Mikey Peterson’s meditative images shift through extended real-time shots, subtle dissolves and startling jump cuts. Light contrasts through darkened backgrounds, and classical elements—water, fire, air and earth—create abstracted spaces. These distortions, influenced by pre-CGI science fiction films, arthouse horror, experimental cinema, and sound collage aim to disturb the viewer’s self-perception and sense of place while reinforcing their bond with the natural world through the use of digital technology. Subtle events appear dramatic and nature’s movements become surreal transformations as they reside within the boundary between the physical and the virtual. Footage is digitally manipulated and taken out of its original natural context in order to paradoxically relay other truths about the world that it is from – unveiling themes of memory, environmental preservation, evolution, destruction, disorientation and fear. To advance this process of displacement, Peterson manipulates the ambient sound from the source recordings to compose a cohesive soundtrack, moving the viewer into dream-like meditations, chaotic landscapes, and dark surreal spaces that contradict the enveloping rhythms of tone and light.
His work has shown at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City; Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Chicago Cultural Center; the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum; Chicago’s Zhou B Art Center, Rome’s MAXXI Museum; South Korea’s CICA Museum; the Armory Center For The Arts in Pasadena, California; Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum; the SIGGRAPH Conference in Los Angeles, California, the Lucca Film Festival in Lucca, Italy, London’s Visions in the Nunnery, CURRENTS New Media in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Under The Subway Video Art Night, the STREETVIDEOART exhibition in Paris, France, Brooklyn’s Ende Tymes Festival, New York’s Under The Subway Video Art Night, and the Video Art and Experimental Film Festival at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. His work has been featured in publications including CICA Museum’s Post Human: New Media Art 2020 and Digital Body: New Media Art 2018; Mexico City’s Blancopop; Paris’ Stigmart 10 – Videofocus; LandEscape Art Review and the online audio publication, Text Sound.
Peterson develops and teaches courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Snow City Arts. In addition, he writes and performs sparse melodic songs as a solo musician.
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