Associate Provost for the Arts
The focus of the Office of the Associate Provost for the Arts during 2000-2001 has been on the development and sustenance of the expanding arts community with further development and planning for new resources for the arts, greater national engagement in arts initiatives, and a new focus on MIT's relationship to K-12 education.
Fall 2000 saw the relocation of Music and Theater Arts to its new offices in Buildings 4 and 10, providing more office space than its previous facilities in Building 14. It also gave the program greater visibility to the entire MIT community with an entrance so close to Room 10-250.
The new exterior to MIT Museum Building was nearly completed, except for some clean-up of the windows and brick on the existing building and the addition of a side banner. The windows, canopy, and new stairway entrance finally give the museum the presence on Massachusetts Avenue it has needed for a long time. The new admissions area has professionalized the look of the entire museum.
The move of the MIT Museum Store to the first floor of N51 was frozen this year, necessitating a severe cutback in store operations. The store manager and his assistant were let go and the inventory limited only to articles directly relating to MIT and the museum exhibits.
Through the work of consultant Patricia Fuller and Jane Farver, the best practice procedures for the MIT Percent for the Arts policy were embraced by the Academic Council. Jorge Pardo was selected to work with the architects for the new graduate students dormitory, and talks have begun with Frank Gehry about the art for the Stata Center.
In spring 2001, the Pilchuck School gave MIT a matching grant for one scholarship for a student to study glass art every summer. The MIT Council for the Arts created the Council-Pilchuck Scholarship to meet the grant annually. The first recipient was Helen Lee '01, a Council Scholar in the Arts.
In fall 2000, the MIT Jazz Quintet played a concert for the Chicago members of the Council for the Arts and the MIT Alumni Club in Chicago. They later played for the Council and the Alumni Club of Washington, DC at a meeting to honor Michael Kaiser, the new director of the Kennedy Center and an MIT alumnus.
Work continued on the programming of the Laboratory for the Performing Arts.
This was the first year of operations for Teachers as Scholars with seven seminars being taught on the MIT campus to excellent evaluations.
The Associate Provost for the Arts participated in the Building a Field Conference to help create graduate programs in the development and administration of community arts programs.
The List Visual Arts Center initiated a team-taught course with the arts director of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, introducing high school students to opportunities for careers in the arts. One member of the class is already doing an internship with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) this summer.
The MIT Museum expanded its offerings to K-12 groups and is in the process of filling a staff position in Educational Programs.
The Associate Provost for the Arts contributed an introductory chapter to the forthcoming volume of portraits of arts based K-12 schools from the Harvard School of Education, a project supported by the National Arts League Foundation.
The Associate Provost for the Arts continued to serve as the MIT representative on the Board of Trustees of the MFA and joined the Education Committee of the Board.
The Museum Loan Network (MLN) began a new partnership with the American Composers Forum by offering travel grants to composers. This was the outcome of a series of national think tanks organized by the MLN on the Museum as Catalyst for Collaboration.
In fall 2000 the School of Humanities and Social Sciences celebrated its 50th anniversary and was officially renamed the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
In spring 2001, the first Robert Muh Award to MIT to a graduate who has excelled in the humanities, arts, or social sciences was awarded to dancer/choreographer Gus Solomons.
The MIT List Visual Arts Center's (LVAC) mission is to present the most challenging, forward-thinking, and lasting expressions of modern and contemporary art to the MIT community and general public in order to broaden the scope and depth of cultural experiences available on campus. The LVAC's mission also is to reflect and support the diversity of the MIT community through the presentation of diverse cultural expressions. This is accomplished through four avenues: changing exhibitions of contemporary art in all media by the most advanced visual artists working today that take place in the LVAC galleries (E15); the Permanent Collection of art (comprising large outdoor sculptures, artworks sited in offices and departments throughout campus, as well as art commissioned under MIT's Percent-for-Art policy which allocates funds from new building construction or renovation for art); the Student Loan Art Program, a collection of fine art prints, photos and other multiples, maintained solely for loan to MIT students during the course of the academic year; and interpretive programs to offer the MIT community and the public various perspectives about LVAC changing exhibitions and MIT's art collections.
LVAC's current goals are to:
- Continue to present the finest international contemporary art that has relevance to the MIT community;
- Continue to increase audience both from MIT campus and from Boston area; and
- Use new educator to increase cross-disciplinary and collaborative use of LVAC's exhibitions, programs and facilities.
This year LVAC increased attendance to the highest numbers since 1994, when actual attendance counts replaced estimated figures.
LVAC initiated ArtWorks, a program in conjunction with Cambridge Rindge-Latin High School. This after-school program provided tours and seminars for students interested in careers in the arts. Students met with the director, curators, registrar and exhibition designer at the List Center, toured the MIT Media Lab, and visited facilities and met with staff of other Boston institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardner Museum, Fox News, Harvard Conservation Labs, Perry, Dean Rogers architects, Charles Webb Furniture Design, web-design firm Partners and Simons, and the Blue Man Group. This program was considered to be so successful that Rindge-Latin has asked that it be repeated, not as an after-school program, but during the school-day. They have committed a teacher and the computer labs to this program for the coming year.
LVAC instituted and found funding for a residency by artist Paul Pfeiffer. This will be a collaboration with the Artist-in-Residence Program of the Office for the Arts.
LVAC provided gallery tours of exhibitions to 63 groups.
Luca Buvoli-Flying: Practical Training for Beginners, originally organized by Jane Farver for the List Center, traveled to Austin Museum of Fine Arts in December 2000, where it was seen by more than 7,000 viewers.
LVAC secured outside funds to conserve Jean Ipousteguy's Cenotaph (located near the Bush Building) and partial funds to conserve Jacques Lipchitz's Bathers.
With Facilities and Planning Departments and the Sloan School, LVAC worked on the reconstruction of the plaza of the Sloan School and refurbishing of Bernar Venet's Two Indeterminate Lines.
LVAC conserved Beverly Pepper's Trinity which will be re-sited in the coming year.
LVAC worked with client groups and architects SLAM to commission artist Jorge Pardo to create a new work for the NW30 residence.
With Aeronautics and Astronautics client group, LVAC purchased two works by Candida Hofer.
A conservation survey of permanent collection sculpture was conducted on campus through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Conservation Assessment Program grant secured by LVAC.
During the annual MIT Council for the Arts meeting, LVAC hosted gallery exhibition tour for council members.
During the 2000-2001 season, LVAC made loans of approximately 200 artworks to various departments and individuals across the MIT campus.
LVAC participated in Freshman Arts Program Orientation and Campus Preview weekend programs, providing tours and receptions.
Under the sponsorship of the Council for the Arts, a collaborative program was initiated with the MIT Visual Arts Program and the Asian Studies Program for artists Isaac Julien and Paul Pfeiffer and Whitney Museum of American Art curator Chrissie Iles to meet with MIT students.
LVAC facilitated the List Essay Prize for writing on contemporary art, which was shared by Kathryn R. Nichols and Shelli Farhadian.
The Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art, moderated by art historian Judith Rodenbeck and featuring artists Alan Kaprow, Paul McCarthy and Vanessa Beecroft, was reinstituted this year. It was attended by a full house in Room 10-250; and the donor considered this to be the most successful forum to date.
