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Educação & Realidade

Print version ISSN 0100-3143On-line version ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.43 no.4 Porto Alegre Oct./Dec. 2018  Epub Aug 06, 2018 

Other Themes

Antinihilist Education: body and art producing sense in school

Fernando YonezawaI 

Márcia CuevasI 

IUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória/ES - Brazil


In this text we aim to share the experience of acting as researchers-interveners at a municipal school of Youth and Adult Education in the city of Vitória (ES), where we were performing body-artistic workshops inspired by Lygia Clark’s and Hélio Oiticica’s works. Using the cartographic method of research in Institutional Psychology, also based on the philosophical concepts of Deleuze, Guattari and Nietzsche, we problematize the nihilism presented in the education and in the students’ bodies, as well we try to affirm the possibility of producing sense in the educational process from these corporal-artistic interventions.

Keywords Education; Art; Body; Sense Production


Neste texto objetivamos compartilhar a experiência de atuarmos como pesquisadores-interventores junto a uma escola municipal de Educação de Jovens e Adultos da cidade de Vitória (ES), onde estivemos realizando oficinas corporais-artísticas inspiradas nas obras de Lygia Clark e Hélio Oiticica. Utilizando-nos do método cartográfico de pesquisa em Psicologia Institucional, também baseados nos conceitos filosóficos de Deleuze, Guattari e Nietzsche, problematizamos o niilismo presente na educação e nos corpos dos estudantes, assim como buscamos afirmar a possibilidade de produzir sentido no processo educacional a partir destas intervenções corporais-artísticas.

Palavras-chave Educação; Arte; Corpo; Produção de Sentido

The Place where we talk, the Territory we habit and our Problematization

In this text, we aim to share the experience of act as researchers3 of Institutional Psychology, in a municipal school of Education of Young people and Adults in the city of Vitória (ES). In this acting, we use corporal-artistic experiments inspired by Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica´s work, we could weave moments of production of meaning, to face the problem of the presence of the nihilist in the bodies.

In this research, we act according to the research-intervention, for which all investigation has a political character, according as it must be inserted in spaces that have clashes of force and confrontation of current social questions. According to Paulon and Roman (2010), is assumed by research-intervention the social compromise of the researcher, that investigates involved with the not neutral effects of your acting, doing it without the dichotomy subject x object. Romagnoli (2014) also says that the critical posture, the combat against the reductionism and the search for denaturalization are characteristics of researcher-intervener actions. At the research-intervention, the researcher doesn´t go to his research field only to collect data, adopting a laboratory posture, exempting himself of interfere or be contaminated by what is happening in the reality: the researcher-intervenor acts implying with the questions that touch him, looking problematizing and build solutions that transform them.

Starting by this perspective, we adopt the cartography as specific work methodology of research-intervention. The cartography understands the research as action in a field of immanence, where the crossing of distinct lines of forces (cultural, mediatic, biological, affective, technological, etc.) make a singular reality. Deleuze (1997), says that cartography is create a list or a map of experienced affections in a displacement, that reveals the impasses, the openings and becomes of a reality. For the author, the path traveled at the cartography “[...] confuses it not only with the subjectivity of those who travel a way, but with the subjectivity of the environment” Deleuze (1997, p. 73). So, the cartography also exceeds the dichotomy objectivity x subjectivity. We comprehend as Barros e Kastrup (2013) that cartography implies to follow ongoing processes, so that the cartographer launches himself in a territory organized to always (re)starts by the environment, between pulsations. Barros and Barros (2013) remember that the cartography has a clinical dimension, because implies actions capable of transform the field of forces in which it´s realized. Therefore, the cartography doesn´t portrays the reality, but produces, while acts on it.

In that way, our research in that school has been realized by the active participation in management meetings, formation meetings and teaching planning, classes and special seminars. In that school, where is adopted the Paulo Freire´s popular education principles, the educators work in pairs, looking to transversalize their content of distinct knowledge areas. With the intent of produce critical subjects, the school always deal with political subjects in classroom, like the environmental problems and the violence against women. In addition, having as one of the biggest ethical-political principles promote the inclusion of all those who - in your own words - had the right of education denied, this school was characterized to attend locally the neighborhood where were found education demands for youth and adult people. The institution attends in the three shifts and is spread by 14 different locals, working in places and distinct contexts. There are, for example, classes inside the institution of recyclable material collectors, or in a third age people living together center, or yet in city´s Reference Center of Homeless Population. That’s why the public is so diverse, having classes with 19 years old people studying with 80 years old people, as well teenagers linked with social-educational measures, young people with special needs, homeless people and, as the school says, everyone that was turned away from education by the fact of the traditional pedagogical system can´t helped their specificities. The classes have 3 hours of duration and take place from Monday to Thursday, because on Fridays the educators are entirely dedicated to the formation, studying themes as sexuality, african-brazilian culture and health production in the contemporary society. Searching for practices capable to work in the transversality of so many specificities and necessities, the school also have as principles the dialogism and the comprehension that the times of learning are always diverse. The bet in not punish or exclude the students, insisting in dialogue as a way of transformation of the effects that the violence and the social and pedagogical exclusion left in their bodies.

