Through forms of interaction and communication, relations consolidate into stories and narratives, into culture and objects, organizations and institutions. Such processes also generate change. My practice as an artist and facilitator, which I summarize as Performative Diagrammatics, attends to articulations that take place in conversation and play. I invite participants into facilitated workshops, where we use and alter Diagrammatic Instruments to model own and experience other ways of articulating meaning, drawing on embodied values through movement and conversation.
The Diagrammatic Instruments used in facilitating workshops range from verbal prompts to fabricated objects, like pre-printed diagrams on whiteboards, 3D printed figures, knotted strings, and live streaming, custom-coded 360° video. They emerge from months and sometimes year-long, studio-based Performative Diagrammatics laboratories, co-creation sessions that revolve around play, feedback and critique processes. Diagrammatic Instruments develop slowly and are modified over time, by observing their effects when in use. Co-creators may become workshop facilitators.
As a social and professional practice, Performative Diagrammatics centers epistemic diversity as knowing differently – personally, communally, and institutionally. What is at stake is which stories come into being. Epistemic violence denies and actively undermines unfamiliar or competing ways of knowing and doing. As an aesthetic practice, Performative Diagrammatics creates a 'doubling', the simultaneous experience of one's own and others' epistemic specificity, intentionally and artfully. In this way, it is possible to think about Performative Diagrammatics as a practice towards peace.
The image above shows a "Micro-practices for a New Gentleness" workshop, at Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, in 2020.
Fractal 3-Line Matrix Instrument
The Braid Instrument
Performative Topologies Instrument
Micro-practices for a New Gentleness Instrument
Contextualizing Diagrammatic Instruments
Diagrammatic Instruments derive from my fascination with architectures of grammar and rhetoric, and performances of belonging in social contexts. This means that language and reading, interpretation and attention to modes of articulation are the roots that feed my work. Part of articulation are the conventions it is channeled through, which in addition to the traditions carried within the languages we speak include the permissions and prohibitions that are embodied in organizations and institutions, and the many ways of making sense we carry within our bodies.
Playing out along my own trajectory through a part of the art world and using that as material, Diagrammatic Instruments are interrelated. Performative Topologies intentionally mobilizes what I learned from the performative uses of The Braid. Micro-practices for a New Gentleness additionally draws on structural permutations, such as the Fractal 3-Line Matrix enables. Instead of finding and sharpening shared structures, the Intra-view actively does away with strictures. I can only do this work because others agree to co-create it with me, in studio sessions and workshops, as part of seminars, residencies, conferences, and laboratory set-ups in exhibitions.