Laurent Mercier interviews Peter Halley

Zoute People
Zoute People - August 2020

Laurent Mercier In my opinion your work is remarkable not only because you are a true innovator, creating paintings which stylistically stand apart from anything that has preceded them but also because your paintings foretold how our future would evolve.

In the early 1980s, when you expressed that our countries, cities, communities and even each of us as individuals would operate as cells, remaining interconnected only through selected conduits which would exclusively connect us and isolate us, it was visionary.

At that time the PC didn’t exist and mobile phones were a decade away. Today we use them to communicate with the person sitting next to us, and in a time of seeming ‘connectivity’ we are more ‘locked in’ than ever before, hence your prisons.


Peter Halley Of course I didn’t know exactly what would happen, but I did argue that the whole space of the internet was an extension of the spatial networks that already existed, such as the telephone and the television, superhighways and subways. The organized, technological control of our movement through space starts all the way back in the 19th century with the railroad and telegraph. The internet and the computer are just the final movement of that system into the dematerialized realm of electromagnetic energy.