Pioneering experimental video artist Lincoln Schatz discusses the evolution of his practice from sculpture to new media and the importance of allowing his practice to change to find a unique voice. He addresses working both inside and at the edges of the art world, the ability to monetize his work, and the importance of professionalizing your practice.
“In any genre, in any kind of conceptual or aesthetic inquiry, there’s a conversation that’s going on. And the first thing you’ve got to figure out is, what’s the conversation, and where do I fit into it? What are my ideas? What’s the history of ideas? You have to completely understand that, because if you don’t, you really have no intrinsic way of doing something new, of really adding something to that history, of adding something to that field.”
Chicago native Lincoln Schatz works with non-linear narratives, multiple viewpoints, and random systems in software and video to create “generative video portraiture.” Among his best-known projects are the CUBE project (2008), commissioned by the Hearst Corporation to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Esquire magazine, and The Network (2012), a generative portrait of eighty-nine powerful figures in Washington, D.C., held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Schatz has lectured nationally and exhibited internationally. He completed a B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont (1986) and received a CORE fellowship to the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (1986–1987).