LVAC received more than 40 positive critical reviews for exhibitions, including positive reviews in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, The Harvard Crimson, Art on Paper, Art New England, New Art Examiner, Arts Media, ArtNews, ArtForum, Parachute, Museums Boston, Tema Celeste, Time Out NY, Austin American-Statesman, Austin Chronicle and MIT's Tech Talk.
LVAC purchased or received donations of 16 new works to add to the Student Loan Art Program, the majority of which were exhibited in the Stratton Student Center during the 2000-2001 academic year. They will be cycled into the lending collection in the fall of 2001.
Student Loan Art Exhibition (LVAC galleries, September 5 through September 17, 2000) is an annual exhibition of 350 works comprising Student Loan Art Collection. MIT students may view displayed works and then enter a lottery to be awarded the work of their choice on loan for the academic year to hang in their dormitory, apartment or office. This year 1,233 students attended the exhibition, an increase of 33% over the previous year.
Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s (Hayden, Reference, and Bakalar Galleries, October 14, 2000- January 6, 2001 was organized by an international team of curators under List Center Director Jane Farver for the Queens Museum of Art). It looked at the history of conceptual art as it developed around the world and featured over 200 works by more than 130 artists from Africa, Asian, Australia and New Zealand, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, North America and the Soviet Union. This exhibition was listed as one of the five most important exhibitions of the past five years by Time Out New York (October 2001).
Inside Space (Hayden and Reference Galleries, January 27-April 8, 2001, curator: Bill Arning). An exhibition of international artists or artist/teams critically engaging the language of architecture, including Monica Bonvicini, Elmgreen and Dragset, Teresita Fernández, Juan Maidigan and Dolores Zinny, Henrik Olesen, and Oona Stern. The catalogue included essays by Arning and Joel Sanders and was distributed by D.A.P., New York.
Circa 1999: Photographs by Marco Breuer (Bakalar Gallery, January 27-April 8, 2001, curator: Bill Arning) was an exhibition of photographs made with non-photographic means.
Isaac Julien: The Long Road to Mazatlán (in collaboration with Javier de Frutos) and Vagabondia (Hayden Gallery, April 27- July 1, 2001, curators: Jane Farver and Bill Arning). Digital, multi-screen video projections by award-winning Black British filmmaker Julien. During the run of the List Center exhibition, Julien was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery in London.
Paul Pfeiffer: The Long Count (Rumble in the Jungle) (Reference Gallery April 27-July 1, 2001, curators: Jane Farver and Bill Arning). Digital video work investigating racial identity through the use of popular iconography, in this case the athlete Muhammad Ali.
Johan Grimonprez: Inflight Magazine (Reference Gallery April 27-July 1, 2001 curators: Jane Farver and Bill Arning). A video lounge installation featuring a take-off on airline magazines found on commercial flights.
Race in Digital Space (Bakalar Gallery, April 27-July 1, 2001, guest curator Erika D. Muhammad). The exhibition was presented in conjunction with the conference of the same name organized by MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program and the University of Southern California. It featured works by over 30 artists using film, video, new media and web techniques to explore how electronic culture influences the production of identity, race and nationhood.
Interpretive Program Highlights
LVAC curatorial staff led 65 gallery tours during the course of the exhibition year for the Visual Arts Program at MIT and for groups including the Museum School, Mass. College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the Art Institute of Boston, University of Massachusetts—Boston, Harvard University, Emerson University, Suffolk University, Dreyfuss University, Boston University, Gordon College, New England School of Art and Design, St. Scholastic Academy (Colorado), University of Massachusetts—Amherst, Polter Road School, Boston Aquarium staffers, the Stockholm School of Economics, and MIT's Council for the Arts, Artists Behind the Desk, and the Asian Studies Program.
Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s curator Reiko Tomii and MIT Professor John Dower presented a public program on the social and cultural conditions of post-WWII Japan that led to the early development of conceptual art practice in the country.
Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s curator Okwui Enwezor (the first African curator ever appointed as commissioner of the prestigious international exhibition Documenta, held every five years in Kassel, Germany) outlined his plans for Documenta 11 in a public program presented in Bartos Theater.
Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s curators Rachel Weiss and Luis Camnitzer presented a walk-through tour of the exhibition.
Art Historian Ondine Chavoya spoke about the work of Global Conceptualism artist Harry Gamboa. This event was co-sponsored by MIT History, Theory and Criticism program of the Department of Architecture.
Award-winning Japanese designer Eiko Ishioka presented a lecture in Bartos Theater. This event, co-sponsored by the Japan Society of Boston, was available free to MIT students (cost to Japan Society Members $30).
Inside Space artists talked about their work in the gallery for MIT Visual Arts Program and LVAC Artworks students.
Artists Isaac Julien and Paul Pfeiffer spoke about their work in a public conversation with Whitney Museum of American Art Curator Chrissie Iles.
ABCD (Artists Boston Critical Dialogue) presented a program on Boston's alternative spaces in Bartos Theater.
Films presented in Bartos included: Michael Snow's Wavelength, Hollis Frampton's Zorns Lemma, Isaac Julien's Looking for Langston and Young Soul Rebels, and Johan Grimonprez's dial H·i·s·t·o·r·y.
A potluck dinner for artists connected with Boston's alternative arts community was held.
Regularly scheduled gallery talks by the curators were instituted. These were well attended and will take place on a biweekly basis in the coming year.
There were five gifts of art to the collection including works by Elizabeth Murray, Sol LeWitt, Peter Garfield, and Kim Sooja. Donors included Vera G. List and Kitty and Herb Glantz.
The Student Loan Art Program attracted 1,233 MIT students to the LVAC gallery over the period of the exhibition of artworks. A total of 525 students submitted entries to the lottery to borrow artwork and approximately 300 works were disbursed.
Director Jane Farver and Percent-for-Art coordinator Patricia Fuller worked with the Director of Capital Improvements and project managers to write a Best Practices Policy for the Implementation of the Art on Campus Policy. The Best Practices Policy was then presented to and approved by Academic Council.
Director Jane Farver attended Getty Leadership Museum Management Institute Program In Berkeley, CA, an intensive three-week course designed for museum directors.
LVAC formed a Long Range Planning Committee composed of Advisory Council and staff members.
A weekly long-range planning meeting for staff was instituted.
LVAC restructured staff to include one curatorial position dedicated to collection and percent-for-art projects and a position dedicated to education and outreach.
Fourteen interns from Harvard, RISD, Tufts, Mass. College of Art, School of Museum of Fine Arts, McGill University, Colby College and Skidmore College trained at LVAC.
The gallery floors were refinished.
LVAC received the following donations: $40,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, $10,000 from the Boston Foundation, $2,000 from Sally and Milton Avery Foundation, $2000 from the Cambridge Arts Council, $10,000 from the LEF Foundation, $1,250 from Goethe Institute, $15,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, $4,500 from the Saul Rosen Foundation, $500 from Harvard University, $25,000 from the MIT Council for the Arts, $500 from MIT Campus Committee on Race Relations, and in-kind donations from the Royal Sonesta Hotel and Home Depot.
