With fiber as my fulcrum, I view knitting as a meditative practice, exploring and challenging the gendered constructs and physical limitations of craft. From the political to the metaphysical, my practice is steeped in queer feminist ideologies, with an awareness of the mind, body, and spirit. My work spans a wide range of disciplines including installation, sculpture, photography, performance, video and sound. Often incorporating several of these elements into any given piece, I make use of digital media as a means of documentation.
Identity directly influences my work. As a queer, male-bodied, HIV-positive artist, blood has a special significance to me, which my installation, Knit Veins: Fiber of Our Being, underscores. As I admire and hearken to David Wojnarowicz and Ron Athey, I want to challenge viewers’ fears of HIV and help revive the queer culture lost to AIDS and gentrification, as offered in my installation Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway.
As an alternate to my actual identity, I created a digital/corporeal alter ego, BenBot 5000, complete with a fictional career as an intergalactic recording artist from a parallel dimension (as apparent in my parodied Rolling Stone Q&A). This project enabled me to explore themes of the body, sexuality, and gender, within the ethereal landscape of the Internet.
My exploration of identity, pop, and the Internet carries through into my most recent work, The Tweetables Series: Knit Text in 140 Characters or Less, merging the contemporary language and aesthetics of social media with the anachronistic softness of knitting and yarn. Throughout its pluralities, I see my work as reflecting the condition of embodiment: exploring the intersections of the mind and body, what it means to have a body, to inhabit a body, to be a body incarnated in, and interacting with this world.