Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Paul Soulellis

Second Advisor

Ryan Waller

Third Advisor

Janet Zweig


This is an artist talk contained within a book. It is 816 pages and 49 minutes long. Closed captions run across the spreads. A video of this talk can be watched on

At RISD, I’ve been prompted to expand the scope and tools of my practice and to reflect on questions of meaning in my work.

I spend my days making things, but I’ve never really had good answers to questions of why I make the things I make, or what their meaning is. I don’t think there are simple answers to these questions.

I think meaning comes from accrual. From the piling up of time, experiences, objects, and images.

I believe in a sort of ‘coherentism,’ a theory of knowledge that says justification for beliefs comes from the coherence of a system, rather than on ‘truth’ emanating from any one foundational belief. Basically, it means that things prop each other up. I think if I make enough, connections will bubble up and meanings will follow.

I think there’s a power to limiting the number of formal moves I make. I think I gain a legibility.

I think I get something from commitment and rigor. That as simple moves aggregate, within a series and across bodies of related work, they reinforce, and they buoy each other.

I think with quantity, there’s less to explain because more is plainly apparent.

I think design is relationships. Between, people, histories, contexts, forms, etcetera. For me, graphic design is gathering, experimenting, collaging, iterating, and editing. I really believe in experimentation and play.

I think craft is a feeling of process. A felt intentionality, a clarity of relationships, a presence of some humanity.

I believe things mostly live in pictures, that documentation is as important as the work itself. I think images will outlive objects.

I think I am a pile of images and words.


View exhibition online: Ben Denzer, Making Then Meaning



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