mit program in art, culture and technology
The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) operates as a critical production- and education-based laboratory within the context of an advanced technological community. The program explores the role of art in society and considers artistic methodology and practice as knowledge production and distribution. Investigations and artistic research are realized through performance, sound and video, photography, interrogative design, as well as through experimental media and new genres. The program also emphasizes art that engages public spheres, the production of space, networked cultures and participatory media, and questions related to the environment, gender, and social stratification. Extra-curricular activities include a cross-disciplinary lecture series, field trips, workshops, studio visits, and public presentations.
research. ACT is a research center that advances artist-thinkers’ exploration of art’s broad, complex, and global history and its relation to culture, science, technology, and design via rigorous, critical artistic practice and practice-driven theory. This exploration occurs in the program’s academic offerings and the research of faculty, fellows, and guests in individual and collaborative forms and media including cinema, video, sound, performance, photography, experimental media and new genres, conceptual, sculptural, and spatial experiments, and writings and publications.
academic program. ACT as an academic program continues the work of its predecessor, the Visual Arts Program (VAP) founded in 1989 by artist Ed Levine, and resides within the Department of Architecture. The Architecture Department oversees ACT, including faculty appointments and promotions, the administration of the graduate program and the graduate admissions process. ACT also supports the undergraduate education curriculum of the Institute, offering GIR classes in art, HASS required and elective subjects in art, and offering a HASS Concentration and Minor. The program also offers electives for the Master of Architecture (MArch) program and conducts its own highly selective graduate program, the Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology (previously SMVisS degree).
act courses have a strong focus on:
- Dialogues in art, architecture, urbanism, and the production of space
- Interventions in public spaces and the development of anti-monuments and new instruments of collective memory
- Interrogative design, body wear and nomadic devices
- Interfaces between visual art practices, the performative and the sonic
- Experiments with truth – using photographic and time-based media to blur conventional boundaries between documentary and fiction
- Art and Science / Science and Art – research-based artistic practices
Courses are taught by renowned practicing artists working in an international arena. The Program offers a variety of introductory courses to the general MIT student population, as well as courses tailored to undergraduates majoring in architecture. Advanced courses related to specific media and topics are offered as electives for both undergraduate and graduate students.