Benjamin Lee Bacon
Associate Professor of Media and Arts at Duke Kunshan University

Benjamin Bacon 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 exhibited in the USA, Europe, Iran and China in exhibitions such as Synthetic Times and Trans Life at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, Ho Gallery and the Chelsea Museum in New York and most recently his mechanical life and AI sculpture PROBE001 has been collected and is on permeant display at UNArt Center in Shanghai, China. He often speaks and conducts workshops on a number of different 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 Design 3.0 at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Tedx Ningbo, and more recently at 1212: Creativity in China at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. 

He has performed or presented sound pieces in a variety of venues across the US, Europe, and Asia under the stage name SoundSpade. Over the last 20+ years, he has performed at festivals such as Wave Gotik Treffen with his band Dies Irae ! US in the 1990’s and more recently he is the founder of 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 non-traditional 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 home-grown exhibitions of his Little Sound Machines, an ever-evolving Artificial Intelligent musical composition that is performed on up-cycled materials and parts. 

He is the co-founder of DOGMA Lab, a trans-disciplinary design lab based previously in Shanghai, China. Founded with Chinese bio-artist and researcher Vivian Xu (Xu Weijing), 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 MFA from Parsons School of Design in Design + Technology and a BA in Cinema Studies from The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He was an Assistant Professor of Computation and Media Design at Parsons School of Design and the former Director of the undergraduate Design + Technology program. He also held professorships at New York University Shanghai, 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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