MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


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 presented his "Bunker Hill Project," in which vivid accounts by close family members of death and violence in Charlestown, Massachusetts, were projected during three evenings on the Bunker Hill monument. Professor Stephen A. Benton received the Saxby Medal from the Royal Photographic Society (UK), acknowledging his work in the medium of holography. Gloria Brown-Simmons finished a NASA-sponsored research program on "creative visualization" as a tool to permit artists to use scientific data as a starting point for interactive aesthetic explorations.

Professors Glorianna Davenport and Stephen Benton (Program in Media Arts & Sciences) conducted a weekly seminar series in the CAVS conference room. The subject, entitled "MAS 879: Experiences in Interactive Expression," brought such artists as Michael Naimark, Karl Sims, Bill Seaman, Myron Krueger, Laura Knott, Peter D'Agostino, Rachel Strickland, and Jim Campbell 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 five MIT students joined the CAVS as UROPs and Research Assistants during this year.

Planning began for new CAVS facilities which will be housed in the building being designed by Fumihiko Maki, to be sited alongside the Wiesner Building.

James R. Cain joined the CAVS staff as manager of computational resources.

Senior Fellow Paul Earls died of heart failure on September 7, 1998. Earls had been a Fellow at CAVS since 1970, and was internationally recognized for his compositions of music enhanced with lasers and other electronic effects.

Professor Jeffrey Kulick, of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, was a visitor at the 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 1998-99