Other Projects (2006 – 2013)

Other Projects: 2006 - 2013

Field Stations

2013-Present

Field Station #1

HD Video with 3D Animation // 03:48 (looped) // 2013


Field Station #1 is the first of a series of virtual “installations” that I view as modified tactical landscapes—an essence, or idea of some sort of virtual militarized space. These 3D environments are plastered with changing video textures that both reference the inherent structure of the internet (with a nod to Frank Stella via the “browser”) and pull from game culture (in this case gaming through my own version of Guantanamo Bay—my Sims endure a hunger strike in isolated bunkers in the middle of the suburbs).This piece is designed to be seamlessly looped on a monitor or projection screen.


Material Failure: Modernist Shelter Unit

Fired Ceramic, Epoxy, Hot Glue, Masking Tape // 144" X 132" X 108" // 2010-2011

Functioning as a framework for a bunker or shelter to-be, Material Failure: Modernist Shelter Unit is extremely fragile and its attempt to exist as a reinforcement structure is pathetic and in crisis. Constructed of hand-built and assembled ceramic “re-bar”—its  failed attempt at establishing a high Modernist grid becomes evident in both the idiosyncrasies of the hand and in material failure.


Bunker // Drywall, Masking Tape // 96" X 66" X 72" // 2010

BUNKER DRAWINGS

VOIDS

This series of drawings explores the creation of voids or non-spaces that develop into dimensional objects and change shape in space and time. Working back and forth between these drawings and related bunker performance actions, the shapes and forms of the drawings are pulled from and/or are inserted into the performance (more specifically, become placed on the body).


Union Labor Systematic Overload

5 Channel Video Installation // Dimensions Variable

Union Labor Systematic Overload is the culmination of a collaborative effort between Benjamin Rosenthal and Paul Taylor. Exploring areas of intersection between labor and futility, collaboration and competition, and performance and anxiety—the piece centers around the planning and construction of a useless water-delivery system. Performed spontaneously without prior scripting , the event collapses into an increasingly chaotic episode where collaboration becomes violent competition—utilitarian roles exchanged for sheer futile energy. Loosely based around actions in the performance (passing, planning, patching, construction, etc.), each channel experiences moments of building and decay. Performed and exhibited out of synchronization, relationships are established between the channels that are systematically overturned when juxtaposed against another channel.

Production Stills

Loops & Bonds

2009-2010  // 7 Minutes //  3 Channel Video

Loops & Bonds investigates the tension between the spontaneity and subliminal violence of the open-mic scenario and the fraternity, through the juxtaposition of immersive and chaotic images and sound against the austerity of menacing and suggestive performative actions. Evolving out of an exploration of metered utterance, rhythms collapse into frenzied and amorphous experiences—interrupted by the abrupt exposition of production and artifice. Functioning as an agent of connectivity and suture, the lasso and the rope transform to reveal the sinister psychological underpinnings of the event.

PRODUCTION STILLS

DIAGRAM: Exploding Body Detonates the Mind

2006  // 5 Minutes //  16mm film transferred to SD Video (three channel, looped)

DIAGRAM: Exploding Body Detonates the Mind began as an investigation of a set of directions accompanying surplus football teaching films of the 1970’s. The films were used as teaching tools for the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State football teams, and incorporated intense descriptive directions and interpretations of different strategies within the game.

DIAGRAM: Exploding Body Detonates the Mind is based around the performance of these directions by the artist. Evolving from a rather confused sense of strategic analysis, to a maniacal and panicked performed-violent state—Benjamin Rosenthal investigates the development of his personal violence and mania through the critical lens of football. Using surround sound technology, and three channels, the installation produces a sense of motion and acoustic space that corresponds physically with the performance on-screen. Actions become tangibly related to each other—penetrating, piercing, and rupturing the screens that divide them. The collapse of strategy and precision in the dialogue of the film occurs in cycles throughout the duration of the installation, and as such creates a space where these moments of transcendent psychological mania can evolve simultaneously alongside moments of meticulous order.