losarchivosdelcuerpo[bodyfiles]

An aggregation and archiving project of video, photography, drawings, and written and printed texts, and a multi-media interactive art installation, archive, and tumblr (2013 - ongoing) animated by Dalida María Benfield.

First commissioned by Arte Nuevo Interactiva, Mérida, Mexico (2013). With works by Joeser Alvarez (Brazil), Lindsay Benedict (USA), Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet (Cuba/Mexico/USA), Maria Magdalena Campos Pons (Cuba / USA), Isaac Carrillo (Mexico), Benvenuto Chavajay (Guatemala), Daniel Brittany Chavez (Mexico / USA), Jane Jin Kaisen (Denmark), Fabiano Kueva (Ecuador), Pedro Pablo Gomez Moreno (Colombia), María C. Lugones (Argentina / USA), Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Dominican Republic / The Netherlands), Robert Ochshorn (USA / Germany), Naomi Elena Ramirez (USA), tammy ko Robinson (S. Korea), Zvonka Simcic (Slovenia), Guston Sondig (Denmark), Filippo Spreafico (Germany / Italy), and others.

The work is a collective archive of decolonial knowledge - archives of the body. Including video, sound, pictures, drawings, and written texts, made by the artist-animadora, and contributed to the project by other artists, writers, and the public, los archivos del cuerpo reveal in a global, horizontal and decentralized way - open and in process - a new vocabulary of being and thinking. Our bodies carry the memories of our ancestors and the stories of the world – we are full of precious knowledge and possibilities for the future. The various materials included in the work reveal that the body is a site of struggle between the friction of hegemonic globalization, social movements, nationalisms, indigeneities, sexuality, and constructions of gender and race. What the body knows reveals strategies to define and redefine itself, freeing the senses and opening epistemic understandings.

Proposing the ideas of open knowledge and combining the social forms of the library, the art installation, and a digital archive, the work attempts to create a collective forum in which we can investigate political and poetic questions. When and how does your body feel in story and in history? What are the legacies of liberation and oppression worn by your body? What can this connection teach us about survival and "loving in the war years" as Cherríe Moraga writes, and ongoing efforts for social justice and peace? What are the hidden secrets and stories carried by our bodies? What actions cause the body to remember or forget? What are the sediments that are revealed as we consider these questions through the time-space of the Internet? What are the maps, ancient and future, needed to locate ourselves?

The archive is open and contributions of images, texts or videos are welcome through the website or sent directly to the artist-animadora. Contributions may be visual, or sounds, videos, texts and links and contributions are welcome in any language. The artist is actively soliciting contributions on an ongoing basis. The diversity of the contributions signals the globality of our collective knowledge and the archives of our bodies - ideas, moments, pauses, actions - in which the inner movements of history and memory - coloniality / modernity / decoloniality - are evoked, shared, received, rejected, transformed. The contributions create connections with past or future knowledge, or perhaps connect with the now, with its multiple times and spaces.

The work emerged from an experimental workshop on decolonial body knowledge led by Dalida María Benfield during "Five Decolonial Days in Kassel" organized by Pedro Lasch with the AND...AND...AND project at Documenta 13. The tumblr site was launched during the month of June 2013 during Arte Nuevo Interactiva in Mérida, Mexico, and printed digital images and text of contributions were displayed and distributed. Through its multiple iterations, the project creates spaces within but also beyond the digital world, recognizing the reality that almost half of the world does not access the Internet. The various cultural expressions included in the archive use "new" and "old" media. Digital information is important but not the only or final form of the archive. The archive, then, is an experiment in the reformulation of communication from positions of alterity transposed as multiplicity - of global space-times, ways of being, and media, digital and non-digital. The Internet portends a global conversation of images and ideas, and the project works off that imaginary, while continually developing new ways to distribute information online and offline. Currently, it is evolving as an interactive video and photography installation, a single film in black and white 16 mm, and a series of downloadable and printed zines and other publications.

Exhibitions:

HD: Haceres Decoloniales. Installation co-designed with Robert Ochshorn. SALASAB, Bogotá, Colombia. Curated by Pedro Pablo Gomez Moreno. August 2015.

Feminist, Queer, and Postcolonial Subjectivities in Contemporary Art: A History in Motion. PHAKT Cultural Centre, Rennes, France. Video screening with Mujeres Creando and Diásporas Críticas. Curated by Marie-Laure Alain Bonilla and Elvan Zabunyan. April 2015.

Los Archivos del Cuerpo/Body Files. Solo exhibition of collective project. Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College, Boston, MA. February-March 2015.

Alucine Festival. “Internet and Network-Based Art Projects.” Curated by Julieta Maria, e-fagia collective, Toronto, Canada. February 2014.

Arte Nuevo Interactiva 2013. Museo y Centro Cultural Áak, Mérida, Mexico. Internet based/tumblr presentation. Group exhibition organized by Raul Ferrera-Balanquet. May 2013.


Installation details:

The archive is constantly growing and each exhibition is site /community specific. The spatial and electronic equipment requirements are flexible. The following are suggestions.

EXHIBITION HALL / PHYSICAL SPACE: 12-60 prints, photos, and documents (B x W laser print / archival inkjet color prints, dimensions variable), 16mm film, 2-10 video projections and/or monitors (up to 5 hours of screening time total), sound installation with 1-10 headphones.

DIGITAL SPACE: online as tumblr or dedicated website; single computer with access to Internet; closed network of computers for the entire file to be accessed; multi-screen display with or without Internet access; or single channel screening, finite or looped.

BROCHURES / WORKSHOPS: 300 brochures / booklets (paper / 3 "x 5" / 20 pages) with essays and images to distribute free, and performance/pedagogical actions in the form of discussions and workshops with the public for the production of works art and literature to include in the file.