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Ben Frost: Outside of the didactic

Ben Frost talking:

A lot of the time I was just using an iPhone to record stuff, which was basically a way of circumventing that problem. But the thing you realise very quickly is that they’re not reacting to the camera or the microphone, they’re just reacting to the big white guy who’s walking through the landscape, and he doesn’t belong there. It’s not the object that’s foreign, it’s the person. Whether you’re carrying a steadicam or not, the reaction’s gonna be the same.  The reaction works both ways though – it was often ambivalent too. A lot of those Congolese children have probably never even seen a television, and so they’re not really aware of what it is that’s actually happening on the other end of this process, so it kind of makes a more honest reaction in way as well.

I am perpetually fascinated by the lack of, sort of, due credit given to audiences, generally speaking, by – I suppose – contemporary film and music makers. I think there’s a lack of trust in basic human perception, and instinct, in the realm of storytelling in particular. And a distrust of people to read into something, and listen to their own emotions and find the truth in what they’re being subjected to. Which falls outside of the didactic, really expositional way of having something explained. Y’know, like, you walk into a big arts institution, and the descriptions of the work can almost be as big as the works themselves. And it becomes this thing, where it informs people as to how to look at the thing, or listen to it.

The whole thing is creating and juxtaposing seemingly unrelated objects against each one another, sonic objects, and making this kind of space within which I don’t think any one single element has to be compromised. They form a language between themselves, which collectively makes an image. It forms a collective, an experience, which I hope is something new. Even if this is unusual… Well, I hope that it is! But I hope there’s nothing in the music that gets in the way of relating to it on a level that exists below that conscious reading of it. It can be something that you react to in your gut.

Nietzsche said we should only read the kind of books that would harm or wound us, books that affect us like a suicide. Otherwise, what’s even the point? That is a philosophical standpoint I keep always at the front of my mind. What is the point of all this shit if not to rupture?