Artist Matthew Mazzotta creates social spaces out of unassuming structures that aim to raise awareness and explore our relationships with the environment and each other. One of his participatory public interventions, ‘Steeped in Exploration’, looks like a large coconut in a field and opens out into six seats for a ‘teahouse’.
Made from all local materials, the structure becomes a site of communal tea drinking. The tea is foraged by the people on a public outing based on their knowledge and experiences. The energy to boil the water for the tea comes from transforming cow manure from local farms into energy through a methane digester. This structure serves to question our current systems of living and creates an opportunity for others to participate in the (re)imaging of our world.
Another structure, ‘Looking For A Landscape’, is a utility box on a city street that unfolds into two large seating platforms. The box is painted and graffitied so it looks like all the other urban structures, but the doors are hinged at the bottom and pull down. Each platform is upholstered with a gold-trimmed, maroon pillow. In the center of the pillow is a pair of binoculars mounted at eye-level on top of a post, which point out into the city to provide a viewing station of the everyday. Click through to see images of Mazzotta’s participatory interventions: