MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) offers an art-based platform for collaborations between artists, scientists, and technologists. These are typically built around projects undertaken by resident Fellows, who also conduct seminars and supervise student participation. An emerging mission of the CAVS is the exploration of the digital arts as a common ground for collaborative projects. Our goal is the creation of important art that could not or would not be possible except at MIT.


Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko (Visual Arts Program) was invited to participate in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial (New York), the Venice Biennale, the Kwang-ju Biennale (Korea), and had a retrospective exhibition at the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), among many other activities.

Professor Stephen A. Benton received the 1999 Dennis Gabor award from the SPIE: International Optical Engineering Society, in recognition of his invention of white-light holography and other contributions to the medium of holography.

Fellow Seth Riskin received an MIT Council for the Arts grant for the Eye Dance project with Senior Fellow Elizabeth Goldring, February 2000. He also received a Dance Umbrella commission award (with Mia Keinänen) for development of a Light Dance performance for the Boston Moves 2001 dance concert, June 2000.


Professors Glorianna Davenport and Stephen Benton (Program in Media Arts & Sciences) conducted a weekly seminar series in the CAVS conference space. The subject, entitled "MAS 879: Experiences in Interactive Expression," brought the artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Christopher Janney, Don Ritter, George Fifield and Perry Hoberman to MIT for a day of meetings with students and faculty. At the end of the semester, an exhibition of student-produced interactive installations was presented at CAVS.

A total of eleven MIT students joined the CAVS as UROPs and graduate Research Assistants during this year.


Hisham Bizri joined CAVS as a Fellow, undertaking a long-term project entitled Here Comes Everybody, an interactive installation inspired by the writings of Irish novelist James Joyce. Mr. Bizri had previously been associated with the Electronic Visualization Laboratories of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Seth Riskin also joined CAVS as a Fellow, undertaking further work on his "Light Dance" projects, and various collaborations with Senior Fellow Elizabeth Goldring, who heads the Vision Arts group. Mr. Riskin has previously been a student (SMVS ’89) and Fellow at CAVS, and a Fellow at the KHM, Cologne, Germany.

Professor Rebecca Allen, of the Center for the Digital Arts at the University of California at Los Angeles, was a sabbatical visitor at CAVS during the Spring semester.

More information about the CAVS can be found on the World Wide Web at

S.A. Benton

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000