Things that Make Things

Developed by Blanca Callén
18 October, 2020 - 10:30 to 28 November, 2020 - 13:30

Developed by Blanca Callén
From 18 October to 28 November 2020

​ATTENTION: Registrations to participate in this program are closed. The new dates for the some of th activities that have been postponed during these weeks will be announced soon, and a registration email will be made available to participate. We will keep you informed.

Things that Make Things is a series of activities for all audiences that complements the exhibitions Things that Things Say, curated by Latitudes, and tone tongue mouth by Wendelien van Oldenborgh, curated by Anna Manubens. This programme, open to the public, aims to develop and tighten a more anthropological objectual approach, assuming a more relational, hybrid and post-human material agency. To do so, there are three lines of action: a weekly reading group that will work on texts about the ontology of objects; a series of crossings/dialogues between people from different disciplines who share an interest in the same type of objects; and a series of workshops and activities that will enable us to approach the becoming of objects, their conditions and characteristics, in a more experimental and corporeal manner.

Things that Make Things presents the agency, the capacity to act, not as exclusively human quality but as a distributed and heterogeneous property that is achieved through relationships of interdependence and cooperation among humans and non-humans, people and objects. The objects go from being considered passive bodies that are controlled by a human utilitarian will, to becoming co-agents in their own right, colleagues for action. Through three lines of action, the programme explores how to create forms of life (ethical, political, epistemic and aesthetic) that include the objects and material things as agents, colleagues and co-inhabitants of the ecosystems we are part of. ​

You can download the public program here: PDF icon Public Program -Things that Make Things.pdf​


Below you can see all the details about the lines of action and the activities included in the program:

Saying Things is a reading group, comprising five weekly lecture sessions, during which different ontological perspectives will be covered regarding objects. From the actor-network theory to new materialisms, or even animist perspectives, participants are invited to take part in a study group that, through the reading of textual objects provided by guest experts, will introduce these paradigms for imagining objectual co-existences.

Doing Things enables meetings and dialogues between people who investigate and create with/on/against/through different objects, to account for their effects on the world’s current structuring. Different objectual dimensions and typologies (technological/digital, organic/geologic, temporal/historic, artistic/material) will be covered, to explore how the world materially expresses itself through them – what can they say about the world? –, at the same time they actually create that world – what life forms do they make possible or hinder?

Becoming Things triggers different experiences that take us closer to the intimate, quotidian and corporal co-existence with objects we mutually rely on each day, removing the anthropocentric borders that divide us into subjects (humans) and objects (non-humans). Through a series of practical and experimental workshops-actions, we will try to act with and from the place of the objects to move a little closer to the radical experience of becoming them.



Reading group organised into five reading sessions on philosophical perspectives around objectual and material ontology.

Duration: 2 hours

Tuesdays from 18.30 to 20.30. Floor 3.

Session 1 (27 October): The Politics of Things or “Society Made to Last”

Facilitated by Blanca Callén, researcher and professor (UVIC/UOC/Elisava)

Reading courtesy of GEDISA: Winner, Langdon. ¿Tienen política los artefactos? (Do Artifacts Have Politics?). In: La ballena y el reactor. Barcelona: Gedisa Editorial, 1986, p. 45.

Session 2 (3 November): Objects and Events: Actor-Network Theory​

Reading: Tirado, Francisco; Domènech, Miquel. Asociaciones heterogéneas y actantes: el giro postsocial de la teoría del actor-red. (Heterogeneous and Actant Associations: the post-social shift of the actor-network theory). AIBR. Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, noviembre-diciembre (2005), p. 0. 

Session 3 (10 November): Objectual Ecology and Speculative Animism.

Facilitated by Mafe Moscoso (BAU) and Blanca Callén (UVIC/UOC/Elisava)

Reading: Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo. Lo que pretendemos es desarrollar conexiones transversales. (Our Aim is to Develop Transversal Connections). In: La mirada del jaguar: introducción al perspectivismo amerindio. Buenos Aires: Tinta Limón, 2013, pp. 129-159. 

Session 4 (17 November): New Materialisms, Post-Humanisms and OOO​

Facilitated by Laura Benítez (Escola Massana, HANGAR)

Reading: Dolphijn, Rick; Van der Tuin, Iris. «The Transversality of New Materialism». En: New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Michigan: Open Humanities Press, 2012, pp. 93-114. 

Session 5 (24 November): Agential Realism and Feminist Materialisms ​

Facilitated by Jara Rocha, independent researcher

Reading 1: Dolphijn, Rick; Van der Tuin, Iris. Matter feels, converses, suffers, desires, yearns and remembers. Interview with Karen Barad. In: New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Michigan: Open Humanities Press, 2012. 

