Gregory Bennett’s ‘Edifice’ (Two Rooms)

Gregory Bennett
Two Rooms
23 April – 28 May 2021

Excerpt from essay

Artist Gregory Bennett describes his imagined worlds as existing in a constant state of ‘nowness’.1 Created in 3D animation software, these worlds run on infinite loops, turning and churning in apparent unawareness or disregard for the camera. They are complex and indeterminate, yet ultimately they are also closed systems “subject to the repetition compulsion of the loop, always returning and repeating, but retaining a mesmerising and habitual fascination.”2 Emerging from an infinite black void, they drift in and out of view, and appear to go on forever. Yet what forces drive the actors and structures of these realms are a matter of speculation.

The artist notes that the term ‘edifice’ can refer to both a large, imposing building, and a complex system of beliefs.3 In this exhibition, we encounter vast and variable architectures – towers, platforms, spheres, domes and zones – through which structures of desire and thought are alluded to. These environments and their inhabitants appear to obey their own commands. Or do they?

Bennett describes himself as collaborating with the software he employs to produce his work. Autodesk Maya is central to big budget video effects used in the motion picture industry, much of which is now created and composited in virtual 3D environments. Bennett’s work, however, is no immaculately rendered blockbuster, promising immersion in filmic realism, in universes perhaps conversely populated by superheroes motivated by comic book narratives. Bennett is more Brechtian, foregrounding the visual vocabulary of contemporary 3D animation tools, and celebrating the visible artifice of his constructions and their potential in the context of contemporary art. In addition to more traditional keyframe animation techniques, such software also allows for generative, indeterminate possibilities when instructions and parameters are set – and it is left to run itself. In such complicated co-creation one might ask, where does animation end and animism begin?

  1. Gregory Bennett, “Impossible Choreographies: The Database as a Creative Tool,” The Journal of Creative Technologies 7 (2017): 32, Auckland University of Technology,
  2. Ibid.
  3. Gregory Bennett, interview by Emil McAvoy, April 12, 2021.
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