In this singular territory is that, weekly accompanying the pairs of Geography and Arts teachers in one of the classes, we saw the students between 16 and 19 years old, always looking extremely disinterested by the themes worked in class, even if the educators were affectionate, worried in dialogue, inviting them to compose the class with elements of their living. In this trajectory of participation in classes, we noted big difficulties to work, especially with young people, themes that had a displacement of common disciplinary content. Every time that we proposed to discuss artistical or political themes, we felt like a wall of indifference and reject appeared between us and the students. We felt that, in the bodies of the young people, had a closing to all the differences. Close to what is strange, they adopted the posture of ignore or simply to move away: started to use their mobiles, or laid their heads over the crossed arms on the table, refusing to dialogue with us or the teachers. They didn’t feel impelled to ask, or to question us and demonstrated negation and disgust, affections that, without express rebellion, only paralyze the relations. When they didn’t comprehend something, or were affected intensively, repelled what affected. At the limit, they refuged themselves at the personal opinion, fallacious pseudodemocratic institution of capitalism. The bitter rejection was approaching, for all that was new, had an artistic character, or questioned certainties.

Concerning to these questions, circulates at the school the idea of the young students are too marked by the rancid of the traditional school content and that is the reason they react in that way. We had the impression that, for the students, don´t comprehend something could denounce their supposed incompetence and ignorance, conditions absolutely inside the classical school´s logic: the not knowledge is the biggest crime that marks all the school bodies. Therefore, we agree with the hypothesis of the school´s educators, but we still consider that all the production of ways of life of the contemporary capitalism also constitute the arrangement of the students´ affective closing, characterized by a sophisticated kind of nihilism. According to Guattari (1990, p. 8), is the relation of the subjectivity with “[...] your exteriority - social, animal, vegetable, cosmical - that it is compromised in a specie of general movement of implosion and regressive childhood”.

In the situations that we described, we felt a terrible impasse of diverse orders: affective, pedagogical, political, ethical etc. We saw that the good intentions of the popular education, based in dialogism, democracy and inclusion of the students´ existential universe didn´t guarantee the sensibilization of the bodies and the production of engaged thinking. Evidently, it wasn’t about judging the position of the students and impose another way of thinking supposedly better; either looked plausible be spontaneous, supposing that would be enough the removal of educator authoritarianism for what the students could show themselves interested. “What bothered us was that, renouncing judgment, we had the impression of private ourselves of any way to establish differences between existences, between ways of existence, as if from that on everything was equivalent” (Deleuze, 1997, p. 153).

Therefore, it would be ingenuous to trust that don’t have planned themes could make the lessons more democratic and worst could be ignore that exist urgent themes for the classroom, like the problematization of the racism and the gender violence. Deleuze says (2006) that learn something implies to face a problematic field, to force the thinking to think. Something is only learned under various affective tonalities, involving the sensibility and the experience of body meeting with affections of the idea in question. “But, in your first characteristic, and under any tonality, it only can be felt” (Deleuze, 2006, p. 2013), highlights the philosopher over what forces us to think. Thinking is always thinking in a new mode, but from an uncomfortable tensioning of the sensitivity. Yet in the Deleuze´s critical words, the dogmatic image of the thinking makes believe that it has an inherent goodwill to the thinker and, so, it would suffice activate this goodwill for the thinking be capable to think. But, inside that image of the thinking, to think is only recognize, it means, to think is make a recognition, to reflect the image of a ready and essential idea taken as true and primordial.

In certain way, that couldn’t also be the school’s pedagogical belief? Worried in not blame the students, they wouldn’t be, in another way, making a specie of myth of the good savage of the thinking? We remember that a truth is always historical and social, a truth only is truth when is determined over modes of relation and thinking dominants. So, to make the thinking an activity of recognition derivative of a presupposed goodwill is turn it docile, demure lady, capable only to reiterate instituted truths, repeat jargons, contents or formulas empty of meaning, of the creation force and of the potency of think differently. It´s makes a respondent thought, that only thinks expected answers without problems to face, without tension. “It’s a child preconception, according to which the master presents a problem, and it´s our task resolves it and the result of this task is qualified of true or false by a powerful authority” (Deleuze, 2006, p. 228).

The classical image of the thinking makes a conception of infantilized and passive subject. When we talked about of traditional disciplinary contents in classroom, we saw the students engaged in realize the activities prepared by the educators. The rejection or bitterness only were expressed when they faced images, tasks, unknown and displacement experiences. It´s about of we realize that the dogmatic image of the thinking impregnates the students’ sensibility, as well it´s more or less reproduced by the school, in the intention of revert the blame produced by the traditional school where, mostly, these students came transferred. Must be considered that the disgust of this students is effect of the education classical form, in which is violated also the potencies of the body, from an intense individualization, infantilization and production of a sensation of incapacity. We start, so, by the position that we have that comprehension, although it explains, doesn’t legitimizes the status of anesthesia and closing of the bodies, because it´s about an affective modulation extremely depotentializing, for the students, and for us that, with the teachers, were in place of educators. So, was starting a challenge of produce some shaking in the sensibilities present in the classroom, that our research-intervention began to be focused in the relation between art, body and production of meaning at the education, betting in realize corporal-artistic experimentations at the school space.

Presenting the territory where we habit and the problem that mobilize us, we will bring, next, the philosophical concepts that based our reflection at this research and, more forward, we will share one of the experimentations made in the school, in this classroom, where we accompany the Geography and Arts educators.

Nihilism in the Bodies and in the Education

First, we must clarify when we indicate the present of the nihilism at the students’ affective posture. So, we will follow Nietzsche to comprehend the nihilism concept.

In the words of the philosopher, the nihilism is a form of product of life types, that is linked directly to aesthetic-moral values and to a modulation of forces of a culture and the bodies. The nihilism is the value gifted to life by what Nietzsche (2009) calls desire of nothing, desire of don´t fight more, or create, desire of don´t wish more, don´t appropriate of reality, desire that the end comes soon, or of everything in the world is over, without more movement that implies tensioning force. About the force concept, Deleuze is (2001) who better clarify us, by your nietzschean reading: force is everything that acts to appropriate of a reality quantity. In the nihilism is found diminished the desire of expand the reality or potentialize the life, force status that is justified over principles that value the taming and the shyness of the forces. These are, Nietzsche says (2009), values that only can come from tired men, whose state of corporal forces is sickly, desirous by more force, more reality. In a nihilist culture, the bodies are found under a modulation characteristic of a life that languishes and comes to the end, a constitution of forces in which the will turns against life (Nietzsche, 2009), against yourself. So, the nihilism is a life negation state.

“The life is, to me, instinct of growing, of duration, of forces accumulation, of power: where absences the will of power, there is decline” (Nietzsche, 2007, p. 13). For the philosopher, the nihilism wants to conserve what is in time to perish, wants to defend the weakening, to the detriment of the expansion forces and potentialization of the life. Thus, it´s made from nothing a value, is wished that life is measurement by nothing, by an abstraction, an imaginary notion; or it´s wanted that life be equal to supreme values, inscribed in laws of a world from the beyond, a metaphysical world. “But it´s not said ‘nothing’: it´s said ‘beyond’; or ‘God’, or ‘the true life’...” (Nietzsche, 2007, p. 14). Saying in another form, the nihilism deforms life, prefigures the absurd of identify it in values that could turn truer, more dignified, more life then that itself in your own movement of self-creation, as if this movement were dirty, vile and, because of that, needs to be purified, corrected and turned harmless. “ The nihilism begins with a gravity center displacement of the life in direction to another sphere that isn´t itself” (Pelbart, 2013, p. 94). The problem, however is that, denounces Nietzsche (2007, p. 16), “[...] the will of end, the nihilism will want to achieve the power” and, for that, invents truths and absolutes virtues, eternals, or even primordial, immemorial, that the men should be submitted. We must note that this search to the present truth in the nihilism is a dogmatic image of the thinking, that we said previously.

From the moment that creates values to be imposed, the nihilism, in a surreptitious way believes the absence of life´s value (Nietzsche, 2008), in the impossibility to have values that would affirms it. So, the nihilism shows itself always ambiguous and adulterant: on one hand, it discredited any value; primarily describes that has a meaning at the own life existence; by another, it imposes values and meanings forged from this first notion. However, for Nietzsche (2008), there are two kinds of nihilism: primarily, there is a passive nihilism, this properly resultant of the weakening meaning and decay of the forces and of the will; but, by another vital modulation, there would have an active nihilism, that doubts of all values created until now, because they were created for and by a kind of man, having him as center and measure. In that case, the nihilism would come just to denounces that the existence senses as gifts in the essence of the mundane things wouldn’t be more than projection of our own will, which would put in things values that suits it well for a conservation of a kind of the life cultivated by us. So, the difference between the two nihilisms is in the sense, as well in the feeling involved. In the passive nihilism, the meaning that nothing has a value comes before all and, with this, isn´t found meaning in life unless in moral values, in dogmatism. Coming from weakness feelings of the body, from disgusting, from bitterness and rejection facing the life, the passive nihilism would resolve moribund condition creating worlds without force, tensions and problems, “[...] so everything refreshes, cures, appeases, numbs [...]” (Nietzsche, 2008, p. 37). But in the active nihilism, the sense of value absence comes as effect of the discovery that all the values are created to affirm a kind of whished life, so, all the values become passable of been overthrown, for always a new value can emerge and be enforce, to affirms a life that germinates, that wants to be born and fortify: the meanings that constitute it are of joy, potency and vigor.

The disbelief and distrust in the values is so nihilist as the fanatic belief in a final and universal value (Nietzsche, 2012). In another words, the nihilism reveals itself as in the impetuous demand of certainty of the science, as in the demand of aid, support, typical of “weakness instinct” (Nietzsche 2012, p. 214), which grabs itself afflict to dogmatic mysticisms, because it feels incapable of create values. In one, and in the other “[...] is found the nothing from behind of all human been ideals” (Nietzsche, 2006, p. 81); and, however, simultaneously, to found this nothing is justly the first step of an active nihilism, which feels capable of, by consequence of that (dis)meeting, bring the artifice force and, in that way, create new values. In the active nihilism, an initial pessimism towards the given values transforms it in confidence to life inventive force. “In one hand, the nihilism is a symptom of crescent weakness, by another hand, of rising force” (Pelbart, 2013, p. 101).

For that, the way out to the nihilism wouldn’t be not in the form of religious typical creed and bad scientists, neither in the pessimism of depressives and sick people. The passive nihilism fakes the life, inverts the forces conditions that allow create more life, putting the impotence above the direction of force. The depreciation nihilist of life and your “[...] necessity of negation of ‘will’” (Nietzsche, 2006, p. 75) constitute a docile and venomous life, that contradicts itself valorizing and elevating the deprecation sense, while demotes and rejects the creation forces.

These are the component lines of a passive nihilism that we felt to pass by students’ bodies. We emphasize, however, that we in front of specific composition of forces, historical, cultural, that constitute the bodies in that mode, inclining, and then, our own bodies; it´s not about essentialize the nihilism in the students´ bodies. They, denying in connect with the classes focused in artistical or political themes, besides express contempt and bitterness in their faces and lying down bodies on the tables, in none moment they showed revolt or criticism. The educators, comprehending only reflexively where become these postures, they don´t exceed the meaning of benevolence for with the helpless that Nietzsche denounces be a typical symptom present in the nihilism. The Arts and Geography classes’ educators that we followed, even so, said felt very impotent and without knowing what to do facing this forces composition in the classroom. In both, as well by our own body, looked like to pass only the passive sensation that we must continue although all, after all, this is our bale of brazilian educators.

