Artists-In-Residence 2010

Matt Mottel - Osmotic Imagination

'A developmental work' conceived by Matthew Mottel
photography by Syeus Mottel
photographic alteration/cinema by Brian House
lighting design by Ben Furgal
sound design by Matthew Mottel

Matthew Mottel, a native New Yorker, has been influenced by many ideas and people, not the least his own father. Matthew's dad, Syeus Mottel, a photographer and theater director, documented many of the people that would have strong cultural value for his son.  Syeus, a journalistic photographer, produced one of the great underpublished narratives of cultural and political history of the late 1960's - 70's. His son has focused on this archive to create a contemporary 'cinema of images' that presents this photographic record not just as 'pictures on a wall' but in an environmental dream state that hallucinates visual photographic interaction between Martin Luther King, the Silver Apples, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, journalistic photography at political rallies of the late 60's/70's, and iconic landscapes of America such as Big Sur, San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City.

At ISSUE, Mottel creates an environment where photography is digitally altered and projected, backed by a soundscape performed by Mottel on 'electronically affected' piano, oscillators and samplers. In a sense, his music is a personal take on the sum of his influences. The Silver Apples, John Cage, and Ornette Coleman factor heavily into his sound world, but his father did not introduce these artists directly to him. Instead, it must have been 'influence via osmosis,' as these artists and more appear in Syeus Mottel's photographic record of where and who he hung out with during this period.

'Osmotic Imagination' is a merger of visual stimuli and sonic alchemy. It attempts to contextualize contemporary culture to that of the past not by treating these images 'unaltered in stoic preservation' but to mutate historical documents and imagine a new life and future between people/places/time/thought of a past generation that have been fermented in 'standard TIME MAGAZINE ideology' that has not created a progression to betterment, but an end point. This work is a candid study of the past, and re-configures it for today's society to hopefully inspire further social, artistic and political development.

Matthew Mottel is an internationally recognized musician and artist, performing most notably with Talibam! for the past seven years. He has worked with Karole Armitage, Rhys Chatham, Cooper-Moore and many others.

His father, Syeus Mottel, is a published photographer, notable for his documentation of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio and Buckminster Fuller. In 1973, he published a photojournalistic book entitled Charas, the improbable dome builders, documenting the attempt to build geodesic domes on the Lower East Side on Manhattan.

Brian House is a bricoleur interested in art, code, and cognition. Brian's work has been presented by the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Rhizome at the New Museum for Contemporary Art, and has been featured in the New York Times, Dagens Nyheter, Metropolis, and Wired magazine.

Ben Furgal is an artist living in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited at the Ridgewood Residency Program (Queens, NY), Video Gallery, (Brooklyn, NY), Current Gallery (Baltimore, MD), and his original artwork graces the cover of Dan Deacon's Spiderman of the Ring's LP.

Click here to read an in-depth discussion with Mottel on his residency.