[AND LAB & MODUS OPERANDI AND]
The AND Lab | Research Centre for Art-Thinking & Politics of Togetherness is a practice-based platform dedicated to the transmission and other ways of sharing Modus Operandi AND (MO_AND), as well as to its applications and continuous unfolding. MO_AND is a methodology, created by anthropologist and Brazilian artist Fernanda Eugenio, concerned with an ethical-aesthetic, political and experimental investigation of relations and reciprocity.
Of transversal applicability, ranging from the daily handling of living-together to collaborative creation, from artistic practices to care practices; from the work of mediation to the work of intervention, from the cartography of individual affects to the struggles for transformation and social justice, MO_AND can be summarized in a threefold procedure: Re-parar, Reparagem and Reparação (three dimensions that are embedded in the Portuguese word Reparar - stopping-again, noticing, repairing/taking care of). Part of what makes MO_AND at the same time singular and broad is the commitment to perform the concepts, turning them into tools and returning them to a very direct and grounded/situated use.
The connective AND gives name both to the Research Centre and the modus operandi, synthesizing an approach that is based neither on knowing (the logic of IS) nor finding (the logic of OR) but in flavour and the encounter (the logic of AND).
Based in Lisbon (Portugal) with clusters in Madrid (Spain) and Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Brazil), AND Lab offers a manifold and geographically distributed programme - predominantly between Europe and South America -, comprehending three dimensions: research-creation, transmission-sharing and care-monitoring.
The Research and Creation Programme comprises different lines of research and collaborative projects, as well as the work of constant conceptual (re)invention and the creation of varied artefacts and interfaces for the presentation of MO_AND (publications, performances and events such as exhibitions, occupations and thematic cycles). The programme gathers together associated researchers and direct collaborators, but it is also open to visiting researchers (either researchers who investigate MO_AND or researchers and creators investigating other fields of inquiry just as long as they are committed to the matter of the Common).
The Sharing and Transmission Programme covers a number of regular training activities - schools, laboratories and workshops -, open to participation to anyone who wants to join us, also periodically providing gathering opportunities for continued practice, conversation and exchange of procedures.
The Monitoring and Care Programme offers several possibilities for an individualized relationship with MO_AND: assisted residences and consulting; individual sessions accompanying processes of different sorts; the training process for certified mediators of MO_AND - every case being a singular trajectory that encompasses a long period following the work.
Common ground for the collaborative investigation converging art and thinking, theory and practice, modes of existence and modes of creation, AND Lab operates in the encounter between two transversal concerns: how to live together? and how not to have an idea?, the two questions that epitomize the inhabited philosophy of MO_AND.
MODUS OPERANDI AND
The Modus Operandi AND (MO_AND) consists of an ethic of Re-parar, Reparagem and Reparação [three modulations of Reparar - stopping-again, noticing and repairing/taking care of], systematized in a set of concept-tools and proposition-games that facilitate:
the direct and experiential investigation of the workings of the Event and Relation;
the explicitness of emergence and sustainability modes for metastable common events;
awareness of the contingent-impermanent conditions of possibility of each encounter and of the political consequences of individual and/or collective positions;
the refinement of abilities such as the non-hierarchical distribution of attention and the (re)inventory-trajectory of the possible, simultaneously in the plane of self-observation and in the plane of mapping the surrounding situation;
training the capacity to be sensible and receptive to difference and the unpredictable/accidental, as well as training abilities of timely/suitable compearance, situated decision-making and dissensual collaboration;
the transference of protagonism from the subject to the event, that is, the co(m)passionate practice of presence;
the exercise of a consistent articulation between self-care and care of the environment and between speech/discourse and its concretization;
the exploratory attendance of dissensual dispositions, subjective and relational, for the intimate and social performance of affects, by means of researching alternatives to identity models and pre-defined and hierarchical scripts.
This system, conceived and developed by the artist and anthropologist Fernanda Eugenio, is a living and on-going investigation, constantly shifting by way of confronting its conceptual dimension with its practice/use.