Clash: bodies passing, bodies (trans)passed

So, in dialog with Art classes educator, we were very incommoded with the students´ bitterness, that made the classes, on Mondays by morning, looked like eternals and boring, as if the time drags with too weight, strangely in identical mode to what all of us had felt in our bodies frequenting the disciplinary classes of traditional schools; however, bothered us above all that we were passives. Facing all this, we decided to create a corporal-artistic experimentation inspired by the works Lygia Clark´s and Hélio Oiticica´s works, to shake the opacity affective of the students and instigate your sensibilities. So, in this next part, we present our research diary, to share the experience of the proposition of that workshop.

We had the idea of make a sensations tunnel and, for this, we invited the Art classes educator to compose together with us. He accepted smiling and, faced with necessity of prepare all the tunnel´s aesthetic apparatus for Monday class, we stayed a Saturday afternoon together, in one of the classrooms that the school maintained for that class, stacking student desks, putting tissues over they to form a tunnel, hanging bottles, spreading materials over the floor, gluing posters.

The tunnel we made with brown and red tissues had five phases, separated also by tissues. Each phase had suspended, on their walls, provocative questionings. Had also a repetitive audio with a sweet female voice reciting those phrases. In the first part of the tunnel, the floor was covered with many colorful balloons; in the second, purple and orange little balls of gel, of marble balls size, filled the ground; in the third cabin, we suspended diverse transparent plastic bottles with colorful water of different colors (purple, yellow, pink, green); in the fourth tunnel part, we putted three big maps, one of Espírito Santo state, another of Brazil and another of the world. On the Espírito Santo state map, we glued photos of tourist places (beaches, waterfalls and historical buildings) that are localized very close of Vitória, passible of been visited with an urban bus ticket. And in the fifth and last part, we covered the ground with blue gel and bean grains. The questions that we arranged were that:

- What is your dream?

- What you most wish?

- What places you would like to meet?

- What do you want to give to the people and to the world?

- Do you have passion for what?

- For what so many discouragement and disgust?

- What do you want of the school?

- What do you want of the teachers?

- Is that school equal to all?

- Here, you are treated at the same way that other schools you attended?

These phrases have relation with sensation that we felt together with the students. We felt, for example, that this young people, maintaining themselves in far postures, they didn´t realize many times how, in that school, were treated in a most attentive and affectionate way, without the typical massification and indifference of the most schools. We also realized that, because of the non access to certain information and the restriction of circulation that invisibly are imposed to low social class people - on which are part of this students -, many of them not even had come out of the neighborhood where they reside and study, not being able, so, to walk and meet places capable of potentialize the body or bring new knowledge. That’s why that, over the Espírito Santo state map, had images of beautiful places close to Vitória city. Noticing these concrete conditions of (im)possibilities we comprehend that the nihilism is not only psychologically produced, but also as a composition and agency of bodies, of spaces, of circulation and of flows. The nihilism as culture of weakening of bodies is, above all, constituted as agency of reality. Some of the young people of that school couldn´t barely leave of their neighborhood because, going to other regions, were threatened with death by traffic drug people. But, more than that, a heavy atmosphere of absence of possibilities to the life looked fall over their bodies and live ways. we perceived that such terms submitted the students spend their days only being impregnated by speeches and idiot images of the TV, or by the new evangelicals-christians movements, which, although they common their become the possible option of social and leisure meetings, are scattered at the peripherical communities with a conservator speech, enslaver and moral.

Well, at the morning that we would go experiment our tunnel, we were apprehensive, anxious: we knew that all of that was a big provocation, an attempt to skin mercilessly an affective and corporal constitution. All could be hostile, be taken as playboy stuff, including by the school, in case of wants give place to a speech rigidly lined in the valorization of social class identity´s. Our intention, however, wasn’t to reaffirm a said class identity or popular origin, but bring ampliations of reality, potentializations produced by meetings with the unusual, with another specie of no sense, with the instituted sensibility discomfort, with new and foreigners affects.

In that morning, after the snack time, we went out with the students of the classroom and, when we came to the corridor which leads to our installation´s classroom, Dulce4, one of the young students, was stopping in the way, while Madalena, a student of 54 years old with intellectual and speech disability, advanced. Dulce said that she was curious, but very nervous, afraid. Showed her hands, smiling. Look how my hands are! They were cold! Madalena smiled, she was vibrating, agitated and curious, with the impetus of continue. Before the students enter in the tunnel, we explained that the experience was inspired in two brazilian artists, Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica. We said that both believed we should not only observe the art pieces, but also we should interact with then, touch it, handle it, enter on it. We talked quickly about the Oiticica´s penetrable and the Ligia Clark´s manipulating sculptures. We said to the students that it was an experimentation: we asked to enter barefooted and only to try fell the experience and answer the questions with the heart.

João, as always, didn’t show much interest. Homero didn’t even arrive; we wrote a cellphone message saying that we had prepared something cool thing with art and could be nice if he comes; but, he answered that he wouldn´t go, because was busy in that day. We insisted if he could make a quick pass, but explained that wouldn´t go because needed to work, to win R$ 200,00 that was owing. We were very worried: we knew that was about the drug traffic, with his past. This notice left our hearts opaque for a long time. Homero was a student that came from social-educational measures, that said to like very much of art; that´s why was imported so much to us that he could be present in that day.

