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Matt Hamon, Assistant Professor

Photography

email: matt.hamon@mso.umt.edu
office: Fine Arts 412
website: www.matthamon.com

Bio

Matt Hamon hails from a small, remote town in Northern California.  A sense of place informed by wandering the woods as a child inspires his enquiry.  Self-described as 'post-rural', Matt's creative endeavors take many forms, as he is un-prejudiced in his choice of media, embracing anything from drawing and painting to photography and video.  His work can involve a single medium or a combination of several disparate techniques.  The technique that is adopted simply needs to be the best method to represent a particular idea.  Matt is a featured artist in Scott Ligon's forthcoming book from Watson-Guptil/Random House, "Digital Art Revolution".

Artist Statement

I'm concerned about what Walter Benjamin described as the 'aura' of the object and the fact that with mechanical reproduction, this aura diminishes.  Though Benjamin was likely arguing in favor of this democratization of images and objects, I personally lament the loss of this aura in visual art.  At the same time, I enjoy the potential of digital media, and understand that much of our workflow, like it or not, has been converted to these systems.  What seems to be lacking in the binary perfection of digital media is the authentic, and organic error that comes out of the limitations (or potentials) of the human body (dexterity) and the wonderful tyranny of physics.  A splash, a spill, or a drip, in the digital realm lack authenticity and, as such, become artifice or decoration.  I mix photographic media with hand-drawn elements and processes to reveal the process (even with its flaws) and to juxtapose the specific (photographic) with the ambiguous (drawing).  Ultimately, rather than telling specific stories, I'm interested in what narrative can emerge from reflecting on a given image or object.

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is more than disseminating information, just as learning is more than absorbing it.  Methods that require students to integrate and synthesize concepts are more effective in helping them on their journey of self-discovery.  The development of effective processes of studio practice and production allows us to discover meaning in confusion, pattern in chaos, instruction in failure, and vision in doubt.

Education

M.F.A. The University of Washington, Seattle, 2002
B.A. Humboldt State University, 1999