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Benjamin Thorp | Artist Statement

As an artist-curator, educator and producer Iíve contributed to the culture of communities by facilitating creative acts that lead to social change. Through sound, technology, installation and pedagogy, my work strives to engage audiences in experience that furthers an appreciation for and challenges oneís understanding of our surroundings.

As co-founder, director and curator of Black Iris Gallery, Iíve realized exhibitions and programs that explore sub cultures (Let There Be GWAR!), site specific sound projects (Low Frequency Travel Agency), and the origins of our modern surveillance state (Public Eye). Often collaborating with other artists, researchers, organizations and performers, I strive to expanded the definition of artwork to encompass all intellectual, skilled, social and physical labor necessary to maintain an institution where the conditions for creative and social experimentation thrive.

I believe that art has the ability to transform, and the projects I produce are designed to emerge from the environment as openings into aesthetic contemplation, awakening individuals in new ways to the diverse world surrounding us.

As an artist my work has been shown nationally and internationally including group shows at Diapson Gallery, New York (2010) and the Imaginarium Gallery, Lodz Poland (2011). As an Independent Curator I have developed exhibitions and projects with artists Arnold Kemp, Leslie Rogers, GWAR, and Clifford Owens among others. As a programmer Iíve worked with a long and diverse roster including Matmos, Olivia Neutron-John, Flamingo, Mary Lattimore, Daniel Bachman and Bonnie Jones. My work as a sound engineer and producer can be heard on albums with artists Stephen Vitiello (12k Records), Ian Svenonius (Dischord) and upcoming releases with Bobby Donne (TBA) and Tashi Dorji (TBA). I have received multiple grants for Music Research from The Danish Ministry of Culture and developed projects funded by the N.E.A. and N.E.H.

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