Matthew Cosslett (He/Him)
Matthew Cosslett (b 1995, Ballantrae, South Ayrshire), based in Glasgow, is a multidisciplinary artist.
Matthew works in digitally expanded definitions of the image. Working across disciplines through video, photography, text, and sound, Matthew moulds expanded image realities as material to probe and inhabit the intersection between image and individual in the digital age. To this end, digitally ephemeral archives are key material, from Youtube videos to discarded hard drives of family photographs. Algorithms and other expanded new-cameras are also used to create a deep toolkit to combine the network with the local and interrogate the ‘now’ of our informational-image culture.
Often using Scotland as an imagined landscape, Matthew projects the seemingly divergent realities of the network atop loaded landscapes in order to explore how we build meaning in dirt and in data. Questioning the layering of images over landscapes and transmuting the network atop imagined places, he doubles and destabilises visual assumptions, holding meshes of contradictory information and highlighting flash-blown-out faces in order to build a new visual language for the image and for ourselves.
Matthew’s work explores the new image reality and how we experience real and imagined space with an honest and forgiving eye. It aims to not disavow the local or the human and sees our relationship to place and landscape as a locus of an image-individual nexus.
Please find the open letters and campaign by our former senior peers, MFA Class of 2020, which was removed by GSA from this platform last year, at www.gsamfa.net. The situation they outlined has continued throughout this year. For more information about how to address this issue, please visit and support the UK-wide Pause or Pay campaign at www.pauseorpayuk.org.
This is a short preview of a film that will be shown as part of the MFA2 showcase. The work will be installed at the Glue Factory in Glasgow between the 24th and the 27th of June. More details will be available online soon.
They Could Not Be Seen
Rurality exposes. Contrary to how rural places are often imagined, isolation in a landscape does not promote a feeling of erasure or invisibility. Scanning the hills alone, standing rural, promotes an inescapable visibility, an unavoidable vision, a present that cannot be diverted. This is not the sublime; this is sight, this is the feeling of being seen.
Narratives of survival preparation pecker online landscapes; move to the hills, move to a rural place to hide. I grew up rurally, outside a small village and inside a small forrest on the southern edge of South Ayrshire. I spent a lot of my life, alongside those around me, fighting to be seen.
This film coalesces visions of the ex-mining town, Dalmellington, through two distinct texts; videos uploaded to YouTube with the keyword ‘Dalmellington’ and videos uploaded to the alt-right platform Parler from Dalmellington and the surrounding area. These videos from Parler are exposed, geolocated to a specific location, a point on a map. YouTube balances this specificity by presenting a vision of Dalmellington from the network’s other binary; the mass.
This film embraces and emboldens the logic of how camera produced content moves online. It asks what it means to be rural online, and extends this logic internally. Using the network to illustrate our relationship to place and its construction by cameras, this film challenges externalisation and impositions onto place and presents, with a force, the violence and reduction that arises from the infliction of meaning onto landscape. In ‘They Could Not Be Seen’ vague ideologies of landscape are imposed onto actual ground; constructed, destructed, fizzing, exposed land. This is not neutral territory. This land is loaded.
PRINT SALE 🌫
All works included here are for sale, please get in touch for pricing. There are two options:
Fine Art Printing:
Flexible sizing, please get in touch. I am happy to make smaller, more affordable, prints.
Digital Photo Frame:
Bespoke digital frame displaying the image in its true context, £100.