When we arrived near the door, Madalena was smiling too much, vibrating and wanting to enter soon. Dulce stayed in the middle of the corridor: Do you come?! We asked in provocative mode. Not me! she answered smiling and contracting her body. We felt on her a mix of fear with a crescent will of know what it all was about. We asked to Madalena if she was scared. Now was more agitated, had a little bit of fear too, but smiled too much. She contracted the body and the arms in direction to the chest and said Ouch! We hold her hand, opened the door until half. We said Go! She entered and soon began to vibrate in an emotional state very different. Was possible to feel how she was thrilled. She stayed for a long time with the balloons, kicking then and playing with their feet. We also started to thrill. It looked going well, that she was affected. We left she playing with the balloons for some minutes. We hold her hands and conduct her to the balls cabin. She fixed the eyes again, stopped. We said that she could step on it. She did it with the equilibrium difficulties that your limits impose, but she did it. We take some of them to her hands. Everything was passing in so much silence, but was possible to feel the vibration, the affects passing by her, by us.

We passed to the bottles, she just looked at them. Seemed to like f the colors, seemed touched. When we arrived in the maps, we explained what places were in the images. We asked if she knew some of that places and answered no. Soon we passed to the gel cabin. We said that she could step also. She did it, contracted a little, but stayed feeling the sensation. We helped her to clean her feet with the towel that we have left at the end of the tunnel and, in the exit, asked what she felt. She showed her hands, making circle gestures, from down to up and forward over her chest. We only understood mo in the middle of the first phrase of unintelligible phonemes. Her eyes were full of tears. On the second phrase, said clearly, love. We asked to repeat what said on first, but again we didn´t understood what she said and we asked Are you affected? She made yes with the head. We tried not to force interpretations and not even put words in her mouth to substitute what we didn’t understand. She left smiling, very touched. We also were affected.

Next, we summon Dulce. She was nervous. We said that we would go together and took her cold hand. When we entered, she also stayed silent, but smiled with a little irony. She asked what we wanted to mean with that. The irony hurts us. We answered that she is who must answer, letting herself feels, tasting slowly, hearing the questions. Soon we passed to the little balls and, when we were changing of cabin, she heard for what so many discouragement and disgust? and quickly answered, pointing to the sound source: That question is for me! With the gel balls, she didn´t want to step, I´m not going to step on that! We said to experiment, insisted a little. She did it without conviction. We gave to her some balls to been touched by her hands. We said that fish’s eggs looked like that. In the colorful bottles cabin, she only looked at them and she thought they were beautiful. We saw her reading the questions. When we arrived at the maps, another important moment again. We asked if she knew some of that places and answered that never went in any of then, that never went out of house. We explained where was each place, that was easy to go with a common bus ticket, that she can go and come back at the same day. With the gel, she said that she will not step in any case. She putted the feet out of the gelatinous area and was paralyzed. We played with her and gave a little push. She laughed and jumped over the gel puddle.

João entered and wanted go passing. We said to take it easy, to taste it. He decelerated a little, but passed quickly by the balloons. On the next phase, however, he stopped for a while moving the gel balls with the feet. We asked what he filled or thought and said that saw many agglomerated people, together, while another people went out and, alone, follow a different way. When he looked to the bottles, said that are beautiful. It was astonishing that all of them stops and looks like stay impressed with the maps cabin. João was recognizing the maps, That´s Brazil, that´s the world, that´s Espírito Santo. I went there. Is that Santa Teresa´s city? was the few things that he said. We answered that yes and questioned about the other places. He didn´t knew. We answered: It´s Barra do Jucu district. He said that never went there. We said that was close, that he can go there by bus. The most interesting moment was when we passed to the gel puddle. He hesitated for a moment. Smiled and contracted the body, with a certain mix of disgust and fear. He putted only the foot tip, like is testing of a water pool temperature. Many times, he did it laughing. We said to him. Go! Courage! and very slowly he was stepping. At the end, putted both feet, stayed for a short time and went out. He looked to us, making a yes with the head and said: the black people, huh, the mud. We answered yes, when we went out said that the gel could be black, to looks like more with the mud that black people stepped.

After the experimentation, we went back to the classroom, that had the student desks organized in circle: teacher Wilian asks So, how was it? For a few instants everything looked be back to the usual: Dulce was lying on the table, João was using the mobile; but, in face to the question, Dulce showed herself extremely touched. She raises her torso and said that was thinking in what wishes the most in life. She said that the questions were circling in her head, that didn’t know how to answer. We answered that we pass all the life answering some questions. She was impressed: Really?! The teacher Wilian provokes João, and you, João, what did you think? He, by an instant, stays out of the mobile, widens his eyes, raises his torso and says: I thought interesting! I remembered the black people and the mud. The educator was impressed. Then, João backs to close himself over the mobile. But the conversation continues with Dulce: she said that her life is go from home and to the school, from school to home and from home to the church. She said that experienced to go to parties, but doesn´t like mess We asked, so, if she didn´t experienced, for example, to visit those beautiful places that was on the maps. She confirms, says be very closed, that her mother complains of that too; says also that is sympathetic and affective with everyone, but keeps things that don´t divides with anyone. We intercepted her: You are opening yourself at this moment. Wilian smiles and reaffirm. Agrees discreetly; says know that is very downhearted, but don´t understands why feels like that.

