Ben Maier

Born in 1989 in Pfullendorf, Germany. Lives and works in between Den Haag, The Netherlands and southern Germany.

Ben Maier is an aspiring artist that frames his photographic practice as visual economist. After working in several internationally acclaimed advertisement agencies as information architect, he turned towards the arts. Through his experiences made, he can understand economic coherences and nefarious aspects of neoliberalism. In 2022, Maier completed a Bachelor study in photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Father as a scale 06, 2022 | Digital fine art print on foamboard | 57 x 38 cm

Ben Maier

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Father as scale #01, 2022 | Cyanotype on slate stone | ca 40 x 50 cm

Ben Maier

Available

Ben Maier – Visual Economist

My photographic practice as visual economist is rooted in the aftermath of neoliberalism. Present-day economic coherences that clash with ethical values attract my attention, especially their effects on the human condition and myself. This interest inspires me to research economic inequalities and alternative ways of designing life.

The camera is an exploratory tool for me, it helps me to grasp connections and to accumulate knowledge. My projects are visually driven and enhanced with text, film and sound. The photographic language incorporates fictional aspects and digital alterations – the visual strategies are variations of traditional documentary techniques, enhanced with contemporary and conceptual ambiguous aesthetics. The final projects can be considered visual eclecticism.

Even though I understand the destructive effect of economy on humanity, I also grasp its necessity due to the needs of our society. More than advocating for change I want to inform the polarized society about the complexity of economic injustice.

Father as a scale 07, 2026 | Digital fine art print on foamboard | ca 33 x 49,5 cm

Ben Maier

Available

Father as scale #03, 2022 | Cyanotype on slate stone | ca 40 x 32 cm

Ben Maier

Available

Father as scale – Extractivism as economic necessity

As a kid I built castles with soil. Equipped with bright yellow rainboots on still too tiny feet I crossed sand piles, exploring the elements underneath me. Every now and then I would tear an earthworm apart. Roaming on the land was my favourite adventure.

In my home, southwest Germany, the most valuable resource lies underground. The natural deposits, mostly stones and sand, show suitable qualities for concrete production. This attracts mining companies that see value in the soil that I was turning into castles: Concrete is a high economic demand. Extractivism – the extraction of these resources – is divisive because it lies at the crossroads of economic development and environmental protection. The needs of our society dictate the destruction of our landscapes: Extractivism becomes necessity.

The altered landscapes shape missing pieces of the earth. It feels like the soul of my homeland becomes a surface – on display in quarries that grow larger due to everlasting demand. As I stand in the silent quarry at night, looking at the stars, I am conflicted: I see the soil wounded, but I understand the economic necessity.

Visual research into an economy that’s inevitable, that transforms my homeland and of which I have doubts.

Father as a scale 05, 2022 | Digital fine art print on foamboard | 49,5 x 33 cm

Ben Maier

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Father as scale #02, 2022 | Cyanotype on slate stone | ca 40 x 45 cm

Ben Maier

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