KAOS Theory

KAOS Theory

The Afrokosmic Ark of Ben Caldwell

by Robeson Taj Frazier with Ben Caldwell

KAOS Theory: The Afrokosmic Ark of Ben Caldwell tells the story of filmmaker, educator and community activist Ben Caldwell and KAOS Network, the media-arts center he founded in Los Angeles’s Leimert Park neighborhood. Through vivid illustrations, archival media, and engaging storytelling, KAOS Theory shows how Ben crafted a life centered around the power of fellowship, community, and the use of art and media as a social force. The text takes a journey through history and time, beginning with Ben’s ancestors in the American southwest, up through Ben’s childhood in New Mexico, his experiences in Vietnam, his work as a filmmaker and pioneer of the L.A. Rebellion Film Movement, and as founder of KAOS Network. But KAOS Theory is more than just the story of one man’s life. It is a work of art, remembrance, and tribute. Encompassing music, film, art, and performance, KAOS Theory honors the vibrant and influential communities that continue to shape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, the African Diaspora, and beyond.

  • 224 pages
  • 10"h x 8"w
  • 200+ images
  • hardcover; ISBN 978-1-62640-117-4; $40.00

(This book will be available in retail stores September 26, 2023 -- order now to receive your copy as soon as copies come off the presses!)

 “This remarkable book presents a fascinating array of the images, ideas, words, and wisdom of Ben Caldwell. It documents in rich detail his long and distinguished career as a creative artist and community builder, as a profoundly original and generative thinker, and as an imaginative and accomplished inventor of new ways of knowing and new ways of being grounded in collective and collaborative co-creation. The art and imagination of Ben Caldwell has long been important, but it is especially relevant today in this time of turmoil as a guide for artists and audiences seeking to open ways to other worlds.”

— George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place 

“For as long as I have known him, Ben Caldwell has shown that we are as expansive as our imaginations: Let them run wild. Caldwell's spaces in Leimert Park are more than storefronts or studios, they are safe havens and launching pads, portals to walk through to find one's passion and purpose. KAOS Theory sails deep into his life-path philosophy, wisdom, and overall vibe. It's a vivid document that honors Ben's vision and commitment to community and craft, in the cadence and spirit of the man himself.”

— Lynell George, author of A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler

KAOS Theory does what many have only tried to do: successfully weave conversation, geography, thought, idea, love, poetry, space, and time together. It is an improbable journey that sheds light into a mind and body free of confinement and genre. This book takes you somewhere you’ve never been. And somewhere you didn’t know you hoped to go.” 

— Walter Thompson-Hernández, director of If I Go Will They Miss Me & author of The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland

      $40.00 USD