SA+P Dean Adèle Naudé Santos and ACT Director Ute Meta Bauer invite you to an evening of events to celebrate the union of two prestigious units within the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. The Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the MIT Visual Arts Program have merged to become the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).
The celebration will take place in the program’s new location in two adjacent buildings on MIT’s east campus: the Wiesner Building designed by I.M. Pei and the recently-dedicated Media Lab Complex building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki. In attendance will be current and past directors of the MIT Visual Arts Program and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies including Otto Piene, Dennis Adams, and Krzysztof Wodiczko, as well as faculty, students, alumni, staff, and friends of the arts.
The merger of the MIT Visual Arts Program with the Center for Advanced Visual Studies unites two entities long allied in approach, philosophy and purpose and creates the potential for the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology to become a leading international center for research, education, and practical exploration in art, science, and technology.
The program operates as a critical production- and education-based laboratory focusing on artistic research, advanced visual studies, and transdisciplinary collaboration within the context of MIT’s technological community. The program considers artistic practice to be knowledge production. The emphasis is on how cultural and artistic practices critically engage science and technology and envision their transformation. ACT curriculum includes courses in ‘Production of Space,’ ‘Interrogative Design,’ ‘Networked Cultures,’ and ‘Contemporary Curatorial Practice,’ among others.
ACT Faculty are world-renowned with active, international careers and a strong interest in cross-disciplinary debate, research, and modes of production. Program Director and Associate Professor Ute Meta Bauer directed SITAC VI 2008 in Mexico City and was Artistic Director of the 3rd berlin biennial for contemporary art.
Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko is the Director of The Interrogative Design Group at MIT and represented his native Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Professor Joan Jonas is a recent recipient of the Guggenheim Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary contributions to contemporary art. Associate Professor Gediminas Urbonas, along with Nomeda Urbonas, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2007.
Professor Antoni Muntadas was the recipient of the 2009 Velázquez Prize from the Spanish Culture Ministry. Lecturers Andrea Frank (Photography), Amber Frid-Jimenez (Participatory Media), Joe Gibbons (Video), Wendy Jacob (Autism Studio), and Oliver Lutz (Multi-Media) are prominent practitioners in their fields.
ACT research fellows and affiliates engage with students and faculty on long term thematic research clusters in the field of art, culture and technology, such as ‘Interrogative Design Group,’ ‘Mobile act lab,’ ‘Artistic research and transdisciplinary collaboration,’ and ‘Future of Body/Multiple Senses’ to name a few.
ACT hosts a weekly lecture series of artists, urbanists, and scholars from a broad range of disciplines.
The program’s ‘Future Archive Project’ is transforming the archives of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT into an active location for research and scholarship in issues of archiving and disseminating time-based works of art. ACT is well situated for this project given the 40-year history of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies in the creative use of new and technologically advanced materials, and in collaboration among artists, historians, technologists, and others in the MIT community and beyond.
4:00 pm Exhibition of ACT Graduate Students
Media Lab Complex Building (E14) Lobby
Exhibiting will be students in the Masters of Science in Visual Studies (SMVisS): Haseeb Ahmed, Gina Badger, Jaekyung Jung, Jess Wheelock, Sohin Hwang, Amanda Moore, Sarah Witt, Ian Wojtowicz.
5:00 pm ‘Pecha Kucha’ Presentation by ACT Fellows and Affiliates
MIT Bartos Theater, ground floor, Wiesner Building (E15-070)
Presenting will be John Bell, Nell Breyer, Kelly Dobson, Elizabeth Goldring, Wendy Jacob, Jae Rhim Lee, Jane Philbrick, Jessica Piper, and Nitin Sawhney. The CAVS Archive Project will also be presented by Alise Upitis.
6:00 pm Joan Jonas Demonstration with Introduction by Okwui Enwezor
The Cube, ground floor, Wiesner Building (E15-001)
On the occasion of the awarding of the 2010 Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize by the Council for the Arts at MIT to ACT Professor Joan Jonas, Jonas will present a demonstration at which she will be introduced by Okwui Enwezor. Jonas is a pioneer of video/performance art whose influence is crucial to the development of many genres in contemporary art. Okwui Enwezor is a curator, writer and Adjunct Curator at the International Center of Photography in New York. He is the founder and editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.
New DVD released
On April 15 we will also have available a new DVD: Engaged: 20 years of the MIT Visual Arts Program. The DVD features works and commentary by the faculty and directors listed above along with faculty, lecturers and alumni of the VAP including: Judith Barry, Joe Gibbons, Wendy Jacob, Julia Scher, Kelly Dobson, Jill Magid, Edgar Pedroza, and more. Also providing commentary are curators Bill Arning, Jane Farver, Larissa Harris, and João Ribas.
The DVD is produced by ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art, a bi-annual DVD compilation of contemporary time-based art published by Michael Mittelman who is the newly appointed Associate Director of ACT. The DVD will be available at the Welcome Desk in the Media Lab Complex Building Lobby.