Matthew Anthony Batty was raised near the bayous of Louisiana, and the inlets of South Central Florida. Their artistic practice is as diverse as the landscapes and ecologies that they are aimed at protecting–a practice ranging from video, installation, social interventions, sculpture and printmaking. Matthew's work explores themes of dark ecology, the diad of nature and culture through American identities and myths of manifest destiny. Utilizing the muddiness of the in between to create new visions of coexistence and speculative ecologies, Matthew creates immersive installations that blur the distinctions of nature and culture. Matthew Batty received a BFA in Studio Art at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL and their MFA in Studio Art at Indiana University. Batty has received recognition for their practice through Grants–In–Aid while at Indiana University, and has been selected as an artist-in-residence at The Birdsell Projects in South Bend, IN. Most recently, Matthew was invited as an artist-in-residence with The Weight of Mountains, a nomadic video art program, which spent the winter in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. Batty also explores curatorial work as an extension of their art practice. They have curated exhibitions such as Extended Family at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. They have also curated experimental venues such as The Breezeway Gallery, The Fuller Projects, and currently are a curator-in-residence with Black Vulture Project, focusing on quarterly experimental poetry/video/performance events.
Raised on folklore of the American south, and legends like Davy Crockett, my work explores the nature culture divide through the lures of capitalist American myths of rugged masculinity, bootstrapping, and never-ending resources. The world is not our oyster. Those myths have misled to the belief that humynity has dominion over all things; the basis of people’s relationship with the earth is of presumed disconnection and ownership. However, humynity has always been interconnected with the world and its natural resources. The aim of my trans-disciplinary practice is to reconcile that humynity is in and of the world through the creation of installations I prefer to call ecologies of naturecultures.
Inspired by the landscape of my southern upbringing, I create muddy narratives built on the questioning of what interconnectedness means in contemporary American culture: a complex tangle of in-betweens, raising backyard chickens, streaming music, farmers’ markets and Amazon deliveries. People crave both the slow and the fast. The material culture and constructed environments reflect it. Humynity reshapes the environment comparatively to beavers, as they chew on the trunks of trees and redistributing resources from the surrounding landscape creating new ecosystems. Humynity affects the land and water systems it thrives on. How do we begin to show restraint, and practice a critical conscientiousness to better navigate warmer climates and rising waters? Can people begin to see the world in new ways leading humynity onto a new course of being in and of the world?
Through my trans-disciplinary practice I explore the blending of ideas, processes, and materials to reorient how humynity interacts, adapts to, and transforms the ecology and landscapes that surround us. By imagining and enacting processes and relations of connection through digital projections, sound, sculpture, found objects, and print, my work examines how humynity can consciously exist in these new ecologies.