The conversation continues, the teacher Elen talks about meditation. Dulce is excited to do it, to experiment. João says that doesn´t have patient for that. We affirm that we can do it and Elen asks for we bring some mats. Everyone is excited. We remember that on the next Monday we will not be there in the school and Dulce says: So, not on that Monday, but on the other one! We felt ourselves vibrant with the experiment possibility, of get out of student desks, of continue affecting ourselves by another corporal practices. We finished the morning class feeling that we produced some difference for that young peoples, for the work in the school.

We noticed that the students’ bodies were (trans)passed by new feelings, as they passed by the aesthetic tunnel. We understand that, there, the body forces started a silent clash with the acting forces in each tunnel cabin. Because of that, the no sense operated by art differs of the no sense of the marasmus nihilistic. At the art, the not sense is properly destruction of given senses, disaccommodation of the sensibility and force overflowing; while, at the nihilism, the not sense is only force absence, nothing in life. The art takes care, therefore, of give expression to an active nihilism, proliferator of senses by the not sense. As say Deleuze and Guattari (1992), the function of the art is justly to depose the opinion cliches disassemble the maximum of which, inside of the given senses, all can have good sense by personal opinion. For the authors the art makes a fight with the chaos, while gets together with it, in frame portions, creating sensation beings (Deleuze; Guattari, 1992); and what we wanted with this intervention with the students was indeed introduce a little of discomforting chaos in the muddy lake and devitalized that had become the classes in that space. With the art, objects are installed and these, being chaos cups, make emerge what Lygia Clark (1960) calls of empty-full, a perception that all form implies an intrinsic sense filling. Besides that, such as Hélio Oiticica (1962, p. 19), we believe the art forms “[...] doesn´t want the subject (spectator) to resolve your contradiction in relation to the object by mere contemplation”. Elaborating a tunnel that the bodies were taken to be passed by displacement feelings, we intended, with one stroke, combat the absence of nihilist sense and offer sensibilities fields to be experimented; we intended make a moment in which could “[...] transform what have of immediate in the quotidian experience in not immediate” (Oiticica, 1962, p. 11), putting in check the dominance of low potency and bitterness sense, that putted together all the present bodies in the class to a defeatism. In the same way of Lygia Clark (1965b) we believe that put a common man in the artist position is a form of make him a being fuller and, so, to put on check [sic] the spiritual empty without apparent meaning that surround us. It wasn’t about, therefore, of democratize the art, but make it dwell improbable places and functions for the school environment, taking it out of being one more discipline to be taught, to make it operator and converter of force lines.

With this, we must comprehend with a little more minutia in what way that experience contributes to excoriate the nihilism and germinate new senses in the bodies. For that, we will bring more elements of Deleuze and Guattari´s thinking, to put in movement together to the lines produced in that experience.

Educational Passing: art and sense production

Indeed, we say that this experience did together in that school was intensive, not only because we witnessed the strong emotions movements, as in the case of Madalena. We saw, in her silence, the highest potency of be affected being mobilized. The student that, by the fact of have cognitive and speech problems, supposedly would be less fit to comprehend a form of art so abstract or enigmatic, more affections undertaken in the passage by the tunnel, was the one who most experimented affects in an overflowing in your body and, precisely because of that, stir emotions.

Certainly, intense experiences make emerge an emotionality; however, the intense can´t be identified for the presence of feelings and, much less, can be an easy interpretation that flows like a delightful honey the biggest indicative of intense force of an experience. When Deleuze says that a learning only can emerge being felt, of course he also wants to make us understand that only by an affects movement can be generated knowledge. Therefore, we believe that, yes, Madalena learned new senses in her body, which exceed the emerged emotions. However, Deleuze doesn’t restricts the sense of emotions involved. For the philosopher the senses are incorporeal effects, which born form bodies mixture, but don’t identify themselves with that mixtures or the state of things (Deleuze, 2003). The mixtures of the bodies are senses expressions, but this one, the expressed, doesn´t get confused with your expressions.

Deleuze remembers that the sense is always paradoxical, it extrapolates the given meanings and the meanings given, because they settle over historical and socially hegemonic forms of the thinking. In another words, the sense emerges as not sense, as noisy and ruinous tension to the thinking. The sense paradox, says Deleuze (2003), destroys the good sense as unique sense and, then, destroys also the common sense as designation of fixed identities. Well, isn’t it the violence that we saw emerge in the meeting of the students’ bodies with the tunnel materials? Little colorful and gelatinous balls, gel, bottles with translucent colored liquids, provocative questions, none of it had only a rational nexus seated over a wise link and existent previously to the bodies passage. The sense of those things couldn’t emerge if not of your agitation together to the bodies, in the immanence of that meeting, even so, this meaning produced wasn’t a nexus, or a recognizing of an idea to be capitated as hidden meaning, like a that means. Deleuze (2003) highlights that the good sense is who covers the sense of meanings, but it´s not capable of donate sense. “What is the artist´s role? Gives to the participant the object that doesn´t have importance and that only will have it in according as the participant acts. It´s like an egg that only revels your substance when we open it” (Clark, 1965a, p. 1).

However, the absence of sense in the production sense happens, not only because was expected to each student act in the experience (relativism), but principally because of the calling “[...] paradox of indefinite proliferation” (Deleuze, 2003, p. 32), by which the sense always expresses itself in the bodies, but, doing it, boost to a new sense, expressed in other bodies compositions: a sense only makes sense differentiating infinitely. So, the paradox is characterized by stretch the sense in two directions of unfolding at the same time (Deleuze, 2003). If, for example, a flower blooms, this bloom - pure verb, to become that happens to the flower - is the sense that makes, in a same unrolling, it´s more expanded then before and less opened than it´s becoming.

