Master-Symposium / Secret studies


November 30th – December 1st, 2021
10h00 – 17h00
Location: Schwabstrasse 10, Multifunktionsraum 110, 3018 Bern

Universität / Haute École
Hochschule der Künste Bern
Jacopo Rasmi with Raphaël Cuomo and Maria Iorio, special contribution Jeremy Nue
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

The seminar will invite participants to take up an unusual object called “Ecologies of study. A book of secrets”, a collection of recipes (protocols, manifestos, journals, stories…). Each recipe suggests ways and spaces of studying together in an imagined world where the unsustainable principles of competition, excellence and hierarchy of the entrepreneurial academic system have collapsed. The seminar is not primarily concerned with criticizing such system, rather it shall give room for an exchange on how we already do research and how we can imagine it in a different and more desirable way. The book travels from hand to hand, within but also on the margins of the different institutions where learning takes place, asking its readers to test, modify and expand its content by sharing their own “secrets”. As early as medieval times, compilations of recipes - in studies as heterogeneous as metallurgy, alchemy, pigmentation - were written down, passed on and updated in notebooks called “secreti”. These recipes did not require specialized equipment but could often be executed using tools and materials found at home. “Studying” is a common, informal and experimental gesture that brings people together in the presence of objects and questions that matter to them: from feminist debates to setting up a compost or organizing a documentary screening club. This is an attempt to free such gesture from the grip of licit institutions and their stifling dream of “progress”. Based on an exercise of fictional theory and a publishing platform, this seminar could give birth to a new notebook of secrets.

“We start from the premise that there is nothing wrong with people, and this allows us, we think, to be attuned to the ongoing planning, the study already under way, among people; the talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice. The notion of a rehearsal – being in a kind of workshop, playing in a band, in a jam session, old men sitting on a porch, or people working together in a factory – there are these various modes of activity. The point of calling it “study” is to mark that the incessant and irreversible intellectuality of these activities is already present.”

Stefano Harney & Fred Moten, in “The alternative is at hand”, Chronic, 6/1/2015.


Jacopo Rasmi
Jacopo Rasmi has begun teaching at the University Jean Monnet, Saint-Étienne, in the midst of the pandemic, first worked at the University of Grenoble Alpes for a doctoral thesis defended in 2019 and partially published in 2021 (Le hors champ est dedans! Michelangelo Frammartino, écologie, cinéma), writes texts with companion thinkers (for example, Yves Citton for Générations Collapsonautes, 2020), programs cinema screenings when a good opportunity comes up, is fed by collective intelligence of the editorial board of Multitudes and La Revue Documentaires, and for some years now has been wondering with some friends how to continue to study in a desirable way.

Jeremy Nuel
Born in 1978, Jérémie Nuel graduated in 2005 from the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. He is a graphic designer and teacher at the ESAD in Saint-Etienne in the media design department and the RANDOM (lab). He runs the Presses du URL, a project of a series of publications conceived in cooperation with computer programs. The aim is to explore editorial modalities built on computer programs and to design hybrid publication chains, between screen and paper.

Maria Iorio / Raphaël Cuomo
Favouring a collaborative praxis and long-term research, Iorio/Cuomo’s recent projects engage with shifting global mobilities and unfold the intertwined histories shaped by those movements of life, (post)colonial encounters, migrating cultures, forms and sounds. Investigating the conditions under which hegemonic historical narratives are produced and can be challenged, their hybrid cinematic forms manifest unheard voices, neglected memories, diasporic collective experiences, resistant subjectivities. New knowledges come to light and become perceptible, shared through a performative archival practice, translation processes, cinema situations, as well as the aesthetical and political dimensions of listening. Their work integrates a curatorial approach and revisits the expanded field of moving image practices and “minor cinemas”—experimental, amateur, feminist, decolonial.