MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) offers a teaching and research environment that fosters collaborations between artists, scientists, and technologists. These are typically built around art projects undertaken by resident Fellows, who also conduct seminars and supervise undergraduate participation. An emerging mission of the CAVS is the exploration of the digital arts as a common ground for large-scale collaborative projects.

Stephen A. Benton, E. Rudge (`48) and Nancy Allen Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, became Director of the CAVS on July 1, 1996, succeeding Prof. Krzysztof Wodiczko. Prof. Benton has been affiliated with the Center since 1977, and has collaborated with several Fellows in the area of holographic art. He also directs the Spatial Imaging Group at the Media Laboratory, and teaches in the Media Arts and Sciences academic program.

Planning for new quarters for the CAVS were undertaken with the advice of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, of Essex, Connecticut, and renovations have begun on the third floor of Building N52 for occupancy in Fall 1998. Comprehensive digital arts facilities will be installed there as a basis for new work at the Center.

An extensive collaboration with the Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade, of Lisbon, Portugal, and conferences with present and former Fellows of the Center resulted in an extensive proposal to the management of Expo'98 (Lisbon) for a stand-alone public art exhibition for presentation next summer at Expo'98. The overall theme of Expo'98 is "Oceans, a heritage for the future," for which the CAVS is proposing an immersive computer-graphic display of "data art" relating to the oceans. Further development with the USIA (the USA pavilion management) and NASA (for satellite data visualization) is currently underway.

The Center was particularly well represented at the October, 1996, "Holographic Network" art & science conference at the Academie der Künste, Berlin, Germany, by invited presentations by Prof. Benton, Prof. Emeritus Piene (keynote lecturer), Senior Fellows Elizabeth Goldring and Paul Earls, and Affiliate Seth Riskin.

Activities of Fellows during 1996-97 included:

Activities of Center Affiliates during 1996-97 included:

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

Stephen A. Benton

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97