My media art projects explore the designed sites of architecture and media representation that program and enforce meaning/s and power. In particular, I am interested in the rise of mass tourism, the intersection of political ideology and architecture, and the commodification of time and space. In architecture, the term “program” refers to the intended use of built spaces including how people migrate, congregate, and inhabit them. The resulting built environment aims to shape and control the use, and experience of real, and virtual spaces. Similarly the proliferation of media, remediated images, and sounds are also a training ground for their reception. Through distribution systems, like television, film, web pages, blogs, podcasts, et. al, narratives are repeated and reformed until their tropes are anticipated when experiencing only a fragmentary image or sound.
I approach these complex themes by employing research methodologies that excavate infrastructure, use patterns, and history of place, economic data, and documentary interviews. The resulting work takes the form of video, photo, installation, architectural projection, and public media performances formulated as fragments and modules that can be recombined into forms that provide a flexible response to specific contexts and audiences.
Mat Rappaport is a Chicago based artist, curator, and educator known for works which utilize mobile video, performance, and photography to explore habitation, perception, and power as related to built environments. Recent projects include the range series of performances employing commercial trucks, augmented with external cameras that capture video from the surrounding environment, and screens onto which video is projected as the truck navigates the city. Sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, the artist “remixes” the environment in real time, performing a moving intervention into architectural space. range continues Mat Rappaport’s effort to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. In 2018, Rappaport developed the Range Mobile Lab, a platform for practice-based research based on a 1995 GMC delivery truck. The Range Mobile Lab serves to extend the range performances, architectural collaborations, and direct community engagement.
Rappaport’s work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally in museums, galleries, film festivals, and public spaces. Recent projects have been featured during the 500 Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy, the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the 2017 and 2018 Ann Arbor Film Festival and performances with the Range Mobile Lab at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Block Museum at Northwestern University.
Rappaport is a co-initiator of V1B3 [www.v1b3.com], which seeks to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. Beginning in 2005, Rappaport and v1b3, started a series of large scale video art programs through a partnership with the Bigger Screen in Manchester, UK; a 25 square meter public video screen co-run by the BBC. Later curated projects were presented in Liverpool and London, Singapore, and Melbourne, Australia. In 2011 v1b3 received a Propeller Grant, with the collective Unreal Estates, for an exhibition of public augmented reality work which was placed in downtown Chicago. More recently, v1b3 has partnered with the College Art Association to curate and produce a series of exhibitions and catalogs which explore how artists are critically integrating new technologies into their practices. These projects included drones, augmented reality and computational video. v1b3 has continued to curate video and projection-based artwork including the 2018 exhibition Dissolving Sights presented at Automata Gallery in Los Angeles.
Rappaport has published essays on media art in public spaces and artists critical responses to the drone wars in the Media-N journal, the iDMAa Journal and a chapter in the book Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art and Social Practices by Rutgers University Press. Rappaport’s photographic work is included in the Midwest Photographer’s Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and in and at the Newberry Library Protest Art Collection. He has received fellowships from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Howard Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Fund, the Montgomery County Ohio Cultural District, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies. Rappaport received his MFA from the University of Notre Dame and is an Associate Professor in Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College in Chicago.