August 2022, Salzburg, Summer Academy

Experimental Education Protocol 4: The Ethereal Forest

Let’s imagine our body as a plant.

Let’s imagine our body as a seed plant- ed in fertile soil. The seed sprouts and in time, it grows into a plant. The plant blossoms and bears fruit, which ripens and drops to the ground. This com- bination provides fertile soil for the next generation of seeds to sprout and grow…perpetually regenerating the life cycle. This is how everything works on Earth; a continuous birth erasure and so on. This is how we are all interconnected. Our final purpose for all is going inside the earth.

There is no example that embodies the connections between plant and body better than the mandrake, due to the fact that its root looks like a hu- man figure. This specific hybrid exam- ple of human and plant is the centre of many metaphysical stories. First in the ancient world mandrake’s pharma- ceutical and hallucinogenic substanc- es. Then it was mentioned in the Bible for its aphrodisiac properties. Magical properties were also attributed dur- ing medieval times and mandrake was considered that he/she held a reincarnated man/woman. Mandrake can be seen as the first post-human.

An etherized soul is being reincarnated.

A radical being is being cultivated.

An underground organism is being revealed.

The case study of the mandrake will act as a joystick for our pedagogi- cal method, procedure and concept. Possible relations to other bodies, constituting a forest made of bodies, constituting a forest made of minds, constituting a forest made of ether. All the above is our discussion for the 4th edition of the Experimental Edu- cation Protocol. An attempt to play a role in a new pedagogy without techniques and methods from one small group “that knows” to a bigger group “that doesn’t know”. An unpredict- able school that eliminates conven- tional instruction and forms a series of workshops where spontaneous communication will aspire to blur the boundaries between teachers and pu- pils. Each one of us or together (co- experimenters) will create educa- tional ideas and workshops that take inspiration from this statement and its possible relations.

The fourth version of the Experimen- tal Education protocol is happening in Salzburg as part of the Summer Acad- emy. We will make ourselves a bridge between aspects of nature and as- pects of self, taking as the case study the properties of mandrake and beyond.

The workshops and meetings among the participants will be performed both indoors and outdoors. The course will be divided into 3 stages.

In the first stage participants/co-ex- perimenters will survey the local con- text, bridging places/situations/people related with the general statement for the preparation of their workshop/ presentation. In this stage, there will be individual and communal consulta- tions.

The 2nd stage is to conduct the work- shops in a conversational mode. One participant can also conduct more than one workshop. One workshop can be conducted by more than one person.
In addition, the 3rd stage is to design a PDF/ book that brings into all material generated from all the participants in the form of interviews and research material.

In addition we open our brains to have the confidence to be able to talk in pub- lic, work communally, create our own content through the use of concepts of self-publishing.We will temporarily deny physics, the logical codes be- tween conceptual and aesthetic, natu- ral and artificial, physical and ethereal, present or ghostly.

Our Body is the school, our school is the spirit, our spirit is the cosmos.

Angelo Plessas

September 2019, Suhail boat, Kastelorizo to Athens

Experimental Education Protocol 3: Exploring New Worlds of Relationships 

Living in a civilization dominated by the presence of the media, our contact with physical reality is constantly mediated. Try and observe people at a social event, such as an art exhibition: watch how people behave, how they mechanically transcend themselves in their own experience, perplexed and almost segregated, impulsively looking at or editing different versions of the “now” on their screens. The only thing that matters is their image of alternative versions of the show, “rebuilt” on social platforms which generate other ways of sharing experience and knowledge. Amplified emotions follow… comments, likes, followers and unfollowers, conflicts or alliances form a new psyschological need for reward and attention, all measured and quantified, all made semiotically explicit. The competition for likes and dislikes is a struggle for domination, a classic power- game of social hierarchies, perhaps similar to that of the antiquated notion of teacher and student. But the internet was the tool that originally questioned this hierarchy of broadcaster and receiver by turning every receiver into a potential broadcaster, leading to a hierarchically interchangeable form of communication. Do events such as the art exhibition cited above also become some sort of (a)synchronous solitary tutorial or anarchic participatory lecture? Does this form of communication really guide us to new experiential realms of pedagogy in which new (de)constructions of knowledge take place?

We can begin by exploring these realms along with the desire for more authentic and direct forms of interpersonal communication and knowledge. We can discover the possibilities within these complex and intermedial spaces of learning and observe them in a range of activities in the temporary form of communal life. An example of a space such as this is the Experimental Education Protocol #exedupro. When I founded it three years ago, it had a very simple description: “an alternative educational model in which each edition takes place in a new location. Participants are asked to create educational ideas and workshops that revolve around a case study and the local context”. 

