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Benjamin Patterson was born in Pittsburgh on May 29, 1934. From 1956 to 1960, he worked as a double bassist at the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (1956–57), the US Army 7th Army Symphony Orchestra (1957–59) and the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra (1959–60). In 1960 he moved to Cologne, Germany where he became active on the contemporary music scene of the most radical, focusing its activities at the studio of Mary Bauermeister and "against the festival." Between 1960 and 1962 he played in Cologne, Paris, Venice, Vienna and other places still participating in the first Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden (1962).
Returning to New York and receiving his master's at the end of 1965 decided to retire from art, to live a "normal life". Despite the "retreat" he participated in the São Paulo Biennale in 1983, and his works are featured in the Silverman Collection exhibitions around the United States.
After quitting artistic activity, he continued his career in art. He worked as General Manager in the Symphony of the New World (1970–72), as Assistant Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City (1972–74), as director of development for the Negro Ensemble Company (1982–84), and as National Director for Pro Musica Foundation Inc. (1984–86).
In 1988 he left his retreat, with a solo exhibition of new assemblages and installations at Emily Harvey Gallery in New York. He participated in several Fluxus Festival, and exhibitions of the group.
These are the most recent exhibitions in which he participated: Pianofortissimo (Milan and Genoa), Ubi Fluxus ibi Motus (Venice Biennale, 1990), Fluxus (Museion in Bolzano, Cortona, Volpaia, Bassano del Grappa), The Fluxus Constellation (Museum 'Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa), Wiesbaden Festival 2002, 4TFLUXUS (Paris), L'Avventura Fluxus (Museum of the Absurd - Castelvetro of Modena).