The Range Mobile Lab is a three-year project and platform for field research, presentations and community engagement. By locating interactions outside of the studio and in public spaces, Range Mobile Lab seeks to create speculative works while shaping social spaces in the built environment. Based in a 1995 GMC step van, the Range Mobile Lab began life as a Verizon delivery truck, then an almost mini food truck and finally a micro art gallery and store before being purchased and moved to Chicago in the fall of 2018. Upcoming activities include a version of range that will be shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago on October 23rd as part of a day of performance art.
Since 2016, Rappaport has engaged in a series of projects titled range, which combine performance and live video mixing with a rented box truck which navigates urban spaces while a video is projected onto the back of the truck. As an active, mobile intervention into lived architectural space, range presents viewers with a shift toward a more enriched, layered experience of public space. The truck is both an essential sculptural object and a performer which maps pathways through defined neighborhoods and between institutions to draw connections between habitation, infrastructure, and institution. Originally featured in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the truck was outfitted with three video cameras, a custom video screen, and VJ software. As the truck is driven by an assistant, the video feeds are mixed into a live composition. Viewers are invited to ride in the truck and have their image mixed into the video.
The project is led by Mat Rappaport and will integrate collaborations with v1b3 (video in the built environment).
Mat Rappaport is a Chicago based artist, curator, and educator. Rappaport’s artwork has been exhibited in the United States and internationally in museums, galleries, film festivals and public spaces including the United Kingdom, Italy, and the former Yugoslavia. His current work utilizes mobile video, performance, and photography to explore habitation, perception, and power as related to built environments. Recent projects have been featured in the events marking the 500 Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy, the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial and the 2017 and 2018 Ann Arbor Film Festival Off The Screen programs.
Rappaport is a co-initiator of V1B3 [www.v1b3.com], which seeks to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. Beginning in 2005, Rappaport and v1b3, began a series of large-scale video art programs through a partnership with the Bigger Screen in Manchester, UK; a 25 square meter public video screen co-run by the BBC. Later curated projects were presented in Liverpool and London, Singapore, and Melbourne, Australia. In 2011 v1b3 received a Propeller Grant, with the collective Unreal Estates, for an exhibition of public augmented reality work which was placed in downtown Chicago. More recently, v1b3 has partnered with the College Art Association to curate and produce a series of exhibitions and catalogs which explore how artists are critically integrating new technologies into their practices. These projects included drones, augmented reality and computational video. v1b3 has continued to curate video and projection-based artwork including the 2018 exhibition Dissolving Sights presented at Automata Gallery in Los Angeles.
Rappaport has published essays on media art in public spaces and artists critical responses to the drone wars in the Media-N journal, the iDMAa Journal and a chapter in the book Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art and Social Practices by Rutgers University Press. Rappaport’s photographic work is included in the Midwest Photographer’s Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and in and at the Newberry Library Protest Art Collection. He has received fellowships from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Howard Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Fund, the Montgomery County Ohio Cultural District, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies. Rappaport received his MFA from the University of Notre Dame. Rappaport is an Associate Professor at Columbia College in Chicago.