19 April, 12.00–21 April, 18.00 2023


Ulises Friends School

Ulises Friends School by Ulises

In simplest terms, Ulises is a bookshop and project space dedicated to artists’ books and independent art publications. In truest terms, Ulises is a collection of musings, longings, and assorted activities brought together by a group of friends. This is to say that friendship is the medium, ethos, and structure of Ulises. Since opening in Philadelphia in 2016, Ulises has offered a diverse inventory of independent publications available for sale, however, the spirit of this work has always been relational as opposed to transactional. Friendship, as a practice of mutual trust, hospitality, intimacy, generosity, and care, has been central to our work internally as a group and externally in our collaborations with artists, supporters, and audiences. Moreover, these tenets of mutual cooperation lie at the core of what sustains communities of independent art publishing: circulating ideas, caring for collections, and making space.

Modeled on the alternative variation of a “Friends School”—a quintessentially Philadelphian mode of education based on the tenets of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)—these three workshops invite participants to map their own friendships; listen in on lectures; write letters; interrogate complex friendships; reflect in Quaker-style meetings; learn about and create Mail Art (an early precursor to today’s world of interconnectedness); and most importantly, make friends. Ongoing activities, with supplies provided, include making friendship bracelets, watching classic films on friendship, and connecting with a new pen pal. All participants will have the opportunity to be included in a cumulative publication, a “Yearbook[let]” made over the three workshop periods.

Day 1: “With Friends Like These…”

Participants reflect on the idea of networks—from the structures of the art world to one’s own friendships—and one’s place in them. The workshop begins with a lecture on Lucy Lippard’s “Six Years” and centers on a participatory drawing workshop of mapping networks, both personal and beyond.

Day 2: “Truth be Told / You Didn’t Hear it From Me…”

Inspired by Ulises Carrión’s Gossip Scandal and Good Manners (1981), in which Carrión transformed the social practice of gossip, rumor, and scandal into a public project. Participants will engage in a series of activities exploring gossip as a form of communication, collective creation, and public resource.

Day 3: “Let’s Stay in Touch”

The third and final workshop centers on the idea of Mail Art. The workshop includes a lecture on Mail Art (from Ray Johnons’s Correspondence School to early BBS messaging) and an activity in which participants will create their own mail art and write a letter to a friend. Supplies and postage will be provided.


19–21 April 2023

12:00–18:00 hrs


Collective vegan lunch from 12:00–13:00 hrs. Meal included in the enrollment fee. The abundance and variety of the menu depends on the luck of the b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN’s dumpster dive.


Registration on individual days is welcome.

Capacity: 20 participants

Trainer’s Notes

Participants are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own book) on the first day.

Suggestions from the archive


10 May, 12.00–12 May, 18.00 2023

Complaint Making: Setting Up Conflict-Positive Spaces for Community Building Praxis

Vishnu would like to share feminist governance tools (FGT) focused on three of many tiers in community building praxis. FGT is based on the values of equity with an emphasis on creating psychologically safe environments, drawing on the use of consent. Decision-making processes, setting up conflict-positive spaces, and complaint-making as diversity work will form the body of this three-day training. Rooted in Vishnu’s autho-ethnographic practice, this work will explore the power dynamics that impact decision-making processes.


10 May, 12.00–12 May, 18.00 2023

The Diamond Mind II

In this dance training, the people will use a one-minute film of their own movement as material for a booklet—a sixteen page signature—that distributes their presence, their gesture, as an act of EQ. 


3 May, 12.00–4 May, 18.00 2023

Too Late To Say Sorry? 

A bad apology can ruin a friendship, destroy a community, or end a career. In this workshop, we will investigate the impact of apologies on our relationships and our worlds. Why and how do we make apologies? What can giving and receiving apologies teach us about values and integrity? Should you apologize for something you don’t really feel sorry for? We will explore conflict and how we like to be in conflict with others. We will dive into our own boundaries. We will seek to understand how honoring limits becomes an act of building (or freeing) better worlds capable of holding so many, many more of us.


28 April, 12.00–29 April, 18.00 2023

Huisje, Boompje, Beestje (D.A.F.O.N.T.)

In this rare masterclass, retired teacher and artist Glenda Martinus teaches participants a thing or two about painting with Microsoft Word. Martinus shares tips, tricks, and secrets on how to use this software to its unexpected potential as a drawing tool. Participants learn how to draw three basic objects—a house, a tree, and an animal—in a seemingly innocent exercise that perhaps contains more layered social commentary. Drawing the worlds we desire does not require expensive tools or education, simply a curiosity to understand how the monster’s tools can topple the house of the master.