The 3rd edition of the Experimental Education Protocol will take place in the form of a cruise on a wooden sailing boat in the midst of the sometimes-angry, sometimes-peaceful Aegean Sea. The cruise is the case-study in itself, and will start from the remote island of Kastelorizo and work backwards to our destination in Athens, stopping at numerous un-inhabited small islands where many ancient stories and legends are set. Both the islands and many of the sea routes have been used as hidden hideouts by rebels over the course of history, such as the island of Polyaigos, now a nature reserve. At other times they have been used as semi-fictitious models, filled with amibiguous interpretations by historians, natural scientists and anthropologists alike, such as the island of Ro. 

An important point of reference for our project is the Acali Experiment initiated by the Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genoves, who selected a crew of strangers from different races and religions in order to create a microcosm of the world and examine human behavior while crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a raft. Genoves believed that this small isolated raft—floating far out on a dangerous sea for 101 days— was the perfect laboratory in which to begin a discussion about themes such as conflict and human behavior. Acali is an ancient Aztec word meaning “the house on the water”. 

Our own temporary “house on the water”, the Suhail, will similarly move us from
the familiar world to new and different situations, including within the natural environment. This is the one entity that human beings have not been able to dominate, something we are gradually realizing as we experience natures’ environmental revenge. We will be in “direct” access to nature, and will explore it from spatial, social and environmental perspectives. The cruise will act as our base for exploring new types of educational relationships between a small but diverse groups of temporary communards. Learning new experiences of presence, of visual, auditory and haptic sensations, #exedupro3 is a trip with meditative overtones, providing room for all the contradictions that are constructed through contact with a place, using the sea as an open-source, decentralized interface. 

Angelo Plessas

Saturday February 26–Friday March 3, 2017

Experimental Education Protocol

ASFA Delphi Annex, 28 Angelou & Eva Sikelianos St., 33054 Delphi

The imminent collapse of this civilization seems all but likely. A new world order of financial frontiers and arrogant governments is creating poisonous patriotism and repression, leading to the obstruction of truth and knowledge. In 1948, Jiddu Krishnamurti stated that throughout the world, education had failed—having produced the two most destructive wars in history. According to him, changing the thought and attitude of the teacher could produce a new culture, a new civilization.

Almost seventy years later however, the approach to education still seems unchanged. On the one hand, a provincial tradition of education in a “good” school environment involves spending time and money in order to learn the soulless technique of memorizing from boring and pedantic educators supposedly teaching creativity. On the other hand, a new generation is learning through the internet, receiving what appears to be a “live” education—the possibility to consume and produce data simultaneously and a methodology in which the boundaries of educator and student are blurred. Even though this might seem favorable at first glance, deeper consideration reveals that surrendering ourselves to the hypnotizing light of the silver screen as our main solace paralyzes our perception. Admittedly, this semi-acceptable option is the karmic boomerang of old-fashioned institutional education, creating a feeling of obsolescence that radically shapes our mental landscape. Anything new becomes instantly old. Initial expectations of a new form of knowledge acquisition have been abandoned, as our brains are about to crash. Occasionally, we need to “delete” everything to start a new thought process. A different kind of un-education could be a tool to handle conflicting times.

Our goal during the workshop in Delphi is to take a step towards our knowledge and free our mind.

The most hopeful minds for our world are the ones that are absolutely free from any political or religious ideals—there is no future in rigid idealism! These liberated minds, unrestricted by conformism and imitation, expertly practice a new form of communicative exchange. In Ancient Greece these were the sibyls, women who were believed to be oracles, spontaneous prophetesses who could predict wars without any prior political knowledge or philosophical predisposition. Their guidance was derived from inhaling the vapors of laurel, Apollo’s sacred tree. Observing birds flying up ahead, the sibyls disclosed exaggerated threats in apocalyptic language. This open and willing eloquence resembles today’s spontaneously generated online culture: sometimes it triumphs freedom of speech but it also falls into the trap of an extreme freedom of choice generating equally extreme confusion and dependence. We are all surrounded by trolling, fake news, abusive anonymity, insensitive provocation, parasitical sexual identities, and a perverse hierarchy of sender and receiver.

Recently, my nearby neighbor Maria Zamanou-Mickelson disclosed to me that she had been a spy in the Second World War. She recounted that as a teenager during the German occupation, she was commissioned by the Greek Secret Service to spy on the movements of German aircrafts from her house. She imparted her reports about the coming attacks to the Greek and Allied forces in the same manner that the Pythia of Delphi read the movements of birds and offered omens and predictions. During my conversations with Maria, this self-taught heroine, I was stunned by how penetrating her perception, how edgy her inborn logic, how solid her gaze were.

Maria Zamanou-Mickelson becomes the focus of our case study for the second edition of the Experimental Education Protocol (#Exedupro) in Delphi. In this symbolic context, ten people from different backgrounds and generations will become Pythias, preparing a task, and keeping their instincts alive in constant intimate contact with each other. The ancient Greek tradition of kite flying to mark the beginning of Lent takes place during the days of our stay. It involves different rituals and traditions from this special region as part of the Clean Monday celebrations.

During the annual meeting of the Experimental Education Protocol, the biography of Maria Zamanou-Mickelson and the location of Delphi will be open to many interpretations, fostering deep, unconscious, and infinite content, beauty, warm relationships, and a fantastic time.

—Angelo Plessas


Incantations of Love, workshop by Teddy Coste

Full movie

Flying Machines, workshop by Dora Economou

ChimeraU, workshop by Georges Jacotey

Astroarcheology, workshop by Kosmas Nikolaou


Statement of the 2nd Experimental Education Protocol

Presentation of the 1st volume of the Experimental Education Protocol, Nisyros

The 2nd volume of the Experimental Education Protocol, Delphi

Tarot and bird watching, workshop by Chrysanne Stathacos

Ooscopy, workshop by Anthi Daoutaki.

Pythia, workshop by Antonis Kourkoulos

Delphi Scavenger Hunt, workshop by Myrto Vratsanou

Eyes and Ears open, workshop by Ida Westh-Hansen

Text contribution by Andreas Angelidakis

I had been to Delphi before, and stayed at the Art School residency. It was exactly the same time of year, and we followed the same steps. Went to Amfissa for the Pagan parade that had impressed me so much the first time around. Drove around the same mountains, but somehow the memories were too close to form a new relationship. I had not forgotten Delfi enough, to be able to meet it anew. I understood that it is not possible to make the future from fragments of the past, and there is no point, because the unknown will always be sexier. What stayed with me was a moment on the way to Delfi, when we stopped for lunch at a Hani, a countryside cottage restaurant. It looked generic but everything was off. There was a fountain up front, made up of a tree, a little pond and an advertisement for villa constructions to come. Of course those villas probably never came, because real estate in Greece is bust. Was that fountain predicting a future, or was it an omen telling us to not go in the direction of building villas on the mountain?

Next to the restaurant more roadside weirdness. Another fountain, this time in the shape of a isosceles bridge, crossing over a blobby pond. I took a picture and wondered if this was another exedupro omen. Whenever you went up on the bridge it split in two and you had to choose which side to walk on. Had I made the right choice? Should I have taken the other path? Did it matter? Was the water running below, helped by an electrical pump, the current oracle of Delfi? I love water, I love being underwater. When I’m dead, I want to be buried and slowly decompose in the moist earth, that could be the most relaxing experience ever. Well I guess it wont be an experience because I wont be there to experience it, but still, its something to look forward to.

The Cave Project

It was “Clean Monday” bank holiday weekend. I arrived in Arachova and I immediately felt the need to visit Corycian cave – a cave that I had hiked to by chance a couple of years when I was last here

When we got in the cave I googled – as I always do nowadays when I arrived to a point of interest the history of the Cave which interestedly a couple of years ago I did not even care to learn what it is called. (Croce was a nymph – whose name the cave takes) Amongst other interesting facts I found out about the cave I discovered that in 1969 when it the major excavation work took place they found approximately 50,000 terracotta figurines and 24,000 astragaloi “knucklebones” used for astrogalomancy – a type of divination using knucklebones like dice to predict the future. The cave was dump like last time I was there.

When I went outside I found my two friends chatting with a guy they had just met who was telling them that for some weird reason the temperature in the cave remains the same – no matter what the temperature is outside.

That afternoon my friend – Angelo Plessas who was doing a residency program for his Documenta 14 project with ten artists in Delphi at the school of fine arts texted me to join the group at a paganistic fair in Amfissa. – A town approximately 30 minutes drive from Delphi. I went with excitement after reading the brief of the residency which was drawing the parallel between Pytheia and Sybilla oracles and a modern day “oracle/spy – Maria Zamanou – Mickelson ” who Angelo met by chance in Athens a few years ago and who had found a way of decoding plane and ship movements of the Germans during world war II.

