Research Pavilion - Staking the inventory: the “Jakarta Madrasah Process”

Keskiviikko, elokuu 30, 2017 - 12:00 - 18:00
Sala del Camino, Venice
Research Pavilion

Building on the embodied “prototypes” of Eleanor Rosch, in 1987 George Lakoff proposed a reconfiguration of classic categorisation theory with four new "Idealised Cognitive Models": Propositional, Metonymic, Metaphoric, and Image-Schematic. In a Jakarta Islamic madrasah in 1990 one could observe how categorisation theory was being used to help children recognise and perform their own categories and domains. The kids negotiated with each other and sorted a heap of objects into categories that seemed logical to them. Through this performance they were made aware of how to organise the world in-line with their own embodied experience, rather than according to classical semantic hierarchies taught to them by adults. 

Since Lakoff’s groundbreaking work other researchers versed in cognitive semantics have further developed these theories and have applied them to some of the dilemma’s facing today’s societies. For example they ask how diverse societies stake their inventories and configure their domains: the nation, the faithful, the chosen people, criminals and outcasts, races, gender roles. Or art exhibitions and biennales. Do we humans tend to justify our acts of social and aesthetic inclusion and exclusion by adherence to so-called “natural” categories and domains that we inherited from previous generations? What can we learn today from the 1990 Jakarta madrasah? 

The sorting process from the Jakarta madrasah will be demonstrated, reconfigured and transmitted in real-time at the Research Pavilion.

Organised by Professor Ray Langenbach / LAPS (Live Art & Performance Studies) program, the Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki.

Event details are subject to change. See also Facebook event.


This event is part of the Research Pavilion’s Camino Events series, a cross-artistic program which consists of screenings, concerts, seminars, artist talks, performances and interventions from over 100 artists and artistic-researchers from art universities of Northern Europe.

The Research Pavilion is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki, and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts.

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