Reading 2: Rocha, Jara; Ubieto, Nerea. Preguntándonos con Karen Barad: urgencias curatoriales. (Asking Ourselves with Karen Barad: Curatorial Emergencies). In: ¿Qué escuchaste?. Grupo de investigación en torno al comisariado «Conversación abierta» (eds.). Madrid: Comunidad de Madrid, 2019, pp. 18-35. 


Meetings on the ethical-political implications of objects and the materialisation of the present and possible orders of life.

Duration: 2 hours

Tuesdays from 18.30 to 20.30. Floor 3. (Except Crossing 1, which will be held on Sunday at Ground Floor of Fàbrica de Creació.)

Meetings documented using relatogramas (visual narratives) by Carla Boserman.

Crossing 1 (18 October): Technological Objects / Robots and Algorithms: a dialogue between Fieke Jansen and Jara Rocha+Joana Moll

* In collaboration with Barcelona’s Biennial of Thought

Presentation of the work by artists and researchers Jara Rocha and Joana Moll, in dialogue with the analysis that both they and Fieke Jansen have developed on the role that technological, algorithmic and artificial intelligence objects play in the contemporary global, intimate and corporal political order and on the possible resistance practices.

Jara Rocha: cultural mediator, researcher and independent curator. Her fields of research are related to the semiotic and materialities of present cultures, from humanities to free culture. Among others, she collaborates and exchanges on technocolonialism with Joana Moll.

Joana Moll: artist and researcher, whose work critically explores the form in which post-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetisation of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her research fields include the environmental impact of communication technologies, internet infrastructures, surveillance and language.

Fieke Jansen: PhD researcher at Cardiff University’s Data Justice Lab. Her interests lie in the re-politicisation of data and technology in the European political, cultural and social-historical context. Her research looks at the impact of the implementation of decisions based on data by the European police on marginalised communities.

Crossing 2 (29 October): Temporal Objects / Postcards and Memory: a dialogue between María Rosón and Oriol Vilanova

Presentation of the artistic work of Oriol Vilanova, who, through the collection of postcards, organises taxonomies of what is worth remembering and putting into circulation, in dialogue with a social-historical analysis of Franco’s Regime by feminist historian María Rosón, through everyday objects that appear in photographs from the period.

Oriol Vilanova: an artist interested in the political construction mechanisms of history and opinion, who has covered subjects such as success and triumph, museums as a disused exhibition space, icons of the past and the rewriting of history through artwork, on many occasions, based on memory, documentation and image archives.

María Rosón: art historian, professor and post-doctoral researcher in Critical visualities: cultural ecologies and investigations of the common (UCM)​. Her research lines focus on visual and material culture, mainly from 20th-century Spain, on gender studies and on the construction of history, cultural memory and visual imagery.

Crossing 3 (12 November): (In)organic Objects / Mountains and Voices: a dialogue between Isaac Marrero and Paula Bruna

* In collaboration with the PhD Programme in Person and Society in the Contemporary World, UAB

Presentation of clips from the documentary Tindaya Variations, by Isaac Marrero, who researches the social-material controversy of the Tindaya Mountain (a sacred place, natural resource and monumental space), in dialogue with the artistic and environmental analyses of Paula Bruna regarding the role of “natural objects” and their political representation in the framework of the Anthropocene’s ecological crisis.

Isaac Marrero: anthropologist, professor and researcher at Goldsmiths’ Centre for Visual Anthropology, University of London. His work explores, ethnographically, the conflicts and controversies where activisms and diverse aesthetic practices break with what is given to open new possible conditions and recreate the political and epistemic agency.

Paula Bruna: environmentalist and artist, her research analyses the natural-cultural conflict between economic growth and the finitude and limitation of natural resources in a process of collapse. In her installations she represents and researches these issues, through visual poetry and in recent projects has looked at the anthropogenic narrative from non-human positions.

Crossing 4 (26 November): Artistic Objects / Material(itie)s and Aesthetics: a dialogue between Lúa Coderch and Lucía C. Pino

Based on the exhibition work Vida de O by Lúa Coderch and the works Torrent Echidna Attractor or Full Fantom Five, by Lucía C. Pino, a dialogue is proposed about the possibilities and implications of vitally and artistically activating ethical-political paradigms that unsettle the human subject (the artist) to recognise and re-establish hybrid and more horizontal relationalities with objects and matter, between humans and non-humans.

Lúa Coderch: artist, professor and researcher, whose work focuses on the superficial, aesthetic and phenomenological dimension of our lives in common and their latent philosophical and political implications, through a combination of narrative practices and objectual practices in videos, performances and installations that she configures as research devices.

