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Marissa Lee Benedict 

Solo exhibition at Threewalls (Chicago, US).

Exhibition essay text by Pat Elifritz ︎︎︎here.


May 2013 threewalls press release:



1. consisting of many elements in a complex relationship
2. manifold; multiple.
3. of, pertaining to, or using equipment permitting the simultaneous transmission of two or more trains of signals or messages over a single channel.

1. a system or signal involving simultaneous transmission of several messages along a single channel of communication.
2. (in map making) a stereoscopic device that makes it possible to view pairs of aerial photographs in three dimensions.
3. a building containing a number of motion-picture theaters or, sometimes, a cluster of adjoining theaters on the same site.
1. to send several messages or signals simultaneously, as by multiplex telegraphy.

[from Latin: having many folds, from MULTI- + plicāre to fold]
pl.  multiplices


“How much of philosophical, scientific, and political thought is caught up with the idea of continuity? What if it were otherwise? … [if there was] a way of thinking with and through dis/continuity - a dis/orienting experience of the dis/jointedness of time and space, entanglements of here and there, now and then, that is, a ghostly sense of dis/continuity, a quantum dis/continuity... differentiations that cut together/apart - not separate consecutive activities, but a single event that is not one.”

“Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Realtions of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come”, Karen Barad (Derrida Today 3.2 (2010):240-268 Edinburgh University Press):


As someone deeply curious about the way our world works – from the simple clarity of infinitesimally small micro reactions to the infinite complexity of macro interactions – Marissa Lee Benedict’s practice is deeply rooted in research and experimentation. Growing out of a four year investigation into algae - and its potential to transform our food, pharmaceutical, science, and fuel industries - MULTIPLICES is an exploration by Benedict into processes of thinking, making, researching, assembling, transforming: processes of making dis/connections.

For MULTIPLICES, Benedict has collected algal samples from 5 sets of sites in the Chicago metropolitan area, taking these sites as a series of coordinates from which to draw spiraling connections between personal, social, material and theoretical histories. Installed in threewalls’ main space, MULTIPLICES pairs written text with sculptural objects; assemblages which put forward the experience of the exhibition as a multiplex, as a way in which messages and transmissions can be packaged together and sent simultaneously along a single telephone line. Building upon Deleuze and Guattari’s proposition of the book as a space where “...there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and destratification,” Benedict encircles the gallery space with a single shelf – a ledge prepared to hold a multitude of books which serve as a road maps for the sculptural assemblages occupying the gallery walls and floors.

Traveling to Wolf Lake, Belmont Harbor, the offices of SAIC/SAIC (the Art Institute and the sience/technology company), Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite/Dusable Park and threewalls itself, Benedict dis/connects these 5 sets of coordinates through a process similar to that of felting – of generating a nonwoven fabric through the multiple, random interlocking of spiral strands (fibers) under heat, friction and pressure. Utilizing this process of “felting” as a metaphor for describing the synthesis of a four year body of research, Benedict takes up the exhibition as a moment to embarks on a discussion of MULTIPLICES: of simultaneities and separations; iteration and reiteration; sampling and searching and researching; cutting apart and together; certainty and curiosity and uncertainty; chance and intention and proposition; moments of hope and failure; loss and transformation; everything and nothing.