Artist Profile: Marco Pinter

Marco Pinter creates artwork and performances that fuse physical kinetic form with live visualizations. He has a PhD in Media Arts and Technology from UC Santa Barbara, and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. His work integrating graphics with robotic sculpture is supported by grants from the David Bermant Foundation, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, and the UC Institute for Research in the Arts. He’s exhibited artwork and performances at cities around the world, including Dubai, New York, Montreal, Tehran, Hong Kong, Anaheim, San Diego and Santa Barbara. Pinter is a contributing author to The McGraw Hill Multimedia Handbook and The Ultimate Multimedia Handbook. He’s also an inventor with over 70 patents in the areas of live video technology, robotics, interactivity and telepresence.

Pinter has been a friend of Glenn Dallas Gallery since our opening on November 2, 2018. His thermal photographs of dancers are now part of our fifth exhibition, Stardust & Satisfaction, Art & Music. This show evaluates music, musicians & festival culture through visual art. The magic of music goes hand in hand with the vibrancy of dance. To say the least, guests are mesmerized by Pinter’s work.

Gallery assistant Hali Galloway reached out to the artist for an exclusive interview. Keep reading to learn more.

Hali Galloway: How does your work reflect your personal ideas and beliefs?

Marco Pinter: My work explores the underlying mechanisms of perception, creating situations of conflict between our higher level consciousness and lower level perception. I typically use materials which explore a fusion of physical movement with visualizations in the virtual world. I find inspiration in dance and sculpture, but also in cognitive psychology, neuroscience and mathematics. 

HG: How do those influences manifest themselves in your work?  (if they do at all)

MP: In installation form, I work with robotic sculpture and computer graphic forms. I pursue similar themes in performance through the use of dancers, sensors and projected forms. 

HG: How have you seen your work evolve from when you first became an artist to present day?

MP: The above process becomes cyclical, wherein my observations of public participants with an installation, on the one hand, and my experience with performers and audience, on the other, creates a feedback loop of cross-influence in my ongoing exploration.

HG: What are some techniques, mediums, or ideas that you want to explore further in your career that you have not yet had the chance to explore?

MP: I am very interested in further pursuing choreographed robotic sculpture, bringing to life many different types of materials and objects.

HG: Your works physically documents movement in a colorful way. Tell me about your artistic process for these works. 

MP: Much of my work with dancers is an exploration of the ephemeral, impermanent nature of dance, and attempts to find areas of permanence through the use of choreographic sculpture or abstract visualizations created by dancers’ movements. My latest series, “Less Ephemeral”, employs a complex process where dancers interact with thermally-sensitive fabric and are photographed by a high-end industrial thermal camera. The camera captures the residue of the movement over time, as the heat of the dancer’s body is applied and then slowly dissipates. I then translate this to the visual realm using a variety of thermal palettes. The work currently on view at Glenn Dallas showcases these images printed on fabric scrolls and aluminum.

HG: What was your inspiration for this project? 

MP: I’ve been working with thermal cameras for over 10 years.  A couple years ago I was involved in a collaborative art/performance project, and one of the elements I created and contributed was “Thermal Gestures”, an interactive thermally-sensitive fabric “wall” that allows one to see the residue of one’s body heat and breath over time.  The visual results were surprisingly beautiful and I realized I could further explore that work with dancers, creating prints from moments in time.

HG: How has this project changed you as an artist?

MP: My prior work has been large and complex, and not easily accessible to a private collector.  This series has opened up a new audience for me and allowed me to think about creating work that can be broadly appreciated.

The below pieces are part of our Stardust & Satisfaction, Art & Music exhibition – on view until September 10. We’re also happy to answer inquires by e mail:

Glenn Dallas Gallery

927 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA