Residency: Ben Coleman, ShotSpotter, February 7 to March 7, 2023

Ben Coleman will do a residency at Counterpath (7935 East 14th Ave. in Denver) from February 7, 2023, to March 7, 2023, where he will focus on ShotSpotter technology. He is planning to do a presentation at the February 21 monthly meeting of the East Colfax Neighborhood Association and to help lead a ShotSpotter tour with the East Colfax walking group on March 1. Closing event scheduled for the weekend of March 3!

The Denver Police Department has been using a technology called ShotSpotter since 2015. ShotSpotter claims to be able to identify and locate the sound of gunshots when they occur within areas where their sensors have been installed—information which is then verified by a ShotSpotter representative before being sent to the police. These claims have never been independently tested to established forensic standards, and many other cities have abandoned their use of ShotSpotter, citing its ineffectiveness and inaccuracy, as well as its high cost. Despite this, Denver City Council recently renewed their contract with ShotSpotter for $4.7 million, which will be in addition to the prior $4.5 million contract with ShotSpotter that ran from 2016.

Sound artist and East Colfax resident Ben Coleman will be at Counterpath for a residency from Feb 6— March 6, during which time he will be researching the ShotSpotter technology installed in the neighborhood. In conversation with local residents and other stakeholders (including local police), he will hear a variety of perspectives surrounding the implementation of this technology in East Colfax. Over the course of the month, Ben will map the presence of ShotSpotter in East Colfax—on the streets, in the daily lives of residents, and in our technological imaginary.

What is ShotSpotter? What is it doing for us, and what is it doing to us? Is it what we think it is?

Visitors to Counterpath can expect to see Ben’s research in progress as it accumulates and takes shape over the duration of the month, and are invited to contribute to the project.

Ben Coleman is a British multi-disciplinary artist residing in Denver, CO. His practice is rooted in sound and performance making, but often plays with other media, including music, text, video and installation.

Coleman grew up in theatre and music, forming his first bands in London while studying contemporary performance. Moving to the US in 2006, he dedicated some eventful years to musical projects- later returning to performance alongside new roles as composer, sound designer and installation artist. His practice now embraces curatorial projects, and frequent collaboration with choreographers, visual artists, and theater practitioners.

His work has been presented by institutions including the High Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Understudy, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Redline Contemporary Art Centre, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Gibney Dance, Dashboard, Georgia Institute of Technology, Flux Projects, Zuckerman Museum of Art and Emory University.

Coleman’s work has been featured by Hyperallergic, Wire Magazine, Vice, Pitchfork, The Denver Post, Arts ATL, Burnaway and WABE Atlanta. He is a resident alumnus at Redline Contemporary Art Centre, Denver.

Visit him and his work at