Future goals are to:
- Use LVAC web site to provide information about Student Art Loan Program and permanent collection. Also to provide additional opportunities for artists to do web-based projects, beginning with Matthew Ritchie who is creating a new work for the Central Athletic Facility under the MIT Percent-for-Art Program. This requires outside expertise, a digital camera and new software.
- Develop comprehensive educational materials about all of the MIT Percent-for-Art projects. We would like to create documentary video tapes about the percent for art and artist residency project. This requires additional funding and expertise.
- Develop comprehensive program of exhibitions and public programs consistent with MIT's mission that can attract large-scale funding.
- Present art in other sites on campus, beginning in the coming year by programming the Media Wall in Building 16, presenting a film based on Mozart's Magic Flute in the MIT Chapel and creating a small exhibition of works by contemporary Japanese artist Yukinori Yanagi for the MIT Japan Program offices.
Tim Lloyd joined the LVAC staff as gallery manager/exhibition designer in September 2000.
Director Jane Farver received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to travel for one month to study new media art in Japan. She completed two weeks research in May 2001 and will complete the project in the coming year. She participated in a curatorial conference at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and grant-making panels for Etant-donnes for the Government of France in Paris and Chicago. She was a panelist for the National Endowment for the Art's Japan Program, the Bogliasco Foundation (Genoa), Creative Capital Foundation (New York), the Cambridge Arts Council, and was a member of the Asia Society's (New York) Core Advisory Group. She delivered a paper on conceptual art at an international curatorial conference in Seoul, South Korea (as part of the Kwangju Biennial curator's committee), a lecture at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, contributed an essay to Words of Wisdom: A Curator's Vade Mecum, published by Independent Curators, Inc., NY, and participated in a panel for the book launch at DIA in New York.
Curator Bill Arning presented lectures at RISD, Mass. College of Art, the Museum School in Boston, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and Wake Forest University. He was a panelist or juror for the Silvermine Arts Foundation, the Cambridge Center for Adult Learning and Tufts University. He contributed essays to catalogues produced by Bowdoin College, Molloy College, and Southhampton University.
Advisory Board Changes
Jean Stanton joined the LVAC Advisory Board Committee.
More information about the MIT List Visual Arts Center can be found online at http://mit.edu/lvac/.
The MIT Museum exists to document, interpret, and communicate to a diverse audience, the activities and achievements of MIT and the worldwide impact of its innovation, particularly in the fields of science and technology; and to enhance the spirit of community inside the Institute through the promotion of dialog both at MIT and between the Institute and the wider world.
This year saw a complete transformation of the Museum as we began implementation of our five-year strategic plan.
We opened two major permanent exhibitions in the main gallery space. Beyond Robots: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT, a collaboration between the Museum and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, opened in October to rave reviews. A record 1,700 people visited the Museum on its opening weekend. It features a number of cutting-edge interactive exhibits and enables our visitors to take a peek at what is going on behind-the-scenes in one of the most exciting areas of MIT research. In June, the Museum opened its long-awaited exhibition that tells the story of MIT from its founding to the present day. Mind and Hand: The Making of MIT Scientists and Engineers tells this story from the student perspective, and includes over 200 artifacts ranging from 19th-century historic instruments, the cavity magnetron that formed the basis of the technology developed at the RadLab, to a Toscanini's coffee cup! It also marked a major fund-raising achievement for the Museum's Advisory Board.
After many design changes, including the loss of the first floor store, the Museum's exterior renovations were completed in early summer. The Museum now has a new entrance stairway, first floor display windows (that include a piece by MIT Artist-in-Residence Arthur Ganson), a renovated second floor reception area, and a new visitor services desk. Designed by Associate Professor Wellington (Duke) Reiter of Urban Instruments Inc. the renovations give the Museum an exciting and more welcoming street presence that reflects the quality of the exhibits within.
Behind-the-scenes there has been a considerable amount of work on reorganizing and refurbishing the collection storage areas. In addition, the Museum's deaccessioning program has continued at a steady pace.
Together with the Publishing Services Bureau, the Museum redesigned its web site to conform to our new graphic identity and also to make it easier to navigate. The Museum was also the pilot site for e-commerce at MIT with the development of an online ordering ability for the Museum store.
The Museum served 43,665 visitors this year, an increase of 15 percent over last year's total admission figures. The number of visitors has increased by 75 percent over the last three years and we expect further increases with the refurbishment of the exterior of the building.
The Collections Committee met four times and considered 12 acquisitions of which ten were accepted into the permanent collection. The Museum continued with its major deaccessioning program, which took up a great deal of Committee time. Publications continued to be passed on to other MIT departments and again, were offered to alumni/ae over Tech Weekend in early June. A number of musical scores and recordings were transferred to the Lewis Music Library and several items of furniture were sent for auction. The Morton Bradley mathematical sculptures were returned to Mr. Bradley together with the return of those pieces that had been on display. There were 31 loans in and out of the collections—the majority associated with our two new exhibitions. Several watercolors from the Hart Nautical Collections were loaned for exhibit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Architecture and Design Collections
The Museum has been without a Curator of Architecture and Design this year, which has, necessarily, curtailed activities. However with the assistance of a temporary staff member, Roysin Billet, the collection has remained open. There were 33 telephone inquiries, 11 email and written requests, and three researchers using the Collections on site. Work on the TAC collections continued with all 1,200 of the early drawings (1946-51) being cataloged and rehoused. This project was supported by the Graham Foundation. Catalog sheets of early student theses and the Chamberlain collection were transferred to the computerized database.
Hart Nautical Collections
The focus for the Hart Nautical Collections has been on long-range planning for the expected Burroughs endowment. Inquiry levels remained high with about 1,200 inquiries received via phone, fax, email and regular mail. These inquiries generated $13K in total revenue ($8K in plan and photo sales, $3K in fees and royalties and $2K in wholesale sales of guides to collections).
The second year of the IAP boat building program was very successful. Seven graduate students from courses II, IV, VI and XIII worked intensely over two weeks in the Department of Architecture's woodshop to complete the second shellback rowing/sailing dinghy. The boat has joined the first boat at the MIT Nautical Association's fleet. This matched pair becomes a new racing option for Nautical Association members. The project was funded by John Lednicky's '44, annual gift of $5K to the MIT Museum.
The curator assisted the Department of Ocean Engineering in planning the program for the 100-year anniversary of Course XIII-A this past April.
This year has been busy for the Holography collections. Partly funded by the Shearwater Foundation, the temporary documentation assistant Steve Maloney finished cataloging the entire collection of holograms, a process that added a great deal of information to the database from many different sources. The collection was also rehoused and a new inventory list prepared. A second grant from the Shearwater Foundation will enable us to put the database online later this year. The Museum also hosted a "thinktank" weekend with three senior members of the holography community to discuss the future development of the collection. A number of collecting goals were developed, together with some criteria for deaccessioning material, that will guide the Collections Committee in its decision-making.
There were 20 inquiries to the collection and one major acquisition-the collection of Anait Stephens, donated by her husband Ralph Stephens. Anait Stephens was an early and prominent artist in the field and her work covers a broad spectrum of the holographic technology.
