peter burr

"I was there the other day. So weird wandering thru those deserted ripped-off structures that so much love & agony & labor went into building. There were ghosts behind every broken window & half-off-the-hinges door. Sad hippy ghost town with a pile of human shit deposited on the drainboard next to the sink. Too many rats packed into too small a space. I guess we'll go down & scrounge what we can." (Peter Rabbit on Drop City)


This sound design project for Peter Burr was honored with a Vimeo Staff Pick. The audio came from a ribbon controlled eurorack synthesizer, processed voice and a bucket of wet paper towels. Originally premiered at the Imagine Science Film Festival in NYC in late 2017. 


by Peter Burr, Mark Fingerhut, and Forma

In 1562, Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder completed a painting called "The Triumph Of Death". In this panoramic landscape the sky is blotted out by black smoke; ships and dead fish litter the ocean shore; and an army of skeletons experiment with myriad death techniques. The living are badly outnumbered and the variety of fated tortures seems endless. There is little room for whimsy in this tableaux.

Over 200 years earlier, a nasty plague, commonly known as "The Black Death", left a cruel and massive mark on European civilization, wiping out half of Europe’s total population. This was a quiet pervasion of death - an invisible pathogen carried by herds of tired rats. This plague triggered a series of social and economic upheavals with profound effects on the history of medieval Europe, guiding its survivors into the sort of self-inflicted darkness pictured by the Elder Bruegel.

Looking back at this historical trajectory, Peter Burr, Mark Fingerhut, and Forma have created a spiraling interdimensional narrative aptly titled DESCENT - a meditation on one of humanity’s blackest hours. Taking the form of a desktop application, descent.exe gives the user a brief glimpse of a world descending into darkness - an unrelenting plague indifferent to the struggles of the user. There is a silver lining, however, tucked into the software’s final sweep. An equanimous watcher, reduced to a single eye, looks on as the plague of rats that has infested your desktop destroys itself.

This video is a recording of descent.exe running alongside Fingerhut's deepdesktop.exe.


Pattern Language at IFFR

Pattern Language, for which I composed two movements of music for synthesizers as well as leading sound design, premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam this year. 

'Pattern language' is a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander to describe the existence of certain human ambitions through an index of structural patterns. In this film, highly organised and richly layered patterns move in accordance with audio frequencies and rhythms, towards the construction of an endlessly mutating labyrinth.

Pattern Language

PATTERN LANGUAGE | by Peter Burr | September 2016
3-Legged Dog Production / Creative Capital Award Sundance Story Lab
With Mark Fingerhut, Brenna Murphy, and Porpentine
Music and Sound Design by John Also Bennett

“Pattern Language” is a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander describing the aliveness of certain human ambitions through an index of structural patterns. Some advocates of this design approach claim that ordinary people can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems. In this installation, Peter Burr employs the vocabulary of Alexander’s system towards the construction of an endlessly mutating death labyrinth, projecting this world inside an immersive multi-channel video environment.

Green I Red projection detail. This was a four channel video environment with an eight channel surround soundtrack by Seabat at Eyebeam in NYC as part of Monkeytown 3. The single channel version will premier at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2014.

The trailer for Special Effect (a collaboration with Peter Burr).

“Video and performance artist Peter Burr presents a live television show from the future inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1971 film Stalker and its central setting of "the zone”: an off-limits place of hope and possibility rumored to make one’s deepest desires come true. Special Effect features 20 30-second original works from underground animation label Cartune Xprez, original music from Lucky Dragons and Seabat, and live performances by Burr involving laser beams and a hacked Kinect camera.