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Benjamin Aron

Cambridge, MA   

Ben Aron is an artist and technologist who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His investigations focus on value, economies, and the existential themes inextricably related. Practicing in fields as diverse as interactive installation, video, and text, Aron has presented projects frequently outside of the gallery context. His work has been exhibited through events, performances, and screenings. Aron has also been involved in a number of public projects–including Lumen Collective’s site-specific light sculpture Urban Planning: The History of Public vs. Private Space in the Heart of Downtown Boston, and the Billboard Project, where his National Student Debt Clock was displayed on LED roadside billboard in Richmond, VA. Aron holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where he studied interdisciplinary art and lighting design, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in Digital + Media.

Bright Future

In Bright Future, a mid-century desk lamp flickers in unison with the text-to-speech audio of a press email by Jeoren van der Veer, former CEO of Shell Oil. Written eight years after the implementation of British Petroleum’s “Beyond Petroleum” campaign, this text positions itself as an earnest evaluation of the future of energy in an uncertain economy. The title references a line from the second half that remarks, “the future looks bright”, an assertion that begs one to consider where between optimism and apocalypse actuality will fall.

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The Visible Hand

The Visible Hand, 2014, is a series of excerpts from political speeches featuring politicians discussing Free Market economic principles. Silent, and cropped in on the hands of each speaker, the imagery prompts the viewer towards associations of power and control—held by the individual politician, as well as those few who influence him. This dominant, singular legislative voice reveals itself as a far cry from the abstract social forces of Adam Smith.

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Urban Planning: A History of Public vs. Private Space in the Heart of Downtown Boston

For the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy’s 2012/13 Winter Lights series, the Lumen Collective presented Urban Planning: A History of Public vs. Private Space in the Heart of Downtown Boston, a site-specific installation in Dewey Square Park. The piece uses LED rope light to plot of the boundaries of the buildings which once stood on the park’s grounds. Demolished in the 1950’s construction of the raised Central Artery highway, the old structures are memories of various claims of public and private ownership upon the land.

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