Photograph and Film Collections
The historic photograph collection continued to receive heavy use with over 300 requests and 120 visitors. Ninety requests for photographs were fulfilled. Images were provided to a variety of MIT departments and offices including the Alumni Office (125th anniversary and reunions), Endicott House and the Department of Facilities. The collection was used extensively by academics and students both from within MIT and from other institutions particularly in the development of educational web-based material. Areas of focus for academic publications were diverse-from probability and finance to the history of flight. Images from the collections appeared in the PBS series Great Entrepreneurs and Hal's Legacy. The collection also assisted other museums such as Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
The database of the Museum's film and video collections was expanded in preparation for the assessment of the film collection for an NEH preservation grant. Together with a specialist moving image consultant, a conservation plan for this irreplaceable collection is being prepared.
Science and Technology Collections
The main focus of attention this year was the research, development, design and fabrication of Mind and Hand: The Making of MIT Scientists and Engineers. The new exhibition showcases more than 200 artifacts from the Science and Technology Collections (this includes a small number on loan from Harvard and Dartmouth).
Over 100 inquiries about artifacts and related archival materials were dealt with. The curator helped with television documentary programs for Japanese television and WGBH-Boston and also assisted photographers and authors from Air and Space Smithsonian, W.W. Norton, and Boeing.
There were several accessions this year including a carbon dioxide laser with power supply and two lead-salt diode lasers from General Motors, 50 19th-century thermometers and eight EG&G artifacts (including three electronic flash tubes, three hydrogen thyratrons, a KR-3 Traveling Wave Cathode-Wave Ray Tube, and a DN-11 Neutral DC Relay for testing atomic devices) from Perkin-Elmer Inc. Several artifacts were loaned to the National Building Museum.
The curator lectured to an MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) class of approximately 30 students and supervised one UROP project and an STS graduate student independent study project (fall 2000) as part of the development of the Mind and Hand exhibition.
Education and Outreach
The Museum's monthly family program series, Family Adventures in Science and Technology (F.A.S.T.), and the Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Science Chain Reaction with Arthur Ganson, continued to attract substantial media attention and record numbers of enthusiastic visitors to the Museum. This year, hands-on F.A.S.T. programs were co-developed and generously staffed with students, faculty and researchers from the Departments of Architecture, Chemistry, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Center for Theoretical Physics. Together F.A.S.T. and F.A.T. programs provided high-quality, MIT-centered science and technology experiences to over 4,000 visitors.
The Museum piloted its first ever drop-in vacation programs in the February and Easter vacations with programs on architecture (Build-It) and the Media Lab's Cricket Technology (Invent-It). These were extremely successful, increasing visitor numbers over those periods by 20 percent. The closing of the long-running Hall of Hacks exhibition was marked by Ultimate Hack Week, where visitors cast their votes for the best hack ever—the Harvard-Yale football game won. Other special events included a "Cambridge Kids Free" weekend in January that attracted many local families and a series of special evenings of "Who Wants to Win Just About Anything but a Million Dollars," a spoof on the popular game show, for MIT students.
The Museum's popular school and group programs served over 4,000 students throughout the state and greater New England. Many MIT students continued to help lead these programs, contributing greatly to their success. The Museum's school and group programs have fostered an increase in the diversity of the Museum's audience by successfully extending its reach into communities traditionally underserved by museums. The Museum continued its relationship with the Haggerty Elementary School in Cambridge. As well as several visits to the Museum, the children were involved with the development of Thinkapalooza and took part in the Museum's special event, "Night of the Robots." A small group of local high school science teachers worked with the education co-ordinator to produce an educational handbook associated with the Approaching Chaos exhibition, which will accompany the show when it travels.
FY2001 was a banner year for exhibitions at the Museum. A new interactive zone, Thinkapalooza, opened in the summer of 2000. The area featured exhibits from several MIT departments including Ron MacNeil's virtual "Metafield Maze" that continues to delight and frustrate visitors and a special mural made of Toobers and Zots prepared by children from the Haggerty Elementary School.
On October 25, 2000 Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT opened with record-breaking attendance. This project was a close collaboration with researchers and students from the AI Laboratory at MIT who were involved in all the planning stages and provided many of the stunning robots on display. The show features an inside look at research and experimentation being done on campus including famous MIT robots like Cog and Kismet, the science of artificial limbs, haptic technology and voice recognition systems.
Mind and Hand: The Making of MIT Scientists and Engineers opened on June 7. This, the Museum's core exhibit, explores, from the student perspective, the cultural curiosity that is an MIT education. The hallmarks of that education-disciplined creativity and learning by doing-have driven the educational philosophy at the Institute from 1861 to the present day. From rockets and slide rules, radar and nerd kits, the exhibition features many artifacts from the collections, rare photographs, video and sound recordings and hands-on demonstrations. The planning process involved all parts of the MIT community including alumni/ae, students, faculty, and staff, with many individuals also loaning special items for the show.
The Museum installed three exhibitions in the Compton Gallery. Collaborating with the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Museum produced an exhibition A Fifty-Year Reflection: Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in the fall of 2000. Curated by faculty member Ken Manning the exhibition panels are now hanging in Building 14 as a permanent exhibition on the history of the School. Approaching Chaos, developed by the Museum and funded by NSF, opened in February 2001 and received a great deal of press interest. The exhibition showcases the stunning images of classical and wave chaos by theoretical physicist Eric Heller and is now showing at the Edgerton Explorit Center in Nebraska. The Museum also hosted Beyond Appearances: Imagery in Science at the Millennium in association with the Image and Meaning conference at MIT in June.
Two traveling exhibitions currently offered by the Museum are touring museums throughout the United States: Seeing the Unseen: Photographs by Harold Edgerton and Approaching Chaos.
Development and Commercial Services
Our development efforts during the year were very successful, with $393,659 raised to help fund operating costs, new exhibitions and education programs, and the Architecture and Design, Hart Nautical, and Holography Collections. We appreciated the Organizational Support Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council that enabled us to hire museum facilitators to assist our visitors and enhance their experience of the museum.
The Development Committee in partnership with the chair of the Advisory Board worked diligently to secure gifts totaling $234,650 for the exhibition Mind and Hand: The Making of MIT Scientists and Engineers. Nineteen donors including the Council for the Arts, a corporation, six foundations (the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc. and the David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust among them), and 11 alumni generously contributed to this project. Another 12 donors, including Beacon Skanska Corp., made in-kind gifts of materials and services that were invaluable to the quality of the exhibition.
We were honored to receive several gifts in memory of our late long-time friend and Advisory Board member, Trude Beck, that were used to support public programs for K-12 students, families and adults, a special interest of hers. The Council for the Arts, T. Backer Fund, and John Lednicky '44 OE provided critical funding to enable us to develop new hands-on education programs for a wide audience. Bristol-Myers Squibb joined us in sponsoring the "Who Wants to Win" series of programs for MIT students.
Our collections staff was able to accomplish significant work in rehousing, preserving and cataloging our Architecture and Design and Holography Collections thanks to grants from the Alice Willard Dorr, Marion L. Decrow, Graham, and Shearwater Foundations, the Greentree Fund, and Ralph Stephens.
