Gestural philosophy

The project explores collective artistic practices as informal devices of intentionless learning, radical democracy, and institutional activism.


My research proposes to explore artistic thinking and artist pedagogy as open theoretical territorialities of contingencies and wrong-doings, failures, and experiments committed in an ongoing procedure of becoming where sudden innate knowledge can appear. I consider artist pedagogy as an autopoietic system (Maturana and Varela, 1980, 1987) that not only supposes the sustainable relationship of its parts involved but also needs the performative mechanism to compose a milieu in dialogue with its institutional environment (Stiegler, 2018; Foucault, 1994). My research continues to promote an enactive approach (Varela et al. 1991) to artistic thinking and pedagogy, understood now as a gestural philosophy (Guerra, 2022). A gestural philosophy is a philosophy of know-how: a form of knowledge that would be previous, more basic, and generic than symbolic knowledge (Steel and Brooks, 1993; Varela, 1999; Mersch, 2015; Perret, 2021: 131). Therefore, a philosophy that would occur in the performativity that the actions and materials configure among themselves, in their proximities and contiguities, in the very process of dodging the domicile that language, as the normalization of experience, has instituted. I claim that these gestural devices can compose informal devices of intentionless learning (Varela, 1999; Escobar, 2017) that make visible what is considered inexistent by the normative parameters in place (Mouffe, 2013; Marchart, 2019). Intentionless learning refers to all those actions we develop beyond the self-consciousness cage and sustain through transindividual embodied behaviour. I wish to enquire how these gestural devices can contribute to forming fleeting and fluid pedagogic communities where a common can be traced (Schaefer, 2022).

Contact information for the project

Project name

Gestural philosophy: collective artistic practices as informal devices of intentionless learning, radical democracy, and institutional activism




Partner organizations:
1. Postfoundational Thinking Research Group, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Barcelona, PI: Professor Laura Llevadot.
2. Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
3. Kunstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck, Austria.