Leighton Pierce uses film, video, and sound to create experiences in transformative time. He creates multi-channel site-specific installations as well as single channel works. Pierce studied ceramics and music composition, especially jazz and electronic music, before making films. In fact, his first move into filmmaking came about from his frustration with the lack of a visual component to taped music. It is a continuation of this early interest in music and the construction of emotional experiences in time that continue to guide his work. Perhaps partly due to this background in ceramics and music, Pierce executes all aspects of his works himself including the conception, the cinematography, the editing, and of course the sound design and composition. While widely recognized for his stunning cinematography, he considers his editing and sound design to be the core of his art.
His award-winning short films and videos have been exhibited in major art museums and film festivals throughout the world including The Sundance Film Festival, The Whitney Biennial , The San Francisco, New York, and Rotterdam Film Festivals. He has had numerous retrospectives at venues such as, The New Zealand Film Festival, Lincoln Center, The Cinémathèque française, Festival Nemo, and Pompidou Center in Paris, and at The Lisboa Bienal of Contemporary Art. Pierce’s multi-channel video installations have been shown at The Exploratorium in San Francisco, Museé d’art contemporaine in Montréal, Boudin College Art Museum, The Sheldon Art Museum and LaViolaBank gallery in NY. A landmark 13 channel, 5500 sq. ft. video installation, Warm Occlusion, was presented in 2006 at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Pierce has received numerous fellowships including from the Rockefeller Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, and The Camargo Foundation. He is currently Acting Dean of the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.