The “Stoixeio of Harmaina” reenact ion fair was very interesting to see. It was a fair extremely strong in folklore elements and local traditions and definitely a mixture of paganistic elements and African traditions. Whilst having dinner at the town square and chatting with Chryssane – one of the participating artists that I knew she mentioned, that as part of her residency project she would like to visit the cave that I had just visited this morning. Angelo immediately paired us to do the project together, although I had no clue what he meant by that I just went along with it and was explaining to Chryssane the astrolomancy intelligence I had found out about earlier.

When I went home that evening I started discussing with my friends what could potentially be the “cave project”. Should we find wooden or clay “astragaloi” or just some dice and try to do some symbolic deviation in the cave? We then started discussing the idea of “modern astralomancy”: we had the idea of using redundant technological waste like batteries and using them for devination (same way ancient people would use leftover bones). We came up with all sorts of ideas, iPhones, iPhone cases, chargers, pads, and calling cards…. I left them to go to bed agreeing we would go to Arachova then next morning and try to find a technology store where we would buy something for the Monday cave project.

Before I went to bed I researched divination even further. I read about the four main types of divination: omens, sortilege (cleromancy, sticks, bones etc., where astrolomancy falls under), augury (that ranks a set of given possibilities (. e.g. the organ of an animal shape and color, or looks at flight patterns of birds and so on and finally spontaneous where the medium can be whatever (e.g. a random book page). I also read about Ifi divination – which UNESCO has recognized as one of the unwritten forms of human tradition to protect it and how in Africa and other parts of the world divination is used instead of traditional medicine.

I woke up frustrated. Why do humans need divination? Why do they have this inherit need to predict the future? Why is this part of human nature. I discussed again with my friends who by this point were getting very amused by new obsession. I told them; why is not divination used about the past, if we had managed our past better we would not be so anxious about our future.

I locked myself in my room and started writing down the chimaera of thoughts flooding my head. Is meteorogoly divination? What is the difference between science and divination? Economic theories; are they a form of divination? For example in perfect competition one of the assumptions is perfect information, if that’s the case you can predict the economic outcome. Is about behavioral pattern predicting hedge funds? Are they also a form of divination? Difference between using divination to make a strategic decision and plain curiosity. Have Abrahamic religions dropped divination? Is the Second Advent a form of divination? In the religion spectrum are the ones with a stronger element of divination less evolved?

By that point I got so confused I started texting at 11 o clock in the morning my friends for help (yes I can get a bit manic when I am preoccupied with something at times). The question I posed was the following

Good morning, I am working on an art project in Delphi about divination/predicting the future and how is this a past and present phenomenon that has not changed. Two questions 1) why do you think people have always tried to find out about the future 2) what is the prime example for you of modern day divination?

Some of the best answers I got are the following

My mother:

Compared to all other beings human is the only one that knows he is going to die. Today the knowledge we have from science has almost got rid of divination. Modern day divination? I am sure there is an app of that

My aunt

All alive organisms have a fear of loss of life of pain etc. fear in humans creates insecurity for future and the need to comfort the anxiety by information for the future. Nowadays there is astrology, taro cards, mediums, coffee readers … the needs for humans don’t change

Friend number 1:

  1. To make the right choices in order to be the best
  2. The universal god for Christians, prophet Mohamed for Muslims, I just believe in love and spirit

Friend number 2:

People want to know the future for reassurance they are doing the correct thing so they are constantly looking to the future for validation of their actions today. I think snapchat and instragram false ideals of standards provide options into the future for people however unobtainable.

Friend number 3:

  1. For comfort/security
  2. My mom the whole time is reading tarot cards for people/herself practicing astrology/ graphology. My mom is the family witch

Friend number 4:

Man is inheritably fearful and from an evolutionary perspective, man is the most insecure animal that has occupied the top of the food chain. This is because man evolved to this position very very quickly. Unlike lions of tigers or wolves etc. which did it over millions and millions of years we went on low on the food chance to very high, even on top in no more than 20,000 years. This is unheard of. So to answer to your question I think that man is inheritably insecure which means that man is inheritably seeking control… and to gain control, power fulfillment, you name it we need to se the future to plot the right course… the best I can think of modern day divination is Elon Musk speaking about AI or Bill Gates or perhaps working on mass hadron collider at CERN and spiritual leads who have the ability to strip down everything down… what do you think…?