Lucía C. Pino: artist, whose practice focuses on sculptural research through the study and relationship with texts, objects, materials, associations, behaviours... Her work reveals the dialectic tension between the subjectiveness and vitalism of things, which demonstrates their political incidence or interest, surpassing what is anthropological.


Workshops and experimental actions of approach, incorporation and intimate co-existence with everyday objects to explore their condition and material characteristics... until they become.

Duration: 3 hours

Saturdays from 10.30 to 13.30. Floor 3. (Except Action 1, which will be held on Sunday from 10.30 to 13.30)


Action facilitated by Mario Santamaría

Collective exploration of the physical infrastructure of the internet, halfway between a tourist route of what is not touristic, performance and profane illumination. Accompanied by a guide, participants will board a bus and, converted into a data package, will visit the places where our data lives are transformed and distributed.

Mario Santamaría: artist and researcher who analyses the contemporary observer, addressing two processes that configure them: representational practices and vision and mediation devices. His projects intervene in fields such as conflict, memory, virtuality and surveillance, through tactics such as appropriation, remake and installation.

Action 2 (24 October): KNOWING (WITH/FROM) THINGS

Workshop facilitated by Mafe Moscoso

An experimental ethnographic exercise that removes the focus from the cognitive human subject to adopt sensibilities, epistemic positions and everyday perceptive strategies of an objectual, non-human and peripheral character. What would it be like to know FROM a plant? Or THROUGH the furniture of a building? And WITH the objects that surround us? What possibilities of knowledge do these objectual points of view open up for us?

Mafe Moscoso: anthropologist, professor and cross-disciplinary researcher who combines writing, art and ethnography. Her projects cover, from an anti-racist and feminist position, memory and migrations, critical pedagogies, experimental methodologies and anti-colonial studies and practices.

Action 3 (31 October): MOVING (WITH/FROM) THINGS

Workshop facilitated by Lxsquecorrenporahi.

An exploratory exercise that uses the body and physical actions, leisure, camouflage, sound impros, real-time composition, listening strategies and regional dances, among other activities, together with material and spatial objects that populate the Fabra i Coats building, to tighten the limits and possibilities of the artistic and creative institution. How does Fabra i Coats behave and manifest itself, as an institution, through the use of its building and its protocols? How can we relate to it (or not)? 

Lxsquecorrenporahi: this is the name that a group of 18 bodies who study the subject Place and Action on the Art and Design course at Escola Massana has given itself. The group took part in a pilot test as residents at Fabra i Coats, where they developed their practices in Autumn 2019, together with Enric Farrés and Marc Vives.

8 May. 10:30 AM. Face-to-face activity.
​Celebration of the event initially scheduled for 11/14/2020 and subsequently canceled.

Restart Party facilitated by Restarters BCN.

An event where participants can learn to repair their own electric and electronic appliances with the help of volunteer repairers. In this way, we repair our connection with these objects, material knowledge that we have lost as users, our economy (by saving buying a new device), the environment (by not generating electronic waste) and the social fabric (by sharing space, knowledge and experiences).

Restarters BCN: an association that promotes alternatives to planned obsolescence and encourages the repairing culture and reappropriation of technological knowledge through the organisation and support for the self-organisation of restart parties in different neighbourhoods in Barcelona.


* In collaboration with Hamaca

Audio-visual creation workshop by Taller Estampa.

Artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines to learn, based on a huge number of examples. For example, they can identify what is in the images we share on networks. But, what do we know about this form of looking? Based on the use and knowledge of recognition tools for objects in images and of image generation neuron networks, we have created a critical pedagogy for artificial intelligence.

Taller Estampa: collective of makers, programmers and researchers who work from experimental audio-visual productions and digital environments. Their practice is based on a critical and archaeological approach to audio-visual technologies, the possibilities of interactive tools and experimental animation resources.

5 June. 10:30 AM. Face-to-face activity.
​Celebration of the event initially scheduled for 11/28/2020 and subsequently canceled.​

Workshop facilitated by the ENMEDIO Collective.

Creation of “disobedient” objects that enable social transformation and resistance acts WITH/THANKS TO/THROUGH “things” in the context of COVID-19, recognising the political agency of hybrid collectives of humans and non-humans. How, thanks to the creation and elaboration of certain objects, can we better resist (or transform) a social world called to distancing and isolation?

ENMEDIO: a group of image professionals (designers, photographers, filmmakers, artists) who, unsatisfied with the lack of connections between art and political action, decided to abandon their usual field of work and put themselves enmedio (in between), in no specific place and everywhere at the same time, from where they explore the transformative potential of images and narratives.


With the collaboration of:

Barcelona’s Biennial of Thought



PhD Programme in Person and Society in the Contemporary World, UAB



With the support of Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya