Tom Leeser is the Director of the Center for Integrated Media at CalArts and is a digital media artist based in Los Angeles. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Tom has been involved with computer image making since the early 1980’s, pursuing an independent art career as well as working with pioneering computer animation production companies like Digital Effects Inc. and Rhythm & Hues. Tom began his career as a filmmaker, combining animation, found footage and diary based images into various statements on “seeing”.
During the early 1980s, Tom worked with other local LA filmmakers running screenings of independent work at the Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis. His work migrated to video during the 1980s and then transformed again into digital imagery and interactive installations in the 1990s. Some of these installations have been created under the nom de plume, “The Kunst Brothers." The Kunst Brothers are recipients of grants from Art Matters and Creative Time. Recently Tom has formed a working relationship with various music composers, which has resulted in collaborations that investigate the relationships between image and sound using an improvisational and performative methodology. These composers include Zenna Parkins, Butch Morris, Mark Dresser, Leroy Jenkins and Mark Trayle. While transgressing across various forms of media, the one constant throughout the work is the emphasis on cinema.
Tom's work liberates the process and definition of cinema from the film medium and transports it to the electronic and digital environments. The work has been shown at MassMoca, Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Kitchen, The Millennium, The Knitting Factory, Tonic, CalArts, Siggraph and film and video festivals worldwide. Under Tom’s direction, The Center for Integrated Media co-hosted an online forum in 2002 called the (Re)Structured Screen with Eyebeam in New York. The forum explored creative and political issues surrounding the digital image.