring a unique space of human and non-human co-existence. It raises the questions: How does the institution abandon its affirmative place to work from interrogative frameworks? What institutional practice can be put forward in re-shaping the museum device, so determined historically and administratively? In short, can the museum evolve into a “sympoetic” organisation? Coordinated by Claudia Delso and Mabel Tapia (Museo Reina Sofía).

Research and Artistic Practice

A collective reflection on the forms of artistic production from the logics of research and the analysis of the intersection between aesthetics, advanced research and creative practices. The study of a repertoire of trajectories in which the relationship between research, academia and creative logics becomes structural in artistic formalisation, allowing for investigations from the relationships between research and creation in transfers, alliances and uniqueness. The Seminar is coordinated by the artists Matteo Locci and Patricia Esquivias.