Benton C Bainbridge in his studio (photo: Corinne Laurice Pulicay)
 

“Benton fingerpaints with video.” – Trilby Schreiber

BENTON C BAINBRIDGE creates media artworks with handcrafted image processing systems. Benton is best known as a pioneer of media performance art. 

Bainbridge collaborates with a wide range of artists, including Beastie Boys, with whom Benton VJ’d two world tours. He co-founded The Poool, a video ensemble best known for the sold-out Whitney Museum performance, is warm.

Current projects include Rue Bainbridge, the first recipient of the Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota Video Art prize (2019). Recent shows include Pace Gallery (NYC), The Hepworth Wakefield Museum (in Yorkshire, U.K.) and Hauser & Wirth (L.A.)

For most of 2019, Barbara Held & Benton C Bainbridge exhibited generative media artwork at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León in Spain. As Artist-in-Residence at Andrew Freedman Home, Bainbridge exhibited video sculptures and moving paintings with the sold-out AFH / Museum of Modern Art immersive co-production, Beauteous. Benton C Bainbridge designed media art for 11 seasons of One Step Beyond at American Museum of Natural History.

Bainbridge has shown globally at Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, American Museum of Natural History, The Kitchen (NYC), EMPAC (Troy, NY), SFMoMA (San Francisco), Boston Cyberarts Festival, l’Auditori (Barcelona), Fundación Juan March (Madrid), Auditorium Parco della Musica (Roma), Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Wien Moderne (Vienna), Inventionen (Berlin), Teatro Colón CETC (Buenos Aires), CELCIT (Managua), International Horticultural Expo (Xi’an, China), Korean Festival (Seoul), Good Vibrations (Australia), Dak’art (Dakar), and MTV Networks (global).

Bainbridge is faculty at School of Visual Arts MFA Computer Arts Department.


I am an artist who makes video sculptures, moving pictures, immersive installations and media performances. I work with salvaged gear and one-of-a-kind video synthesizers built by visionary instrument designers.

My first inspiration was the hand-made animations from Children’s Television Workshop. Dancing letters would unfold out of spin-art patterns to form words. Understanding that these colorful eye-puzzles were made by artists, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

My first movies were made in Super-8. One day, practicing piano, I got the call from the lab. The film threaded through the projector; my shots were underexposed and out-of-focus. “Mom, how could I ever learn to play piano if I had to wait a week for the notes to come back from the lab?” I gave up film—and piano—and have been practicing real time video ever since.

Benton C Bainbridge, Pacific Grove, 2021


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