Benjamin John Funke


Artist Statement

Over the past year I have continued the elaborative investigation of the “spectacle” in contemporary social culture, specifically within masculine performances and collective experiences. My investigations from earlier works critiquing athleticism in the professional arena (steroid usage in Major League Baseball®, fatalities in Nascar®) have led me into analyzing popular music and fandom in both mainstream media outposts as well as those embedded into specific subcultures. By injecting a political commentary into highlighted elements of contemporary popular culture I push this work into a space of uncertainty, where spectators are forced to re-evaluate the content and the context of what they are seeing. I find multiple vistas of content in this current work operating as multiple entry points for the viewer; the political content, the pop culture references, the socio/anthropological views and for its formal attributes. Personally I find reward in expanding the field of video, by reusing pre-existing digital footage, molding and remixing material, multiplying its use and creating a new language within an existing language. Borrowing a term from Audio/Video circles, and a shared viewpoint of Relational Aesthetic Theorists Nicolas Bourriaud what I am doing is called post-production. I essentially have 579 million cameramen and women working for me, whose footage I edit. However, by using this material I become suspect of copyright infringement, stealing identifiable data off the Internet, offering no financial compensation whatsoever to the rightful owners. This problem was initially brought to the public discourse by the mega-popular metal band Metallica, challenging their fans that were illegally downloading data files containing MP3’s of the band’s music. The band began a lawsuit against music trading website Napster®, saying that people would have to pay to listen to their music, and that it was not free. This lawsuit was inevitably targeted at their fans, their devoted followers. And the fans lost.


Benjamin John Funke
HT: 6’0”
WT: 175 lbs.
BFA: Columbia College
MFA: University of Notre Dame
BN: May 14th, 1980, Bury St. Edmunds, England.
HM: Chicago, IL

Funke is considered the best pure fullback available in the 11’ draft. A good blocker and receiver, he is a tough player who will run right through tacklers. Using various methods and approaches he presents himself romancing and criticizing the ideas of stardom in the professional arena. Look for him to make a big contribution in this season.