Center for Advanced Visual Studies

The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) is an art-based laboratory for collaborations between artists, scientists, and technologists. These collaborations 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.

Activities of Fellows and Affiliated Faculty

Fellow Hisham Bizri's film City of Brass was selected for screening at the Museum of Modern Art and the Milan International Film Festival. With seven of his students, he was invited to FIPA, an audio-visual festival in Biarritz, France, where they created a piece entitled Scent.

Visiting Fellow Kelly Heaton won the 2001 L'Oreal Prize in the Art and Science of Color, for her MIT thesis project "Physical Pixels." She was also one of ten New England artists selected to participate in the 2001 Annual Exhibition at the DeCordova Museum, presenting her installation entitled "Reflection Loop."

Fellows Elizabeth Goldring and Seth Riskin received a grant from the MIT Council for the Arts in support of a video production of their "Eye Dance" collaborative piece. Seth Riskin performed "Eye Dance" in five venues during the year, and was also named an artist-in-residence at the Center for Holographic Arts, NY, NY.

Director Emeritus Otto Piene was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the new 24-Hour-Kuntsmuseum in Celle, Germany. At CAVS, he is organizing center documentation for 1968 to 1994, and making preparations for a Sky Art Conference in 2002.

Educational Activities

Glorianna Davenport and Steve Benton conducted a weekly seminar series in the CAVS conference space. The subject, entitled MAS.878 Experiences in Interactive Expression, brought the artists Ken Goldberg, Jack Ox, Christa Sommerer, Tetsuro Fukuhara, and Christian Boustiani to MIT for a day of discussions with students and faculty. At the end of the fall semester, an exhibition of student-produced interactive installations was presented at CAVS.

Stephen Pieper, Bruce Blumberg, Glorianna Davenport, and Steve Benton introduced a new course, MAS.877: Special Effects for New Cinema, for the spring term. Guest lectures by art-science-technology researchers enriched a curriculum of digital image processing techniques and projects.

Fellow Hisham Bizri conducted a new weekly seminar, MAS.879 Narrative and Central Conflict Theory, with undergraduate and graduate students.

A total of eight MIT students joined the CAVS as UROPs during this year.


The Japanese artist Naoko Tosa was a Visiting Professor for half of the year, and plans to return next year as a Fellow. Kelly B. Heaton joined us as a Visiting Fellow for the year. Hisham Bizri continued in his second year as a Fellow.

S. A. Benton

More information about the Center for Advanced Visual Studies can be found online at

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