Broadcasting the archive #10

Alessandra Saviotti and Gemma Medina Estupiñan (Arte Útil)
03 Dec / 07 Dec, 2018
Cittadellarte, Biella
TOPICS/TAGS: Arte Útil, activism, usership, radical pedagogy, learning by doing

Broadcasting the archive aims to re-activate and mediate the Arte Útil's archive withins and beyond the museum context, developing a series of activities, programs, workshops and discussions hosted by different organizations. Starting from archive cards, sound and video documents, interviews, a lexicon of terms and so on, our objective is to break the physical walls of the institution through a call for action, becoming a source of inspiration both for a specialized public as well as a non-trained contemporary art audience.

During the workshop specifically conceived for UNIDEE, we will start analyzing some case studies in relation to the Arte Útil criteria, will discuss some terms from 'Toward a lexicon of usership' by Stephen Wright, and will experiment with different methodologies related to the idea of 'learning by doing' through physical exercises in the space.

Arte Útil roughly translates into English as 'useful art', but it proposes considering art as a tool or a device to be used in search for sustainable solutions to social change.

The notion of what constitutes Arte Útil has been developed via a set of criteria formulated by Tania Bruguera in collaboration with curators and researchers at Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Queens Museum (New York) and Grizedale Arts (Coniston).

At the core of the Asociacion de Arte Útil is an archive of almost 300 case studies that has been presented and activated by the member of the Asociacion through numerous workshops, exhibitions, and seminar throughout the world; it is accessible for free at



Monday December 3rd
Guided tour to Cittadellarte, Pistoletto and Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions.
Introduction to the Theorem of Trinamics, the symbol of the Third Paradise and the concept of Demopraxy.
Presentations who is who, introduction to Arte Útil and it's criteria. Exercize about the coeffiecient of art.

Tuesday December 4th

Introduction to key terms related to Arte Útil from 'Toward a lexicon of Usership' by Stephen Wright.
What does it mean collaboration? Exercise about 'Do and Don't' of Arte Útil.

Wednesday December 5th
Case studies: how to use them?
Exercise: what's your urgency? Is art the answer?

Thursday December 6th
Taking ownership: Students propose and activity to do.
Follow up discussion.

Friday December 7th
Use of the archive and the Asociacion de Arte Útil.
Assignments for the future.



The mentors will prepare a reader for participants with key texts and films, some of which will be discussed during the week. The reader will include pieces by authors, artists, curators and intellectuals, such as:

Stephen Wright, 'Toward a Lexicon of Usership', free at;
WochenKlausur, 'Let's talk about another Concept' 'After the turn: art education beyond the museum', Issue 24/December 2014;
Marina Garces, 'Honesty with the real', Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol.4, 2012;

Books (For further readings):
AA.VV., 'What's the Use? Constellation of Art, History and Knowledge: A Critical Reader'. Amsterdam: Valiz, 2016;
Paulo Freire, 'The Pedagogy of the oppressed'. New York and Lodnon: Continuum, 2015.



Gemma Medina Estupiñan (b.1975, Spain) is a curator and Art Historian (PhD). She is interested in the relationship between contemporary art and society, participating in processes that fall outside standard artistic discourse, and bringing art closer to the non-specialized audiences. She fosters connections and collaborative projects with artists, designers and communities as a medium to reflect on art practices and the art history. Since 2008, she has worked with the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, NL) in diverse experimental and speculative projects like "Be(com)ing Dutch" (2008), "Play Van Abbe" (2009) and "Artistic Strategies in Psychiatry" (2017). She was part of the curatorial team of "The Museum of Arte Útil" and since 2014, she is collaborating as curator and mediator for the Asociación de Arte Útil. In 2015 she joined The Umbrella, a collective of social designers and researchers focused on connecting communities through art and co-design.

The Mondriaan Fonds awarded her in 2015 for “Broadcasting the archive”, a project to emancipate the usership around the Arte Útil archive and for “Agents of Change” that faces the relation between the institution (Van Abbemuseum) with a network of art, social design and community projects in Eindhoven. Both ongoing projects have activated alternative forms of curatorial mediation, rethinking about the role of art and institutions, and how local constituencies can use them. In 2017, she was the facilitator of the Escuela de Arte Útil, at the YBCA, San Francisco (US) and, in 2018, she has coordinated the Escuela at MUAC, Mexico City (MX). She has been a guest lecturer at Design Academy in Eindhoven (NL); Universidad del País Vasco (SP); Iceland Academy of the Arts (IC); and Royal College of Art (UK), among others. She teaches at the ArtEZ - International Master Artist Educator in Arnhem (NL).

Alessandra Saviotti (b.1982, Italy) is a curator and organizer. Her focus is on the continuous interaction with artists. By relating constantly with them, she participates actively in the artistic process from the beginning to the end. Her work aims to realize projects where the public is actively involved as co-producer and ordinary space gains new value thanks to the temporary incursion of art. Her reflection is taking into consideration collaborative processes according to the motto ‘cooperation is better than competition’. She is a co-founder of the art collective Aspra.mente (2006), a group which focuses on the common definition of ‘work in progress’, seeking the contribution of operators in other fields than art for interdisciplinary projects that are free from time constraints.

She was part of the curatorial team of the 'Museum of Arte Útil' at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL) and since 2014 she has been collaborating with the Asociación de Arte Útil especially aiming at emancipating the usership around the Arte Útil Archive. In 2017 she was guest lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, San Francisco (US), and she was the coordinator of the Escuela de Arte Útil at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (US). She teaches at ArtEZ - International Master Artist Educator, Arnhem (NL).
Since 2007 has been working internationally in collaboration with several institutions such as SFMOMA (US), MAXXI, Rome (IT), Delfina Foundation, London (UK), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK), Visible Project (IT), Manifesta 7 (IT). She is a 2013-14 Jan van Eyck Akademie fellow, a 2015 Mondriaan Foundation grantee and a 2014 Demo Movin'Up grantee.


Applicants must submit their application by email to: stating “UNIDEE 2018 application (your name)” as a subject line.
Applicants must attach the following documents (up to 8 MB in total):
1 - the application form (DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM)
2 - a portrait photo of you (JPG format, max 2 Mb)
3 - a selected portfolio (max 3 projects, one single pdf, max 6 Mb)


* The residency fee includes accomodation and half-board service.


Participation fee
570.00 €