According to the Rules of Chance, 2009

Inspired by Jean Arp’s Untitled (Collage with Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance). This video work is generated by randomly rearranging and moving image fragments depicting the Belconnen bus interchange (now demolished). Artworks like our built environment are not static they live and breath, come into being and disappear again. All of my digital works rely heavily on notions of chance, although ironically there is no chance within a computer. Everything is deterministic.

relevant [ <09 Codeworks ]

Inscribed (Ko Aye Aung), 2010

This work was created as part of the Amnesty International’s ARTillery Festival as part of the MasterPEACE exhibition. Artist’s involved were asked to make work in response to the story of an unfairly imprisoned individual at risk, people whose right to freedom is currently being campaigned for by Amnesty International.

Inscribed (Ko Aye Aung) is an explicit analogy of the process of degradation and loss that has been occurred by Ko Aye Aung. I do not know Ko Aye Aung. If it was not for Amnesty I would not even know his story. All knowledge of him was provided to me as a simple digital profile. Dot pointed and only nine hundred and eighty two words accompanied by a small portrait. His is a story that is singularly unique, however at the same time multiple and all too common. His is a story we never truly know, we never hear about, we are all distant from.

This video is made through a simple process.
Insert Ko Aye Aung’s digital profile, one letter at a time, into and over the code that makes up his JPEG portrait. Each frame of this video is a record of the degradation and loss incurred as each letter is added until at last all his profile is written into the image and his face is lost.

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A series … or … 2012

These four drawings are the product of filtering architectural plans through four subverted projective drawing systems. Using primarily compass and rule, this series in particular has utilised Venn’s architectural drawings as inputs. As a series they can be seen discreet points each representing an infinite line of drawings.

A Statement— Benjamin Forster

“Space is the greatest thing, as it contains all things”
— Thales

At the time of writing this statement, I am in-between Madrid and Dubai. In transit, on Flight EK420 to be exact. At this time, this new series of works is also in- between, still floating on the cusp of definition. This new series, forever partial, can be located within the following constellation of words:

Alberti, clouds and dust, colonisation, commercial gallery, constructions, contemporary drawing, conquest, Deleuze, economics, Euclid’s ‘Elements’, Feyerabend, fractional dimensions, framing, institutionalisation, it, knot theory, knowledge, language, linear algebra, Ludwig Schläfli, mapping, measurement, navigation, nonsense, paradoxes, perspective, Piranesi, platonic solids, projection, politics of space, Ptolemy, rationality, ruin, sailing, Serres, string theory, systematic, Thales, The Moirai (or The Fates), this, time, topology, truth, unknowable, value, venn diagrams…

This constellation is necessarily incomplete and insufficient. It can be read in any order, but has been arranged alphabetically to alleviate any tendency towards a sense of hierarchical importance. Lines could be drawn through and around these points to demarcate genealogy and logical sets. Nonetheless, I hope that this body of work will slip through whatever net is drawn. This statement may appear obtuse and vague, however, it is not my intention to alienate, but rather to generate an open space for viewing. A space where the dimensions of the work can be read beyond a linear series of words and and dialectical comparisons they encourage.

It is my belief that no series of words can ever successfully triangulate a series of work. At best they provide a vantage point from which multiple interpretation stem, or at worse, they act as a death sentence, crystallising artworks for ‘objective’ observation. From one point of view, this process of positioning is central to this body of work.

Pencil Examination

// a short historical lesson

ZENO: In order to walk out of this room you must get halfway towards the door. However in order to get halfway there, you must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, you must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on. In order to move anywhere you must complete an infinite number of tasks. This is impossible. In fact this trip cannot even begin. As you need to perform an infinite number of small trips in order to make any trip, travel over any distance cannot be completed or even begun. All motion is an illusion.

// Diogenes walks away.

