INTRA-ACTION. An intra-sectional approach to the design of possible, probable and preferable futures

INTRA-ACCION is an international Symposium that will take place on October 18 and 19, 2024 at EINA, Barcelona University Center of Design and Art, center attached to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and is organized by the Research Group in Aesthetics and Theory of Design and Art (GRETDA) of EINA and programmed as one of the activities of the project Replications of Artistic Research to the Historical Crisis (RIACHi) of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

The symposium is open to all and all activities are free of charge.

The full programme of the symposium will be available for download from 30 July.

The objective of INTRA-ACCION is to address and analyze the different agencies, both material and social, that are being configured in the practices of art, criticism, and design, as an act of consciousness and responsibility in and towards the design of possible, probable and preferable futures.

To do so, and given the location of EINA - the symposium's holding center - at the foot of the Collserola Natural Park, the event will deploy a series of performative practices, theoretical reflections, speculative exhibition formats and round tables that will revolve around the analysis of urban and peri-urban ecosystems of great biological and cultural wealth. Here, particular attention will be payed to the problem of water scarcity, and how to activate human responsibilities, or respons-habilities, from art and design to promote the flourishing of a human, but not only, future.

Starting from the concept of intra-action introduced by Karen Barad, an author committed to Science, Technology and Gender studies, allows the symposium framework to present and situate itself in the practice of futures’ speculation and design from what Barad describes as a posthumanist performativity (Barad, 2006). The symposium invites to think that which is collective or communitarian from a situational science that is not reduced to an epistemological approach, but demands, in itself, multi-agential relationalities to face an unprecedented emergency.

INTRA-ACCION is thereafter a meeting point open to all citizens, with free and open access, in which, through different presentation formats, we would like to open and train the necessary environmental awareness, and the eco-social transformation, which is required in the face of a multisystemic crisis in need of new forms of material imagination capable of displacing the constant apocalyptic images of the end of the world.

Divided into a 2-day program, the symposium will feature 3 guest speakers: the philosopher and professor Gerard Vilar (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), the designer and researcher Pablo Calderón Salazar (IE Universidad) and the director of EINA Obra Pilar Cortada, co-founder of LAB Collserola, a platform for research and production in art and design, the theme of which this year 2024 has revolved around water as an essential and scarce resource in the Collserola Natural Park, organizing activities that emphasize the relevance of ponds in the Collserola Park, habitats characterized by their vulnerability and scarcity.

These 3 presentations will be accompanied by presentations of communications by researchers in art and design such as Yvon Bonenfant (University College Cork), Silvia Zayas (University of Castilla la Mancha), Eva Bru-Domínguez (University College Dublin) or Patrícia J. Reyes and Stefanie Wuschitz (New Jörg Studio, Vienna) among others.

At the same time, these presentations will be intertwined with hybrid forms of research and performative presentation such as those used by the researcher and artist María García Ruiz (EINA, Barcelona), the artist Ariadna Parreu Alberich (EINA, Barcelona) or Vanessa Farfan (Bauhaus University, Wiemar) that will allow to open an ontologically intra-disciplinary challenge: involve knowledge from the humanities, physics, social sciences, technology, ancestral knowledge, art and/or design, among others, to explore the vibrational relativity of particles and the future conditions, the chain of links between a bacteria, a mountain and an autoimmune condition or the colonial organisms that inhabit cities like Barcelona or Mexico City and the role of water in mediating the design of habitable ecosystems.

The symposium will also be accompanied by exhibition formats such as the one presented by the artist Claudio Molina, among others, where asemic writings, as objects with multiple identities, will generate fertile ground for the assembly of disciplines within the process of transformation and where the creative process is organized in the construction and resignification of images to help accelerate the implementation and construction of a preferable future.

The methodological innovation of the symposium therefore lies in the application of Karen Barad's concept of intra-action in the field of design and the arts to address the design of a human, but not only, future.

Organising Committee

PhD. Lara García Díaz - Eina, Barcelona / Researcher at the Grupo de Estética y Teoría de las Artes (GRETDA) and part of the project Rèpliques de la Recerca Artística a la Crisi Històrica (RIACHi) of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

Scientific Committee

PhD. Tània Costa - Eina, Barcelona / Coordinator of the GRETDA research group / R+D Rèpliques de la Recerca Artística a la Crisi Històrica.

PhD. Jo Milne - Eina, Barcelona / Research areas: 'Invisible Structures' and 'The artist's book and the expanded print'.

PhD. Oriol Ventura - Universitat de Barcelona / Co-founder of Ovicuo Design BCN / Design Processes Research Group and head of the Teaching Innovation Area.

PhD. Enric Mas - Eina, Barcelona / Dr. in Fine Arts.

Pablo Calderón Salazar - IE Universidad, Segovia.