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Gary DiBenedetto: Sweat Equity

  • Location:
    AC Institute, 547 W. 27th St. #610, New York, New York, US

During his early years as a struggling musician, Gary DiBenedetto also worked as a carpenter. During this time, he began collecting antiques. Both of these pursuits cultivated an affinity for craftsmanship and history that have impacted his artistic endeavors. The past ten years have culminated with two solo electroacoustic composition CDs and numerous multimedia interactive installations.

The original purpose of the antiques incorporated within DiBenedetto’s installations was to increase the efficiency and ease of everyday life. Foot pedals on sewing machines sped the process of garment-making. Hand-operated clothing agitators eliminated the need for washboards. The artist’s neo-constructivist sculptures reconfigure these tools and bring them into an artistic forum.
Each of DiBenedetto’s sculptures has a moving component, powered manually or by electric motors. An audio processing feature brings the sound generated by these machines to life. As a result, the spectators are able to explore the operations of the many tools that comprise these sculptures.

Sweat Equity (Performance)
DiBenedetto has developed a performance to accompany his interactive installation. Sweat Equity expresses outrage over the negative impact of capitalist exploitation as a means of production. With an increasing globalized economy accompanied by ravenous consumption of natural resources, will we lose an opportunity to recognize the futility of capitalist pursuit and the need to change our direction and gain respect for the preservation of human dignity?

Sweat Equity is a non verbal staged performance where dancers operate kinetic sculptures. Each sculpture is a machine that generates sound. Each dancer’s relationship to their sculpture becomes increasingly complex. Tension is exemplified during a sequence of three acts. Each act presents changes in the actor’s physical appearance and operating procedures. An electroacoustic composition unfolds, increasing tension and directing the dancer’s actions.