peter d'Agostino, bio

contact: pdasite [at]

Peter d'Agostino's pioneering video, photography, and new media projects have been exhibited internationally in the form of installations, performances, broadcast productions, and virtual events during the past five decades. Major group exhibitions are: Whitney Museum of American Art (Biennial, and The American Century - Film and Video in America 1950-2000); São Paulo Bienal, Brazil; Kwangju Biennial, South Korea; Reading Video, Museum of Modern Art, New York; California Video, Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Under the Big Black Sun, MOCA, LA; and, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, ICI traveling exhibition. Solo exhibitions include: the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; Galerie de Arte, University of Brasilia, Brazil; Red House Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria. Collections: Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive; Oakland Museum of California; National Gallery of Canada; LaCaixaForum, Barcelona; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi, Belgium.

Surveys of his World-Wide-Walks projects have been presented at University of Paris I Pantheon- Sorbonne (2003), Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City (2007), UPV / EHU Art Gallery, Bilbao, Spain (2012), Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, PA (2018). Initiated as The Walk Series, video "documentation/performances" in 1973, World-Wide-Walks evolved into video-web projects during the 1990s, mobile-locative media installations in the 2000s, and 360 VR videos in the 2010s. The projects explore mixed realities of walking through physical environments and virtually surfing the web, while focusing on a changing climate during the past decade. A recent book documenting this work, World-Wide-Walks / Peter d'Agostino: Crossing Natural-Cultural-Virtual Frontiers, was published in 2019. A video compilation, World-Wide-Walks @40 ( Selected works, 1973-2012 ) is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, NY.

Since beginning his work with video in 1971, Peter d'Agostino has investigated the personal, cultural and technological systems of signs, language and communications that permeate everyday life. The work draws on a broad range of discourses - linguistics, communications and mass media theory, history, aesthetics, physics, architecture - as well as popular formats and personal references to examine a media-driven consumer culture and its information systems. Videos include: Coming & Goings, TeleTapes, QUARKS, Proposal for QUBE.

In a sophisticated synthesis of theory and art practice, d'Agostino applies semiotic, deconstructive and appropriative strategies to his analyses and critiques of the structure, function and influence of broadcast television, the web and other emerging technologies. Exploring the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies, his multi-level interactive works of the 1980s rely on 'viewer-interactors' to activate a multiplicity of associative meanings in complex nonlinear open-ended combinations of images-sounds- texts. Peter d'Agostino: Interactivity and Intervention, 1978-1999, a survey of this work was presented at the Lehman College Art Gallery, NY, 1999. Projects include: DOUBLE YOU (and X,Y.Z ), TRACES, TransmissionS, VR/RV: a Recreational Vehicle in Virtual Reality. The TransmissionS: In the WELL installation (1990) and VR/RV (1995) both received honorary awards for interactive art at Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria.

D'Agostino has received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Trusts, Japan Foundation, Onassis Foundation, Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund, American Film Institute, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; a Leonardo/Art & Climate Change award as well as Fulbright grants to Australia, Brazil and Italy. He was an artist-in-residence at the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen; the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada; a visiting artist fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT, American Academy in Rome, National Center for SuperComputing Applications, University of Illinois, Art/Sci Center University of California, Los Angeles.

In addition to his work in video, d'Agostino has written and edited numerous articles and books on photography, video, language, and semiotics. The books include: ALPHA, TRANS, CHUNG (1978), Still Photography: the problematic model (co-editor, 1981), Coming & Goings (1982), The Un/Necessary Image (co-editor, 1983), Transmission: Theory and Practice for a New Television Aesthetics (1985) and Transmission: Toward a Post-Television Culture  (co-editor, 1995). He is also a contributor to Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, Video Writings by Artists (1970-1990), and Illuminating Video. Recent publications featuring his work include: Art & Electronic Media, Video Art, Digital Art, and New Media in Art.

Peter d'Agostino was born in 1945. He received a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and an M.A. from San Francisco State University. Teaching positions include: UCLA, Carnegie-Mellon, UNC- Chapel Hill, Wright State University, San Francisco Art Institute, and Lone Mountain College, USF. He is currently Professor of Film & Media Arts and Director of Climate, Sustainability and the Arts at Temple University, Philadelphia. D'Agostino divides his time between Elkins Park, PA and Oakland, CA.