Ben Butler is interested in the natural world. "I look at the natural sciences as one example of how we interact with our world and understand it," he says. "And really at the root, my work is about understanding the world."
Drawing from diverse influences—musical composition, Chinese scholars’ rocks, and emergence theory, Butler generates forms that evoke simultaneously human design and natural growth. Butler’s new installation, Elegy to the Disappearance of Objects, is an exploration of these themes on a colossal scale. A grand and enigmatic form hovers above the viewer, suspended by an intricate and seemingly fragile wooden framework. It is segmented and richly textured, rhythmic yet amorphous. A strong sense of time and process pervades the artwork, as the structure seems to be at once both emerging and dissolving.
Butler's Elegy to the Disappearance of Objects exhibited at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, March 6 - June 6, 2015.
Ben Butler: Well, I have a lot of interest in the natural world - natural sciences and our relationship to the natural world. I look at the natural sciences as one example of how we interact with our world and understand it. And really at the root, my work is about understanding the world.
BB: I tend to see the world as a series of processes, not as static objects, but as things coming into being, dissolving, deteriorating, growing, shifting. And so in my work I want to embody that sense of time.
BB: I don't begin with an image or a design. In some ways I'm anti-design. I'm interested in working in the studio in a way that is free of preconceptions or plans. And in that way the work often feels more organic and, in the studio, seems like it's growing.
BB: Really, my work is about accumulation and how very complex and unpredictable things can be generated through the accumulation of simple parts.
BB: My name is Ben Butler. This is my art. Go find yours.