Black Box is shipped “same day delivery” from artist (Benjamin Thorp, Chicago residence) to curator (Seth-Kim Cohen, New York City residence). The interior of the box is designed to hold the necessary equipment to record and playback the sounds between origin and destination. Once the package reaches the gallery, the box is opened, the recording stopped and the playback (sounds of transit) begin. This work gives evidence to the in-betweens of the making the packaging and shipping; distinction of the process and the object is obscured and attention is focused on the periphery aspects of art and life.
Today there is a shift in the way that work is produced and the channels that it must go through in order to be experienced. Acknowledging that Robert Morris’s Box with the Sound of it’s Own Making speaks to a certain moment when the artist’s studio was understood as the laboratory generating works of art, Black Box represents the continued greying of that understanding. Our existences; our thoughts, worlds and studios are nomadic, traces of exchanges passing through air. The story of this experience isn’t one of individual presence or the presentation of an single act of production but one meant to record the many voices, hands, transactions, passages and paths to perception and recognition.
Benjamin Joel Thorp is a multidisciplinary environmental artist who works primarily with sound. Most of his recent work has been public and site speciﬁc installations that engage multiple audiences in sensory experiences that both further an appreciation and challenges one’s understanding of their surroundings. His work has been shown widely in large scale public spaces in Hong Kong and Italy as well as galleries in the United States. He received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute (2004) and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2010).