Throughout the years, from the 2000s onwards, Fernanda Eugenio has designated the research in different ways until it stabilized as Modus Operandi AND. Its distinctive character resides in the strength, consistency and singularity of the original conceptual framework that underlies the performative vocabulary through which MO_AND is recognized.
Some of the concept-tools and proposition-games created by Fernanda Eugenio are:
the threefold modulation of reparar: re-parar, reparagem, reparação;
the threefold modulation of position: dis-position, co(m)position-co [in Portuguese (com)posição-com, a play with composition, using the fact that ‘com’ means ‘with’ here implied in the ‘co’ of co-position] and re-position
the politics of togetherness: Modus Operandi IS, Modus Operandi OR and Modus Operandi AND;
the question game WHAT-HOW-WHEN-WHERE
the game of description-circumscription and formulation-performance This-It-This [Isto-Isso-Isto];
the position-taking diagram Open-Explicit;
concepts/neologisms such as secalharidade (mayhapness), co-passionamento (co(m)passionment) and pensacção (thinking-doing);
word-games and tension-relations such as: Decision/De-scission, Flavour/Knowledge, Manipulation/Handling, Fragmentation/Defragmentation, Efficiency/Sufficiency Coherence/Consistency, Justice/Justness, Relevance/Relief, Constrain/Condition, Rigidity/Rigor, Representation/Presentation, Interpretation/Circumscription, Implication/Explanation, Implicit/Explicit, Exhibition/Exposure, Appearance/Compearance, Meaning/Direction, Certainty/Trust, Necessity/Precision, (In)dependence/Autonomy.
The MO_AND relies on the activation of the (counter)dispositif of a non-competitive game with immanent rules that works as a means for the provisional delimitation of a zone of collective attention, as an accident simulator and as a propitiator of inside-outside simultaneity. The use of a frame - the board game – allows for the installation of ‘worlds within the world’ and the exploration of different scales of minimization/ maximization of the (in) visible, as well as of reduction/augmentation of space and time, stimulating the development of a fractal sensibility, meticulous and attentive to the relational modulations of reciprocity (just middle between complementarity and symmetry) and sufficiency (just middle between efficiency and abandonment).
The MO_AND is a transversal practice without prerequisites, shared through workshops, schools and laboratories, open to the participation of whoever is interested in studying, experientially, the (micro) politics implicated in the operability and sustainability of living-together, as well as to practicing 'creativity' in terms other than usual: displaced from a self-centred posture, expanded into divergent inventiveness, ethically committed to justness.
The laboratorial experimentation of the fractalization of perception, coupled with the ethics proposed by MO_AND, has concrete effects on behaviour, promoting a significant decrease in reactivity and judgment, a corresponding increase in autonomy and openness, and a tendency towards attunement between individual affects and collective events. With practice, these effects can be transposed into daily life and infiltrate the ways of being and creating-doing, leading to sensitive repositioning, both subjective and social.
HISTORY & TRAJECTORY
The AND Lab and the Modus Operandi AND, as structured today, emerged as a consequence of Fernanda Eugenio's extensive research since the beginning of the 2000s, marked by intensive collaborations, displacements and deviations, between strict academic research and a singular and increasingly undisciplined investigation of the artistic and political uses of ethnography as a circumscriptive-performative tool.
This on-going research has been synthesized in different ways and with different names throughout the years - System IS-OR-AND, Mode of Life AND, Reciprocal Ethnography, Ethnography as Situated Performance, Reprogramme, Reparagem, Pensacção – until it stabilized in the current terminology Modus Operandi AND, which emerged during the collaboration with the Portuguese choreographer João Fiadeiro.
The first formulation of Modus Operandi AND dates back from 2002 and the period (2002-2006) Fernanda Eugenio was working on her doctorate in anthropology, at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The proximity with the field of performative arts that followed and, also, the continuous confirmation of AND as a set of tools with transversal use has led to the emergence of a vast network of collaborators and interlocutors. Without prejudice to the relationship with artistic practices (visual and performative) and performance studies, other possibilities gained ground, such as intersections with care practices and mediation in psychology (in particular transdisciplinary and territory clinic), pedagogy, social service and education service in museums and cultural centres, as well as activism, architecture and tactical urbanism. There have been other prolific conversations and applications of the Modus Operandi AND in areas as diverse as computing, agriculture, food or neurosciences.
