In The Lab: A World Apart By Joe Matty

Saturday, Feb 10 – Mar 24, 2024

707 Lake Blvd.
St. Joseph, MI 49085

Gamers take note. Joe Matty is a photographer from Pittsburgh, PA, who is focused on the exploration, practice, and application of historical photographic processes – with not-so-historic subject matter. Matty uses 19th–century processes like wet plate collodion to recontextualize the digital, non–physical worlds of video games as physical photographs. At first glance, the black and white images of otherworldly characters and fantastical landscapes seem like they’ve been handed down from someone’s great-grandparents. A closer look reveals a jarring reality: “somewhere I’d rather be than here and now, but that has never really existed.” As Matty shares, “For many of us, the digital worlds we imaginatively inhabit feel real.” His photographs take this experience even further, turning the make-believe worlds of video games into something “materially tangible” and allowing the viewer to feel “unencumbered by disbelief.”