The infiltrated artist

On the poetics of infiltration and its possibilities for artistic research

Master Artistic Research Thesis. Royal Academy of Arts The Hague. 2022.

This thesis is first and foremost a treatise on (in)filtration. Filtration as a way of adapting by adopting —absorbing— substances, beings, information. Filtration as a pharmacological process: additive and subtractive, generative and destructive, cure and poison. Leakage as a productive accident, as revealing misperformance. Infiltration as the willful act of leaking. Infiltration as a toxic mode of being in the world, but perhaps the only possible one. This research is a philter, and I’m the infiltrated artist.

Like a leak, I will sometimes ask you to imagine you’re able to liquify, and that your liquid body will join mine as we filter and infiltrate through the porous structures of the ground, the city, the art center, the logistics facility, the data center, the cloud. I will also ask you to be careless of careful timely compositions, or designated paths, for I’ll try to entangle stories from the historic, geological and cybernetic times in a single one, and this is only possible by thinking of water as an intergenerational and transcorporeal transmitter of information.


Written by Elisa Cuesta Fernández for the Master Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague (2020-2022)

Supervised by Jasper Coopes; Design: Elisa Cuesta Fernández; Chapter images: Carla de la Huerta; Copy-editor: Georgie Brinkman; Fonts: Cormorant (by Christian Thalmann), & Phosphorus; Printed in The Netherlands, on April 2022

© Elisa Cuesta, 2022


Printed version available upon request (limited edition).
Send me an email to to request a copy.