The Digital Institute for Survival broadens the reach of social sculpture, equipping survivors of sexual violence and communities with access to art that can provide alternative ways of thinking, new research, and potential solutions.
Eschewing traditional methods of information gathering and presentation, this project proposes instead a more flexible interdisciplinary approach. We work with information-based artists to engage with research and with individuals, communities, and organizations, so that we can eventually create a diversity of research, presentation, and communication methodologies built in collaboration between artists, specialists, survivors, and communities. Many artists explore issues facing communities and even develop practices that bring to light a great deal of information, perspectives, and possible solutions; however, the works themselves remain primarily consumed by visitors to specific exhibitions or collections, potentially archived in catalogues or artists’ websites. This project will bring together records and iterations of these works to live together in one place online, accessible as a resource and artistic engagement for survivors and artists globally. We aim to encourage other artists and curators to exhibit their art and findings via DIS, so that we can grow our reach and create a global network of projects addressing related issues. The Institute will thus be an experiment in information communication and a new model for displaying and archiving art and curatorial work.
In creating projects that are specific to artist and survivor communities and given an additional experimental life online, the goal is to create a creative engagement with violence survival that is both local and global. Sexual violence is one of the truly global issues facing us, and yet removing survivors’ stories from their community and political contexts is a tool used to idealize and silence survivors while depoliticizing sexual violence. The Digital Institute for Survival instead creates community-specific projects that can be disseminated globally, creating the potential for unpredicted connection and discovery.
If you are an artist, curator, researcher, survivor, organization, community, or ally and are interested in contributing to DIS, please reach out.