Mary Mattingly discusses House and Universe

Mary Mattingly spoke to Artsy Editorial and Art-Rated about climate change, her life's objects, and the language of photography on the occasion of her opening exhibition House and Universe, currently on view.

Artsy Editorial
Imagine a personal flying machine, equipped with jetpacks, that could collect dew from clouds to supply fresh drinking water to the traveler; or a futuristic, water-based floating city designed to mutate with the tides and serve, at once, as transportation, island, and residence—Mary Mattingly did. At the turn of the millenium, after three consecutive catastrophic floods prompted privatization of water resources, the Brooklyn-based sculptor and photographer took note and started drafting. As so began Mattingly's mission to create imaginative-yet-practical solutions for imminent world change—none, as of yet, which have proven too quixotic to be realized. Mattingly's latest venture, Triple Island, is a scalable, amphibious ecosystem parked at Lower Manhattan's Pier 42, providing regenerative shelter, power, food, and water to a future New York. On the occasion of her public project and a new exhibition of photographs at Robert Mann Gallery, we spoke with Mattingly on nomadic homes (her "Flock Houses"), the post-humanist future, and the issues she carries with her—just like her wearable home—wherever she goes.

Read the full interview here.

Art-Rated: At a glance your work seems very rooted in the creation of objects and projects aimed at artistically raising awareness (and providing solutions) to issues like sustainable living, overconsumption, mass production and environmentally unaware design. In addition to all that, your practice includes more imaginative and expressive works, usually photomontages that transplant your sculptures into remixed versions of the future. Can you speak to those two areas of your work? Did they develop in tandem or did one lead to the other?

Mary Mattingly: For the past eight years I've been making forms of tools and housing. I make photographs simultaneously that document these tools. Like the photographs, these sculptures are made through collaging materials together. Some aren't functional but allude to different systems of living. Others describe and take part in networked, decentralized ecologies for communal life. I experiment living in and with them, and believe that people really have to experience and live them to understand how they can exist in reality, fictionally, and the places between. Through this process I document these things and their use. I ask, how can we provide for basic needs for every human and non-human? At times, the documents are as abstract as the tools, and propose dystopic futures with ways to work within. They propose and allow for new solutions to develop, but don't solve problems.

Read the full interview here.