Thus, our sensations tunnel stretches the bodies in direction to empty your dominant affective modulation, while simultaneously push them to fill as foreigners, that include new affective varieties. The function of the art is justly to add always new varieties of sensation to the world (Deleuze; Guattari, 1992). So, when we affirm the intensive force of that experimentation, we are highlighting the fact that the it propitiated deviations, germinations, discommendation’s, tensioning, problematizations, fissures and restlessness. The experimentation with the tunnel was intense because the languid and anemic modulation bodies was hurt and discontinued, while was fill by vigor of unsuspected senses. We saw João be affected with the subtlety that, even being one of the student that came to the classes with more disinterest and flaccidity, could connect whit what learned about black people slavery - certainly studied in the History classes - with the sensations that affects your body in the contact with the cabin materials. In addition, the mud that, according to his speech, the black people stepped, surely was a little delirious element that he added to the sensitive proliferation that the cabin brought. Equally, we could say the little balls cabin makes germinate in your body a crowd sense, as well the loneliness and affirmation of distinct paths. We don´t creed that the images or sensations brought by student exhaust the sense, they are only the significations that express meagerly the schizophrenically multiplicity broader and constituent of sense passed by them. They aren’t the senses but are signs of the multiplier productivity of sense that was produced. As Deleuze says (2006), the extensive doesn´t take care of the intensive as such (perhaps because of that, the things said by the students are so few). By another hand, we only could know the intense developed in an extension that explain it by the qualities (Deleuze, 2006).

In this way, we don’t believe that the not-sense contained in the artistic experimentation must confuses itself with the materials qualities (gelatinous. colorful, low, lights) or with an easy aleatory combination of them. Firstly, part of the combinations is relatively thought: the questions about what is wished by them and the photos in the maps, for example, came to question specifics placements of the students. But, beyond that, we comprehend that the materials qualities imply a profusion of more thin and aleatory lines of affectation, which, when taken as forces bodies mixed with the bodies forces, they become maquinism of sense production. Indeed, as Lygia Clark shows us (2008), the hands, the mouth, all corporal parts are inseparable of intensives experiences, whose birth is in the meeting with objects and concrete portions of extensive world. In that way, our installation made each object and each body in a composition, “[...] that moves him away from their use, instituting him in your poetic” (Clark, 2008, p. 117).

In the experimentation path, we also saw Dulce be mobilized by colors and textures of the materials, as well by questions said in sweet voice. Their own posterior depositions of the experimentation show us how her sensibility was tensioned, leaving her with the instigated heart with some questions. We highlight specially the fact of be affected by the questions that were about what is more wished in life and about the disgust. Make some questions to this public of that school can be an intervention extremely transforming, as was to Dulce. Indeed, this are political questions, at the same time are educative, because, besides counter with the pre-conceived acceptance that in that social context the subjects don’t have or not will have significant options for their lives, they also open affectation possibilities, cognition, thinking and, above all, existential movement. Ask about what is wished in the existence path must be taken as eminently educational action, which mobilizes ways to seek knowledge and, at the same time, care of affective questions that cross the corporal modulation with which enter in the classroom. In a such propose, the learning promoted isn´t only of curricular contents, but of essentials elements to organize a potent mode of life.

We need, therefore, have a radical ampliation of the education in direction to the work of to promote the learning of more and new affects, getting out of the content conception, congitocentric and disciplinary of the education. Study, so, could be enlarge the reality by which the bodies are affected, namely, to educate could be more than only teach ideas that portray a reality already given.

So, if we say that our tunnel offered an intensive experience is more because we saw the students overcoming a given state of the sensibility, to realize what Deleuze (2006, p. 333) calls of transcendental exercise of the thinking, or “[...] pedagogy of the senses”, by which, the sensibility accesses the force originally intensive and ineffable of the sense and the bodies turn themselves material of a to become. Well, what is characteristic of the intensive is that it is always affirms the difference, putting it as a reality, as component of the culture of the real, where is comprehended the unequal (Deleuze, 2006). Something is only so much more intense, when more it can keep simultaneities of sense. Although the students’ speeches have been significant, we allowed ourselves to see intensity in the experimentation made by the fact of that speeches been few, but, poetics: there was an affectation excess to the detriment of the meanings assigned. There was an invisible field of senses that coexisted (insisted) on the express speeches: Dulce, for example, remained mobilized with the experience.

Education more than Schooler: affective education and (micro)politics

Besides the discussion deeply philosophical made here, it must be remembered that a nihilism problematization is immediately politic. The force of life´s decrease isn´t if not a (micro)fascism´s expression, namely, expression of hate to the difference and the attempt of sick modes and weakening of life make prevail the submission and passivity, passing by potent, caricaturing the image of force and power. So, we consider that, with experimentations like that presented here, we promote an aesthetic and affective inclusion, which, instead of be adaptation new form to the dominant world and pact with a merciful pre-conception about the students supposedly helpless and wronged, is the pitiless sensibility enlargement, of possibility, and pact with the force to can more, of become the students as always capable of more affect, more potency and more reality. We are aware that, indeed, these students have few access and contact with innumerable cultural activities, so much that, in a class out of the room realized with them to know the historical buildings at the Vitória city´s downtown, many of them said never had entered in a museum or in a theater. However, even considering the fact that have invisible social barriers for the access of certain social classes to cultural activities, we can´t incur in the posture of foment charitable feelings for with this public. The problem is, so, with artistic interventions these we undertake, is the possibility of, making penetrate the bodies in chaos portions, foment also instants of freedom, of ampliation of the thinking and of the sensibility. “It´s not about the participation by the participation, not even the aggression by the aggression, but the participant gives a meaning to your gesture and your act be fomented by a thinking, in that case the emphasizing of your action freedom” (Clark, 1965a, p. 2).

