Matthew Stone


Written by James Read
29 Friday 29th January 2010

Matthew Stone is a multi-disciplinary artist, DJ and shaman living and working in London. After graduating from Camberwell, Stone became a formative member of the South London !WOWOW! art collective, exhibiting and throwing notorious art parties in disused buildings in South London. Working in performance, photography, installation, curating and writing, Stone's work revolves specifically around creative interactions and community, based on the idea that the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. He has contributed to both i-D and Dazed and Confused magazines, and has spoken at London's ICA. He also provides the music for Gareth Pugh's catwalk shows.

Peckham Skyline

One of your blogs is titled 'Optimism as Cultural Rebellion'. Tell us a bit about it, and why we shouldn't be pessimists.

The Optimism I propose is not an idealistic hope that the future will be OK, it is the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future. We live in confusing times and it can be hard to find solid ground and things to believe in. One reaction to the uncertainty is nihilism, but this doesn't leave room for people to create their own visions of the future. We need to create visions, define our aims and then move towards them with incisive action.

Everything is Possible

Our current issue is themed 'Machine'. How do you feel about machines and our future as cyborgs?

We have the capacity to become larger versions of ourselves, simply using our minds and our hearts. The advances that have been made in science and technology, art and spirituality are enormous, exciting and beautiful, but recent events have shown that there is much work to be done in transforming our economy from a competitive one to a more compassionate one. This is where our energies should be focused first of all if we are to use the other advances to their fullest potential. My friend Louwrien Wijers has done much work to promote this idea. I do sense, however, that new scientific understanding will place less emphasis on mechanistic understandings of the human mind and will. This could lead to the development of machines that operate in ways closer to the way we think.


If time, money, the laws of physics and other such restrictions were removed, what would you ideally like to create?

I am interested in ways of resolving conflict. I think that we are moving towards a time where we can utilise and maintain multiple perspectives and understandings when approaching a situation, effectively seeing the world from the view of many others at the same time. I would like to create tools that facilitate this expanded world-view and allow people to directly experience the interconnected nature of reality.

What exactly is going on here (above)?

This picture is documentation of a collaborative and partially-spontaneous performance in Milan.

And if you were a site-specific installation, where would you be installed?

Anywhere I can sit comfortably, talk and dance with lots of interesting people.

You can hear Matthew Stone speaking on 1 Dec at the Hayward about 'Creative Collectivity & Warhol's Factory' and see more of his thoughts and art at his two blogs

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