Peter Horvath

Canada 1961

Digital Art, Photography

Peter Horvath
Peter Horvath
March 3, 2016
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

What exactly are memories? Can we trust them, or should we say: can we trust ourselves? Peter Horvath chose to deal with these questions – by using fragmented narratives and sub-narratives, making his artworks look as if they are layers of a history in its continuous flow, almost completely independent and disinterested in us. Peter Horvath, a Canadian artist, was born in a family of photographers of Hungarian origin. No wonder his favorite toy at the age of 6 was a camera. Growing up with it in his hands, Peter over-matched its features and potentials, after many, many hours of inhaling darkroom fumes.

Peter’s digital collage works deeply intermingle narrative with abstraction

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Peter Horvath – Isometric & Pipe Dream, 2015. Image copyright © artist

Peter Horvath Discovers Digital Art

In 1995, a friend gave Peter a Macintosh Plus and that was a crucial moment – once he discovered computers, everything led towards his turn from still photography to something more exciting and challenging. When he came across the works of Dadaists John Heartfield and Hannah Hoch – Peter was instantly drawn to the possibilities of a photo-montage technique, an image created by cutting, gluing, rearranging and overlapping two or more images. His family cultural heritage took Horvath to the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Afterward, he attended a Photographic at Ontario College of Art, and upon obtaining a diploma he was ready to set sail for the art world.

Today, Peter is well known for using a new media – adding a sound and a video to his work. This artist’s digital collage works deeply intermingle a narrative with the abstraction – intentionally displacing and disturbing anything remotely familiar or nostalgic, or both. Web technology brought many possibilities to Horvath’s desire for an artistic expression: a feeling of freedom from the two-dimensional context had an effect on his exploration of social, creative and conceptual boundaries and identity issues, interlaced with psychic and emotional relations. As Peter says himself in his artistic statement, he tends to keep his work linear in format but fractured in storytelling. The videos he uses are frequently disjunctive and blurred, with an intention to somehow disconcert the viewer, making him question both of his visual and emotional position and situation.

Exploring the cut of Fiction and Truth in Personal Memories

Peter’s installed or web-based, non-interactive, and cinematic artworks could be seen as some sort of documentation or journal entries, containing records, images, voice-over, and music. Very much orientated to a human interpretation and perspective of passed time, Horvath unleashes a universal curiosity about the very nature of an identity and the consciousness of it.

A memory’s fallible nature and inexorable time passing, create gaps that can be fulfilled with a narrative dictated by our own subconscious or imagination. Those gaps are places where Peter found a space and a fertile soil for his artistic playfulness.

Horvath’s project titled Memoir, dating back to 2009, blurs the line between the true nature of memoirs and a fiction form. A story of two women, Eva and Denise, intertwines their lives with the aim to provoke a dialogue between our conscious and sub-conscious, regarding the theme of loss or displacement. This kind of experimentation that merged reality (and, therefore – truth) and fiction, actually manipulated the scope between them, transferring so the majority of power to the fiction in memoirs, denying any negative connotation apropos its untruthful characteristic.

Bluring the line between the true nature of memoirs and a fiction form

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Peter Horvath – Fragment from the new media work Memoir, and its presentation at Artscape Wychwood Barns in 2009. Image copyright © artist

Peter Horvath is the co-founder of, a site for (a group of artists who have worked in the medium of Internet art since 1994), and he is also a founding member of the collective – a future of free high bandwidth. Peter exhibited in places such as the Whitney Museum Of American Art‘s Artport, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Video Zone International Video Art Biennial in Tel Aviv, and the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, amongst others institutions and festivals.

Passionately concentrated on memory and its deceptive nature, Horvath exerts himself to create coherent narratives, using all the material he can get, no matter how uncertain it is – compared to the truthfulness of the events. Benefiting from the new media potential, this artist expanded the
attainment of his past Dada-inspired photo-montage work, obtaining his current position in a field of new media art.

This artist is represented by Stephen Bulger Gallery from Toronto.

Peter Horvath lives and works in Canada.