My answer after having heard all of the above

I think that if we trust the universe and have faith and have a standpoint of love rather than fear – then we wont have the need to predict the future. If we do the best we can with our time here and just focus on love humanity would evolve and would not have this need. We need to evolve

I left the house with my friend to go for a walk in Arachova to find some supplies for the cave project. We found coffee cups and considered buying those and doing a project on coffee reading, we walked into a crystal shop where the woman that was trying to sell us crystals had no idea about them (a very common divination theme is charlatanism), I even walked by OPAP store (Greek betting company) and wondered if betting falls in the divination category.

And then I turned to my friend and I said to her – you know what? I don’t want to do this. Doing a divination is feeding the fear. I don’t want to feed the fear, I want to grow. The same way the cave temperature remains the same no matter what – the world will keep going around and the fundamental truths are going to be there for us to discover through the life mentality we adopt. The cave project should be a ceremony of love and of focusing on the current moment. So dear Chryssane let’s just do that !

Spy log, by Simon Bejerholm Villadsen

My contribution to the project is a log of what we have been doing in the week of the project. Inspired by how Maria Mickelson wrote down the information about German planes, I have, during the week of the project, in secret been taking notes of what we did, when we did it, where, and who. I attempt to orient myself in the environment and my surroundings by constant documentation. I personally have been writing diary for many years and documenting my daily life. It’s something that influences my artistic practice. Mickelson’s story and the history of the oracle of Delphi inspired me to act as a spy during the project. However I am not reaching a result or a prophecy, but merely documenting what’s around me.The log was made undercover, as I was acting as a spy, but not really serving any purpose.

By sharing it with everyone in the end, it could help the participants recall things they had already forgotten and in this way orient themselves in the environment – even in retrospect – and could trigger memories and emotions. The listing of facts, events and details of what has taken place could offer a more clear awareness of what has happened.

Angelo Plessas, Experimental Education Protocol

at the School of Fine Art in Athens, Learning from Athens, documenta 14

See an excerpt of the interview of Maria Zamanou Mickelson

The island of Nisyros in the Dodecanese is the first stop of the project

Andreas Angelidakis: How to make a volcano, anger management workshop

Andreas Angelidakis: #Exedupro, video

Andreas Angelidakis: Head 3d scans workshop

Sepake Angiama: Desire Lines flag, workshop by Sepake Angiama


Frederik Exner Carstens: Pumice Talisman


Frederik Exner Carstens: Flies

Dora Economou: Hiking Workshop

Agnieszka Gratza: Volcanic Swimming performance around Strongili

The volcanic swim was a live art event that took place on 19 July. Participants were invited to join Agnieszka Gratza for a swim around Strongili – the Round One, also known as ‘little Nisyros’ – a volcanic islet in the midst of the Kos caldera whose shape on a map mirrors that of Nisyros. Its diameter is roughly 1,7 km.

The idea was to ‘take the volcano out for a swim’ by focusing on the image of the rounded Stefano crater in the central moon-like valley on Nisyros while swimming around Strongili. It took roughly an hour to complete the circuit, which began and ended in a round blue clearing in the water.

Frederik Exner Carsens’ talisman – an eye made of pumice stones strung together as if they were rosary beads – came with us for the boat journey. On reaching our destination, we floated it and made a circle around it with our bodies. The swim itself was a way of ‘girdling’ the islet by swimming and sailing around it in the fishing boat.

Agnieszka Gratza: Seascapes


Oliver Laric: Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Workshop

Quinn Latimer: Volcano Lovers (Sulfer Bath Reading Sessions)

Arvo Leo: On Flowers -> Honey Bees -> and Humans

Arvo Leo: Outdoor Film Screening of The Private Life of Plants, episode: Flowering

Arvo Leo: Traveling Fossils (Ginkgo Biloba)

Arvo Leo: The Honey Thief  


Mia Lundstrom: Triangle of virility





Do I need protection

what is there to be afraid of

I am not sure

If anything

Do I need luck

Talismans – a matter of trading

safety, wishes, fantasies

transactions, are they not

Worth protecting is not me

Worth protecting is you

Is the Talisman alive

My mirrored me

Can it breathe

Will you stay, I ask

yet, without a voice

I want my Talisman to be hot,

27 years of age, male

with a sixpack tightly packed

between his chest and crouch

hands steadily anchored to his hips


Paolo Thorsen Nagel: innit (composition for bluetooth speaker and volcano)

Angelo Plessas: Talismania, workshop on talisman and amulet making.


Angelo Plessas: Relaxation Grades, daily workshops on measuring our relaxation