MFA in Visual Art

Dalida María Benfield / Faculty Co-Chair

Dalida María Benfield

Dalida María Benfield is an artist, researcher, and writer who produces videos and installations, alongside collectives, archives, artists’ books, workshops, and other pedagogical actions crossing online and offline platforms.

Her current work, “los archivos del cuerpo (body files)” explores a decolonial feminist aesthetics and the poetics of knowledge sharing, taking the form of an online platform, a growing digital archive of collective contributions, an installation, a video screening series, workshops, and print publications. Her research and writing address “decolonial media aesthetics,” contemporary Third Cinemas, and how artists, globally, engage video and information technologies for gender, racial, environmental, and media justice. She is co-founder of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects, an open access transnational feminist platform for art, writing, and pedagogy. Alongside her teaching in the VCFA Visual Arts program, she is a Visiting Researcher in the futuremaking.space at Aarhus University, Denmark. From 2011-2013, she was a Research Fellow and from 2013-2015, a Faculty Associate, at the Klein Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, researching forms of online cooperation, identity, gender, and activist video art. Previously, she was Chair of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and from 1994 – 2007, she was a member of the artists collective, Video Machete, which created open access media centers and free workshops as a practice of liberatory media pedagogy.

Her projects have been shared through numerous exhibitions, screenings, and symposia, including at the Volksbühne-Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin, Germany; DOKK1, Aarhus, Denmark; Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College, Boston; PHAKT Cultural Center, Rennes, France; SALASAB, Bogotá, Colombia; Espacio Parqueadero, Museo del Banco de La Republica, Bogotá, Colombia; Arte Nuevo Interactiva, Mérida, Mexico; Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok, Poland; the Fredric Jameson Gallery, Duke University; Playspace Gallery, California College of Art, San Francisco; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Recent publications of her writing include “Cinema Flows, Like Water,” in Moscow Art Magazine (2016); the Preface to The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth (Routledge, 2013); “Flow” in the “Decolonial Aesthetics” edition of Social Text/Periscope (July 2013); and chapters in the books Estéticas Descoloniales (Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2012), Mapping Latina/o Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader (New York: Peter Lang, 2012); Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (Routledge, 2012); and Making Our Media: Global Initiatives Toward a Democratic Public Sphere (Hampton Press, 2009). She holds a Ph.D. (2011) from the University of California-Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, and an MFA (1989) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.