Benjamin Bennett: Smile Through The Pain Until The Pain Makes You Smile

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“Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance.” -Virgil “Endurance is more important than truth..." -Charles Bukowski Ben Bennett (c.1984) is a unique, virtuosic free improvising percussionist who rose to international prominence and notoriety in 2014. After creating a series of live-streamed internet videos, in which he sat cross-legged and gazed into a camera all while maintaining a ceaseless grin upon his face for four hour durations, Ben joined the ranks of weird YouTube celebritydom. In 2017, after creating 300 episodes of “Sitting and Smiling,” he inexplicably began a new series entitled “Walking and Talking,” in which he walks and talks (often self-reflexively) on camera, typically also for four hours at a time. Ben is the son of American experimental text, sound, and visual poet John M. Bennett and brother of composer/performer John Also Bennett. Additionally, he is also a highly skilled urban forager, survivalist, and as we discover towards the conclusion of this episode, something of a freestyle rapper. Join us for this episode of THE EXILE HOUR in which we engage Ben in a fast & furious dialogue about the nature of post-human consciousness, endurance art, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, conspiracy theories, and suicidal selfie sticks.

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