Recent Essays and Reviews: Octopusnotes (Paris), East of Borneo, Modern Painters

Octopusnotes (Paris), Oct 2015

Octopusnotes Interview by Naoki Sutter-Shudo pdf


East of Borneo Feature, by Steffie Nelson

Blouin Artinfo Feature

Modern Painters Feature by Michael Slenske

Scott Benzel-Part-Objects book, pdf 77.3 MB

Scott Benzel Part-Objects, 2014, Texts by Eric Kim and Catherine Taft.

Designed by Hailey Loman. Published by Human Resources Press and Lockitch Press


Limited edition hardcover with cloth binding. Available for online purchase at: Art Metropole

ArtInfo Artist’s Choice Best Shows of 2014


Maccarone New York, 2014

Art in America

Flash Art

Modern Painters

Art Observed

Art in America Exhibitions

"Scott Benzel Inverted Capitol Spire, steel, cotton, 2014"

Various Small Fires Los Angeles, Inverted Capitol Spire: Programmatic Architecture Displacement #5, steel, cotton, 2014

W magazine

Split Choral Kathryn Andrews and Scott Benzel

Split Chorale for  Viljo Revell, with Kathryn Andrews

Nuit Blanche Toronto October 4, 2014, Toronto City Hall

Review: The Buffalo News

Preview: The Globe and Mail


Aran Cravey Los Angeles

LA Weekly


Op. 21 Inner Experience Fellowship / Friends of Crime at Schindler’s Fitzpatrick House Aug. 1


Scott Benzel, Op. 21: Inner Experience Fellowship / Friends of Crime for prepared piano, vintage electronics, guitar, experimental percussion, tape loop, gong, and central mixing station. R.M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick- Leland House, August 1, 2015. Presented by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture

SadeFourierLoyolaBook LoyolaTree
SB_MAK-86 SB_MAK-87 SB_MAK-118 SB_MAK-121 SB_MAK-130 SB_MAK-140

Roland Barthes, Sade Fourier Loyola; R.M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick- Leland House, Los Angeles

“…in their activities as logothetes, our authors, it seems, have each had recourse to the same operations…The first is self-isolation. The new language must arise from a material vacuum…Loyola requires retreat; no sound, little light, solitude; Sade shuts his libertines up in inviolable places, Fourier decrees the dispersal of libraries…

The second operation is articulation. No languages without distinct signs. Fourier divides mankind into 1629 fixed passions, combinable but not transformable; Sade distributes ejaculation like the words in a sentence…Loyola cuts up the body as he cuts up the Christian narrative…our three authors deduct, combine, arrange, endlessly produce rules of assemblage; they substitute syntax, composition…for creation.

The third operation is ordering…to subject the vast erotic, eudaemonist, or mystical sequence to a higher order…the new discourse is provided with an Ordainer, a Master of Ceremonies… in Ignatius, it is the retreat director, in Fourier some patron or matron, in Sade, some libertine who sets up the postures and directs the over-all progress of the erotic operation; there is always someone to regulate the exercise, séance, orgy, but that someone is not a subject; the producer of the episode, he acts only for the moment…an operator of the sequence. Thus the ritual demanded by our three authors is only a form of planning: it is the order necessary for pleasure, happiness, divine interlocution…but this economy is not appropriative, it remains “excessive”. “

- Roland Barthes, Sade Fourier Loyola

Self-isolation, articulation, ordering, All elements of the time-honored Los Angeles tradition of a group isolating themselves in a house (usually in the Hollywood Hills), and using the environment as an incubator for the above-mentioned articulations, for the ordering of their ‘exercises, séances’, and sound. In Op. 21,: Inner Experience Fellowship / Friends of Crime, R.M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick/Leland house becomes both incubator and generator of an ‘allover’ soundwork.

Sonatine Bureaucratique at Los Angeles Contemporary Archive

Sonatine Bureaucratique Essay

Sonatine Bureaucratique Organized by Scott Benzel, with an essay by Scott Benzel edited by Carlye Packer
Saturday, April 25, 2015
7:00 – 10pm - opening reception
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA)

Off he sets / He makes his way merrily to the / office /…/ He is in love with a fair and most elegant lady / and also with / his penholder /… / He reflects upon his promotion / Maybe he will have an increase / without needing promotion /… / More dreams of promotion / … / The piano resumes its work / Alas! He must leave his office -his dear / office / Courage: let’s be off, he says- Erik Satie, Sonatine Bureaucratique (1917)

