Matthew Moore | Portfolio Categories Exhibitions
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CU29 - ASU Art Museum

Cu29: Mining for You

A collaboration with British artist Clare Patey, Cu29 centered on the issue of endangered elements in the periodic table, specifically copper. Copper plays a major role in Arizona’s history and in its current economic, environmental and cultural life. The exhibition explored the process of staking a claim, the idea of owning the Earth’s natural resources, and our dependence on copper for everything from saucepans to cellphones. The artists’ company, Copper Undergound, created its corporate headquarters in the museum gallery, where a massive three-dimensional periodic table doubled as seating. Artworks from the ASU Art Museum’s collection, together with objects and their stories collected from the community, traced the extraction of copper from the ground to its use by artists in their studios, electricians and plumbers in houses, and chefs in their kitchens. With these installations, we tackled issues of resource scarcity and the need to change patterns of human consumption. We collaborated with ASU students and faculty from the School of Art, the Global Institute of Sustainability and the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and students from Marcos di Niza High School in Tempe on research, installations and information in the galleries.

Concerning Development

Concerning Development

The University of Southern Mississippi invited me to create an exhibition before hurricane Katrina. In reaction to the events of the storm, I created this video installation based on my experiences in Gulf Port, Mississippi and the emotions that came from that day of documentation. I returned to Phoenix, only to discover I had similar emotions arising from the visual landscape surrounding my farm. This installation is two separate projections shot into a corner.



The installation presents a thoroughly controlled, artificial experience comprised of a contained mechanical system that required no external input to produce a mature crop. The growing light above moves back and forth on a hydroponics light tract to simulate the arch of natural light movement across the sky.

Frontier View 2


This installation commemorates the pastoral fantasies of an agrarian nation. It captures “the amber waves of grain,” but in a dream-like presentation suspended from the ceiling of an urban building. This was created for the exhibit reGenerations: Environmental Art in California for the Armory Center for the Arts in conjunction with the Tender Land Festival in Pasadena, California.

Floorplan View 1


This was a temporal installation based on lines of floorplans and my first exploration dealing with the commodification of the land outside the boundaries of agriculture. To address transformation of space, cotton bolls were installed green and bloomed over the course of the exhibition.

And the Land Grew Quiet Full View 4

And the Land Grew Quiet

And the Land Grew Quiet is an installation that contrasts the cycles of development and speculation in our own time with those of the Great Depression by mixing technology and nature as well as fiction and history. It was conceived as a single project that mapped urban growth on the land, and nature’s resistance to the man-made within the sublime context of the harsh but awe-inspiring landscape and climate of central Arizona. The trials and tribulations of American agriculture, its roles in contemporary globalization, and its continually debated ecological practices create a foundation for my explorations. Un-inked embossed paper with quotes from my grandmother’s journal, who grew up and passed away working on the farm, were juxtaposed with excerpts of the Joad family story told in the Grapes of Wrath. 140 feet of twelve foot walls displayed maps representing land use transition throughout the space. CAD programming and CNC routers helped achieve the appearance that the walls had been embossed with the ghosted image of transitioning from the rural to hyper-developed suburban landscape. In the back of the space an oversize tract home sunk into the museum floor at two angles. It was inspired by the dust bowl homes that were buried in the topsoil blown in from Midwest farms, as well as the countless homes abandoned in mid-construction sprinkled across the United States as a result of the latest housing market crash.

Cultivating the Oasis - pedestal view 1

Cultivating the Oasis

The images in the film are taken from numerous flights my father, a former Air Force pilot, and I took in 2009. The images depict the Colorado River from Yuma to the north, and the Central Arizona Project canal from Phoenix, west to its primary pumping station on the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona. Arizona has rights to 2.8 million acre feet of Colorado River water per year, California is entitled to 4.4 million acre feet per year and Nevada has annual allocation of 300,000 acre feet. One acre-foot of water equals 325,851 gallons, the amount used by a family of four in one year. The film is inspired by astounding and sobering industrial feats we create in order to sustain life in the desert. The precious commodity of water is never more apparent than when it traverses the desolate landscapes of the Southwest.

Cumulus View 4


Cumulus was a massive, four-ton, 60-foot long sculpture and video installation that employed custom programming and projection mapping. It was a meditative reflection on the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. A massive pipeline emerged from one side of the gallery and quickly disappeared into the other. Projected upon it were moving images of atmosphere and landscape, traversing its surface as fluidly as water flows through the aqueduct itself. The site-specific artwork was a culmination of a residency that allowed for multiple site visits, time to talk, and time to travel outside the institution. It turned the water of the aqueduct back into the clouds it came from.

The Culls - 3D View 6

The Culls

The Culls symbolizes the productive, monetized view of nature with a wall-mounted array of 36 3D printed carrots. Each is an example of a real carrot grown on my farm that the market deems visually undesirable because of its deviations from the norm. The piece is inspired by the ways in which consumer demand has altered the food we eat. Carrots take on unexpected, quirky, often sculptural shapes as they grow naturally. Such perfectly real but “imperfect” carrots never make it to the market and are often thrown out or used in cattle feed.