As an undergraduate art student, Ben tapped into the interdisciplinary potential that Alfred provided — blending and experimenting with video, sound, sculpture, assemblage, printmaking, performance, and software. This well-rounded artistic foundation, and the roots that Alfred’s Institute for Electronic Arts has in the history of video art and real-time signal manipulation, would serve as invaluable in Ben’s subsequent career as a conservator of time-based media art.
After Alfred, Ben received an MFA in digital art and MS in Information Science from Pratt Institute, and would go on to establish Rhizome’s preservation programs as their first Digital Conservator, subsequently moving on to serve as a media conservator at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2017, Ben founded Small Data Industries, a lab and consultancy whose mission is to safeguard the permanence and integrity of the world’s artistic record by empowering people. Small Data provides consulting and services for complex time-based media conservation and digital preservation projects, and have served as the trusted partner of art collections and archives all over the globe, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, Glenstone Museum, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Haus Der Elektronischen Künste, MFA Boston. Small Data’s work has been covered extensively in the New York Times, Art Newspaper, Hyperallergic, the Library of Congress, and Ben was featured in Apollo Magazine’s 40 under 40 Art & Tech list.
Throughout Ben’s career as a leader in the conservation field, the artistic skills and art historical knowledge they gained at Alfred have been invaluable in bringing a unique and empathetic approach to collaborating with artists and understanding their work.