For Matthew Mazzotta, dog poop was the way to get people talking.
“I’m not doing it as a business model. I’m doing it to get the conversation changed about the whole technology,” said the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate about his plan for a temporary art installation this summer in a Cambridge park.
The interactive art piece, called the Park Spark Project, would have an environmental impact: Dog owners dispose of their pet’s waste in a methane digester that would fuel a flame used to light a lamppost or heat a kettle for tea.
Mazzotta is in the Netherlands where he visited a farm powered by the waste of about 150 horses and cows, he said. The technology has been commonly used in Europe for decades.
Besides the technological aspects, Mazzotta said the project will bring people together. “I’m just trying to provide a space for people to have an exchange where they usually wouldn’t,” he said.
A potential location includes Danehy Park, the site of the city’s former dump, said Lillian Hsu, the city’s director of public art.
“It’s understood that dog waste is a problem in the city,” she said. “There’s also the larger idea of ecology and trying to recycle and trying to put less in to landfills. …This is just another way that through art we can reach people’s perceptions.”