My career has taken many forms - yet always at the core has been the embrace of that magical space where tech and art merge in the pursuit of new forms of storytelling. I draw on the personal experience of what it is to be living at a certain moment in history with an emphasis on making the invisible visible in order to reframe those shared moments for a larger audience. As a mature artist there is much to draw from.
Over the years my work has evolved from early handheld video diaries made during the AIDS pandemic to include interactive web documentary and Virtual Reality experiences that take my history of video diaries to a whole new level by allowing members of the audience to literally step into the story and take control. Recently, I began using 3D projection mapping to let viewers move through stage-like installations that create deeply immersive and transformative environments in both real space or VR.
Beverly Peterson received her BFA from Cooper Union and was awarded a Masters in Journalism from the Kiplinger Fellowship at Ohio State University. The film she produced during this fellowship, Invisible Revolution, screened at the Sundance Film Festival and Museum of Modern Art, among many other venues.
Peterson has always been interested in exploring new ways to tell a story. Recently, she began collaborating with two contemporary painters to bring the narratives held within their works into new immersive formats. Shaky's Meadow incorporates artist David Pollack's sculptures, drawings and watercolors in a site specific augmented 3D projection mapping installation at the Lockwood Gallery in upstate NY in 2022.
Farrell Brickhouse's series of paintings and drawings, entitled Russell's Yard, are re-envisioned as a virtual reality experience. Russell's Yard lets viewers drift through Brickhouse's memories as they explore the magical and playful stories he and his childhood friends created in response to the world around them. Exhibited at LABspace in NY 2022.
Peterson’s love for this merging of 'tech' and 'art' began in the 90's when she embraced the exciting new prosumer camera format to capture deeply intimate post-verité video diaries during the AIDS pandemic. Her first documentary, Sandra's Web: a Mother's Diary, premiered on HBO and received a major review in the New York Times among many others.
Next, she used traditional broadcast quality gear, but shattered the investigative story she was telling into a multi-subjective approach breaking documentary norms. This allowed Peterson to capture the birth of Antifa. As importantly, she filmed young people openly embracing the violence of the extreme right. The rhetoric and issues these two groups clashed over in Invisible Revolution have amplified into today's political polarization. Her work continued to evolve along with the technology to include the interactive web documentary WhatKilledKevin.com and builds on the use of multi-subjectivity to allow the viewer to literally step into the story and take control. It won a 2014 Webby Award and garnered national press including the Washington Post. Her current video projection/installation and Virtual Reality experiences bring her storytelling to a deeply immersive level. Memory Rooms, a VR documentary, premiered at the 2017 FIVAC experimental film festival in Cuba.
Peterson’s work has been broadcast internationally, and screened at major festivals including; HBO, PBS The Sundance Channel, The Sundance Film Festival, Human Rights Watch, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center.
Educational and grassroots outreach has allowed her earlier documentaries to continue to have an impact long after they were produced. In 2014, Peterson received a joint proclamation from the NJ State Senate and Assembly and City of Newark for educational conferences developed by the National Workplace Bullying Coalition (NWBC) while she was founding President. The creation of NWBC was a direct result of her work on WhatKilledKevin.com
From 2008 to 2020, she was an Associate Professor at Montclair State University where she helped develop the School of Communication & Media and specialized in teaching Documentary and Transmedia. Peterson and her husband, Farrell Brickhouse reside in the exciting and supportive artist community of Hudson, NY.