What Conceptual Art achieved at least temporarily was to subject the last residues of artistic aspiration toward transcendence to the rigorous and relentless order of the vernacular of administration. Paradoxically, then, it would appear that Conceptual Art truly became the most significant paradigmatic change of postwar artistic production at the very moment that it mimed the operating logic of late capitalism and its positivist instrumentality in an effort to place its autocritical investigations at the service of liquidating even the last remnants of traditional aesthetic experience. - Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions

Sonatine Bureaucratique, one of Eric Satie’s short humoristic pieces, is largely appropriated from Muzio Clementi’sSonatina in C major, op. 36, no. 1 and “narrated” with marginalia inserted between staves describing the titular Bureaucrat’s day at the office—a day during which no actual work is accomplished. The bureaucrat enters the office, sits around, and dreams of a promotion, or an increase in pay without a promotion, or the superior flat he’s been eyeing. He listens to the playing of a nearby piano playing and leaves.

Benjamin Buchloh inserted a page of Satie’s score in his essay Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions as published in October magazine Vol. 55, Winter 1990.  Buchloh perceived Satie’s appropriation of Clementi and the accompanying satirical narrative (suggesting the apathy and craven attitude of his Bureaucrat) as an early example of the “Aesthetic of Administration”—certainly boredom, repetition and quotation along with a bureaucratic anti-aesthetic play important roles in Satie’s work.  These represented a break with the conception of seriousness and quality in music that was dominant during the early 20th century. For Buchloh, Conceptualism was consciously aligned with scientistic, administrative, academic, and bureaucratic procedures as a move against the established aesthetic qualities of the time, constituting a similar break in the continuum of visual art.

This show began with a recognition of the systematic and morphological similarities between certain works of conceptual art executed during the 1960s and ‘70s and emergent paradigms in the field of information technology, especially developments within the realms of modeling/simulation, facial/object recognition, and data mining.  The show ultimately expanded to encompass the drift from the relatively benign bureaucracy gently critiqued by Satie to the full-blown rationalization and control apparatus functioning today.

Half a century after Satie, a number of works of conceptual art seem to prefigure or predict recent technological developments. Douglas Huebler’s then-absurb proposition put forth in Variable Piece #70to photographically document the existence of everyone alive—has largely been realized with the advent of NSA’s massive data-storage program and implementation of Multi-Agent World Simulations. His Location series prefigures Google Maps and Street View. Charles Gaines’s “irrational” coding and gridding of biological phenomena, including Walnut Tree Orchard and Faces, have been instrumentalized under the rubric of facial and object recognition. Guy de Cointet’s ‘drawings’ from A Few Drawings are comprised of purely numerical codes prefiguring the digital basis of all representation in current information technology.

These projects, impossible and irrational at the time,  foreshadow contemporary computationally-driven projects to such a degree as to appear to be precursors to the current conditions.

British technology site the Register reported in 2007: “The Department Of Defense is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual “nodes” to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR. Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a “synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information”.

Companies like Simulex have developed commercial versions of SWS: “The SEAS-VIS model is a representation of the Institutions, Organizations, Leaders, Individuals, and Infrastructure that make up a society. The geography of the society is modeled at various levels including City, Province, Country, Region, and World in terms of Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure nodes.

The LAPD now employs LASER software, a next-generation version of a data mining platform originally developed by the CIA, which powers their Real Time Analysis and Critical Response Division: coordinating license plate readers and other forms of surveillance, data mining ,and near-immediate response throughout Los Angeles. More than 3500 officers currently employ LASER- all LAPD cars, motorcycles, helicopters, and special vehicles are equipped with cameras that feed information to it. Many streets, highways and buildings throughout metropolitan Los Angeles are equipped with license-plate readers and other forms of surveillance which feed into the system.

Sonatine Bureaucratique features found and archived material from seemingly disparate spheres presented in conjunction to illuminate how the works of certain conceptual artists ultimately prefigured contemporary systems that have become thoroughly aligned with an administration of social control. Including original catalogs and artist’s books by Guy De Cointet, Charles Gaines, Douglas Huebler, and Seth Siegelaub. The show also includes video and printed material detailing the emergence of Sentient World Simulations, Lambda Labs’ facial recognition API and LAPD’s Real Time Analysis and Critical Response Division.