Benjamin Forster and Rhiannon Newton, Pencil, 2011

Notes on the Particulates, 2012

In ‘Notes on the Particulates’ (2012) an old dot-matrix printer has been hacked to print tiny constellations of text on a loop of paper. This generates an automatic essay and demonstrates an ill-formed and unrelenting struggle to understand language through language, in language . All my machine-based works are thought experiments. Notes on the Particulates explores the role of accumulation in the formation of meaning. Starting as an empty loop of paper, the printer endlessly re-distributes fragments of Gilles Deleuze’s writings on language from Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense. At first fragmentary, as the text builds up it shifts into legibility. As time progresses this legibility is superseded by nonsense, which is in turn transformed into visual forms, reminiscent of clouds. Eventually, the pulverised and ink soaked paper gives way to its frail materiality: The paper jams – breaks – halts – spasms… Silence. Repeat. The ideal perfection of machines and words is betrayed.

Primavera 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Image courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photography: Robbie Karmel

Critical Point Studies


Ageing is the slow transition of multiple stable systems coming to critical points until an eventual fatal shift in form. — death is not a known point — skin flaking — prosthetic insertions — artificial hearts — metal knees. Where is the line between body and not body? Think about the edge of this page — the windows of building and the pores of our skin.

connected flier

Connected was a collaborative and playful project between Lucy Quinn, Bettina Hill and Benjamin Forster, where each work of art evolved into a growing string of others. The results were exhibited at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery in Feb 2010.

This is a selection of images from the final installation of Connected. Each work was positioned in relation to the work that influenced its own construction. Small notes in pencil on the wall of the gallery provided further insight into the relationships between the three artist’s work. Connected was reviewed by Canberra-based critic and curator Yolande Norris. Read her reflections here.

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>> detritus

Benjamin Forster was an artist in residence at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art from 6 July – 25 August 2010.

In conjunction with his research residency at SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia, Benjamin Forster utilised the PICA Studio to generate hundreds of drawings in his earnest pursuit of the value of artistic process whilst also interrogating the notion of cynicism.

After the public presentation of his visual research on the 10th of August 2010, all the work culminating from this residency were bundled up and discarded.

__________ is a living process and artworks are simply the detritus of this process.

pica studio

Drawings bundled in black plastic.

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( sms selection )

A selection of SMS’s sent from Short Message Service, 2012.

Last Man To Die

documentation of ‘the last man to die’ (2010)


Last Man To Die is an active experiment in the relationship and interaction between three, traditionally distinct, art forms – Drawing, Performance, and Percussion. This experiment takes three artists, each successful in their own disciplines, and through active synthesis and disjunction attempts to generate a new and common expression.

In this experiment each discipline is equal but not equivalent, each has influence and is influenced and each is dependent and independent. We exploit the nature of digital technologies to provide a common language for immediate communication and interaction between the different art forms. Each one becomes a data source for the others.


Last Man to Die, the cross artform collective of Hanna Cormick (actor), Benjamin Forster (artist) and Charles Martin (percussionist) was founded in 2008 during their collaboration on the work Cognition performed at Belconnen Theatre, The Street Theatre and the ANU School of Music (Canberra) as well as La Mama Theatre (Melbourne).

In 2009, Last Man to Die presented Vital LMTD, a cross-disciplinary response to the creation and definition of life in The Street Theatre’s Made in Canberra season and showed in the Crack Theatre Festival at Newcastle’s This Is Not Art Festival.

In 2010, supported by ArtsACT, the Australian Government’s Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the Australia Council for the Arts, Last Man to Die created “THE LAST MAN TO DIE”, an installation/performance exploring the possible consequences of indefinite extension of human life.

“THE LAST MAN TO DIE” was shown throughout 2010 at Belconnen Theatre (Canberra), The Street Theatre (Canberra), PACT Centre for Emerging Artists (Sydney), The Blue Room (Perth) and as part of Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar season at Metro Arts (Brisbane).

Find out more here.

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