La Escuela Para-Sitio (The Para-Site School)

Parasitism is defined as a type of non mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host.”

Publication: Five year of the Para Site School

By thinking of the university as live organism—an amalgamation of smaller systems such as schools, labs, researchers and research groups—La Escuela Para-Sitio (The Para-Site School) infiltrates the university in a parasitic way and uses its resources to challenge and then re-imagine education as material experience and relational dimension. The project proposes an alternative system or ‘site’ for undocumented immigrants living in Pittsburgh to attend to college, while the school itself serves as a platform to investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, participation as co-production and social interventions as a form of artistic practice.

Initially, La Escuela Para-Sitio emerged out of the collaboration with Jóvenes Sin Nombres, a group of Latino youth based in Pittsburgh, PA. Below is a video of one of the workshops I developed for the group, in collaboration with Mary Tremonte (an artist, printmaker, Dj and event organizer living now living in Toronto).

Video by Tj Collanto:

Process:

Since the Spring of 2011, I’ve been teaching an art class (in secrecy) at CMU to a group of Latino Youth. Several of the students have been living in the United States for most of their lives, but still remain undocumented.
Throughout the workshops, the group had contact for the first time with experimental video-making and video art, printmaking techniques, as well as several discussions around contemporary art. As a result of these workshops, we created a participatory documentary that takes the group, the classes and the situation itself as the subject of the work (HD video 17 min long)

Dream Act: Sueños en Vilo