The Museum made the difficult decision to greatly reduce its retail operations at the end of the year. We were unable to move the store to the first floor as originally planned, and it was not financially viable to continue to run the store in its location on the second floor. Instead the Museum will sell a limited number of items through the new Admissions Desk, which has been designed to display merchandise. The Museum also closed its catalog operation and has entered into an agreement with the MIT COOP who will provide online, telephone and mail ordering for a number of items under the rubric "MIT Museum Collection." The Museum continues to rent its space for special events and functions.
The Museum's Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs Janis Sacco left at the end of February to take up the position of Director of Exhibitions at the Harvard Museums of Natural History. Her replacement, Beryl Rosenthal, started at the Museum in May. Ken Murphy, the assistant manager of the Museum shop left the Museum in March. Jeff Fitzgerald and Cate MacKinnon were promoted to senior visitor services attendants in May as part of the reorganization of the Museum's commercial and visitor services, to reflect their increased job responsibilities.
The Museum's five year strategic plan defines ten strategic objectives for the Museum: to increase participation of the MIT community in the Museum's activities; to improve our services to visitors; to develop new exhibitions and educational programs that effectively communicate the breadth and diversity of MIT activity; to focus on collection development and refinement; to improve documentation and preservation of collections; to collaborate with others to interpret and communicate the Institute's history; to develop the Museum's online presence; to expand and extend the reach of Museum exhibitions and educational programs to new and larger audiences; to diversify the base of the support for the Museum; and to develop the Museum's operating infrastructure to meet the needs generated by growth. The accompanying three-year implementation plan details the following key objectives for FY2002:
- Complete second phase of renovation and reorganization of basement storage areas.
- Plan and begin fundraising for a new education and public programming space in the area vacated by the Museum store.
- Continue development of our web site to become a 'virtual' museum.
- Launch a Museum 'friends' program.
More information about the MIT Museum can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/museum/.
The Museum Loan Network (MLN) facilitates the long-term loan of art and objects of cultural heritage among U.S. institutions as a way to enhance the installations of museums, thus enabling them to better serve their communities. The MLN grant programs help museums respond to the increasing public demand for installations that are relevant to a range of age groups and cultural heritages, and to provide better artistic, cultural, and historical contexts for works on display. The MLN programs have led to the sharing of objects among different types of museums, fostering collaborations between institutions of varying size and discipline throughout the US. Funded and initiated by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, the MLN is administered by MIT's Office of the Arts.
The program continues to expand its emphasis on network building, both through human and technological resources. The MLN's initiative, begun in the fall of 1999, to include a range of objects of cultural heritage previously outside its domain, continues to evolve. This year, the MLN piloted a collaborative program with the American Composers Forum (ACF). This pilot program provides museums with an opportunity to work with composers and create new music for their communities. By bringing new music and the creative energy of composers directly into museums and their communities, the MLN hopes to create new models for interdisciplinary collaboration and enhance the quality of the MLN projects involved in these partnerships. In April 2000, the MLN began a series of convenings on the topic of "The Museum as Catalyst for Interdisciplinary Collaboration." After the first convening in Lexington, KY in April 2000, the MLN hosted two convenings at MIT in October 2000 and June 2001. Leaders from the fields of art history, history, music, dance, theater, philanthropy, art, public television, science, education, libraries, and museums met to grapple with the complex issue of collaboration. The MLN is currently working with the consulting firm Wolf Keens & Co. on a comprehensive on the three convenings which will be distributed in the fall of 2001.
The MLN on-line directory, a practical means of identifying objects of cultural heritage available for long-term loan to eligible museums throughout the U.S., now contains 6,000 objects from 43 institutions. The MLN continues to develop virtual exhibitions on its homepage. Featuring projects made possible by MLN implementation grants and designed in conjunction with MIT's Educational Media Creation Center (EMCC), these virtual tours not only provide visual models for museums to understand how to creatively utilize MLN, but also stimulate public interest in the arts and provide greater access to museums' hidden permanent collections. There are now nine virtual exhibitions on the MLN homepage featuring installations from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Fitchburg Art Museum, Harn Museum of Art, Joslyn Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, Williams College Museum of Art, and University of Kentucky Art Museum.
The MLN continues to work with communications consultant Resnicow/Schroeder who was hired in the fall of 1998 to lead an aggressive press initiative. This year, the MLN and Resnicow/Schroeder have developed a slightly revised communications strategy that emphasizes outcome rather than process. The MLN has been very pleased with the long term results of the initiative which included a feature article in The New York Times on May 2, 2001. In October 2000, the fourth MLN newsletter, Museum Loan Network News 1999-2000 was printed at a run of 5,000 copies and distributed at museum conferences and by mail. This issue prominently featured the programming aspect of MLN-funded projects to highlight the new outcome-based emphasis. In February 2001, the MLN sent out a New Year's card listing all the MLN grantees and designed to indicate how wide its reach has been within its first five years. The MLN has continued to periodically send out postcards of selected objects from the MLN Directory. The intent of the postcards is to promote the Directory and encourage museums to check it periodically for new additions. The last postcard, sent in April 2001, featured a Barkeepers Vest from the Museum of American Political Life. The MLN Director and/or Program Associates attended and/or lectured about the program and related museum issues at the following annual meetings: the American Association of Museums Meeting, St. Louis; the Grantmakers in the Arts annual conference, Minneapolis; the combined American Association for State and Local History and Louisiana State Museums conference as well as the New England Museums Association annual meeting. The MLN was also represented by a booth at most of the above-mentioned conferences.
The MLN awards three types of grants to eligible nonprofit institutions in the U.S.: travel grants, survey grants, and implementation grants. At the February 2001 and June 2001 Advisory Committee meeting held at MIT, 43 grants totaling $848,962 were recommended for approval by MIT for funding to museums throughout the country. These awards will facilitate the sharing of diverse types of objects such as photographs, decorative arts, furniture, machinery, musical instruments, sculptures, and paintings among museums of differing disciplines ranging from historical societies to natural history museums to culturally-specific institutions to art museums. Survey grants include a variety of objects that will be added to the MLN directory, including American folk art from the Huntington Museum, WV; African American objects from the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American Studies, DC; contemporary Indian art from the Peabody Essex Museum, MA; Jewish art objects and artifacts from the Yeshiva Museum, NY; and musical instruments from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Travel grants were awarded to the Pueblo of Jemez Museum of History and Culture, NM; the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, TX; and The Newark Museum, NJ, among others. Implementation grants were awarded to such diverse institutions as the Museum of the New South, NC; the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas; the Seattle Art Museum, WA; and the Western Heritage Center, MT.
The MLN will continue to explore new collaborative relationships (modeled on the ACF pilot partnership begun this year) to ensure its relevance to museums and their communities. The MLN Sustainability Plan, compiled last summer by Lucinda Barnes of Museum Management Consultants, sought to assess the long-term sustainability of the program and to provide perspectives into continued fundraising options. The sustainability plan would allow the MLN to change and grow in order to meet the demands of changes in society, technological advancements, and museum culture. In the coming year, the MLN will be seeking new funding sources to ensure its long-term viability.
Ginger Hargett, administrative assistant, was hired in September 2000.
