DECEMBER 18 2019 - JANUARY 30 2020

PAPER PULP PAINTING 

Work by Benjamin Cook

The works in this series, combine visual languages drawn from the websites, digitalplatforms, and physical experiences of everyday life. Layered marks, almost mimicking anunorganized desktop full of open documents and pages, combine with bright, digitallyinfluenced colors to create self-contained networks of lines. The physicality of each painting,full of fingerprints, relief surfaces and matte paper brings the graphic nature of the image backinto a physical presence. Starting without sketches and building off of intuitive decision making,each painting allows for reflection into my own role in occupying a blended digital/physicalspace. The paintings, physical in the gallery space, are created with an acknowledgement thatthey will also maintain a presence online as a digital image.

I reject the idea that the loss of information when photographing a painting creates a
lesser version of the original, in favor of an understanding that the painting can live in duplicity.
While the digital version of the work loses scale, tactility, specificity of place, etc. it also gains
new attributes, such as a greater accessibility, ability to be duplicated and moved, new forms of
interaction and participation, and an intimacy the physical paintings cannot match. The Platonic
“form” of the work, neither rooted fully as digital or physical, acts as an example of how I
believe people should understand their digitally mediated experiences. Ridding the term “real
life” (as if experiences mediated digitally are “non-real life”) to better understand the systems
in which contemporary life demands you navigate, allows for a more conscious and informed
decision maker.

A selection of this series was photographed as a part of the project Some Walls AreMade of Bricks. In SWAMOB, the digital versions of the paintings were sold through Instagramfor $3 as individually signed and numbered editions for people to “hang” on their social mediawalls. The Instagram handles of the people who purchased a work are cataloged on my websiteas a publicly viewable authentication ledger. The project creates an experience for theviewer/purchaser which mimics the process of buying and hanging work in one’s physicalhome. Through “hanging” a work on social media, the similarities of digital and physical spacescall in to question notions of the “real world” and breaks down the idea of binary existence.More information about SWAMOB can be found at www.benjamincookart.com

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