National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. MIT’s Program in Art, Culture & Technology (ACT) has been awarded an NEA Art Works grant to support the digitization and online presentation of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection (CAVSSC).

As part of its custodianship of this valuable collection, ACT is creating a free, publicly accessible, visually engaging, and interactive user interface that acts as a “virtual museum” for materials spanning more than 40 years. It will include still images, audio, video, and documents from experimental works created by over 200 CAVS fellows, such as György Kepes, Otto Piene, Aldo Tambellini, Yvonne Rainer, Nam June Paik, Muriel Cooper, and Stan VanDerBeek. Designed for both artists and academics, the collection will also include resources on the history of experimental art and technology at MIT and documentation on the process of creating art.

This unique online interface will incorporate a balance of library-standard and user-generated metadata and search techniques. Its design will permit artists to annotate their works and assist users in making connections between people, projects, and technologies. It will offer art, academic, and general audiences a hands-on approach to some of the 20th century’s most fascinating experiments in artistic-scientific collaboration and emerging technologies.

Scheduled for completion by the summer of 2017, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of CAVS, this project is a collaboration between ACT Director Gediminas Urbonas, ACT’s Archivist Jeremy Grubman, The MIT Museum, and information design specialists NODE Berlin Oslo and Bengler, who recently reengineered the online presence of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).