Matthew Mazzotta is a public artist who works at the intersection of art, activism, architecture, design, and urban planning as well as ethnography, community building, and local government. In his public art and design-build projects he focuses on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into their planning processes and reveal how the spaces we travel through and live within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges.
Mazzotta launches his projects with temporary public spaces for listening or Outdoor Living Rooms as a way to capture voices from local residents. Stemming from this approach are participatory places that involve people from a range of backgrounds coming together to create new models of living that contribute to local culture beyond the economic realm. These efforts have resulted in over a dozen community-specific public art and projects in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Matthew received his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s program in Art, Culture and Technology.
During his Loeb year he will develop a Social Practice Research Lab that can analyze precedents and strategies in creating community-specific public works, as well as ethical issues related to gentrification, equity, changes in social dynamics, cultural erasure, and loss of authenticity.