Benjamin Bacon

Associate Professor of Media and Arts, Duke Kunshan University

He is a hybrid medium artist and musician that creates work at the intersection of sound art, computational design, networked systems, and mechanical life installation and sculpture.
He is a lifetime fellow at V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media, one of the oldest new media art institutions, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His artwork has been displayed in the United States, Europe, Iran and China in exhibitions such as “Synthetic Times” and “Trans Life” at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, and the Ho Gallery and Chelsea Museum, New York. Most recently his mechanical life and artificial intelligence (AI) sculpture “PROBE001” was collected and placed on permeant display at UNArt Center, Shanghai. He has spoken and conducted workshops on topics such as industrial revolution 3.0 focusing on the music industry and open source digital fabrication along with post-planetary speculative design at conferences such as Tsinghua University’s Design 3.0 in Beijing, TEDx Ningbo and 1212: Creativity in China at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.
He has performed or presented sound pieces in a variety of venues across the U.S., Europe and Asia under the stage name SoundSpade. Over the past 20-plus years he has performed at festivals such as Wave Gotik Treffen with his band Dies Irae !US, and more recently he founded the Black Eyeliner music events in Beijing and Voltage Divider live experimental performances in Shanghai. Voltage Divider is a series of live music, interactive media and sound productions exploring different experimental and avant-garde musical styles and nontraditional production methods. Most recently, he has been exploring bio-harmonics and machine learning with performances at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, accompanying a retrospective of musical works by composer B6 (Lou Nanli) and homegrown exhibitions of his Little Sound Machines, an ever-evolving AI musical composition that is performed on upcycled materials and parts.
He is the co-founder of DOGMA Lab, a transdisciplinary design lab based previously in Shanghai. Founded with Chinese bio-artist and researcher Vivian Weijing Xu, DOGMA believes in the cross-pollination of design, technology, art and science in the creation of products, as well as experimental works in art, music and performance. DOGMA Lab is interested in fostering an environment that uses ideas and concepts developed in research and experimentation to drive and elevate production, forming a sustainable ecosystem of intellectuals and artisans.
Bacon has an M.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in design + technology and a B.A. in cinema studies from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He was previously an assistant professor of computation and media design at Parsons School of Design and former director of the undergraduate design + technology program. He has also held professorships at New York University Shanghai and the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, and has taught courses and workshops as an adjunct professor at many other universities in China.



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