1. -How and when you first met Harry Roseman
– Harry and I first met in the summer of 2007 at Vassar College. I introduced myself in the entrance to the Visual Resources Library as Harry was photocopying some documents.
2. – A statement about your work and/or a brief autobiographical statement.
A native of Wisconsin, Matthew Slaats completed his MFA and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 and his BA in Archaeology from the University of Evansville in 1999. His artistic career has a vast array of interests focusing around interactivity, performance, installation, video, and sound. Work has been seen at the Kitchen and in collaboration with the Flux Factory in New York City, with recent shows in Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Richmond, and Chicago. In 2006 he traveled to Singapore, working with Artistic Director Ong Keng Sen on the production of ‘Diaspora’ for the Singapore Arts Festival. Other artists he has worked with include Meredith Monk, Matthew Buckingham and Richard Gough.
– Placing the audience at the center of an artistic process is the focus of my work. This is not a passive experience, but one that actively involves both the artist and the audience in its development. As the artist, I play the role of a facilitator, editing and processing information that becomes the stimuli for those involved. This leaves the audience to explore and engage the work through their own efforts, creating an environment of meaningful interaction. My projects begin with a specific question or are events that take place at specific locations. What binds these projects is a concern with the context. How and when are questions asked? What about a specific space is missing or has been forgotten? The work is based on a belief that the meaning of an action or a space is not always understood, and that latent, unfulfilled power is yet to be found.
—- March 2008