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House of Everything and More in El Paso

Greetings from El Paso, Texas. I’m here as a visiting artist at CUADRO, a new art space supported by the University of Texas El Paso. So new, in fact, that there is no website to link to! The space is empty, we’ve got keys, we’re working on getting tables, chairs, internet, so we can start working in the space. We (me and Nicole Lavelle) are working with local artists to produce/curate performances, interactive works, and workshops, and do some events of our own. Will post updates as we have them!

– If you are in El Paso, the events will be taking place next weekend, October 10-12, during Chalk the Block weekend. CUADRO is at 210 N. Stanton St., next to House of Pizza. Details on events forthcoming on the forthcoming website.

Art,Events,Main @ 2:16 pm October 1, 2014

This Guy Put 39 Different Songs Onto One CD And It Sounds Amazingly Awesome

I am excited to have contributed a new mix to Eric Laska’s expertly curated site, Lateral Addition. In a way this mix is a an attempt to represent “the sound of Media Consumption Today,” and I reflect a bit more on that in the text that accompanies the piece. I’ve copied it below, along with a track list. Direct download here.

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While I still buy records and tapes, increasingly for me, the time I spend Listening To Music has become a part of the more general act of Media Consumption, which is largely grouped under the heading Time Spent on the Computer. There is a permissiveness to mixing content in the new culture of sitting on your couch with your laptop, making your own entertainment. The flatness of more access means we listen to more disjointed content all the time, and has created a feeling of normalcy around collage. “Everyone is a DJ.”
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Art,Main,Mixtape,Music,writing @ 12:17 pm September 10, 2014

Summer House & New Weaving

I participated in Summer House last week, a show curated by Nicole Lavelle at her family’s house in the woods of Lagunitas, CA. It was a fun mix of an art show, performances and readings, creative hangout BBQ session, local explorations, and camping, that stretched for a week in between two Saturdays when the house was open to the public.

For my piece I wove a hammock on site, using an enlarged and modified backstrap loom, and including fabric that people donated. Pics below.

The finished product:

Getting started at home:

Took a walk up to the spillway and did some sunset jams:


Shared from better-space
download/iPhone

Art,Events,Main,weaving @ 12:14 pm August 26, 2014

‘Coolest Sound Ever’ and Other Search Terms

Back in August 2013, I curated and hosted this short screening of Youtube videos at Machine Project in Los Angeles. From their site:

Bennett will present and lightly host ‘Coolest Sound Ever’ and Other Search Terms, a short mix of found YouTube videos that documents humanity’s numerous and mildly successful attempts to capture auditory phenomena on consumer grade video equipment and cell phones. From the mountains to the valleys, from the gongs to the Disney cruise horns, from the air raid siren enthusiasts to the castle cistern free jazz, this mix brings us close listening for the short attention span.

This event is part of Machine Project’s All-Echo Weekend, as part of the Echo Park Rising festival.

Here is that same set of videos as a Youtube playlist. (At the time of the original screening, none of these videos had ads on them. Since then some have been added.)

Other search terms include gong, organ, echo, noise, siren, horn, horn battle, yelling, reverb, and chanting.

Art,Events,Main,Music,Talk @ 3:28 pm April 17, 2014

Writing for Artbound


I recently wrote series of articles for Artbound, the arts and culture outlet of L.A. public television station KCET, in preparation for an episode of their show about The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture. The articles were edited largely from interviews that I conducted with the artists last summer when I was producing the project, and include a lot of fun details about the inspiration for and making of each piece.

Links here:
Jmy James Kidd and the Sunland Dancers on Flat Top Hill
17 Weird Pool Performances Your Swim Coach Doesn’t Want You To Know About
Jacqueline Gordon’s L.A. Food Center Soundscapes
The HafoSafo Chorus and the Sunset Foot Clinic Sign Online
Cliff Hengst’s Semi-Fictionalized, Drag Double-Decker Bus Tour
Sara Roberts’ Clump and Whistle

Art,Main,writing @ 10:31 pm January 21, 2014

Next Punchline 30 Miles, HDTS 2013


I showed my piece Next Punchline 30 Miles at High Desert Test Sites 2013. It consists of a joke told across two billboards, spaced 5 miles apart on a desert road outside of Joshua Tree, CA.
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Art,Main @ 12:53 pm December 5, 2013

Frontier Fellowship

I recently spent six weeks in residence as the Frontier Fellow at The Epicenter in Green River, Utah. This is a cross post from their blog that I wrote reflecting on my time there. Originally posted on 11.10.13 at http://ruralandproud.org/epicenter_blog/ffrbw/
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Biking home at sunset

I first came to Green River in February 2012 to visit my friend Ali Osborn, who was here as a Frontier Fellow. A drive through the San Rafael swell in the morning light, a few West Winds breakfasts, and walking an open field in the shadow of the Book Cliffs was enough to get me to apply for the Fellowship this year. I’ve happily spent the past six weeks watching Green River turn from summer to fall, working on a variety of projects, and trying to put my finger on what makes this tiny town so darned interesting.

