The DIV 2005 – 2006


The DIV (Dislecksick Intelligent Vi-jon, a play on the word ‘div’, which in the UK slang means ‘an idiot’ or ‘stupid’)

is a character created to make the statements which take the audience to a place that the artist cannot. At the centre of this body of work is the notion of “dyslexic” as 3D thinker: listening and observation becomes “reading”; declarations or speech become “writing”. The DIV both represents and exposes the inner workings of the dyslexic ‘3D thinking’ experience.

The DIV is present in a number of bodies of work; he is the glue that holds 14 years’ work on dyslexic projects together and is the spokesman for ‘Invisible Conversations’. This constitutes one of five key strands of work which explore some of the varying experiences and possibilities of the dyslexic perspective. These are brought together and explained through the touring performance lecture ’3D Thinkers in 2D World’.
The five strands are:
An open call for adult Dyslexics to come and speak with the artist before being photographed. This process has taken place at residencies in the UK and the United States, revealing complex systems that people have developed to navigate through the counter-intuitive systems of the “lecksick” world.

DIV 0.2 AV compunction: An online interactive dyslexia Dictionary from “Lecksick to Dislecksick” where “everyone can be Dislecksick- you just need to try harder!”. There includes an introduction on how to use a search engine as a spell check.

DIV 3D architecture: The development of ideas through conversations with an Environmental Architect. Fundamentally, we share a people-centred approach, but we still wonder what a “dyslexic” building could be like?

DIV 4D: A time-based archive of audio visual content for dyslexics, by dyslexics.

DIV 5: A school for the perfection of dyslexia where you can learn how to be the best Dyslexic you can be. An investigation of the notion that a 3D thinker (Dyslexic), when freed from the constraints of reading and writing, will firmly have the upper hand in the employment market, having been born with the mental talents to navigate conceptual space instinctively.

The DIV from benedict Phillips on Vimeo.

This 32 minute long film was made during a seven week artist’s residency at Persistence Works – a prestigious studio complex in the heart of Sheffield. Named after Benedict’s created character ‘The DIV’ (Dyslexic Intelligence Vision) the film visits Benedict at key moments during a series of public events and conversations and records his investigations into public conceptions of difference. This includes his performance “The Invisible Apartheid of Words” where 60 plus people sat a 45 minute exam in becoming Dyslexic, presided over by The DIV, followed by footage of the Award ceremony where the participants discover with great joy that they are all Dyslexic! It also captures the beginnings of “Invisible Conversations” Benedict’s ongoing international photographic portraiture project. The story is punctuated by conversations with the artist, commissioners, and participants.

By inverting the social traditions of dyslexia as failure and the medical model of disease Benedict tells society where they can stick it and informs and delights in a truly impactful way.

“Everyone can be dyslexic, they just need to try harder” Benedict Phillips