The sculptures and installations I create illustrate imagined spaces and implied spaces—spaces that make sense to our eyes but not always to our minds. This dichotomy of tangible and intangible reflects my flattening relationship with physical space. Growing up around ornamental tree nurseries in South Florida, and then monoculture fields of corn and soybean in rural Wisconsin accustomed me to uncanny spaces. The landscapes around me existed like linear algorithms repeating the same species for acres. In parallel, I came of age when the everyday transitioned from physical spaces into digital realities of screens, tabs, and windows. My life is now mediated between a reality and hyperreality of seeing and being. I orient myself in spaces that are compressed, rendered, and synthesized.
By using graphic materials like cut paper, bent neon, and engraved glass, I extend optical patterns into a slippery space of “2.5 dimensions”, a concept defined by neuroscientist David Marr. Often taking a human scale, my projects immerse and recalibrate viewers’ visual fields in a limbo of flat and 3-D, real and imaginary. Through illustrations of bodies, plants, and lines, I organize grids and relational systems to investigate perception, memory, and identity.
Ben Orozco is a Colombian-American artist and designer based in Madison, WI. His practice re-constructs images and re-encodes spaces, working in optical patterns, grids, illustrations, cut paper, and neon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2019 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with concentrations in Neon/Glass, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. In 2020, he completed a 9-month Fulbright-Hays fellowship in Småland, Sweden, researching Swedish glass and neon design and techniques. His work can be found in New Glass Review 41 (Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY) and has been exhibited at the Imagine Museum (St. Petersburg, FL), Hunterdom Museum of Art (Hunterdom, NJ), Glass Factory Museum (Boda, Sweden), and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison, WI). He is currently participating in the Bridge Work: Madison 2021-23 program, hosted by Arts + Literature Laboratory (Madison, WI).