Ben R. Caldwell

BenCaldwell pointing to 4343 Leimert Boulevard

Senior Fellow

Ben R. Caldwell is a Los Angeles-based arts educator and independent filmmaker. A native of New Mexico, Caldwell studied filmmaking at UCLA, at the same time as Charles Burnett, Julie Dash and Billy Woodberry, as part of a group of young artists who were to change African American independent filmmaking — a cultural phenomenon sometimes called “The L.A. Rebellion” (recently published in a UC Press book). Caldwell’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, most recently at LAMAG and at the Tate Modern. Caldwell taught 15 years at CalArts and was a major founding force in CAP (Community Arts Partnership).

Season (Tate Modern) curator George Clark is especially keen to highlight the work of Ben R. Caldwell, … whose work prefigures Afrofuturism. Caldwell later founded the KAOS Network community arts centre in Leimert Park, LA. “His idea,” explains Clark, “was that artists should have the same role in the community as doctors or lawyers, they should be there on the street: you should be able to drop in and see them, interact with them.” (The Guardian 4/9/15 @_ash_clark ). It’s a community art/tech accelerator center dedicated to providing training on digital arts, media arts and multi-media, at the heart of Leimert Park, historic center of the Los Angeles jazz culture, now hosting a diverse multi-ethnic multimedia arts center.

KAOS Network was designed to empower the youth of the community and is the only organization of its kind in South Central Los Angeles where inner-city youths can participate in hands-on courses in video production, animation, web-site development, video teleconferencing, movie production, and use of the Internet. KAOS is also home to WORDshop, Project Blowed and BANANAS are workshops for musical artists, dancers, singers, media and visual artists. Weekly 100’s youths participate in workshops and programs at the center. In addition to these workshops, KAOS Network has videotaped community events and produced documentaries for the state of California. KAOS Network has been creating a community of young people who are dedicated to learning and are working in new media technologies, all over the world.


“The words you speak become the house you live in” – Hafiz

Me in Three

When is your most generative time?
12 am until 3am

What are you currently obsessed with?
I’m really loving reading a learning about the southwest USA history, before the Spanish colonization until California gold rush.

What’s your favorite midnight snack?
Most fruits..Mango first choice if in season.

This pretty much sums up my existence