Desert Center with Palm Springs Art Museum


Desert Center (Composition I10 Mvmt IV: Dusk) for string quartet, experimental percussion, AM radio, and electronics in collaboration with the Palm Springs Art Museum and L.A.N.D.  April 3 and 4, Palm Springs Museum at Palm Desert and Desert Center, CA

unnamed-5 unnamed-4 unnamed-3 unnamed-2 unnamed-1 unnamed

       photographs by Christopher Adler

East of Borneo Feature

Blouin Artinfo Feature

LA Weekly Preview

Modern Painters Feature


Fall 2014 VSF, LACA, “Golden State”; Nuit Blanche Toronto w Kathryn Andrews


Scott Benzel Inverted Capitol Spire, steel, cotton, 2014 Scott Benzel Inverted Capitol Spire, steel, cotton, 2014

Inverted Capitol Spire: Programmatic Architecture Displacement #5, steel, cotton, 2014

"Scott Benzel, Inversion V sound corridor, 5-channel sound work, 2014"

Inversions V, 5-channel sound work, 2014

Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, through Nov. 8, 2014


SBPAD3web"Scott Benzel ammatic Architecture Displacements 6-7"

Programmatic Architecture Displacements 6 and 7 at Los Angeles Contemporary Archives, architectural maquettes, 2014



"Scott-Benzel- Golden-State-Installation-9"

“Golden State”, Samara Golden, Lucy Dodd, Kaari Upson, Lucy Raven, Amy Yao, Pentti Monkkonen, Liz Craft, Mungo Thomson, Scott Benzel, and Theodora Allen, curated by Drew Heitzler, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson

27 September 2014—7 December 2014

For Golden State, Heitzler has brought together ten artists from Los Angeles into the Great Hall. Individually and in aggregate their work playfully, cryptically and sometimes menacingly puts one in mind of the characteristic sprit and aesthetic linked with that geographical and political entity formerly known as the El Dorado State. Though where they hail from is undoubtedly important, what really matters, in Heitzler’s words, is that, “the artists make work that presents, in the best way possible, the arguments that make contemporary art interesting, not in terms of a relationship with other disciplines or concerns, but through a rigorous pursuit of the means through which art is meaningful on its own.”

Images by Christian Ramirez.


Split Chorale Plan


Split Choral Kathryn Andrews and Scott Benzel

Nuit Blanche Toronto October 4, 2014, Toronto City Hall

Split Chorale for  Viljo Revell, with Kathryn Andrews

Review: The Buffalo News

Preview: The Globe and Mail

Split Chorale Plan.pdf


Aran Cravey Los Angeles July 18-August 30 2014

July 18 to August 30, 2014
LA Weekly Review
Hyperallergic Review
Magnified Wide
PianoBackRE PianoWideRE Piano CU RE

Opening Reception: Friday, July 18, 6pm – 9pm

Scott Benzel, Patricia Fernández, Hailey Loman, D’Ette Nogle, Mungo Thomson

Curated by Eric Kim

“… [I]ndividual experience is clearly inseparable from the culture in which it is constituted. This truth is in fact at the root of the most beautiful mysteries of life. Thus, in our intermediations, we can share with one another an immensely rich history of experience and reflection. Yet as individuals, at the same time, we may run the risk of losing a sense of personal identity, and growing blank in the process—like the postcard photographer’s gaze as he captures his empty images.”  

- Allan McCollum

Maccarone New York June 25 – August 8 2014


20140627-_MG_2539 20140627-_MG_2536 20140627-_MG_2469 20140627-_MG_246720140627-_MG_2554tumblr_mn1ezpk1TO1s55fbmo1_1280

Art in America Review

Flash Art Review

Modern Painters Review

Art Observed Review

Art in America Exhibitions Review

Scott Benzel
June 25 – August 8, 2014

630 Greenwich Street NY

Maccarone proudly announces our first exhibition of Scott Benzel, opening June 25th through August 8th, 2014, featuring a selection of the artist’s works from 2009 to the present. On the occasion of the opening Benzel will perform, Folk Action and Non-Genre III for Belt Sanders and Female Black Metal Guitarist featuring Alex Niemetz.

Benzel’s practice can be understood as an exploration of cultural histories and their subsequent mythologies. Collecting fragments, remnants, and ephemera in an indexical manner, Benzel combines these often forgotten objects into aggregates of contradiction and altered meaning. With sculptural installations, photographic works, and sound he inhabits the role of artist as researcher. Unhinging each object’s original use-value through accumulation, misuse and convergence, obscure narratives form. Objects include:

