Ben Williams was born in London in 1988, where he continues to live and work.
The world we inhabit is changing rapidly, within both the built and non-built environments, highlighting the familiar and creating the unfamiliar. Technology is surging forwards bringing new challenges in our ability to dwell and locate ourselves within these shifting landscapes. Our traditional architectural and spatial markers are loosening and changing value as they are now part of a wider constellation of physical and digital environments, with digital space as real as the physical. Within this context our relationship to hidden technological systems, to spatial systems and value systems is constantly under review, while the totality can be seen as being in a constant state of transition and uncertainty, existing in the in-between, on a constant threshold.
Machine generated landscapes seen from an aircraft during its landing sequence.
Medium:Machine generated three-channel video
Size:14 minute loop
My bones shudder, brittle, between rows of cars. Headlights off, dormant. Floating lights illuminate empty bays, white markings, structured grids. There are no planes in the sky. Grounded. My being reflected in the space around, no separation: the world in our image. Left to rot, with all that remains, the debris of our hubris. Perfect detritus.
Lines on the ground, controlling space. A set of instructions. A step-by-step logical procedure, the core of computing logic. Myself within this system, directed from place to place. Ritual, routine, organisation of space and time; human longing for pattern and order, seeps into all that is around.
Landscapes of ever-expanding human systems, the altered world as abstract pattern.
Technology accelerates the perception of space as much as it morphs the perception of time.
How can we see within these conditions, when seeing is a precursor to action?
The meanings and hierarchies of life stripped of information. Naked and bare, shivering. I breathe deeply, inhale, exhale, what else is there? Continual repetition, day after day, year after year. Zeros and ones. X and Ys. Now beyond the limits of space and time, outside of nature and the material world, into a new dimension with its own temporality, spatiality, and modes of being.
The Earth from the sky always seems so static, calm seas, still trees. The vision of a machine closer to reality than that of our own, skewed by a false premise of stability. Invisible to the retina. Vibrating atoms and shifting tectonic plates. Barely visible entrails of verisimilitude.
A dark beautiful underbelly.
I wipe my glasses, clearing the splashes of water from the light drizzle.
Repetitive code, repetitive shapes, repetitive action.
'Now objects perceive me', wrote the painter Paul Klee.