Ben R. Caldwell

Arts educator and independent filmmaker Ben Caldwell grew up assisting his grandfather, who projected movies at a small theater in New Mexico. His passion for the visual arts lead him to study film at UCLA and reside in the neighborhood of Leimert Park, epicenter for the African American art scene in Los Angeles. After teaching film and video at Howard University in Washington, D.C. from 1981-84, Caldwell returned to Leimert Park and created an independent studio for video production and experimentation that became the KAOS Network, a community arts center that provides training on digital arts, media arts and multimedia. It remains the only organization of its kind in South Central Los Angeles that offers courses in video production, animation, website development, video teleconferencing, CD-ROM production and Internet exploration. Its legendary Project Blowed is a weekly open-mic workshop that gave birth to rappers and rap groups such as Aceyalone, Medusa, Busdriver, Freestyle Fellowship and Jurassic Five.

Caldwell’s films often trace historical and cultural connections. Eyewitness: Reflections of Malcolm X & the O.A.A.U. (2006) presents the Harlem reunion of ex-members of the Organization of Afro-American Unity. La Buena Vida (The Good Life) (2008), filmed over the course of three years while Caldwell taught at the California Institute of the Arts, documents the cultural exchanges between a group of hip hop artists and musicians from Los Angeles and their counterparts in Havana, Cuba.

Events

27

Aug

 Aug 27, 2017, 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
 Connect Gallery

1520 S. Harper Court
Chicago, IL

Participants in Sankofa City Summer School: South Side Design Fiction Workshop present their visions for the future of our neighborhood, in the form of speculative design videos and objects that imagine new possibilities for public spaces. 

19

Aug

 Aug 19, 2017, 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM
 Stony Island Arts Bank

6760 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL

Vanguard L.A. Rebellion filmmaker and founder of Kaos Network Ben Caldwell kicks off a week-long workshop on visualizing the future of our community with this presentation of his work around the transformation of LA’s Leimert Park. 

18

Aug

 Aug 18, 2017, 6:00 AM – 6:00 AM
 

What will the South Side of Chicago look like in 2021? As we anticipate the construction of the Obama Presidential Center, this workshop brings South Side residents and University of Chicago students together to visualize our desired futures for our community. 

29

Nov

 Nov 29, 2018, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
 Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry

929 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

The Gray Center is pleased to announce the launch of Portable Gray, a new journal dedicated to the weirdness found at the heart of the arts and scholarship(s). Free food. Free drinks. Meet contributors. Complimentary copies of the inaugural issue.