metallic c-print of ‘Slash’ image of Spock; metallic c-print of ‘Fakir’ image of Lady Diana; counterfeit Nike SB Dunk ‘Heaven’s Gate’ shoes; The Trip original movie posters with original censorship stickers; Bison Dele,last game-worn jersey; The Beach Boys, ‘Never Learn Not to Love’ 45 RPM single; Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung; Esquire Magazine December 1967 editorial featuring Sharon Tate, ‘A Beginners Guide to Mao Tse-Tung’; Life Magazine December 1969 editorial featuring ‘The Wreck of a Monstrous Family’; Polish film poster for Weekend U Berniego; Polish film poster for Miłošč Szmaragd I Krokodyl; archival pigment prints of unused alien prototypes from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey; archival pigment prints of storyboards from the unrealized film The Story; ‘Love Roses’ disguised pipes; ‘Lipstick’ disguised pipe; U.S. Postal Service stamps depicting The Statue of Liberty at New York, New York, Las Vegas; The Silver Apples’ debut LP with Kmart 99c Special Sale sticker; Artforum magazine November 1974 featuring ad for Lynda Benglis at Paula Cooper Gallery; ‘Hi-Liter’ disguised pipe; October Magazine No. 1, Spring 1976, featuring Michel Foucault, “Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe”; video featuring The Beach Boys performing ‘Never Learn Not to Love’ live on the Mike Douglas show with: 1. original sound 2. Charles Manson singing ‘Cease to Exist’ 3. ‘Never Learn Not to Love’ (studio version); archival pigment print of Bob Dylan’s hair; archival pigment print of flames of monk self-immolating; Knabe baby grand piano; c-print of woman with spectrum-dyed hair; Rode NK1 tube microphone; DR microphone stand; Kicker Comp 15 bass speakers; Shure SM58 microphone; Ultravoice XM8500 microphones; spectrum-colored XLR cables; Samson Servo 1200 amplifier; Yamaha EMX 212S power mixer; Shuggie Otis ‘Freedom Flight’ LP; two Allen Ruppersberg color xeroxes; Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko with stickers; Post-WWII German postcard with overprinting; Post-Islamic-Revolution Iranian banknote with overprinting; British pound coin with over- stamping; metallic c-print of Barker Ranch, Death Valley, CA; two glasses of seawater; yellow polypropylene rope forming two nooses; Leonard Nimoy-designed monogrammed towel; counterfeit Leonard Nimoy-designed monogrammed towel; Malcolm Mclaren business card; counterfeit Malcolm Mclaren business cards; Gustav Metzger object; counterfeit Gustav Metzger objects; silver gelatin print of plastic flower; metallic c-print of L.A. Times recreation of Patricia Hearst’s point of view on Mel’s Sporting Goods, site of SLA shootout, May 16th, 1974; The Lost Continent of Mu by James Churchward; Library of Congress facsimile of The Jefferson Bible by Thomas Jefferson; Vietnam War-era Vietnamese Bible; Tijuana Bibles – Jean Harloe and Clark Gable; The Beatles, The Beatles (White Album); Kiosk displaying various books and magazines modeled after Jean-Luc Godard’s “ideology shop” in One Plus One.

Scott Benzel was born in 1968 in Scottsdale, AZ and lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been shown or performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum Of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, LA><ART, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and was featured in Made in LA 2012, the first Los Angeles Biennial, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Benzel has curated shows at the MAK Center/Schindler House, Los Angeles and the Welcome Inn, Eagle Rock, CA, as part of Pacific Standard Time organized by the Getty Museum, among others.

For more information on the exhibition, please call the gallery at 212 431 4977 or email hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM.

Part-Objects Book PDF and Online at Art Metropole; Mark Hagen/Scott Benzel ALAC


Scott Benzel Part-Objects Book Release LA Art Book Fair and LACA Jan. 30-Feb. 2 published by Human Resources Press and Lockitch Press, Texts by Eric Kim and Catherine Taft. Limited edition hardcover.


Available for online purchase: Art Metropole Los Angeles Contemporary Archive MOCA Geffen Contemporary Jan. 30- Feb. 2

Mark Hagen and Scott Benzel Coprolite Selections, Art Los Angeles Contemporary Jan. 30-Feb. 2


Selected Essays and Reviews

Octopusnotes Interview  by Naoki Sutter-Shudo 2015

East of Borneo Feature,  by Steffie Nelson 2015

Modern Painters Feature, by Michael Slenske 2015

Scott Benzel-Part-Objects book, essays by Catherine Taft and Eric Kim, 2014 pdf  77.3 MB

