Matt Austin

The Perch

As the first Interpreter in Residence, Chicago-based artist Matt Austin brought a new iteration of The Perch—his experimental forum for social exchange—to the Smart in 2013–2014.

Austin created a temporary installation in the Smart's lobby serving as a functioning library and office space for The Perch. The office was partially built out of reclaimed materials—shelves and cabinet panels that were formerly part of the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago Library. Austin worked out of the office and engage with visitors during the quarterly At the Threshold events as well as other times throughout the year. He continued several book projects already underway for The Perch and started a new book that chronicled his residency at the Smart. Visitors were invited to contribute to this publication by sharing their experience with the art on view at the Smart, which Austin documented and archived in the book.


Office hours

In 2013–2014, Interpreter in Residence Matt Austin worked out of a pop-up office installation in the Smart's lobby on the following dates.

Thursday, August 1, 2013
At the Threshold
5–7:30 pm

Thursday, August 22, 2013
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, September 5, 2013
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, October 3, 2013
At the Threshold
5–7:30 pm

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Party at the Smart
3–10 pm

Thursday, November 7, 2013
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, January, 2014
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, February 13, 2014
At the Threshold
5–7:30 pm

Thursday, February 27, 2014
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, March 13, 2014
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, March 27, 2014
5–4:30 pm

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Party at the Smart
3–10 pm

Thursday, April 24, 2014
10 am–2:30 pm

Thursday, May 8, 2014
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, May 22, 2014
10 am–4:30 pm

Thursday, June 5, 2014
At the Threshold
5–7:30 pm


About Matt Austin

Austin (b. 1986, Hartford, CT) is an artist and educator based in Chicago. He received his BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and is currently teaching for the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been involved with various community based projects in Chicago and his photographs have been exhibited widely.