Ben Skea

[Masked] Errors 

18:44 | hd | stereo | 2016

projector, speakers, polycarbonate cell sheet, wire, polymorph plastic, acetate, oxidised blue leaf, seaweed salt diffuser

[Masked] Errors is a new installation by Ben Skea that incorporates photo collage, digital animation, video, sculpture and sound to explore the notion of natural change. The installation uses, as a framework, the symbolic connection between humanity and the ocean – exploring themes of the known, the forgotten and an artificial future. The installation primarily focuses on what it means for materials to undergo a process of accelerated change but also draws connections with wider debates about gender perception and fluidity.

Central to the installation at Confined Spaces is a back projected moving image onto a suspended polycarbonate cell sheet. Utilizing analogue and digital technologies, the moving image and sound is intricately constructed to investigate the tension between memory, matter and materials of reproduction. The two-dimensional screen has been reduced into geometric video masks that simultaneously evoke flatness and depth. Found digital video clips of ocean waves have become locked within these triangulated shapes. Their internal structure explored, beneath and beyond, using repetition, deceleration and amplified sound, light and shadow. On the cell floor, beneath the hanging screen, lies a series of micro sculptures made from polymorph plastic. Exploring the mechanism of surface erosion, Skea has created structural deviations / extrusions to plastic spheres by hand followed by a retraction / abrasion process using an electric sander. These micro sculptures were made after a period of research and investigation into Early Neolithic figurines – specifically the frequent use of gender-ambiguous forms and the discussions around their precise function:

‘I’m very interested in how an object or event is read by the viewer and the opposing responses it can evoke. My artwork often reflects on contemporary anxieties of the body in flux, the fragmented self and the fluidity of realities. Recent moving image work has focused on an interest in physical / digital systems that seem to be working both in harmony and opposition.’

Ben Skea was born in Edinburgh and now lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. Recent exhibitions and screenings include: Technonatural, Gossamer Fog, London, UK (2016); OUTPOST Artist Film Selected by Ed Atkins, Cinema City, Norwich, UK (2016); Bounds. Ends. Limits. (solo show), The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow (2015); Re-adjuster, (solo show), IMAG, Inverness (2015).

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