The long-term collaboration between Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro begun in 2009, initially materialised through occasional initiatives between Brazil and Portugal and later formalized as a project produced by Real, with the support of DGArtes (2011-2014). Between 2011 and 2012, AND Lab was mainly a research project: simultaneously a postdoctoral project in Anthropology carried out by Fernanda Eugenio at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and an initiative in collaboration with Real. At that time, João Fiadeiro had suspended his work as an author, hosting this laboratory of reciprocal ethnography proposed by Fernanda Eugenio, where the ethical approach of AND was placed in systematic conversation with Real Time Composition (RTC), a method developed by the choreographer since the 90s.
The lecture-performances Secalharidade (2012) and The Game of Questions (2013) belong to this period and sought to synthesize the inhabited philosophy of Modus Operandi AND. Those years were of intensive experimentation, during which the prevailing conviction was that both tools – MO_AND and RTC - could together form a single set of practices. In March 2013, still in this framework, Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro founded AND Lab as a research centre: no longer just a project, AND Lab was now a place. It was based at Atelier Real, in Lisbon – also seat of João Fiadeiro´s company Real.
However, during 2013 and even more so 2014, the differences between the MO_AND and RTC became more evident, especially with the return of João Fiadeiro to an authorial choreographic work. The Modus Operandi confirmed its inclination towards a transversal and pronounced political use, committed to an everyday ethical practice. Real Time Composition rediscovered its place mainly as a tool of choreographic composition and author’s methodology.
The gradual return of João Fiadeiro to the stage gave visibility to the aesthetic prerogative of RTC, making explicit how much it involves a privileged type of body (fast, ready and without memory) and how much it is informed by the choreographer's imagery. Modus Operandi AND is consolidated as ethical approach and way of living – aesthetics being, always and only, consequence of ethics -, a set of tools for collective use, open to every matter or body. Although pertinent to artistic practice, MO_AND is committed to its applicability in the plane of the micro-politics of reciprocity that sustain (the) common life.
The intensive use and the interlocutors who came together around the two practices helped to clarify these differences. The time of collaboration between the two ceased but the recognition of the richness that this period brought to both researches has been preserved. Some procedures are shared, even today, including the board game, even if by giving them a different use. Part of the current vocabulary used by João Fiadeiro in RTC has also been fuelled by AND philosophy.
From 2015, under the direction of Fernanda Eugenio, AND Lab became itinerant: it left Atelier Real and was welcomed by different structures in the city of Lisbon. Between mid-2015 and mid-2016, it came to a formal existence as cultural association. Currently, most of its activities in Portugal are carried out in the premises of Polo Cultural das Gaivotas, in addition to three local clusters of AND Lab in Brazil - Curitiba (since November 2017), Rio de Janeiro (since January 2018) and São Paulo (since August 2018) and one in Spain - Madrid (since June 2018). The transversal inclination of the ever-growing network of AND Lab and MO_AND interlocutors has been reinforced as it encompasses diverse projects and initiatives also spreading geographically among Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.
TEAM & STRUCTURE (BASE & CLUSTERS)
CONCEPTION, DIRECTION & ARTISTIC DIRECTION
PLANNING, COMMUNICATION & DESIGN
There are three clusters of continuous practice of Modus Operandi AND in Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba) and one in Spain (Madrid). These local clusters add to several study groups that have emerged by initiative of MO_AND practitioners in recent years in different geographic locations. The proposition is to maintain, throughout the year, a regular space of meeting, sharing, discussing and practicing around the tools of Modus Operandi AND. Besides sustaining this regular and extensive meeting space, the commitment is also to carry out an intensive season per year, consisting of workshops, residencies, presentations and a summer laboratory, with the presence of Fernanda Eugenio and close collaborators, as well as local collaborators and other interlocutors.
AND LAB SÃO PAULO (BRAZIL): e-mail
COORDINATION: Samuel Sardinha