Images copyright © artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/group
2014[becoming] The Logic of MemoryHamilton Artists Inc, Hamilton, Canada (coinciding with Corinne Duchesne and Anna Torma)Trio
2012Frames Per SecondNicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2011MemoirStride Art Gallery, Calgary, CanadaSolo
2011PropositionsNicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2011Chain LetterAC Institute, NYC, USAGroup
2010700IS 2010Experimental Film and Video Festival, Egilsstadir, IcelandGroup
2009FILE 2009Electronic Language International Festival, SESI Cultural Centre, Sao Paulo, BrazilGroup
2009Till The End Of CinemaMuseum Of Natural Science, Share Festival for Art and Digital Culture, Piemonte, ItalyGroup
2009Scotiabank Nuit Blanche TorontoArtscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2009Re: InSituMüvészetmalom, Szentendre, HungaryGroup
2008Peter HorwathMuseo Tamayo, Mexico City, MexicoSolo
2008HollywouldFreewaves 11th Festival of Experimental Media Arts, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2007Peter Horvath / Transient PassagesACA Gallery of SCAD, Atlanta, Georgia, USASolo
2007(Re)colonyTatar Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2007Lines of FlightHunter College, New York City, USAGroup
2006Inventory of BeingArt Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, CanadaSolo
2006Pixel PopsC2C Gallery, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2006Rhizome Commissioned WorksNew Museum Bookstore, New York City, USAGroup
2006Seoul Net/Film FestivalSeoul, KoreaGroup
2005Tenderly Yours64 Steps Contemporary Art, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2005II International Festival of Electronic Art 404Rosario, ArgentinaGroup
2005Lumen EclipseHarvard Square Gallery, Somerville, USAGroup
2005City GalleryNew Haven, Connecticut, USAGroup
2005Threading TimeThe Siggraph 2005 Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USAGroup
2005Seoul Net FestivalSeoul, KoreaGroup
2005The International Digital Media and Arts Association (iDMAa)Orlando, Florida, USAGroup
2005SubrealitiesUniversity of Texas, Dallas, USAGroup
2005Festival ToshareTorino, ItalyGroup
2005Japan Media Arts FestivalTokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, JapanGroup
200518 Stuttgarter FilmwinterStuttgart, GermanyGroup
2005NetizensSala 1 Centro Internazionale D’art Contemporanea, Rome, ItalyGroup
2005CY NET ART 04 8th International Festival for Computer Based ArtDresden, GermanyGroup
2005Festival International Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias MontrealMontreal, CanadaGroup
20044 Artworks for the InternetPace Digital Gallery, New York City, USASolo
2004Electronic Language International FestivalSåo Paulo, BrazilGroup
2004New Forms Festival 2004Vancouver, CanadaGroup
2004Video Zone International Video Art BiennialTel Aviv, IsraelGroup
20049th Split Film FestivalSplit, CroatiaGroup
2004VI Salon Internacional de Art DigitalHavana, CubaGroup
2004PauseInteraccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2004PauseOboro Gallery, Montreal, CanadaGroup
2004Thailand New Media Art FestivalBangkok, ThailandGroup
2004Little Stabs At HappinessClint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
200417 Stuttgarter FilmwinterStuttgart, GermanyGroup
2003Either Side of an Empty RoomNeutral Ground / SOIL Digital Media Gallery, Regina, CanadaSolo
2003Electronic Language International FestivalSåo Paulo, BrazilGroup
2003ChiangMai First New Media Art FestivalChiangMai, ThailandGroup
2003War TimeInteractive Arts Centre at the Woodlane Campus, Falmouth, Cornwall, UKGroup
2002War TimeRitzy Cinema, Brixton, London, UKGroup
2002Ellipse, L’art sur le WebMusée national des beaux arts du Québec, Québec City, CanadaGroup
2002Matter+MemoryOBORO Gallery, Montreal, CanadaGroup
2002ChromaHamilton Artists Inc, Hamilton, CanadaGroup
2002StirSOF House, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2001Gallery ArtistsSPIN Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2001Sights Un sceneHarbourfront Center, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2000Head On CollisionSPIN Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2000Three Times RemovedArchive Inc., Toronto, CanadaGroup
2000DreamSPIN Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2000Love and Other UbiquityTIW Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
1993Colour Photographs IITanashima Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1991Colour Photographs IRoschar Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
1990Black & White ObjectsRoschar Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo