Matteo Bittanti is an interdisciplinary artist based in San Francisco and Milan. His work lies at the intersection of gaming, cinema, and digital culture. Bittanti's conceptual pieces have been exhibited in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Mexico, Scotland, France, and Italy. In 2012, he started COLL.EO with Colleen Flaherty. As a scholar, he conducted fearless research at UC Berkeley, fought technological determinism at Stanford University, and fully grasped the difference between critical theory & hypocritical theory, social practice & social justice while performing as an Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland.
Californian artist Colleen Flaherty is known for her large scale abstract paintings and for her wood sculptures which engage the viewer on a physical - rather than purely visual - level. She received her M.F.A. in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2002 and her B.F.A. Cum Laude, with emphasis in Painting and Drawing, Minor in Music from San Jose State University in 1999. Flaherty' s works have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Montevideo (Uruguay), and Pienza (Italy). In 2012 she started COLL.EO with Matteo Bittanti. Co-founder of Random Parts, an artist run space in Oakland, Flaherty lives and works in Northern Italy and Northern California.
Algorithmic Artist Statement
COLL.EO creates boldly unoriginal media artworks, uncreative mobile sculptures, and uniquely derivative conceptual pieces. With the use of appropriated materials borrowed from a day-to-day context, COLL.EO has developed a filthy rich visual vocabulary addressing artistic, social, and political issues. COLL.EO generates situations in which everyday objects - often toys and games - are altered or detached from their original contexts. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times sinister and morbid, like most by-products of American superabundance and pervasive marketing.
By applying specific combinations and unexpected manipulations, new functions and contexts are created. Through a radically singular approach that is nevertheless inscribed in the contemporary debate, COLL.EO flirts with the many oxymorons of Neoliberalism, e.g. technological determinism, free market ideology, and constant precarity. Pompous writings and utopian designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed. New situations emerge and eventually collapse.
COLL.EO's works are a drawn reflection upon the art of media art itself. By exaggerating certain aspects inherent to contemporary society, COLL.EO often creates work by applying game mechanics and ludic lubricants to everyday situations, but this modus operandi is not a trivial pursuit. On the contrary, play is always serious: in the magic circle different rules apply and seemingly mundane objects are transubstantiated. By merging several incompatible worlds into a new universe that does not fall apart two days later, COLL.EO has been accused of recklessly breaking the internets. Fact is: futility is resistance.
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THEME OF THE YEAR: 2017
COLL.EO's theme of the 2017 is FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT.
The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon. His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, preparing the animal for fighting or fleeing.
2016: MORE OF THE SAME
2014: BEST PRACTICES
2013: MAXIMIZING ART CAPITAL
2012: DIMINISHING RETURNS