For this project created for Tauranga Art Gallery, Auckland-based artist Gregory Bennett extends on his exploration of a self-styled synthetic world, created using high-end 3D software and motion capture.
Called Exosphere (2018), Bennett’s 21 minute long digital animation references the uppermost layer of atmosphere surrounding a planet, where it thins out and merges with interplanetary space. An in-between zone that suggests both limitations and possibilities. He was inspired by French philosopher Paul Virilio’s suggestion that the modern city has become a ‘claustropolis’, where the inhabitants feel the need to put up what he describes as an ‘exospherical fence‘ or barrier to fend off the unknown dangers of the outside world.
Bennett’s unique universe is also heavily influenced by The Panopticon, an institutional design created by the 18th century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Employing multiple humanoid forms trapped in perpetual looped motions, Bennett reflects the primary functions of The Panopticon, which explores ideas of surveillance, regulated behaviour and the disciplinary society. Interested in the way in which cities, and the societies that inhabit them, operate, Bennett uses current animation technology to reflect metaphorically what might be occurring in the present while also imagining any number of possible futures.
Currently a lecturer at AUT, Bennett has a Master’s degree from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University. He has exhibited in a number of New Zealand galleries and is in numerous collections including University of Auckland and the Chartwell Trust. Bennett’s work has been shown extensively in international exhibitions including recently in Australia, U.S.A, Italy, Hong Kong.
For more on Gregory Bennett and his work visit www.gregorybennett.net