The Art of Dying Young

Shawn Peters

Artist Bio

The Art of Dying Young is a film installation and new media tour that examines the lives, local histories and place-making initiatives of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford Stuyvesant, South Williamsburg and Bushwick, told through the lives of four young men who have been memorialized through murals. Each mural will be the end point of a mini bike tour of the neighborhood curated by the life of the deceased using landmarks integral to their lives. Each landmark will be points of content distribution: spherical video, sound, traditional video, or overlay text giving an experience of the site and/or a brief history viewed on mobile devices using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications. Through an in-depth interview and research process with family, friends, mural artists, mural sponsors and community members, the artist creates an emotive fictional film that will depict a dream that the deceased may have had while they were alive. The films will be narrated from the voice and perspective of the deceased beginning with the words “I once had a dream that…” The films are intended to be accessed at the site of the original death memorial mural, distributed using augmented reality technology and viewed on smart devices. There will be a companion website to this project that will contain ancillary video of interviews, other death murals, statistics and stories of people currently living in these communities.

Award Year

In Progress

Shawn Peters

Shawn Peters

Brooklyn, NY

Shawn Peters is a storyteller who has happened to have many careers and a long road in between stories. The many lives have included a stint in Corporate America, a Partnership in a thriving IT company, a partnership in a Record Label, a music festival founder and curator, finally he has landed where he intended to after graduate school, as a filmmaker and Director of photography. Shawn began his formal higher education at Morehouse College where he was an English Major along with studying Cinematography with the legendary Dr. Ikelberg. He went on the get a full scholarship at the University of South Carolina to pursue a MA in Media Arts and Photography. It’s a long story how Shawn left filmmaking in his 20s to go into business and how he returned in his 30s to pursue his original love. He started shooting music videos for artists like Pharoahe Monch, Blitz the Ambassador, Meshelle Williams, Bilal, Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo. He has worked on narrative features and shorts with Terence Nance, Sebastian Silva, Laura Colella, Raafi Rivero, and is about to lens the Netflix original feature Undergroud directed by Gerard McMurray. These films have premiered at Sundance, The Rotterdam International Film Festival. Berlin Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.