Matt Steinke is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Rhode Island. His work investigates real-time interactions between visible and invisible spaces. Fostering conversations between the seeable and the sonic, he produces graphic and text-based sound compositions that are performed by mechatronic sculptures and robotic musical instruments.
Constructed from found materials, clay, cloth, paper, paint, wood, and metal, Steinke’s immersive installations produce physical movement and acoustic sound. His extended sculptures employ mechanisms that generate both methodical and chaotic performances via embedded programming and electronics. They function as self-contained engagement systems that guide spectators through meditations on consumerism, morality, transcendence, ecology, and health. Prompted by found technology, music, code, data, media, and text, each work conveys its own individuated articulation about a possible future.
Over the past two decades, Steinke’s work has been presented in museums, galleries, festivals, and DIY venues across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He holds an MFA in Art and Technology Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon graduation in 2004, he received The Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Interdisciplinary/Computer Art. He was a juror’s finalist and Seed Grant recipient for ArtPrize 2016 and a 2015 New Music USA Project Grant recipient. He received an award at the 2018 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition for his “Stepper Rattle” instrument. He was a founding member of 1990s post-rock-noise bands including Mocket, Satisfact, and Octant, recording and releasing over ten albums for Kill Rockstars, K, and Up records while collaborating with recording artists The Need, Miranda July, and Joe Preston among others.
He recently worked with the Portuguese sound art collective, Sonoscopia, to develop ”Artificialia”, a large-scale multimedia installation at the Teatro Municipal do Porto, and presented his solo installation, “Hazardous Phenotypes”, at the Festival Internacional de Marionetas do Porto. One of his latest sound sculptures, “Earplugs”, was recently exhibited at the Contemporary Austin Jones Center and at Northern-Southern Gallery.
His work has been featured in Artweek LA, The Village Voice, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Wired, and on the cover of Tape Op.
NPR KUT Austin: Arts Eclectic
Tape Op May/June 2001: Octant: On Hotrodding Playskool Toys
Glass Tire: Un-verb
Festival Big Bang: Sonoscopia Artificialia
Sitelines: Reverse Plane of Cloudy
The Austin Chronicle Arts: Deliriums
2018 M. Guthman Instrument Competition
Vice: 2016 Guthman Competition
The Civilians: Noplace
ArtPrize: The Magnetosphere
Hackaday: The Tine Organ
Theremin World: Octant