ACT Director 2015 - 2017

Gediminas Urbonas is director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, associate professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture, and co-founder with Nomeda Urbonas of Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary research practice that advocates for the reclamation of public space, stimulating cultural and political imagination as tools for social change. Combining new and old media, their work frequently involves collective activities contributing to the cross-disciplinary exchange between several nodes of knowledge production: network and participatory technologies; sensorial media and public space; environmental remediation design and spatial organization; and alternative planning design integration. They also collaborate with experts in different cultural fields to develop practice-based artistic research models that allow participants—including their students—to pursue projects that merge urbanism, new media, social sciences and pedagogy to critically address the transformation of civic space.

Recent work includes Uto-Pia (commission for European Capital of Culture, 2011), a research project working with experimental media and communication techniques to map heterotopias of dysfunctional infrastructures, and to address and respond to the environmental damage left by the industrial and military interventions in the Turku archipelago of the Baltic Sea. River Runs, with Oxford Brookes University (UK), investigated the riparian territory of the river culture and initiated new dialogues which examined past, present and future interventions to the Charles River and its biosphere, and developed models for river structures that link it to citizenship, quality of life or artistic fiction through a residency and project along the Thames River. (Modern Art Oxford Museum, 2012.) (In)dependent People is a project for the Reykjavík Arts Festival to investigate collaborations, artists initiatives, and the illusive territory around authorship. Including collaborations with local communities in Reykjavík, and with students in a studio-based course, it culminated in a tactical media project linked to local Cold War sites. (Icelandic National Art Museum and Reykjavik City Art Museum, 2012.)

Urbonas’ socially engaged and technology based practice has been exhibited at the San Paulo, Berlin, Moscow, Lyon and Gwangju Biennales; the Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions; and solo shows at the Venice Biennale and MACBA in Barcelona. Their work was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize (2007), Prize for the Best International Artist at the Gwangju Biennale (2006), a fellowship at the Montalvo Arts Center in California (2007/08), nominated for the Nam June Paik Award (2012), and the Special Prize for the best national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007).

Urbonas is also co-founder of the Transaction Archive and co-director of the Pro-test Lab Archive. His writing on artistic research as a form of intervention in social and political crisis was published in the books Devices for Action (2008) by MACBA Press, and Barcelona and Villa Lituania (2008) by Sternberg Press. Their book on river cultures is in preparation by Modern Art Oxford (forthcoming, 2013) and they are currently working on a large scale installation related to heavy metals in the Derwent River at the Museum of Old and New Art.

In spring 2014, in collaboration with Antoni Muntadas, he organized a Symposium on Public Space.


Solo Exhibits (with Nomeda Urbonas) – Selected list

ARTRA – Arte Contemporanea Milan, Italy (forthcoming)

River Runs, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

The Learning Machine, Wolk Gallery, MIT

Devices for Action, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain

Villa Lituania, The Lithuanian Pavilion. 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Italy

RR: Ruta Remake, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Ruta Remake. Substream, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway

TRANSACTION. translation, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

TRANSmute, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany

TRANSACTION. unpacked, IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden

TRANSACTION, haus.0, Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany

TRANSACTION. Strangers & Paradise, Witte de With contemporary art center Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Group Exhibitions – Selected list

(Re)construction of Friendship, The Corner House, former KGB building in Riga
Nouvelle Génération, FRAC – Nord-Pas de Calais, France
Pro-test Lab, SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
Vegetation as a Political Agent, Parco Arte Vivente, Torino, Italy

Disobedience Republic, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, 2013
Part of a Larger Whole. Lithuanian Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, 2013
Transmediale 2013 BWPWAP, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany, 2013

Minios. The Crowds, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2012
Nam June Paik Award 2012, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany, 2012
Disobedience Archive (The temporary office) & Crisis Mirror, Bureaupublik, Copenhagen Danemark, 2012
Husby TV, Moderna Museet, Sweden, 2012
Disobedience Archive (The Parliament), Bildmuseet – Contemporary art and visual culture, Umea, Sweden, 2012
(In)dependent People: Collaborations and Artist Initiatives, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Iceland, 2012
On Dilettantism, HALLE 14 Kunstverein, Leipzig, Germany, 2012
On Dilettantism, ACC Galerie Weimar, Germany 2012
The Future Archive, NBK – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany, 2012
Connected by Art, Schwerin State Museum of Art, Schwerin, Germany, 2012