More information about the MLN can be found online at http://loanet.mit.edu.
Council for the Arts
The Council for the Arts increased its programs this year, offering several small-scale events in other cities. The council had another record-breaking fundraising year, in both the percentage of members who contributed as well as amount raised.
Magda Fernandez, formerly of the List Visual Arts Center, joined the council staff as senior office assistant on August 1, 2000.
Council Standing Committees
The 28th Annual Meeting of the Council for the Arts at MIT, chaired by Dorothea Endicott, took place on October 26 and 27, 2000, and was focused on music. Attendees were treated to a visit to the Piano Lab, led by Professor Jeanne Bamberger, a tour of the Music Library led by Music Librarian Peter Munstedt, and a performance by the Festival Jazz Ensemble, led by Frederick Harris of the Music Section.
The Annual Meeting dinner was held on Thursday evening, October 26, at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, at which time the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts was presented to The CORE Ensemble (see Special Programs, below).
The Friday morning business meeting began with an address by Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Philip Khoury, who spoke about the School's recent 50th Anniversary celebration. Introductions of and remarks from the new Chairman of the Council, Dorothea Endicott and new Vice-chair Stephen Memishian '70 followed. MIT Lecturer in Music George Ruckert and MIT student Kathak dancers offered a wonderful lecture-demonstration on Indian Music and Dance at MIT.
Martin Marks, senior lecturer, Music Section offered a presentation on his area of expertise, film music, and students from the MIT Symphony Orchestra spoke about their extremely successful European Tour, which was funded in part by the council. Finally, Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody gave his annual State of the Arts address, at which outgoing Chairman Martin Rosen was warmly thanked for his service.
The Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize was presented to Professor Marcus Thompson (see Special Programs below) at the Annual Meeting luncheon on Friday, October 28 at the Faculty Club.
The Arts Scholars Committee (Brit d'Arbeloff, chair), the newest of the council's programs, continues to experience "growing pains" as members of the committee and council staff work to create the appropriate environment for the development of a community of student artists. This year the program got off to a very promising start with an event at the List Visual Arts Center, where Curator Bill Arning and Director Jane Farver gave those assembled a special tour of the Student Loan Collection. Other highlights include attending a performance by Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet of Glass's new score to the 1933 film Dracula at Boston's Orpheum Theater, and attending the premiere of the film Wish You Were Here by Council Scholar Kevin Choi '01.
The Communications Committee (Pepi Weis, chair) produced three issues of the council newsletter, Council Currents this year, to great success. Council Currents is written by council members, for council members.
The Development Committee (Daniel Vershbow '45, chair) solicited unrestricted contributions averaging $4,075 from 85 council members as of 7/11/01. Five non-member donors contributed unrestricted gifts averaging $2,002. The total raised for the year (as of 7/11/01) was $356,425.
The Grants Committee (Bradford M. Endicott '49, chair) awarded a total of $80,320 in the form of 44 grants. Highlights include support for a residency by Gardzienice theater troupe from Poland, support for a film festival featuring the work of Native American women, and the visit of composer Roger Reynolds.
The Membership Committee (Bernard G. Palitz '47, chair) reported that as of July 2001 council membership stands at 107, with five ex officio members and 102 regular members. The following new members have joined the ranks of the council since last July: E. Verner Johnson '60, Robert Schaffer '80, and John Paul Isaacson '69.
The Special Events Committee (Catherine N. Stratton, chair) reported that on October 6, 2000, the Council co-sponsored with the MIT Alumni Club of Chicago, a small event in Chicago. Held at the law firm of Council Member Michael Rechtin '79, the council imported the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble Combo, a group of five students who performed for a gathering of about 30 MIT alumni/ae. Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody introduced the group and spoke briefly about the Arts at MIT and the council.
On February 27, 2001, the council sponsored an event in Greenwich, CT at the Bruce Museum. World-renowned cellist and MIT alumnus Carlos Prieto '58, performed for the group.
The Council for the Arts enjoyed a "mini-excursion" on June 11 and 12, 2001 in Washington, DC. Approximately 22 members and friends attended. Highlights included tours of WPA murals in the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice, and the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State. The event concluded with a gala dinner at the Kennedy Center with 200 members of the MIT Alumni Club of Washington, DC, where guests were entertained by the MIT student group, the Festival Jazz Ensemble combo, and heard a speech by Michael Kaiser, MIT Sloan School class of 1977 and newly-appointed head of the Kennedy Center.
List Visual Arts Center (LVAC) Advisory Board (Kitty Glantz, chair) continues to be a valuable group of advisors to the LVAC Director, Jane Farver.
The MIT Museum Advisory Board (Harvey I. Steinberg '54, chair) continues to be a strong group of advisors to the Museum Director, Jane Pickering. This spring the renovation of the Museum façade was unveiled, and Mind and Hand and the new permanent exhibition exploring the concept of "the MIT education" opened.
The Artist-in-Residence Committee (Stephen Memishian '70, chair) is organized along the lines of the MIT Museum and LVAC Boards described above. This committee works with MIT Office of the Arts Director of Special Programs Maureen Costello and a panel of arts professionals, council members and artists to bring artists to the MIT campus to work throughout the Institute.
Since 1980, the council has underwritten MIT's enrollment in the University Membership Program offered by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This program provides free admission and discount benefits to all MIT undergraduate and graduate students, as well as ten membership cards for the daily use of MIT faculty and staff.
The free-ticket program with the Boston Symphony Orchestra continued this year. MIT students can obtain, with their student ID, free admittance to Thursday evening and Friday afternoon concerts on a day-of-show, stand-by basis. The success of this unique program continues unabated.
The successful Student Performing Arts Excursions Series continued, with tickets to the following events made available at no charge to MIT students: Amphytrion at the Huntington Theater, the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe, the Bale Folclorico de Bahia, The Water Engine by David Mamet, Richard II by William Shakespeare, Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, and performances by the Boston Early Music festival, the New York Collegium, Collage New Music, the Handel and Hadyn Society and a concert by the Charles Mingus Orchestra.
The Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize was presented by Angus MacDonald to Professor Marcus Thompson at the Annual Meeting luncheon on Friday, Oct. 27. At the Annual Meeting dinner at the Charles Hotel, the Eugene McDermott Award was presented by Dorothea Endicott (McDermott Award Committee chair) to the CORE Ensemble, an innovative chamber group.
At the Institute Awards Convocation on May 14, Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody presented the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Awards to Laurel P. Smith (G) for music, Anand Sarwate '01 for Theater and Music, and Dawn Perlner '01 for music. The Louis Sudler Prize was presented to Thomas Lada '01 for his accomplishments in music.
More information about the Council for the Arts can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/arts/camit.all.html
In the 12th year of the Office of the Arts, Arts Communication continued to maintain and increase awareness of the arts at MIT both within and outside of the Institute by publishing and distributing up-to-date information on MIT arts events and exhibitions; actively promoting arts-related activities, programs and people at MIT; and working with the Admissions Office to inform prospective students about the arts at MIT. Significant developments included the publication of a new arts brochure, work also began on the writing, design and programming of a new "arts at MIT" web site.
