Benj Gerdes

Artist Statement:

"My artistic practice is split between two equally important and parallel bodies of work. My work in projected installation and screen-based media, such as Cops Out of Order: One Shot at a Time, or the forthcoming Room of the Sun, uses duration and spatialization to stage extended analyses of the economic and political origins of the present. The second set of works are public projects or interventions that utilize a range of tactics for collaboration, media intervention, and aesthetic imagination becoming direct action."


Benj Gerdes, born 1978 in Lewisburg, PA, is an artist, writer, and organizer working in film, video, and a number of other public formats. He received an MFA in Integrated Media Arts in 2009 from Hunter College and a BA in History of Technology/Film and Digital Studies in 2003 from Brown University. He participated in the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Study Program from 2004 - 2005. He frequently works in collaboration with other artists, activists, and theorists, including as a member of 16 Beaver Group. He is interested in intersections of political discourse, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His individual and collaborative work focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes through historical research, dialogue, and participatory or aleatory formalizations.

Gerdes' work has been exhibited widely in both traditional venues and emerging platforms, with the former including Kiasma Museum of Modern Art (Helsinki), Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna), Guangzhou Triennial (China), Lulea Biennial (Sweden), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles), Images Festival (Toronto), Art in General (New York), the New Museum (New York), and Migrating Forms (New York); and the latter more often including public performances and programs, web platforms, broadcast television, and books and publications such as October, The Journal of Aesthetics + Protest, Ninth Letter, and Rethinking Marxism. He is the recipient of numerous residencies, including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Woolworth Building Workspace Residency and Visual Arts Network (VAN) Exhibition Residency, and grants from the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, and the Experimental Television Center. He has taught and lectured in numerous institutions and public contexts, including recently three years as Visiting Artist in the Cinema Department at Binghamton (State University of New York). He currently serves on the video faculty at the Cooper Union School of Art.



Brooklyn, NY

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