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Peter Bill is an Artist, Activist and Educator. He has, since learning photoshop v. 1.5, been interested in connecting under-represented communities with digital tools so their voices may be broadcast. He has been involved with large scale video projections, guerrilla art actions, and community building since the 90s.

Peter Bill's award winning paint and video landscapes have shown in such diverse venues as The Kitchen(NYC), the Henry Art Gallery(Seattle), FILE Festival(São Paulo, Brazil), and other international venues. He continues in his Oil paintings and video work to weave the painterly with the digital, pixels and paint, indigo and 191970 blue. He envisioned and realized the first time-lapse film festival in North America, the Gila Timelapse Film Festival and has curated and directed shows on three continents. "Art must be realized on the streets, as an agent of change and progress."
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Much of my art has been about creating a vessel, a space for meditation. Through my painting and video installations I hope to create a moment of quietude, a contemplation of this world we have built.

In my mural and documentary film work I have balanced a certain transcendentalism in my heart with my didactic scots-yankee bones. In the public sphere arts role is to inspire and provoke. Therefore in my mural projects I have attempted to involve the local community in the conception and realization of my projects. In my animations and short films I have attempted critiques of the bathetic apocalyptic culture we live in, the false utopia of the California landscape, the contested landscape of New Mexico, and tried to get to the situation on the ground in war torn Bosnia, among other subjects. The world is a complicated, granular place. We cannot oversimplify with our stories, but we can in their telling change opinions, and thus change the world for the better.

Towards a Pedagogy of Peace

Traveling to Hiroshima to create peace workshops. What can I teach someone in Hiroshima about peace? First thing is to listen. Respect. Learn. Get better. Japanese people for certain notice these things. Humility, especially as a Yankee is important. Each case has its specific needs.

Sarajevo

Once I painted a mural with local youths in Sarajevo, Bosnia. I had just met the kids, who had just, somewhat randomly been gathered together from the neighborhood. Most had witnessed some trauma from the longest siege in modern history. So, I just wanted them to have some fun! In our grind it out American culture, the idea of fun is difficult to assess, and thus often discounted. but if students can have fun, they learn better, and art regardless can be joyous exuberant expression. So I made a schematic (a Fish from the Miljacka river!), and the students filled in their own thoughts…

Ciudad Juárez

Juárez is a long story. But once, with Professors Lydia Huerta and Scott Fritz, we took a group of students to Panaderia Rezizte, in Juárez. All we could do really was hope the students had open eyes, and hearts still beating. in 2015 La Violencia has tapered down, though the thought was still there just beneath the surface. The students came over for an afternoon and got a bit of a history lesson.

Hiroshima

Three experiences teaching Peace: Respect, Fun, and History.  History is what ties things together.
in Hiroshima we still have survivors from the atomic bombings, who can tell their stories. Having a human being in front of one, telling the story of what happened to them is very powerful. It acts upon the mind, as we put ourselves in their shoes: “what would I have done?

 

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Talking, thinking, and creating. There is much to be done, but as artists we must work with people and together create new ways of understanding, new ways of remembering old things, new ways with new media that do not forget the auld.

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