ArtInfo Artist’s Choice Best Shows of 2014,

Art in America Review, 2014 Scott Benzel at Maccarone, by Brian Boucher 2014

Modern Painters Review, 2014  Scott Benzel at Maccarone 2014

Flash Art Review, 2014 Scott Benzel at Maccarone, by Aaron Bogart 2014

Art Observed Review, New York: Scott Benzel at Maccarone, by O.C. Yerebakan 2014

CAM St. Louis Front Room Projects Essay, curated by Laura Fried

In the Good Name of the Company, Jan Tumlir, Chistopher Michlig, Brian Roettinger, Picturebox/For Your Art

In the good name of the company Review by Kurt Mueller pdf

Made in L.A. Artforum Review by Michael Ned Holte pdf

Made in L.A. catalog essay by Kurt Mueller pdf

Ivory Neige, L’origine du Monde, Magic Eraser, Essay by Theresa Choi pdf

Between Connoisseurship and Humiliation Essay by Michael Haight pdf

Artforum Best of 2011 by Michael Ned Holte pdf

Artforum Review by Catherine Taft pdf

ArtReview Review by Andrew Berardini pdf

Seven Los Angeles Artists Index.pdf

Seven Los Angeles Artists Essay.pdf by Scott Benzel

Sublimated Los Angeles.pdf by Scott Benzel

Maldistribution I pdf by Scott Benzel

Maldistribution Checklist pdf

Dicer Troll.pdf from Maldistribution by Scott Benzel

Bison Dele pdf from Maldistribution by Scott Benzel

Artforum Best of 2009 by Stephen Prina pdf


Shanaynay Paris; Perform Chinatown w Anita Pace; Public Fiction; Autocenter Berlin

Selected Music and Sound Works

LAAIR/Air de Paris, live performance at Shanaynay, Paris, 2013

Audio from PART-OBJECTS, a collaboration with Anita Pace, Perform Chinatown 2013

Spectrum (installation audio excerpt), (2013) Human Resources

Selections from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of Feb. 28, 2013 (2013) Dem Passwords, LA

 The Recitation from Profondeurs Vertes Mike Kelley and Scott Benzel Musee Louvre Paris (released 2012)

Exposition Chaos from A|D Liz Glynn and Scott Benzel with Corey Fogel and Giles Miller (2012) Public Fiction, LA

Sines (for Michael Asher) Excerpt 2 channel version of a 4 channel installation (2011) CAM St. Louis

Concentric Circles (before and after David Smith) Mvmt I for 3 lock-groove lacquers and string trio (2010) LACMA

Fewg  Flash Bam Pow Music from the Trip (1967) in the style of…(2009)  SASSAS Program PDF * **

Inversion I (retrograde) Excerpt Inversion I (retrograde) for Dennis Wilson (2010) Blum and Poe* **

Blak Bloc I Excerpt  Blak Bloc II Excerpt BLAK BLOC FOR STRING QUARTET AND FEEDBACK (2009)* **

Nativity Electronique Coda from Day is Done- Original Soundtrack by Mike Kelley and Scott Benzel (2005)*

*full album available on iTunes ** full album available on Spotify 

Human Resources Los Angeles April / May 2013

20130515_SB_HumanRes_031 20130515_SB_HumanRes_032 20130515_SB_HumanRes_029 20130515_SB_HumanRes_017 20130515_SB_HumanRes_023 20130515_SB_HumanRes_022
PianoCUSBWeb HRWidePianoJW
Spectrum (installation audio excerpt), (2013) Human Resources
20130515_SB_HumanRes_010 20130515_SB_HumanRes_009 20130515_SB_HumanRes_008 20130515_SB_HumanRes_007

Human Resources presents Scott Benzel and What does possession mean to you? Opening and Performances Saturday April 27 7-10PM

Shows Close Saturday May 18

Artforum Must See Show

Object index pdf


Human Resources is pleased to present two concurrent shows by Scott Benzel. The downstairs space will feature a show of the artist’s recent work including large-scale installations, vitrines containing new works, and performances. The upstairs will feature What does Possession Mean to You? a selection of works and objects from Benzel’s collection to be deaccessioned, stored, or promised to individuals and institutions following the close of the show.


A new performance, Un Coup de Des / Presence, and a ‘recombination’ of Benzel’s Folk History and Non-Genre I for Female Black Metal Guitarist and Belt Sanders (2012), will take place during the opening Saturday April 27 from 7-10 pm.


Scott Benzel is a Los Angeles-based artist and composer. His work was featured in Made in LA 2012 at the Hammer Museum and has been shown or performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum Of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, LAXART, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. This is his second solo show at Human Resources.

Human Resources is a team of creative individuals which seeks to broaden engagement with contemporary and conceptual art, with an emphasis on performative and underexposed modes of expression.