Four images of the outside shell of a small building being folded down.

Matthew Mazzotta

Chamberlain Award, 2015

Artist Statement

Matthew Mazzotta is an artist that creates community-specific public artworks. He works in a trans-disciplinary fashion, collaborating with local laborers, academics, engineers, builders, community members, activists, artists, poets, and anyone else who is willing to be involved in something experiential and participatory. Matthew’s work evolves from an interest in exploring the relationship between people and their environments, as well as between each other. His practice is conceptual and manifests as participatory public interventions that aim at bringing criticality and a sense of openness to the places we live. These socially-engaged interventions allow for a re-entry of the physical and metaphorical landscapes of our lives by provoking conversations around exploring the local, questions of ecology, public involvement, community building, artist sensibilities, science, and dissecting the systems that make up our ‘everyday’. His work is about reversing the top down one-way exchange of ideas and allowing people to contribute in a more tangible way to their own environment. He receives national and international awards and press with appearances on CNN, BBC, NPR, ABC, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Discovery Channel, Wired and Science Magazine. Matthew received an undergraduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Masters of Science in Visual studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While At Headlands

Starting in August 2014 and ending in of August 2015, I began working on a yearlong project called “Byway of Art” – a socially-engaged project hosted by Center for Rural Affairs & funded through ArtPlace America that will activate four unique public projects for four rural villages in Nebraska that are at an economic and creative tipping point.

In my previous works, after living in a location to complete a community-specific public intervention, as I am with “Byway of Art”, the one thing that is usually missing at the end of the experience is to be in dialogue with other artists and to critique the work as I create the final video documentation of the project. While at Headlands I will be translating the raw video I gathered over the course of making “Byway of Art” into a final piece and I look forward to having interactions with other artists. I often feel a real craving to be able to speak with others interested in strategies of artmaking and to have conversations in light of what I’ve done and I think this will be the perfect setting for it.

Selected Video

OPEN HOUSE, 2013; community-specific public intervention

Excerpts from the PIER SHEAR / STRIZENJE LUKOBRANA, 2012; community-specific public intervention

Looking for a Landscape, 2009; community-specific public intervention