Leslie Raymond (b. 1968) is a expanded cinema artist living in Detroit, MI.
Live cinema performance, video installation, single channel video, and site specific projection are examples of cinematic forms she has engaged. Her work has been shown at a diverse range of venues such as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the 50th Sydney Film Festival (Australia) dLux Media Arts "Future Perfect" screening, and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Argentina) in which her work was awarded first place in video installation.
Potter-Belmar Labs is the name of the collaborative mulitmedia work of Raymond and partner Jason Jay Stevens. The couple's audiovisual installations and live cinema performances have been produced for establishments such as the Aurora Picture Show (Houston TX), the San Antonio Museum of Art (TX), Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo NY), Los Angeles Film Forum (CA), and Other Cinema (San Francisco CA).
Born in Saint Paul (MN) and raised in Detroit, Raymond received her BFA in film and video from Rhode Island School of Design in 1990, and an MFA from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in 1999. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Oakland University in Rochester MI.
Leslie Raymond does not use recipes. All of her efforts are experiments. She approaches a selection of disparate ingredients with the spirit of a pioneer and an inventor. She is an artist without limitations of medium. Those extracategorical spaces are her territory, bringing together material and data--and often other artists--from far reaches and allowing a culture of relationships to grow. She creates art this way, and she generates grand spectacles this way. Leslie Raymond is, herself, one of these experiments, with a line of Russian Jewish heritage in one direction, and Chinese Taoist off in another. Her father is an architect; her mother is a potter. Where these strands come together is where Leslie Raymond begins, experimenting with process, texture, taste, and presentation.
"I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him." (1)
- Dr. Martin Luther King
"If art is not a medicine for society, then it is a poison." (2)
- Alejandro Jodorowsky
The beauty of celluloid film seduced me more than two decades ago. With the optical printer I explored the moving image as a visual poetry of time and space. When video went digital, I felt a renewed excitement in my work, and connected with its relevance to our present technological evolution.
To counter the impact of the technium (3) on myself, I connect to the physical world and the body. The natural world offers the gravity of its logic-- a wisdom that exists outside of or despite the evolution of mankind's systems. A natural system will tend to normalize on its own if allowed to relax. Both in my process and in the resultant artwork, I make spaces of relaxation. The viewer is invited to participate in seeking and finding renewal and rejuvenation.
The power to imagine and form a thing, to fashion a reality, comes with responsibility. Instead of merely commenting on what is, I believe in building towards what ought to be.
(1) quoted by President Barack Obama, December 10, 2009, during his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize
(2) Jaymz Bee radio show, CFRB AM Toronto, September 14, 2000
(3) Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants Viking 2010