Artwork - 2012

Oakland 2 (With 5 Ton Crane)

Oakland Squared is a large-scale collage installation done by the collaborative arts group 5 Ton Crane. Six images of Oakland were selected, scaled up and fragmented into a grid. Members of 5TC chose individual squares from the images to reproduce using any methods and materials of their choice.

The individual squares were then re-assembled to create six multi-media, topographical, collage representations of the original images.

I worked on several squares for image # 3 – a market in Chinatown.

The installation will be in the window gallery of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art until summer 2013.

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The Sub-Sonaruim

Sub-Sonarium from Benjamin Carpenter on Vimeo.

The What:

Daniel Yasmin and I were lead artists on the Sub-Sonarium project. Its construction and installation was also a collaboration with members of 5 Ton Crane and Gamelan X.

The Sub-Sonarium is an exploration of the psychology that surrounds the associations between sound and emotions. It is an immersive, kinetic, interactive sound sculpture that synthesizes uncontrollable forces in a controlled environment. Standing eighteen feet tall with an equal footprint, it encourages participants to sit, listen and relax.

The How:

The Sub-Sonarium mimics the chaotic sounds of rolling thunder via acoustic, percussive mechanisms. Its chamber contains a series of long, dangling springs that are connected to large membranes embedded in the ceiling. Interacting with these springs causes movement to travel up to the membranes creating vibrations in the surrounding air.

The Why:

At times it seems there is little escape from the fast pace, high frequency existence that we have created. RF signals blanket the air, satellites clog our atmosphere and electrons flow through endless of miles of cable woven in a network that insnares almost everything on the planet.  Similar to the way a thunderstorm releases the humid tension in the air, Sub-Sonarium is a physical, mental and spiritual re-boot. It was designed to bring temporary relief from hyper-reality based anxiety through immersion in an audible, low frequency environment similar to those used to bring shifts in consciousness and achieve meditative states.

Building the Sub-Sonarium:


Sub-Sonarium – Sound Test 1 from Benjamin Carpenter on Vimeo.

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Dialogues In Motion

Last summer SFMOMA  sent an open call out to Bay Area game designers, experience designers and conceptual artists.  They asked for inventive but low-cost ideas for games SFMOMA’s visitors can play in the galleries and other public spaces of the museum.  They received, in the words of exhibition curator Erica Gangsei, “about 50 proposals from community members from a multitude of disciplines and with wide-ranging levels of experience. The proposals varied from the highly-technological to the determinedly-analog, from the absolutely-feasible to the absurdly-farfetched.”

My friend and collaborator Sudhu Twari and I proposed a game involving common words used in art discourse. We chose 12 words and assigned a bodily motion to each of them. Like in bingo, players can check off a box each time they see, hear or think of one of these words (and make the motion) while looking at the work in the museum. They can also check boxes if they see someone else make these movements.

Meredith Scheff did the illustration work.

Our proposal was chosen along with four others and will be on display in the Koret Visitor Education Center from Jan – Aug 2012.

Dialogs In Motion – 2012 from Benjamin Carpenter on Vimeo.

-Stay Tuned

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