Internal (MIT) Activities
A new MIT arts brochure, aimed at student recruitment but usable as well for fundraising and general public relations purposes, was released and distributed both on- and off- campus.
Mary Haller, director of Arts Communication and David Freilach of the List Visual Arts Center presented a one-session class during MIT's Independent Activities Period entitled, "Getting the Word Out: Publicizing Your MIT Arts Programs and Events."
Administrative Staff Assistant Lynn Heinemann worked with the staff of Information Systems during the fine-tuning and tweaking of MIT's official electronic events calendar-joining the team for consultations on structure and design, while overseeing and maintaining arts listings.
Heinemann maintained and publicized arts events on MIT's electronic web-based Events Calendar and maintained the current web site for the arts at MIT, updating calendar listings, publishing each week's Tech Talk arts stories and creating new links as required. The LED sign in Building 16 continues to generate attention with announcements of MIT's schedule of arts events and activities, written and programmed by Heinemann.
Arts Communication continued to oversee ArtsNet, which consists of about 90 campus arts representatives, the "Arts at MIT" bulletin board in Lobby Seven and the weekly "Arts Hotline" (617-253-ARTS).
Haller represented the arts as a member of the Communications Operations Group (COG) and Information Group.
Student Recruitment and Communication
For the sixth year, MIT's admission application included tear-out postcards for prospective students to use to request information on the arts at MIT and indicate specific arts interests. Postcards and email responses were received from 1,178 individuals and a copy of the new Arts@MIT booklet and a "freebie" flyer were sent to each with a letter from Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody.
Arts brochures and event calendars were made available to prospective students who attended Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) with their families. Haller discussed the arts at MIT as part of CPW's 11-member Student Life Panel, which was attended by approximately 300 parents.
Tech Talk Coverage
For the 12th year, Arts Communication provided text and images for the weekly Arts Page in Tech Talk. Material for 21 feature Arts Pages and eight Month-at-a-Glance Arts Pages (including two two-pagers) were compiled and written by Heinemann, edited by Haller. Haller attended weekly News Office meetings and both she and Heinemann continued to work closely with its staff. Arts Page stories were posted on the World Wide Web. Copies of the Month-at-a-Glance Arts Page were mailed monthly to 594 individuals at their request.
Nineteen feature arts-related stories and 10 arts-related photos-with-captions were published in Tech Talk's general spaces, including two arts stories and three arts photo-captions on the front page. Activities and individuals involved in arts were cited five times in the "Awards & Honors" column and once in "Here & There." Heinemann was the primary writer; other contributors included Haller, members of the News Office staff and members of the MIT arts community.
Selected Media Attention
The following are some of the people and projects across the Institute who received external media attention through press releases and publicity efforts initiated by Arts Communication:
- The 50th anniversary of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the addition of the word "Arts" to its name;
- The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT)'s presentation of McDermott and Kepes Awards to The CORE Ensemble and Marcus Thompson, respectively;
- Arnold Dreyblatt's concert at MIT;
- The CORE Ensemble's presentation of Tres Vidas at MIT;
- Alumnus Gus Solomons' Lecture-demonstration at MIT; and
- MIT's involvement in the 2001 Boston CyberArts Festival.
Other National Attention
The MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players made an appearance on national television-as an answer on the October 17 broadcast of the game show "Jeopardy." The clue, "This Cambridge engineering school has a Gilbert and Sullivan Players group" was correctly answered, "What is MIT?"
The Lyric Opera of Chicago's staging of Professor John Harbison's revision of his opera The Great Gatsby received positive reviews. The Chicago Sun-Times' Wynne Delacoma wrote, "watching Lyric's tightly paced, beautifully polished production, it was clear that Harbison's "Gatsby" is, at its core, an intimate tale. If we surrender our expectations for grand scale and follow Harbison into its moody, quiet heart, we will find an atmospheric universe where hopes and disappointments are as piercing yet evanescent as the coastal fog off Long Island." John von Rhein of The Chicago Tribune said that "Harbison, working from his own ingenious libretto, has met the challenge with great flair, creating not a pale imitation of the novel but a worthy, independent work of art." Revisiting the work, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe noted that Harbison's Gatsby "may be the most musically sophisticated opera ever written by an American composer, and some of the score haunts the memory and the imagination."
The unlikely technological pairing of film's earliest silent format with DVD, the latest in home entertainment systems proved to be a boon for Senior Lecturer Martin Marks. He composed the music and written the notes for 50 newly-restored silent films included in the National Film Preservation Foundation's set of four DVDs-"Treasures of American Film Archives"-which was called the "best set of the year" by Peter M. Nichols of the New York Times.
The National Society of Professional Engineers has a web site pointing to engineering marvels to check out while touring the U.S. Alexander Calder's The Great Sail ("La Grande Voile"), located in McDermott Court, is one of four listings for Massachusetts on the NSPE's new "Sightseer's Guide to Engineering" site.
The Museum Loan Network was praised for "Sharing Buried Treasure Via a Network" in the New York Times
Joe Davis, research affiliate in the Department of Biology, found renown in major publications and broadcasts. Scientific American (April 2001) published a profile titled, "Art as a Form of Life," in which writer W. Wayt Gibbs states,"Genetic artist Joe Davis has made more copies of his work than have all prior artists combined. But there's not much of a market for artworks embedded in bacterial genomes." The Washington Post has also featured the former Center for Advanced Visual Studies fellow (1982-92), calling him the "éminence grise of the 'bioart' movement." Pamela Ferdinand wrote, "Davis eschews the art versus science argument, insisting that he speaks both languages and could not possibly tear the two disciplines apart in his own mind." Ms. Ferdinand also states that collaborations between artists and scientists "give artists access to technical expertise, sophisticated resources and expensive technology," adding that "For scientists, an unorthodox presence in otherwise protocol-ridden environments can lead to new ways of approaching tasks." ABC's "Nightline" came to MIT to film Mr. Davis in his laboratory, for a story to be broadcast this summer.
Other Local Attention
Major coverage for the ongoing construction of Frank O. Gehry Associates' new Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences. Improper Bostonian named it "Boston's Best 2000 Architectural Project" in the July 26-August 8 issue. The magazine states, "The architectural model looks like something you'd see on a science-fiction movie set, an almost comical conglomeration of dissimilar forms... It promises to be wacky and wonderful. We can't wait."
A Boston Globe feature (May 20) on Boston's building boom and the emergence of "brand-name architects" featured three MIT projects: Fumihiko Maki's Media Lab addition, Kevin Roche's Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center and Gehry's Stata Center.
The List Visual Arts Center's Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s was called a "richly textured, immensely thoughtful, historically important exhibit" by Christopher Millis for the Boston Phoenix, while the Boston Herald's Mary Sherman noted, "to be confronted with so many thoughtful investigations into the nature of art, is a valid exercise, worthy of an institution like MIT and its fertile environment for continued discourse, the greater Boston arena."
List Visual Arts Center's new curator Bill Arning made a local media splash with major features and interviews linked to his debut show, Inside Space: Experiments in Redefining Rooms.
The closing of the MIT Museum's MIT Hall of Hacks received major attention in the local media and MIT's brand of practical joking was covered on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, in a March 25 story about these "diabolical pranks" featuring an interview with Assistant Safety Officer David Barber, who is in charge of dismantling the hacks from MIT's rooftops and precipices.
