ACT Inauguration

ACT 2010 Inauguration

Over 200 people turned out to celebrate the inauguration of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) April 15.   The new program is the result of a merger of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the MIT Visual Arts Program. The Inaugural events were held in two adjacent buildings: the Wiesner building and the newly-dedicated Medial Lab Complex building.  The Media Lab Complex building was designed by Fumihiko Maki and the Wiesner Building was designed by I.M.Pei. The Wiesner is already home to the List Visual Art Center and MIT’s Office for the Arts. The move of ACT to its new location unites various art related entities under one roof.

The Inaugural Events

The day’s events began with the ACT graduate student exhibition Something like a proposition.  Later in the afternoon, a vigorous “Pecha Kucha” slideshow in Bartos Theater provided a whirlwind tour of the work of current ACT affiliates.  This was followed by a demonstration by ACT Senior Professor Joan Jonas in “the Cube.” Jonas is a pioneer in video and performance art whose work continues to have an important impact.  

The evening reception was hosted by School of Architecture and Planning Dean Adèle Naudé Santos.  Previous directors of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and of the MIT Visual Arts Program discussed the significance of the merger: Otto Piene, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Dennis Adams, Ute Meta Bauer—all of whom had help shape the arts at MIT. 

At the reception, Juliet Kepes Stone presented the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize to ACT Professor Joan Jonas on behalf of the Council for the Arts at MIT.  The prize is presented annually to a member of the MIT community who has demonstrated excellence in the creative arts.