Le Printemps des Laboratoires is a shared research platform set up by the three co-directors of Les Laboratories d’Aubervilliers, Dora Garcia, Alexandra Baudelot and Mathilde Villeneuve.
Throughout the year, the platform brings together active audiences who are invited to share experiences and knowledge during reading workshops, seminars and various public events (film screenings, performances, discussions) programmed around a particular issue tied to art but stretching beyond the framework of art. The platform thus offers the possibility, from an artistic context, of undertaking a collective reflection on current social and political issues. It also provides an opportunity to establish transversal links between the various projects conducted by the resident artists at Les Laboratoires and, in this way, to develop a better grasp of the critical stakes connecting them.
The forth edition opened up a very broad field of inquiry that we plan to pursue further during this fifth edition of Les Printemps des Laboratoires. Under the theme Extra Sensory Perception, we have continued to develop our reflection via fortnightly reading workshops and a monthly seminar, Pratiques de soin et collectifs, along with various other public discussions and events. During these sessions, through readings, workshops and performances, we have sought to explore the ways in which society might find a place — politically, socially and legally — for heterogeneous, minor experiences. Via the notion of extra sensory perceptions we have been investigating the perceptions and conceptions of a multiple, sensible world, situated both beneath and beyond a rational approach. This entails a partial rethinking and reshaping of our everyday arrangements and of the categories that have hitherto structured our mental space, but it also involves going beyond the divide between the sensible and intelligible worlds, and between visible and invisible entities.
Revisiting the legacy of Western rationality (including the predominance of psychiatry’s interpretation of madness), drawing on practices developed at the margins of established power (the relationship to nature in urban settings, to ecology and care) by sharing and pooling individual experiences (of shamanic communities, of struggles against the damaging effects of electromagnetic waves…) may open up ways of identifying new tools that help us redefine our subjectivities without creating separations between them, and rehabilitating forms of hospitality in order to make our societies more habitable and bearable.
Since the launch of the ESP cycle in October 2016 we have been developing a collective bibliography, leading us to explore feminist cyborg identities, making us more attentive to the complexity of animal communication and to the way we relate to non-human entities. We have sought to find what is located in the shadows, to explore collective forms of telepathy, we have immersed ourselves in other people’s words, exploring words that slip away from one language to another, preventing us from appropriating our experiences, and we also sought to update and actualise past forms of revolutionary communal organisation, in particular the forms that characterised much of the nineteenth century in France. We also investigated constructive forms of dispossession (that of a common vulnerability) in opposition to forms of forced dispossession (expropriations, imposed identities…). Each area of inquiry also provided an opportunity to declare our belief and renewed faith in art and poetry — these ungovernable sites, with their strong potential for disorder, disobedience and for imagining new political fictions.
This year’s Le Printemps des Laboratoires programme will endeavour to further explore these areas of reflection through several public events running from April to July 2017, conceived by both artists and researchers.