[-empyre-] Sofía Córdova introduction

Sofía Córdova sofia.v.cordova at gmail.com
Fri Mar 29 04:02:53 AEDT 2019


My name is Sofía Córdova and I am a conceptual artist from Carolina, Puerto
Rico currently residing in Oakland, California with a material focus on
performance, video, music, sculpture and installation. My work for the past
several years has centered around science fiction as a liberatory site,
taking cues from authors who themselves occupy marginalized identities and
thus use sci-fi as a site for exploring histories alternate to the ones we
exist in and all their capitalist, patriarchal and white supremacist

The work began in 2012 as the episodic video work Echoes of a Tumbling
Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos), which includes an original score,
composed and produced by myself in collaboration with my partner as part of
our project XUXA SANTAMARIA (which itself produces discrete music and sound
performances). That series served as the heart of a universe which has come
to include painting (The Kingdom is Me and WORLD MAP), 8mm film (They Held
Dances on the Graves of Those who Died in the Terror), sculpture (Meltwater
Pulse), photography (FRUTA PRIETA) and finally, in 2017 the large-scale
live performance, BILONGO LILA: Nobody Dies in a Foretold War.

This performance collected all the audio-visual elements of the Echoes
series which were in turn reinterpreted by myself in collaboration with 7
musicians and 3 dancers that all identified as POC, queer +/or trans .

This performance fleshes out the slow ecological decline of earth, which
leads to both a traumatic break in historical continuity and an opportunity
for cultural rebirth for those that remain. In particular, the performance
investigates what this future can mean when used to imagine alternative
realities for the marginalized: people of color, womxn, trans and queer
folks. This work is dually concerned with examining white patriarchy and
late technological capitalism, and how both have advanced the conditions
evidenced in climate change.

The two-act performance renders our new earth into a corrupted but thriving
ecosystem, one that is digital while also being organic and unknowable.
Through video, dance and music—ranging from experimental improvisation to
pop interventions—the work serves as a journey through desolate shores,
impossible ecology, mutants, and ruined cities, eventually culminating in a
visitation from three future deities inspired by Santeria’s Orishas. In
addition,  I led the performance from the perspective of a techno-babalawo,
in keeping with my interest in syncretism as another form of transgressive
strategy towards liberation.

It is this project which to me signaled a major shift in the work and
process towards collectivity. Not only in the obvious sense that I opened
up my collaboration to include 10 new bodies but that in doing so it began
to enact in practical, material ways, what the work has always been about;
world building a universe beyond the constraints of white patriarchy BUILT
by the very bodies my work is concerned about.

If you would like to see the work, you can visit it here:
It is an hour so you can opt for the sound only version :)

Thanks for having me, it's been fun to read along for the past 4 weeks and
apologies for the delay, midterms are in full swing and life in the studio
is, as ever, wild. I'll keep my eyes here to learn more about this week's
other panelists and to chime in should a theme organically, 'collectively',

Sofía Córdova
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