Mary Mattingly in the February issue of Art in America

Art for the Anthropocene Era
By Eleanor Heartney

News from the ecological front has been alarming of late. There was September's report from UN scientists on the acceleration of climate change and the near certainty that these developments are man-made. Then there was the impending arrival of Fukushima radiation on the West Coast, accompanied by half-hearted assurances that "most" of the radiation would be diluted to levels safe for human contact. These reports arrived as New York City prepared to commemorate the first anniversary of the devastating landfall of Superstorm Sandy, reviving memories of other recent damaging "natural" disasters, among them hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Irene...

...Mary Mattingly looks beyond the kind of immediate problems addressed by [Lillian Ball and Mel Chin] toward what she refers to as the posthuman future, reflecting her conviction that humanity will survive only if we reduce our footprint on Earth. Over the last 13 years she has been engaged in a number of projects that explore the possibility of self-sustaining environments. Her "Wearable Homes" are garments designed to keep the wearer comfortable no matter what the temperature. The 2009 "Waterpod Project," a collaboration with numerous people, was an amphibious home built atop a 30-by-100-foot barge—complete with living quarters, a greenhouse, a windmill and a chicken coop-on which she, three crew members and various guests lived for five months.

Read the complete article online here.