Master of Science in Art, Culture & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Art, Culture & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

School of Architecture + Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

ACT is located in MIT’s Wiesner Building designed by I.M.Pei (pictured above) and the adjoining Media Lab Complex Building. Photo: © Steve Rosenthal.
October 21, 2011
Master of Science in Art, Culture & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Application deadline: December 15, 2011

About the program
How to apply
Online application
Portfolio specifications

The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) seeks committed, inquisitive and creative students for the 2011–2012 academic year. This selective two-year program grants successful participants a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology (SMACT). Artists and cultural producers with diverse backgrounds and experience interested in innovative transdisciplinary practice at the intersection of art, culture, and technology are encouraged to apply.


The Program


The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) focuses on research-based artistic practice, advanced visual studies and experimentation, and offers opportunities for transdisciplinary relationships with other programs and labs at MIT. The program explores the role of art, culture, and technology in society and considers artistic practice to be knowledge production. Courses investigate performance, sound and video, photography, experimental media and 3-d fabrication, addressing context and display, and the interplay of old and new genres that intersect with technology. The curriculum includes courses in “Artistic Practice and Transdisciplinary Research,” “Public Art and Public Space,” and “Networked Cultures and Participatory Media.” Coursework is enriched by encounters with faculty, fellows, external reviewers and critics, conferences, workshops, screenings and a weekly thematic lecture series.


The program is under the aegis of the Department of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). ACT was formed in 2009 by a merger of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), founded in 1967, and the MIT Visual Arts Program, established in 1988. In the tradition of artist and educator Gyorgy Kepes, the founder of CAVS and an advocate of “art on a civic scale,” ACT envisions artistic leadership initiating change, providing a critically transformative view of the world with the civic responsibility to enrich cultural discourse.


The Faculty


Instructors are world-renowned with active, international careers and a strong interest in cross-disciplinary research and debate, and in new modes of production. Recent appointments to the ACT faculty include Associate Professor Renée Green and Assistant Professor Azra Aksamija. Green is an artist, writer and filmmaker whose work spans more than 20 years of international solo, group, and biennial exhibitions, books, publications and experimental projects, with recent retrospectives of her work in Lausanne, Paris, and San Francisco. Aksamija is an artist and an alumna of MIT’s History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art program whose interdisciplinary work has been featured internationally including the Liverpool Biennale the Generali Foundation, and most recently at the Cini Foundation at the Venice Biennale 2011.


Program Head and Associate Professor Ute Meta Bauer is a curator who directed SITAC VI in Mexico City and was Artistic Director of the 3rd berlin biennial for contemporary art and recently founded the Mobile ACT Lab. Associate Professor Gediminas Urbonas, with Nomeda Urbonas, and was awarded “Best International Artists” at the Gwangju Biennale 2004, “Honorable Mention for the Best National Pavilion” at the Venice Biennale 2007, and are presenting at the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Professor Emerita Joan Jonas is a video and performance art and teaches “Performance Workshop” in the fall terms. She recently received the first Guggenheim Lifetime Achievement Award. Recent shows include the Venice Biennale, MoMA, New York, and International Incheon Women Artists Biennale. Visiting Professor Antoni Muntadas teaches “Studio Seminar in Public Art/Public Sphere” in spring terms. Muntadas was the recipient of the 2009 Velázquez Prize from the Spanish Culture Ministry and has a major retrospective at Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Lecturers Andrea Frank (photography), Angel Nevarez (video and sound), Jegan Vincent de Paul (“Artistic Intervention: Creative Responses to Conflict and Crisis) are prominent practitioners in their fields.




Applications are accepted through the Admissions Office of the MIT Department of Architecture. The application deadline is December 15, 2011. Portfolios should be submitted on CD or DVD according to specification listed on website, and will be accepted until January 3, 2012.


Those interested in the Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology degree program are invited to an Open House on October 31, 2011. Contact [email protected] for details.

Applicants are encouraged to seek additional resources and funding. See here.

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