Matt Garcia’s artistic practice investigates ecology, its relationship to knowledge systems and how media can connect communities to a reclaiming or re-imagining of lost epistemology. Matthew Garcia is an assistant professor of Art and Design at Dominican University of California located in the San Francisco Bay Area and the founder of the interdisciplinary collective Desert ArtLAB. In 2010, Garcia established Desert ArtLAb to explore how a connection to desert ecology and art can foster a sense of belonging, empowerment, and self-determination.
Garcia’s work has been presented nationally and internationally at: Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France), Museum of Contemporary Native Art – MoCNA (Santa Fe,NM), Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara ,The International Symposium on Electronic Art (2012,2015), Balance-Unbalance Festival (Noose, Australia) and HASTAC (Lima, Peru). Garcia is a 2016 Creative Capital awardee in Emerging Fields.
Garcia’s current project, The Desertification Cookbook, visually re-brands the concept of deserts not as a post-apocalyptic growth of wasteland, but as a culinary and ecological opportunity. The cookbook is a collection of bilingual community driven recipes, statements, strategies and actions for exploring, surviving, and belonging in the desert borderlands.
The book mentioned in the interview is Eating the Landscape: American Indian Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience by Enrique Salmón.