← Benton-C Bainbridge

Benton-C Bainbridge (Wikipedia)

Bainbridge’s “blind heat” installation included in “extravaganza” (2002) included a bed. The bed’s sheets served to reflect projected video from above, and a subwoffer underneath the bed broadcast the video soundtrack. His piece considered the idea of exciting physical passions while deflecting the direct viewer-attention. Visitors sat on the bed, felt the woofer kick and touched the video-flickered sheets.

Benton-C’s “blind heat: stasis & storm mix” positioned a large TV monitor on the floor, about center-stage, facing away from the audience to a Mylar wall. Benton-C launched a live re-mix of “blind heat” that included music that played on the TV, reflected in the wall or seen from the edges by the audience. Benton-C sat at a table on stage before his laptop and other equipment with glowing dials. Anita Durst appeared in a bride’s white dress, walked behind the TV to position herself to crawl and drag herself slowly over the monitor. Her dress’s folds reflected its pulsing light. For more than ten minutes she pulled herself directly toward the back wall, over the top of the set. While prone, propped on her elbows with her thighs still resting on the TV-top, she proceeded to smoke in this position before pulling herself completely off the set, rolling to the side and standing. She made several walking turns then left the stage.

Bainbridge has been working in cinema & related media since 1983. For the past decade, Benton-C has approached cinema as a performable medium, making audio and video in realtime in a multitude of group and solo contexts. Currently, Bainbridge has become a partner in the “blind eye project.” He collaborated with Scott Holmquist [aka, willy mal] in finding technical solutions in the production of “exoptic fields” and created the blind eye media’s second production, “blind heat,” part of the blind eye projects. Even in his earliest Super-8 film work, Benton-C sought immediate means to create cinema, finding little satisfaction in single frame animation. Video offered a shorter feedback loop, as tape allowed for rehearsals and rapid refinements. In 1989, working with David Jones’ unique A/V synthesis instruments at upstate New York’s Experimental Television Center confirmed Bainbridge’s belief that video is meant to be played, like a visual form of music. Like music, performed cinema is commonly a collaborative art form. During the ’90s, Bainbridge co-founded the groups 77 Hz (with Jonathan ‘Naval Cassidy’ Giles, Philip R. Bonner, Michael Schell and Eric Schefter), The Poool (with Angie Eng and Nancy Meli Walker), and NNeng (with Nancy Meli Walker and Brian Moran) to perform improvised and composed video live on stage. Bainbridge has worked with DanceKumikoKimoto, Ikue Mori, Abigail Child, Maria Beatty, Zeena Parkins, David Weinstein, Nick Didkovsky, Gen Ken Montgomery, 99 Hooker, Hoppy Kamiyama, Elise Kermani, David Linton, Hahn Rowe, Ron Anderson & The Molecules, Jason Kao Hwang, Liminal Projects, Anney Bonney, Barbara Held, Eugene Thacker, Bill Etra and dozens of other artists. As his alter-ego “Valued Cu$tomer”, Benton-C has pursued a parallel live omnimedia career, co-founding the groups Lord Knows Compost (with Philip R. “Bulk Foodveyor” Bonner) and Stackable Thumb (with Jonathan “Naval Cassidy” Giles). Lord Knows Compost was founded in 1983, and works mostly with video, music, web art, comix, animatronic puppetry, long-term food decay and Class “Insecta”. The live A/V duo Stackable Thumb performs rapid-change slapstick with an array of low tech and broken machinery in an ongoing lament over the failure of the Space Program to bring space flight to the people. Benton-C Bainbridge has performed, screened, streamed, broadcast and installed video world wide over the wires and airwaves and in museums, galleries, clubs, colleges and festivals including the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris (NYC), Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Mercat des les Flores (Barcelona), Uplink Factory (Tokyo), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), The Kitchen (NYC), Blasthaus (San Francisco), STEIM (Amsterdam), Metafort d’Aubervilliers (Paris), Miami Light Project, Dallas Video Festival, and Hotwired (World Wide Web). In 1997 Benton-C launched the website Pulsating OKAY! as an information nexus on realtime cinema and performed video. More recently he has been designing and constructing analog & digital A/V synthesis sytems with Bill Etra and designing ‘Movie Jukeboxes’ with various artists, engineers and programmers. In 2001, Benton-C will focus on video portraiture and experimental narratives.