Recent Work by Ben Balcom


Thursday, November 20th at 8:00 pm, $7-10

The Nightingale is pleased to welcome Milwaukee-based media artist Ben Balcom, who will present a selection of his stunning film, digital, and hybrid work from the past few years. Balcom engages with medium specificity—the textures and rhythms of the media he’s working in—and simultaneously troubles the inherent distinctions as he blends analog and digital, or pushes a single medium to extremes. His works are ones of instability, hovering tentatively and precariously between New Media and Old Media, but claiming neither (or maybe both). Beyond his formal play, Balcom takes on representation, technology, geometry, intellectual disquisition, systems and structures, and, well, a lot of heady-sounding things. But we come back to that word “play.” The seriousness is measured by a deftness of touch, an enthusiastic curiosity, occasional glimpses of irony, and a sensitivity to the beauty of the multiple textures in the imagery that provide many points of access. In instability there is openness.

A Symptom
6.5 min, 16mm/Digital, 2014
A mirrored discourse. The object we see is the object wanting enumeration, but it is never said quite right. We are looking at speech from both sides of the mirror, listening to the wretch who elaborates upon the grid of desire.

Ceol (Ruinsong)
5 min, 16mm/Digital, 2014
There, the ruins of a castle at the far edges of the land. The birdsong you hear mimics the sound of the river, and the human voice mimics the song of the bird. This is a failed historical gesture sung in the playful, wild mimetic gesture.


Filed under: 16mm, artist in attendance, experimental, video