Hello Ben, you’re described as a “registered trademark” rather than an artist. What does that mean?
Hi, it means that I embody the rules of our times more than the ones of contemporary art: being an artist with basic installations and performances. I feel like nowadays organisations like the internet culture, social medias, business, sciences, and so on, are way too interesting to not be observed and used in a creative way, bringing out the potential and ideas of it. I believe it is worth to spread and create a new perception that way; follow the flow and troll it at the same time, interfering the system to make it evolve, hacking subtly the minds.
How do you build your artistic brand?
Like any actual brand - through production, products, communication, collaboration, branding and my persona with only one difference: I spread and sell ideas. I put the intent and content at the same level. My goal is to build a brand-new and smart business, I started writing books before doing art and I believe this is the perfect smart product, I also believe any kind of product can be smart if you use it in the right way, like a selfie. It is the perfect and ultimate contemporary object, which could be the deepest one sometimes. Some people are known to break the internet with it, and at the end creating new cultural shapes, even through being on People.com.
You’re very present on Instagram. Why is this important to you?
Instagram is nothing more than the 21th century agora. Everybody is there, sharing and eating informations. That's the contemporary public place, the perfect one to express what you are and want like right now. I like the fact that the language is visual there and through smartphone a new communication is emerging, more adapted to the present and future needs, like the emojis. I like to have discussion with strangers only with that, I also like the new codes of intercommunicate there and somehow I feel more confortable with it, almost more natural.
Tell me a little bit more on your collaboration with VodaVoda. What attracted you in this collaboration?
Everybody does collaborations today. I wanted to make a collaboration as an artistic gesture. I felt that it was interesting to explore that, after what I did with some medias in the context of my party project last year. It seems like it is becoming one of my signs of aesthetic recognition. Two distinctive entities connect and a third new appears, this is great! About the collaboration with VodaVoda, I chose them because of what emerged from them on a branding level. The elegant simplicity and pragmatism through the packaging makes sense with my own work. The brand immediately accepted in a very open minded way and after months of hardwork here it is!
What tempted you to make a water bottle?
I wanted to make a product I deeply like and that responds to a daily need, for everybody and every situation. Water is perfect: the first product of life, so neutral and wise, making a connection with the actual human context where we are still living under the edge of organic life and trying to handle it in an artificial way, making the body a new objet of technology, creating a new life through sciences and development; a subject you cant ignore, the one of the 21th century.
Water is perfect: the first product of life, so neutral and wise, making a connection with the actual human context where we are still living under the edge of organic life and trying to handle it in an artificial way.
What are you inspired by when you create?
Well everything, every aspects of my life and life in general. The iPhone world, Cinema, from movies to reality shows, people who make a difference, building, landscapes, clothes, objects, music, food, biking, walking, sleeping.
For tbh i dunno if i have feelings 2, you threw a party as an artwork. Tell me a little bit more about throwing a party as an artwork. What did it involve? How was it more artwork than a random party?
It was not more artwork than party, it was equal equal I think, a great celebration of the upcoming generation and a kind of miniature of nowadays culture. It is like a study, a synthesis of yesterday and today, during a short time, few hours, and forever online. It involved everything from partying itself to communication, pictures, interviews, social medias sharing, comments, youth culture focusing.
You’re a self-taught creative. When and how did you feel the need to create things?
I've always liked to write feelings and ideas with words since I was a kid. 2 years ago I started to explore different ways to express myself, I quickly liked creation. I mean the possibilities are infinite, it gives me satisfaction, always loved the concept of infinity.
What attracts you to the creative field?
The same, infinity, at all levels.
Do you have a role model?
Not really one, maybe some ideas from different people. I always hated to give names because you get to be labelized with your inspirations quickly. I love so many things that I feel I would betray my own tastes by not naming every single thing I like. But I am going to give some names for the first time and last time here because it is fun to change your point of views from interviews to interviews. Some names which definitely change and influence what you see of Ben Elliot today: Da Vinci, Nietzsche, Duchamp, Warhol, Cronenberg, Kim Kardashian. Can’t you see all of them in Ben Elliot Water?