Frontier Fellow Dylan Adams unloading supplies for the Seed Spittin’ contest. Hay bales and Book Cliffs looking especially picturesque. Snackin’ at Crystal Geyser.

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Art,Main @ 11:03 pm November 17, 2013

www.sunsetfootclinicsign.com

This past August I launched www.sunsetfootclinicsign.com, which is the first web-based project I’ve done in a while. The site is an accurate recreation of the Sunset Foot Clinic rotating sign on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Commonly known as “The Happy Foot Sad Foot Sign,” locals say that the sign has the power to predict the fate of your day, depending on which side you see first when you pass by.

Please click through to the site and the About page there to read some of my reflections on L.A., signage, history, Zippy, memory, neighborhood preservation, and folklore.

This project was part of The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, a series of site specific performances highlighting unique architecture throughout the city, which I produced on behalf of Machine Project and Creative Director Mark Allen. To celebrate the launch of the site, I teamed up with Jessica Cowley, who organized a Public Space Singalong underneath the sign. Read more about that event here, and see the video below:

Hafosafo Chorus & Sunsetfootclinicsign.com by Jessica Cowley and Bennett Williamson from machine project on Vimeo.

Art,Main,Music @ 10:54 pm

F.A.T. Public Access at FAT GOLD

F.A.T. GOLD @eybeam - YOUR ART!! party

Last week during FAT GOLD, I organized an alternate A/V stream called FAT Public Access on which I hosted a series of performances, talks, lectures, and informal chats broadcast live from Eyebeam’s gallery space to the web. It’s rare that FATLAB gets together in person, and I wanted to capture some of the energy & dialogue that pours forth when we do. I also wanted to use our show (and Eyebeam’s equipment!) as a platform to present the work of artists, librarians, curators, musicians, researchers, and friends whose projects dovetail with the values and themes of FATLAB.

It was fun to play host whether facing an audience or just the reverb of the empty gallery space. While doing a public access show live meant I spent most of the week trapped at Eyebeam, it had the side effect of making lots of my friends come to me, so many many thanks to those that attended & performed. Hopefully this documentation is a window into the action for FAT members and international audience not in attendance.

Big thanks to the Eyebeam staff, curator Lindsay Howard, and all the FAT homies.

If you can’t hang with the real deal 4:3 flv video quality (#2013), I also have provided the audio separately for radio-style enjoyment. Click through for the full list!

4.2.13

Talking Fidonet w/ Kevin Driscoll


Kevin Driscoll joined us from Los Angeles via Skype to discuss Fidonet and other salient topics surrounding his dissertation Hobbyist inter-networking and the popular internet imaginary: Forgotten histories of networked personal computing, 1977-1997. We talk about looking at the ‘people’s history’ of the web and communication technologies as a way to provide the backbone in arguments for user-driven infrastructure in today’s conglomerated networks, duh! MP3

Jamming with Critter & Guitari

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 9.47.58 PM
Brooklyn-based synth makers Critter & Guitari, nee Chris Kucinski & Owen Osborn, talk briefly about how they manage their fun project that turned into a business, and then jam profusely on Kaleidoloops, Bolsa Basses, Pocket Pianos and other #rare homemade junk, with some friends along for the ride. MP3

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Art,Events,Main,Music,radio,Talk @ 5:49 pm April 14, 2013

FMF @ ARTHALL

A new digital transfer of my piece Salute (FMF_2010.05.25) is included in this inaugural show at ARTHALL in West Philly, the awesome new basement home of Dear Memo magazine/blog. The show was put together by my man Gil Gentile and the homey Thomas. If you are in Philly please check it out and send me a pic! Shouts out to Nam Jun Paik.

TV Garden
at ARTHALL
Opens Sat Nov. 10, 2012 @ 8pm
637 South 49th St., Philadelphia PA 19143
http://dearmemoarthall.tumblr.com/

Art,Events,Main @ 10:44 pm November 9, 2012
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