Local Artist Spotlight: Ariel Peguero
Ariel Peguero, a local by way of Boston, moved to Columbus in the mid-2000s. A CCAD alum, he says he was always interested in the arts. But when he got into computers, that became his medium of choice.
In his last years at CCAD, Peguero worked on a thesis where augmented reality technology was introduced, and he had to envision a use for it. Admittedly he never finished the thesis, he says, because he wanted to focus on landing a job after school. He always wanted to go back and do something with the technology.
“I’m a traditional artist at heart. I like to paint and draw, use watercolors,” says Peguero. “But I always kind of saw it in motion … So then when I draw it and end up finishing it, I never really like it because I want to see it move.”
Peguero worked with Natalia Sanchez, a friend and fellow artist, for the show “Hidden Layers.” The gallery showcased over a dozen artists of traditional mediums, including painters, photographers, and illustrators. Peguero says he introduced the artists to the technology to try and get them to “think of their work in a different way, without compromising their process.”
Peguero says the night of the show, some of the featured artists said it was the first time people have asked them questions about their work. He loves getting that reaction and wants to continue to teach artists how to work with AR.
“I basically wanted to create a bridge for traditional artists to the digital world, through augmented reality,” says Peguero. “Here’s this extra layer that we think will help make the connection to the viewer easier; it helps them realize the work that you put into it, or the way that you were actually seeing it.”
When it comes to Peguero’s marketing background, he’s a lot more jaded — especially when it comes to social media. As a result, he says he felt himself becoming less authentic and more disconnected with friends. His podcast, “APEG vs. The Algorithm,” is a culmination of those feelings.
“I’ve been on social media since I was 13, and it’s always been a weird thing for me,” he says. “It didn’t feel genuine to me. I was interacting with people on social media more than I was in real life after a certain point. And a lot of it was because of what I was studying in school.”
The podcast has Peguero getting to know the real people behind the 800 or so users he follows, especially those he doesn’t know very well or haven’t spoken to in some time.
While people can disagree on a variety of topics and issues, the podcast has proven the one thing people can agree on is the pressure they feel being online, he says.
“It’s like a form of therapy for me,” he says. “APEG vs. The Algorithm is me trying to beat the algorithm, and trying to connect with all my followers on a 1-to-1 basis. I want to connect to people … I don’t want to let this thing dictate who I am.”