Ben grew up in the Blue Mountains and studied visual arts at the University of Western Sydney. He currently lives near the Cooks River, in Sydney’s inner west and works with performance video and makes machines to explore new ways of interfacing with the process of drawing and writing. Ben has received several grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and in 2002–03 he spent a year and a half in Mexico with the assistance of the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship. Ben maintains strong connections to Mexican art and activist culture. He completed my doctorate in 2009 with a thesis that considered the relationship between art and neuroscience, focussing on gesture and linguistic embodiment. Ben has a strong interest in the biological sciences and their relationship to art practice.
The acoustic characteristics of any space are defined by the way material in the space either absorbs or reflects sound. In this installation the acoustical treatment of the space creates unique ways of appreciating these dynamics. Sounds in the installation come from a synthesizer. The synthesizer generates and shapes sound exclusively with electricity (rather than amplifying vibrations, like an electric guitar). The voltages that shape the sounds coming from the synthesizer also control servo motors that move the kinetic elements of this installation. These kinetic elements connect the semi-industrial space of the car showroom on Fleming Street with the industrial past of Kandos through an allusion to the ropeway that used to bring limestone from the quarry to the cement works. This installation is a treatment of space that exists between the industrial, the domestic, the acoustical, the electrical, and the mechanical. This project has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Throughout the festival at various times (unscheduled) Ben will be doing live mixing of sound in the space in a way that interacts with the installation elements.
My practice mostly consists of slow, deliberate work with many pauses for reflection. Occasionally it is clear what needs to be done and the work can happen quickly. These rhythms are dictated by the work. Attuning my actions to the work’s rhythm is the biggest lesson that I’ve learnt from all the years that I’ve been making art. The biggest challenge for my practice is how to navigate the many ideas, projects, techniques and forms of knowledge that all seem vital to me. Right now this means thinking about how the connections that exist between electrical, mechanical and acoustical forces can facilitate new relationships between bodies of all kinds.
This project has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.