MIT's Artists-Behind-the-Desk exhibition, concerts and literary arts series were covered by local newspapers and media: WCVB's (Channel 5) early morning news (January 24) included a report from newscaster Ed Harding featuring the ABD graphic displayed behind the anchor desk; The Boston Globe Calendar Section featured the exhibition as a "Cheap Thrill" and WBZ radio interviewed Mindy Baughman, administrative assistant in Materials Science and Engineering who served as curator and artist coordinator for "New England Weekend" (January 21).
The MIT Musical Theatre Guild's Summer 2000 production of Return to the Forbidden Planet rated a featurein the Boston Globe's "Go!" Column (August 31) which wrote, "Our eyes moistened when we saw that the wonderfully demented souls at the MIT Theater Guild [sic] are producing Return to the Forbidden Planet" and the Globe's David Wildman wrote a "Pulse" feature-complete with a photo-about the MIT production.
Avant-garde trumpeter Rajesh Mehta's return to his alma mater was the subject of a feature story in the Boston Globe's "Jazz Notes" column (April 20). The feature was followed by a rave review (April 28) for the Raj Mehta/Paul Lovens concert, which the Globe called a "sonic sundae."
MIT's Artists in Residence were interviewed by the Boston Globe for question-and-answer columns. Diane Willow was featured in a "Job Explainer" column (April 29) and Arthur Ganson was questioned on his inventiveness and sources of inspiration (May 20).
Stories on the Boston CyberArts Festival featured major coverage of MIT components including performances of Professor Tod Machover's Hyperstring Trilogy and Forever and Ever; the DeCordova Museum's Flights of Fantasy, created by Principal Research Associate Glorianna Davenport and Media Lab students; and digital installations at MIT's List Visual Arts Center.
More information about the Office of the Arts can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/arts/.
Special Programs began its 11th year of developing diverse programs with MIT departments. Music residencies with Gunther Schuller, Arnold Dreyblatt and Raj Mehta and Paul Lovens were particularly significant.
The interdepartmental storytelling and web design program with Ellen Zweig tested new modes of web interaction between students and the persona of "Lucy Anna Morel."
Artist in Residence Advisory Board
In its fourth year, the Advisory Board, under the leadership of Steve Memishian (G) '70 welcomed new membership and reviewed the viability of its five year plan and heard from Glenn Billingsley, development officer for the Arts about the complexity of raising support. Associate Director of the Media Laboratory Professor John Maeda also spoke to the board and described a most unique process of community building through groups like the Model Railroad Builder's Club. The Board was presented with 2001-2002 artists and advised on upcoming artists and programs for the coming year.
Artist in Residence Advisory Board Subcommittee
A subcommittee met to consider the artist's participation in the celebration of the tenth year of the Residency Program. A short list of artists was made and a much discussion around artists working with students developed into a viable program idea.
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Three Music Section residencies were implemented over the course of the year. Fred Harris marked Gunther Schuller's 75 years with a celebratory program; Professor Evan Ziporyn guided Arnold Dreyblatt's IAP Program of working with students, visual arts discussions and public performance and Lecturer Mark Harvey facilitated Raj Mehta's '86 and Paul Lovens' music presence on campus. Each of these Residencies involved the artists working closely with students in courses, workshops, ensembles and public performances.
The Women Studies Program, with Office of the Arts support presented "The Contemporary Arts of Africa" and invited writer and filmmaker Anne Laure Folly and Veronique Tadjo and author Tsi Tsi Dangaremba. A series of discussions and films were well moderated and attended.
Ellen Zweig, with support from the Ida Ely Rubin Fund returned to MIT to materialize The Electric Travels of Lucy Anna Morel. A group of undergraduate and graduate students worked with Ms. Zweig during the fall semester by bringing in personal electronic elements and objects to test Lucy's inquisitive mind and ultimately to decide her fate.
The 2000 McDermott Awardee, Core Ensemble, rehearsed and presented Tres Vidas a bilingual musical theater piece about the lives of painter Frida Kahlo, activist Rufina Amaya, and poet and activist Alfonsina Storni. Three Spanish language classes attended the program. Their lead actress, Georgina Corbo worked on acting technique with the Theater Section.
In collaboration with Dance Umbrella, and with MIT support from the Alan W. Katzenstein Memorial Fund, Bill Shannon, a.k.a. The Crutchmaster, offered insights on hip hop and living with a disability. With a wry sense of humor, he bedazzled us with his live and filmed skateboard movements.
The Robert Muh Award was given to alumnus Gus Solomons, choreographer and writer during the 50th Anniversary of the SHASS in October. Mr. Solomons returned to MIT for a Spring Residency attended by Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Muh. Mr. Solomons was awarded a plaque of excellence by Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody.
School of Architecture
Diane Willow, sound and environmental artist, completed her second year as Artist in Residence in collaboration with Professor Mitchell Resnick of the Epistemology and Learning Group of the Media Laboratory. SEAt was dismantled and moved to storage in Somerville while new installation locations were sought. Ms. Willow conducted a successful IAP Program and worked with several groups of students during this past year. She continued the leaf animation development of The Arbor. Development trips were made to Japan, Ireland, California, and Maryland.
Diller & Scofidio, 1999 McDermott Award Recipients and interdisciplinary architects, participated in architecture studio visits and discussed The Blur Building in "Non-Sequiturs" the Architecture Lecture Series. They also worked with the Theater Section in a specially convened course.
School of Engineering
Kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson worked with and visited many individual students and groups at MIT. He has been particularly inspired by the research at the Artificial Intelligence labs.
Felice Frankel, a science photographer based in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in partnership with Boyce Rensberger, director of the Knight Fellowship, conducted a conference on "Image and Meaning: Communicating Science and Tecnhology" from June 14-17. A photographic exhibition of work in the Sala de Puerto Rico inspired attendees to confront the importance of creating compelling images to make science accessible to any audience.
The LIST Fellowship Program in the Arts
The List Foundation Fellowship Program in the Arts for Students of Color continued with new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Kevin Choi '01 screened Wish You Were Here: A Video Documentary on coming of age and self discovery filmed during Mr. Choi's recent travels in Europe, where he creatively examined his gay and Chinese identities.
Helen Lee '00 displayed Blanket, a mixed media installation of hand blown glass bones, strung and woven into a blanket. Ms. Lee presented two gallery talks about the evolution of Chinese naming practices, her grandmother's death and her substantial interest in glassblowing.
Two fellowships were awarded: to Talia Kingsbury '01, mechanical engineering and creative writing, for the development of an interactive digital narrative titled Origines/Destinations; and to Vince E. Carballo '02, mechanical engineering, to develop a mixed media installation titled Lost Sons. Both projects will be completed in November 2001.
Plans were begun for a tenth year celebration.
Five year participation on The Committee on Campus Race Relations and Subcommittee for RACE 2000! and RACE: The Future! ended in December 2000. A substantial history of race relations programming was left to the Committee and Subcommittee.
More information about Special Programs in the Office of the Arts can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/arts/specprogrs.all.html.