Multiple Feedback

By Flavio R. Orzari Ferreira

During school, I learned something about giving feedback. It was a way to give feedback that was more of a talk we had, and I learned there are different types of feedback. The way we give students points about their art says a lot about how we think of school and education and other ways of ‘selecting’.

Between 2019 and 2020, I participated as an artist researcher in the postmaster programme at a.pass (Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies) in Brussels. At the beginning of this process, an activity was proposed to the whole group of participants: a reflection about feedback. This reflection provoked us to rethink feedback and develop it as a more democratic and sensitive practice. For this, we had a list with a range of different types of potential feedback. In this way, we chose, sometimes individually, sometimes collectively, what kind of feedback we were interested in, considering the research process of each of the participants or even the workshops offered by the postgraduate organisation.

In my artistic and pedagogical path, I have always been interested in this learning process and how it involves different kinds of evaluations. The culture of evaluation, as we can call it, is present in all learning processes of all fields. We can say that evaluation culture is also present in our professional life after education since we use evaluation tools in all forms — be it in job interviews, in open call procedures, or even internally, in public or in private work institutions!

Feedback is perhaps the most present instrument in the art world whether in educational institutions or in professional environments. So, I have carried with me a list of potential feedbacks as a practice of artistic and educational investigation. I propose to you, user of this almanac, to experiment with this practice by following the protocol below.

a healthy feedback environment

  • Ensure space and distance between the time of the presentation and time of the feedback.
  • Make clear agreements on the type of feedback chosen by all concerned.
  • Give meaning to the feedback by respecting questions and needs expressed by the person or persons receiving feedback.
  • Feedback is about the object presented, not the person.
  • Provide cognitive justice and epistemological empowerment by ensuring the diversity of race, gender and class knowledges whenever possible.

Feed me back

The possibilities for feedback are endless so this is not a finished protocol. I invite you to continue this discussion with me via email: In this way, we can broaden our perception of evaluation culture in the art world and hopefully provide what Boaventura de Sousa Santos called “cognitive justice” in his book, Decolonizing the University: The Challenge of Deep Cognitive Justice.

A different kind of feedbacks

Analytical/Diagrammatic (Descriptive Feedback)

How are the elements related to each other’s practices?


Radically descriptive or phenomenological: I saw… I heard… I felt… I understood…


Politics, ideologies, belief systems, areas of knowledge, ontology that the research is based on, getting to the hidden fundament that works through the research.


Offering a context (historical, political, etc.) in which the research can be seen by tracing elements (methods) of research to their origins or current development.


“I would do it this way…” “I would continue this piece this way…”


(personal) “I liked…”, “I did not like…”, “It was interesting that…”


Thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis, counter proposals, thinking the other way around, What if…?


Based on images, not words.

Quoting shower

Based on quotes, not personal thoughts or words.


Based on questions, not affirmative sentences.


Offered in the form of a practical presentation by another.


Based on a problem or difficulty given by the presenter as something to be taken care of and/or assimilated by someone else.

Keywords feedback

Confronting keywords from the giver and the receiver of the feedback moment as a departure for a deeper debate.