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.


Fellow Hisham Bizri produced a multiscreen video projection installation entitled Vertices: Beirut-Dublin-Seoul, and continued with Olees, an ongoing digital film. In July he is leaving MIT for a tenure track, assistant professor position in the Fine Arts Department of the University of California–Davis, where he has also been appointed head of Time-Based Arts.

The Suntory, the Sogo, and the Hokkaido Museums in Japan each held exhibitions by Fellow Naoko Tosa. The L'Oreal Art and Science Foundation awarded her the L'Oreal Prize Workshop in Kyoto.

Fellow Ioannis Michaloudis, a Fulbright scholar, is exploring new sculpturalmedia such as the application of the lightest solid in the world to create floating air sculptures and the use of high-power CO2 infrared lasers for the construction of an invisible container in order to create a cubic cloud. Project (Nephele)3 was first presented at the Sky Art 2002 Conference at the European Cultural Center in Delphi and Ikaria, Greece.

Fellow Seth Riskin presented his "Light Dance" at the Sonic Light 2003 Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam, Holland, and at the Sky Art 2002 Conference in Delphi and Ikaria, Greece.

Fellow Elizabeth Goldring presented "E Y E," an exhibition of Retina Prints and Poems at the Compton Gallery at MIT as well as at the Brodigan Gallery at Groton School. The MIT exhibition was sponsored by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the MIT Museum, and CAVS. She also held a poetry reading at the Public Library in Kansas City during National Poetry Month. Ms. Goldring received NASA funding to research the effectiveness of a "seeing machine" designed to help people with macular degeneration.

Director emeritus Otto Piene received the UNESCO Joan Miro Medal, a life achievement award, in May 2003. His work appeared in 22 rooms in the historic Stone Bell House, part of the City Gallery of Prague, and also at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Siegen, Germany.

Professor of media arts and sciences Stephen Benton stepped down as director of CAVS on June 30, 2003. Professor of architecture Krysztof Wodiczko has been appointed the new director.

Educational Activities

Glorianna Davenport and Steve Benton conducted a fall-term seminar series at CAVS. The subject, entitled MAS.878 Experiences in Interactive Expression, brought the artists Cory Arcangel, Marc Downie, Yael Kanarek, Bill Seaman, Grahame Weinbren, and Jonah Bruckner-Cohen to MIT for a day of discussions with students, fellows, and faculty. At the end of the fall semester, an exhibition of student-produced interactive installations was presented at CAVS.

A total of 17 MIT students joined CAVS as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program during this year.


The Sky Art Conference 2002 was held October 15–19 in Delphi, Greece, and on the Greek island of Ikaria. The conference was organized by CAVS in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Foundation for Hellenic Culture, and the European Cultural Center of Delphi. Conference chairs were Professor Otto Piene, director emeritus of CAVS, and Fellow Elizabeth Goldring. Thirty-five participants from 10 countries presented work and shared knowledge and ideas expressing and defining the atmosphere and the cosmos—sky and space—and human aspirations relative to sky and space. Presenters were well-known sky and space artists and scientists who have made important contributions to the field. A two-day program of presentations and events at the European Cultural Center of Delphi was followed by workshops and events given by participants on Ikaria.

S. A. Benton
Allen Professor of Media Arts and Sciences

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


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