Somatic Archiving

All of us know we embed memories in our bodies, but how does this happen? How do we access it? What are the implications of opening up the somatic dimensions of archiving?


Somatic Archiving contributes both theoretically and practically to Somatic Materialism. It relies on embodied, phenomenological, and artistic research methodologies at the same time as expanding philosophies of affect and materiality. Digital design prototypes are produced, relying on augmented, mixed and virtual technologies.

Somatic Archiving is an immanent form of the Performance of Memory, both because it is deeply internal, but also because as immanent phenomena, somatic states are always in the process of revealing but never fully revealed.

Living Archives research in this area has taken the form of publications, conference presentations, and keynote, a symposium, a workshop and 2 on-going artistic collaborations:



Somatic Materialism, or Is it possible to do a phenomenology of affect?” (2013), article published in the SITE journal of art theory, philosophy and criticism (by Susan Kozel)

From Openness to Encryption” in the Living Archives publication Openness on (2016) (by Susan Kozel)

Performing Encryption” 2017 in Performing the Digital: Performativity and Performance Studies in Digital Culture, eds. Martina Leeker, et al, transcript Verlag (by Susan Kozel)

Conference Presentations:

Somatic Archiving” Paper presented at the Things to Remember Memory Studies Conference, University of Nijmegan, Holland, 5-6- June 2014. (by Susan Kozel)

Technologies of Memory: a Somatic Approach to 3D Archival Technologies” paper presented at the Somatechnics Conference, Byron Bay, Australia 2016 (by Susan Kozel)


Performing Encryption: A Somatic Approach to the Practices and Urgencies of Contemporary Archiving, Keynote for the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference in Coventry, UK 2015 (by Susan Kozel)

Somatic Archiving Symposium 2015

Performing Encryption Improvisational Workshop 2015

Artistic Collaborations:

“Performing Encryption: explorations with motion capture and virtual reality” (collaboration between Ruth Gibson, Bruno Martelli and Susan Kozel)

Gibson Martelli - Big Bob

“Embodied Prototyping for Somatic Archiving” collaboration between Jeannette Ginslov, Susan Kozel and Margrét Sara Guðjónsdóttir, experimenting with ways to archive Guðjónsdóttir’s upcoming production of ”Conspiracy Ceremony: Hypersonic States”

MS Gudjonsdottir Header

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