How to Become a Ventriloquist?



The lecture will present the publication that serves as a reflection of the „Athens: Cooperation, Education, Critique“ project created by the Studio without Master initiative (Prague, CZ). Education or rather, information exchange, is usually based on hierarchical relationship: one person speaks and the others listen. Distribution of knowledge or authority is determined by the structure and the institution, and so any experimental tendencies in schools are suppressed by the commercialization of knowledge. The idea of ventriloquism is understood as a critical metaphor of this practice, where the voice, the relation between the voice and the body and the relation between the speaker and the listener, are questioned. The model of “representative democracy” occurs not only in the Teacher-Student relationship, but also in the relationship between the citizen and the state. The publication—its form as well as its content—is made collectively, based on a consensual agreement, reflecting our interest in self-organizational education, its possibilities, functioning and dysfunctioning both from within the collective and from theoretical point of view, with relation to the metaphor of a belly-talker, or gastromant, who is able to throw voices, dislocate them from the centre, multiply them and listen from the midst of their polyphony. For this reason, the lecture will employ the experimental form of “speed dating,” which reflects the themes in the publication and introduces the viewer to a different type of knowledge reception, which seeks to defy hierarchic relationship between the teacher and the student, creating a format that would allow for a full-fledged dialogue.

Organized in collaboration with and supported by the City of Prague, the State Cultural Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Special thanks to NEW Hotel, a member of Yes! Hotels Group located in the city center of Athens.