Profile: Benjamin Britton
Date: March 13, 2000
Benjamin Britton, associate professor of fine art, came to UC in 1992 because this is "a wild west of a campus."
How I like to teach
I like working collaboratively with students and colleagues because I really enjoy the
stimulation of being around creative people. I like hearing about their challenges and
how they solve them. It's exciting being part of a problem-solving team, to work
together. I like to teach by learning, learning new ways of doing things, going out into
the world and finding out how other people see the world, how they think. Then, I can
bring that back and share it with students and colleagues.
I like to use the latest state-of-the-art technology to explore what makes us human, what
connects human minds and the human spirit. My most recent project (at http://www.moon.uc.edu)
is a Web-based, virtual reality work that allows participants to play the roles of Neil
Armstrong or fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin during their historic capsule landing
or during their first moon walk. Part of my reason for doing this was to help younger
generations connect with, share and understand the drive and creativity of a previous
generation. Similarly, a previous virtual reality project, recreating France's Cave of
Lascaux where prehistoric humans left paintings and carvings, connects today's
generations with our ancient ancestors.
I enjoy archaeology and history, contemporary art and the outdoors. I'm a pretty good
tennis player. I play once a week.
Though I've visited many historic sites like Chaco Canyon, Eleusis in Greece,
Lascaux, and Emporium in Spain, I'm taking my interest in history a step further. I
recently volunteered on my first archaeological dig: a Hopewell village site where I dug
and then sifted through the soil for artifacts.
What makes UC distinctive
UC retains and embodies American traditions while being very forward looking in terms
of growth and research. Who else is growing like us? We have a lot of high energy.
We're a Wild West of a campus. The physical campus is fun, better than ever. It will
just keep getting better and better.
How would you describe UC to others
We're a community of creative people out to do good.