MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT): Fall 2017 lecture series “The Edge of Knowing and Un-Knowing”

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT): Fall 2017 lecture series “The Edge of Knowing and Un-Knowing”

Art, Culture, and Technology Program at MIT

Joan Brigham, Steam Screens. CAVS Special Collection. Courtesy of the artist.

August 31, 2017
MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT): Fall 2017 lecture series “The Edge of Knowing and Un-Knowing”
ACT Cube
E15-001 Wiesner Building
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
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The fall 2017 ACT Lecture Series invites renowned artists and philosophers to help us challenge our habits of perception and expand our margins of thought. Artistic intelligence is drawn to the fertile edges of knowledge, engaging radically anticipatory modes of being, thinking, creating, and acting without certainty. The series will offer models for un-knowing science and technology as a way to dislocate and re-articulate knowledge production in proximity to technologies of planetary threat: how to navigate the camouflaged, the unknown, the deceptive, the trumped.

September 11, Trevor Paglen: The Planet is a Sensor
Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures. In a recent work on the machine-machine visual landscape, Paglen cautions that, “We no longer look at images–images look at us.” 

September 25, Cristina Ricupero: Don’t Believe A Word I Say
Following Cristina Ricupero’s special interest in the mechanisms of contemporary secrecy, she will focus on espionage, a topic she has been developing for an exhibition project with Alexandra Midal (independent curator and professor at the design program at HEAD – Haute Ecole d’Art et Design, Geneva). With examples from contemporary art and design, sociology, philosophy, the spy novel, film and pop culture, Ricupero will show how espionage has evolved throughout time and played a major role in the political sphere of every country.

October 20, David Reinfurt: A Post-Industrial Postscript
David Reinfurt, an independent graphic designer in New York City, will report on his last six months in Rome as a fellow at the American Academy interrogating Bruno Munari’s Tetracono, a small, industrially produced artwork-product from 1965. 

November 13, Postcommodity: The Repellent Fence and Beyond
Postcommodity will discuss their 2015 land art installation and socially engaged artwork Repellent Fence, and the implications of this work on their art practice, their future work, and the field of contemporary art as we approach the year 2043 (when the US transitions to a non-white majority).

December 4, Judith Barry: A Discussion of Several Research-Based Projects
Judith Barry utilizes a research-based methodology to explore a wide range of topics. Both the form and the content of her work evolve as the research proceeds. She often makes use of installation, in various forms and including exhibition design, as a way to combine many of her disparate interests. These immersive environments are based on experiments incorporating architecture, sculpture, performance, theatre, film/video/new media, graphics, and interactivity.

About ACT and the CAVS 50th Anniversary
The 2017 fall lecture series will be part of ACT’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at MIT. Engagements with art at the civic scale and art and the environment at CAVS brought forth expansive forms that replaced an urgent awareness of the fearsomeness of military technology with a vision of art, science, and technology as equals. Since then, a negative anthropology has opened new spaces for acting, thinking and creating: a growing awareness of the problems of the Anthropocene, the mergers of human agency and code, and the confederacies of the human and non-human.

ACT’s celebrations will focus on key terms that emanated from CAVS: How do contemporary artists conceive of and grapple with proliferating dimensions of “scale,” “environment,” and “future”?

About the ACT Lecture Series
ACT’s lecture series draws together artists, scholars, and other cultural practitioners from different disciplines to discuss artistic methodologies and forms of inquiry at the intersection of art, architecture, science, and technology.

ACT’s fall 2017 series is conceived by Gediminas Urbonas, ACT Director, and coordinated with Marissa Friedman, Senior Communications and Public Programs Assistant, and Laura Knott, ACT Consulting Curator.

This series is made possible with the generous support of The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT).

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August 31, 2017

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