As we said, it’s about of, with all this, realize a political work, of face the (micro)fascism. Guattari (1985) remembers us, in the extent that the shaking of the capitalist production deterritorialization the individual body, it releases also a revolutionary molecular energy, of which we don´t know yet the capacity of operate a machinic-semiotic revolution. For the author, the thunderous growth of the productive machines also turns them the forms of subunderstanding much more powerful, to the extent that they became subtle and miniaturized themselves. In this context, it´s not the man, as individual, that works, but is an agency of organs, parts, pieces, functions that articulate with other many functions and technical pieces. This, in another hand, enables that the true revolutions been operated in terms of sense transformation, of mutation of the smallest constituent relations of submission agents.

“The molecular analysis can´t only be in otherwise the expression of an agency of molecules potencies, connecting theory and practice” (Guattari, 1985, p. 182). For Guattari (1985), such analyses of molecularity imply in comprehend, above all, how the fascism molecularized itself also, continuing a kind of totalitarian social operation, this time, under other forms, aesthetics and dimensions. The author alerts for how much, each more, are the “[...] techniques of audiovisuals impregnation” (Guattari, 1985, p. 53), that make the work of submit the bodies with softness, introducing them very early in a dominant semiotics politic; transversal process, whose force doesn´t privileges to relapse only over one or another social class. There is, to the author, a homogenization of the semiotics competences operated in the capitalism, looking to a perpetuation of your productive system and ways of life. The servitude in the capitalism is constituted by catalysts of senses, not only by mechanical systems; “[...] it´s not about only concrete operations of learning, but also of the acquisition of abstract schemes, of relational schemes, of an initiation to the axiomatic of the capital” (Guattari, 1985, p. 54).

As Guattari affirms (1985), the actual capitalism doesn´t depend only of correction means centralized in state formations; the actual means of subjection operate by semiotic condensers floating and informational, which make the own subjects assume the control means, repression and modulization of dominant order. We understand that this semiotic reproduction of ways of hegemonic life of capitalism be a nihilism modulation, because they are expressed in the bodies by exactly the attempt of contention of production of new senses. “The capitalist subjectivity, as such is engendered by operators of any nature or size, is manufactured in a way to forearm the existence against all intrusion of susceptible happenings to embarrass and disturb the opinion” (Guattari, 1990, p. 34).

Indeed, the weakening of the vitality we saw in our students, the absence of value or given sense to question, learn, ask and be affected look to us be part of this insidious scheme of servitude´s spiritualization that the author denounces. It´s something that is interested more to the continuity of production of modes of life of the capitalism than secretion of zombie bodies, frightened or scared to the difference, anesthetized by incessant media images, or fixed to dogmatic religious conceptions. It wasn’t about of ideology, but about modulization of sensibility fields by which the bodies are affected, that promotes a new form of be subject much more rigid and seductive, however more inclusive and apparently less violent. The capitalism is the social system properly nihilistic, that takes the bodies to exhaust your vital forces inside a double machinism of production-consumption incessant, frenetically and exasperated.

That’s the reason why, in our job with the school, the coping of the nihilism pass to be seminal educational question. Our militancy is for a pedagogical practice that affirms the fabrication of new aesthetic, whose potency face the capture forms of bodies sensibilities, forms based in sensibility damping, accompanied of offering images and signs caricatured, stereotyped and docilizing. So, we affirm an educational policy that involves and affective education, a practice that, surpassing the contentment and disciplinary escolarizacion, be responsible of violate the semiotic cliches in which the bodies are involved, to secretary unsuspected affects, virulent to become, potent enough to promote a learning of new senses, instigating, reviving of the forces. It would be about an education of artistic nature; affective not only because of be affectionate and sweet, but for implicates expansion exercise of the sensibility in direction to a multiplicity of senses and capabilities of be affected. Indeed, is about a battle that doesn´t end in some interventions and not even founds guarantee in a final state of subjective formation. The work of enlarge the sensibilities is an educational practice vacillating, realized as bet in the production of difference. By those experimental actions, we believed to operate a form of inclusion of these students in the universe of richness aesthetic and affective of the artistic language, which as customarily taken only to art galleries elitist; beyond that, we are promoting also a delicate scraping of the semiotics impregnations shock absorbers of the sensitivities of the bodies. We emphasize that interventions of character aesthetical-political like that must be present in all educational levels and modalities, not only been thinked as specifics to the education of youth old peoples, or to the regular teaching, for example.

After all, in this antinihilist education, it’s about liberate the sensibilities and revive the bodies forces in direction to a conception of world more artistic, rich in senses and less orthopedic. With practices of aesthetic multiplication and senses production we face a control system of bodies based in a politic of signs homogenization.


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1Research supported by CAPES and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Espírito Santo (FAPES).

2All the names here are fictitious for the students and educators identities be preserved.

Received: August 07, 2017; Accepted: November 17, 2017

Fernando Yonezawa is psychologist, Master in Education by Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Doctor in psychology by University of São Paulo and Ph. D. student of the Postgraduate Studies Program in Institutional Psychology of the Federal University of Espírito Santo. E-mail:

Márcia Cuevas is psychologist, Doctor in Education by Federal University of Espírito Santo and teacher of the Postgraduate Studies Program in Institutional Psychology of Federal University of Espírito Santo. E-mail:

Translated from portuguese by Mateus Peledrini

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