Through his practice, Ben Dawson asks “what does it mean to be human?”. His work is a digital deep dive into mortality, asking the question of what it is to have a body, physically and digitally.
Dawson’s work orbits around our physical and digital identities and their symbiotic convergence and divergence, exploring the question between real and virtual in the age of the internet's omnipresence, which plagues him. Owning a body is a complex and nuanced condition governed by socio-political conditions, thus proposing the question of autonomy, agency and fiction. These ethical questions frame his dissection of digital materiality.
Things never die on screens; they get reborn. Renderings are transformed into scripts then films and soundscapes that ponder creation myths, and technological automation of the self. Dawson has an obsession for images that carry cultural narrative from cowboys, alchemists and queer bodies, which act as surrogates for world building narrative questions. His practice exists in flux between digital-physical capacities, animation, film making, printed matter and objects. Material forms like print and objects exist as substrates that help form haptic connectors to the animated video works and vice versa. Dawson actively takes traces of the digital, then rips them out into the physical. The results simply don't answer questions, but ponder them.
Video: Ben Dawson, I express my self best in silence (2022)
Video: Ben Dawson, if i show u more am i less? (2020)