How can we learn something that does not yet exist?

Lecture and workshop by Nora Sternfeld

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

November 23, 2019, 11 am – 2 pm,, Beskydská 12 Bratislava

How can we learn something that does not yet exist?

On the one hand, it sounds paradoxical – learning as a dominant technique usually comes after the fact; transmitting already existing knowledge it is seen as a verifiable and predictable practice. But on the other hand, isn’t learning actually just that: learning in advance?

Political learning always understood itself as a process working towards another possibility; political education always involved learning to understand power relations in order to change them; to learn to understand them in such a way that they could perhaps only be understood in a different world; a world our current reality might more closely resemble as a result. In turn, this can’t be achieved alone and is only conceivable through a collective process of self-transformation.

Following an introductory talk, the seminar is to be run as a workshop in which we consider together a possible future for educational, curatorial and para-institutional practices. We could reflect on approaches that use curatorial practice, art education, radical pedagogy, situated knowledge and public art to explore a world that does not yet exist. Two examples for discussion could be the Museum of Burning Questions and the Partisan Café, both of which were part of the freethought infrastructure project at Bergen Assembly 2016. And we could relate all this to the main questions of the Hidden Curriculum exhibition in tranzit, situating radical education between an emancipatory and „hidden curriculum“ on the one hand and the economisation of education as much as of the „radical“ on the other. Where do we stand when we find ourselves at the intersection of emancipation and economisation? And how can we take a stance from which we can imagine another possible future?

Nora Sternfeld is an art educator and curator. Since January 2018 she has been documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. From 2012 to 2018 she was professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki. In addition, she is: co-director of the /ecm – Master Program in Exhibition Theory and Practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna; part of the core team of schnittpunkt. ausstellungstheorie & praxis; a co-founder and member of trafo.K, Office for Art, Education and Critical Knowledge Production (Vienna); and since 2011, a member of freethought, a platform for research, education, and production (London). In this capacity she was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2016. She publishes on contemporary art, exhibitions, politics of history, educational theory, and anti-racism.

Start time: 11 am. November 23, 2019

11.00-11.45 Introduction and input by Nora Sternfeld
12.00-12.30 Encounter with the projects of the Hidden Curriculum exhibition
12.30-13.00 Lunch break
13.00-14.00 Discussion of the Partisan Café Manifesto

The seminar and workshop will be conducted in English. A small free lunch is included for participants.

Participation is free of charge. To participate, please register at by November 21st!

In the registration please briefly describe your field of interest.

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit. Supported using public funding by the Slovak Arts Council.

PIC: Es Baluard