Mocking Bird Dragging up a Past Life by Matt Boyle.
Featured in the interior of Reaper's Milonga by Lucian Mattison. Interior Design by Alban Fischer.
Matt Boyle is a computer science educator, designer, artist, & musician.
He keeps fairly busy oscillating between these pursuits – they collectively make up who he has become in the last few decades.
In June 2001, a friend and I hopped a freight train from a small town in Florida bound for NYC. The idea was to travel free of charge, see amazing things, test personal resolve, and to do something I’d previously thought impossible. I brought a video camera and captured a view of America few people get a chance to see these days – the secret corridors reserved for commerce & industry, always hidden behind walls of foliage and often running parallel to major highways. I brought a sketchbook and made drawings of rail yard shacks and other places where we slept. After a week of trains & a little hitchhiking, I arrived in NYC, and a new chapter in my life and work began.
As a result of my visits to the city and my studies in architecture, I fell in love with the poetic works and writing of John Hejduk and Lebbeus Woods, the Situationists, & Goethe – in them, I found an architecture that told a story, and models that spoke of music. Hejduk and Woods created mythologies surrounding their work which, much to my delight, often required the accompaniment of a new vocabulary or visual language to fully enjoy – a specific element that made a big impression on me. My relationship to architecture opened up, and my approach to the discipline included forays in far-flung directions – music, performance, activism, drawings, and paintings that described a story of our socio-economic times, our political reality, a procession of light, space, transparency and self-awareness. Both architecturally informative and abstract, describing a moment in space while insinuating something more sublime, my works were echoes of the country flying past the aperture of a freight train car – the fluttering light broken by lines of trees – and the fleeting freedom of movement.
Soon after I hopped trains, the National security climate following 9/11 intensified, begetting the Homeland Security Advisory System. I remember thinking that such a trip would be impossible now. If caught hiding on freight trains we would have been treated like terrorist suspects. I still watch footage of that trip, of two people simply moving freely from one place to another. A piece of that experience always influenced my architecture projects and continues to guide my work today.
I am now a painter who experiments on canvas, with installation, music composition, the psychology of space, color, & line. Having performed and recorded music for over ten years, it has always played a large role in my work, both in architecture and fine art. I create paintings while working with musical measure, time delays, feedback loops, harmonic frequencies and mathematic concepts in music. I am fascinated by the work of Tim Hawkinson and Paul Ramirez Jonas, both artists who incorporate music and sound into installations that raise questions about space, psychology & technology. In relation to these influences, my experience in architecture has also inspired my feelings about craft – my art is informed by the process of working by my own hand, and it is important for me to create narratives that involve my body and carry a personal signature, whether it be a computer program, brushstroke, fingerprint, or a piece of music.
In New York, I continue to branch out in many directions. For the past six years I have focused on teaching, music, drawing, painting, and computer science. I seek a fresh intersection between coding and paint. I’m fascinated by the potential of computer science to expose issues of human nature in art, as we begin a new era of self-discovery at the dawn of the age of artificial intelligence. I remain as focused on learning as I am on doing; it’s a reciprocal process that serves me well both in this ghastly city and in this ever-changing world.