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In his thesis work at Union College, Ben's primary research focused on city symphony film of the nineteen twenties and thirties. Prompting him to apply this research to the creation of a "city symphony of the 21st century" about Schenectady, New York, titled I Can't Spell Sk-nek-tuh-dy. The piece's production became consumed by an investigation of the links between the region and General Electric. The replication of archival footage in the present revealed the height of its power, and its rapid decline.
He now turns his attention to Kodak, as Rochester, New York is forced to face deindustrialization and forge a new identity. What is the social impact of a region's economic identity being stripped away? Can social actors play a part its decline? In its rebirth? These are only a few of the questions Ben will begin to tackle this question over the course of his time in Social Documentation.