Trendy Pragmatism

Ton Matton, an artist from Dutch origin, is working on the interface of architecture, urbanism and performance art. Most of his works - 'trendy pargmatism, as he calls it -  confronts us with our way of dominating our habitat. Our awareness on several themes as the production of food, the way we waste our commodities, etc. is raised.

In 2001, frustrated by the building and urban planning practice in the Netherlands, Matton settled in Wensdorf, a small town in the former DDR. There, in collaboration with other designers and philosophers, he researched and designed semi-autarkic proposals in order to change the urban and architectural practice in a radical way. On the scale of furniture, Matton often elaborates combinations between nature and conventional furniture. Examples can be given by the chicken cabinet, wherein chickens find a comfortable habitat to produce eggs; or the free range fridge, designed in 2001, which uses ancient cooling techniques. By using a huge block of ice, there isn't electricity needed, and the melting water is used to grow vegetables on top of the fridge. On the scale of urban planning, Matton recently designed a urban plan for Zwartsluis, wherein the initiatives of local people and the qualities of unplanned development and informal initiatives are stimulated.

Another example about public awareness can be given by the installation for the German Pavilion during the Venice biennale. There, fifty apple trees where connected to a drip. In Matton's opinion, this installation emphasized the importance of nature and the actual state of our environment. This project was also meant to create insight in our habits and patterns as consumers. It triggers our awareness and raises all sorts of considerations.

JV / AdN



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