4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully, KunstFort Asperen, The Netherlands
Snapshots of Tourism, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway
Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA), Turku, Finland
Are You Ready for TV?, CGAC – Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Learning Machines. Figures, NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, Italy
Are You Ready for TV?, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain
Lithuanian Art 2000-2010, Contemporary Art Center (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania
Snapshots of Tourism, The Art and Residency Centre, HIAP (Helsinki International Artist Program), Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
The Creative Act. With the archives as a workplace, Henie Onstad Art Centre, Oslo, Norway
Fluxus East. Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe. Henie Onstad Art Centre, Oslo, Norway
Territories of the In/Human, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany
In-Book/Out-Book/If-Book – Museo della Città, Perugia, Italy
Manufacturing Today, Trondheim Kunsthalle, Norway
A History of Irritated Material, Raven Row gallery, London, United Kingdom
Gender Check, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland

Gender Check, MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria
Disobedience. An ongoing video archive, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, Romania
Uniforme, Espace Temporaire, Genève, Switzerland

Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art. International Center of Photography, NYDu Dialogue Social, Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany8
Fluxus East. Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe. KUMU, Tallinn, Estonia
Italia, Italie, Italien, Italie, Wlochy, ARCOS – Museo di Arte Contemporaneo del Sannio, Benevento, Italy
Peripheral Look and Collective Body, MUSEION – museum of modern and contemporary art Bolzano, Italy
Disobedience archive, Zagreb, Croatia and Riga, Latvia

2nd Moscow Biennale of contemporary art, Moscow, Russia
9th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art. ∞s – The history of a decade that has not yet been named
Fluxus East. Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe. Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. Ludwig Museum, Budapest. Bunkier Stuky, Krakow. CAC, Vilnius
Progressive Nostalgia Contemporary art from the former USSR. Center for Contemporary Art “L.Pecci,” Prato, Italy
Still Here: humour in post-communist performative video, Art Space, Sidney, Australia
Forms of Resistance. Artists and desire for a social change. Van Abbemuseum, Eindhovend

All our tomorrows: the culture of camouflage. Kunstraum der Universitaet Lueneburg. Curated by Shaheen Merali
Exploding Television – Satellite of Love. Witte de With, International Film Festival Rotterdam; Platform Garanti, Istanbul, Turkey
6th Gwangju Biennale, Fever variations. The Last Chapter_Trace Route: Remapping Global Cities. Korea
Face the Unexpected. Museum am Ostwall and the PHOENIX Halle Dortmun

Populism, CAC, Vilnius. National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Frankfurter Kunstverein Frankfurt a.M. Germany
Femme Totale, International Film Festival, Dortmund, Germany
Culturas de Archivo 4: Representaciones, Valiadolid, Spain
Madonna, Kunsthaus Dresden, Germany

Extended Views, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Social Affairs, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Show Unit, Riksutställningar, Sweden
Klangraum, Festival of Contemporary Music, Stuttgart, Germany
3rd berlin biennial for contemporary art, Berlin, Germany
Auf Sendung, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Germany
ISEA2004, Kunstihoone Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia

Fate of Alien Modes, Secession, Viena, Austria
It is hard to touch the real, Kunstverein Munich
Money for Nothing, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand
Neue Freunde, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
The Labyrinthine Effect, ACCA, Melbourne, Australia
VJ7 / Verbindingen/Jonctions, Constant vzw, Brussels, Belgium

Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany
48th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany
Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media, Canada
Transat video, France
Fundamentalisms of a New Order, Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Learning And Singing, Hansapanga Galerii, Tallinn, Estonia. Contemporary art center, Moscow, Russia
Manifesta 4, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
Re-direct, haus.0, Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany
The Music In Me, GAK, Bremen, Germany
Voice Session. Karaoke, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany

Out of Money, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
Presence Balte, BAC Visby, Sweden. Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens, Greece. Metronome, Barcelona,
Self-Esteem, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Duchamp’s Suitcase, Arnolfini, Bristol, United Kingdom
Innocent Life, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Apartment 99, project in private spaces, Vilnius, Lithuania
Lithuanian Art: 1989-1999, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
NL-LT, Begane Grond Contemporary art center, Utrecht, The Netherlands



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