Puzzling: Peter Rose in Person

The work of Philadelphia filmmaker Peter Rose concisely embodies the concerns of the Puzzling series: the navigation and unraveling of semiotic systems, collisions of sense and non-sense, and the implications of the act of looking. Two major works from the early 1980’s, The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough and The Pressures of the Text, frame these ideas with Rose’s signature combination of intellectual rigor, technical facility, and sense of play. Representing Rose’s work with computers in the 1990’s, his short video Genesis highlights the contradictory and simultaneous experiences of distance and intimacy afforded by technology. A Guggenheim and NEA fellow, Rose has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, the Centre Pompidou, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Film Society at Lincoln Center.

Peter Rose, Genesis, 1991, 4 min, digital
Peter Rose, The Pressures of the Text, 1982, 17 min, digital
Peter Rose, The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough, 1981, 33 min, 16mm


Flaherty NYC’s PUZZLING: About the Series
A puzzle is something puzzling– it expects deduction and solution, while at the same time describes a condition of open confusion. The six-part series “Puzzling” considers these concurrent modes to explore different registers of knowing, the generative possibilities of uncertainty, and the film form as a choreography of sense and stimuli. How can a puzzle, as a challenge and as a structure, destabilize or shape the world? How are the boundaries of sense and non-sense policed? Human and non-human test subjects, compromised figures of authority, and metaphysical detectives populate the series, alongside inquiries on communication, abstraction, and agency.