Benjamin Freeth is a digital media artist based at Culture Lab, Newcastle University whose practice incorporates sensor based technology, radio technology, computer code, sound, and moving image. His work focuses largely on the creative potential for technology to be manipulated to create performances and installation pieces exploring transformation, ritual, drone, and noise.
He is a cofounder and organiser of Kira Kira an experimental audio visual night designed to bring like minded people together to promote human – human communication and interaction through technology by making music together, sharing
performances and to promote the creative development of and engagement with participants work. Kira Kira is organised bimonthly at Norham House, Artist Studios and Culture Lab, Newcastle University.
He regularly performs with Surface Area Dance Theatre and has collaborated with them on projects since 2006 including research visits to Brazil and Japan in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Dust 29/04/11 – GIFT (Gateshead Festival of International Theatre) (Also, presented in playback form at LaMaMa Moves Dance Festival, New York
Kira Kira 2010 to present
Buried 10/12/10 Platform 00000010 Event, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Black Sea of Trees 25/09/11, Render, Culture Lab, 02/10/11, Dance City, Newcastle
Invoke as part of Resonator at AV Festival 2010
Black Sea of Trees 25/09/11, Render, Culture Lab
Sustainer 8th May 2009, Dance City, Newcastle
Coal, Late Shows 2009
Looper, Late Shows 2010
At Render 2011 he presents a new performance work ▲ΞξΞ▼ (Sküll Köntröl).
“The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the
whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure;
and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal
Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been inciner-
From The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Lovecraft, 1927)1
Drawing on the writing and weird materialism of H. P. Lovecraft and referencing the Lacanian Real (the undead) the work proposes a necro – technical alliance bridging our technologically saturated world and a more primitive world of dead matter. The result is an immersive, almost hallucinogenic experience involving shifting sound and light textures combined with physical isolation.
In the darkness and noise, we are confronted with our own human frailty overwhelmed by the immensity of the universe…In the light and silence the horror of uncertainty, dread, anxiety and finitude… and somewhere inbetween lie the interstices of knowledge of what we do and do not know about the universe and our place in it.
1 Lovecraft, H. P. (1927) The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. p. 1
Published in the May and July issues of Weird Tales in 1941
under the title The Madness Out of Time.
(Allegedly, wrongly ascribed to Borellus it originates from Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana -
The Ecclesiastical History of New England. (Dorfman, J (1989) “Essential Saltes” in Crypt of Cthulhu 66,
Volume 8, Number 7, Lammas 1989.)