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mwalker on 05/03/2010 at 09:00AM

Osmotic Imagination

Photo by Syeus Mottel. Silver Apples, Washington Square Park, 1968.

For the months of April - June, Matt Mottel is Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room. Co-founder of the inimitable force that is Talibam!, Mottel has long been a stalwart figure in the NYC improv scene. His ever-expanding list of luminary collaborators includes Cooper-Moore, Tom Bruno, CSC Funk Band, Rhys Chatham, Karole Armitage, Chris Corsano, Awesome Color, Akron/Family, Jeffrey Lewis, Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear), Kenny Wollesen, and Ras Moshe.

To preview his newest commissioned work -- to be unveiled in a free concert at ISSUE on May 7 -- Matt has shared an exclusive excerpt of a self-recorded rehearsal in the space in which he teases out motifs and ideas for the developing installation.

Check a portion of a chat I had, held over the course of several hours (and several glasses of scotch) here. Peep a full description of the project below:

"Matthew Mottel, a native New Yorker, was influenced by many cultural ideas and people to shape his present. He has discovered that his father, Syeus Mottel, a photographer and theater director, documented many of the people that would have strong cultural value for his son. Syeus Mottel, a journalistic photographer, has one of the great underpublished narratives of cultural and political history of the late 1960's - 70's. His son has focused on his 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 interactions between Martin Luther King, the Silver Apples, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, journalistic photography at political rallies of the late 60's/70's as well as iconic landscapes of America such as Big Sur, San Francisco, Washington DC  and New York City.

Matthew Mottel will create an environment where photography will be digitally altered and projected at ISSUE Project Room with a backing soundscape that Mottel will perform with '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 has 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."

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