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The Sit-Down with Leighton Pierce

Related: Agency by Leighton Pierce

Leighton PierceYou’ve got a lot of your works online. Some artists are reluctant to do that.

“For a while, I didn’t put much online. Then I put online only older things. Now I’m thinking, why not let people get some sense of the work? Let it capture their interest. The two-inch screen online is not the same as the actual experience.”

How has new technology changed how you work?

“The main thing is that I can work much faster now and see results that look like the thing itself. When I’m editing, what I see on the screen is what I get. It’s like a painting in that way, I guess. When you paint, what’s on the canvas is what you get.”

What do you think of the idea that we are becoming a “video society”? What does this mean for the future of art museums and artists?

“I think it is true that we are living in a video age. I think of video as the new writing, in a way. Everyone has access to video now, like writing. Everyone enters into college with some writing skill. Now, you’re hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t shot at least some video as well. Of the students I have, few are saying I’ve never shot video. Few say they’ve never edited video. It’s the same for artists: all artists are now making video, and they need training. Some are very naïve. I think video classes should be a requirement for students. Of course, I think film and video people should learn something about the other arts as well. All these arts relate to each other.”

How do you think the economic downturn will affect artists?

“I’m trying to imagine it as a benefit. The art market has already crashed. I’m hoping it’s an advantage for people who are interested in ideas and will show work without expectations of value. For me, not much changes because in a way, I’ve always worked that way: What are my resources and what can I do to make it work.”

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