An exhibition at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery invites visitors to contemplate the intelligence embedded in living systems
“When we attune ourselves to the multiple intelligences of nature, we recognize that the technology is already there. It’s just about a willingness to pay attention.” As a graduate student in the Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) program at MIT, Alejandro Medina has identified a simple formula for a lifetime’s work. The task is to attend, to attune, and to create.
The conundrum is how to shape the conditions that allow for that sustained attention. Reconfiguración, an exhibition of five new works produced by Medina during his first year of graduate study, carefully arranges the space of the Wiesner Student Art Gallery into a training ground for perception and imagination. While the title of the exhibition refers to the central work in the exhibition—a series of mobiles composed of fallen branches sourced from the MIT campus—it might equally refer to the synaptic repatterning that occurs when we are compelled to slow down, tune in, and observe what emerges. The exhibition encompasses media including sculpture, drawing, video, and immersive sound, and although the mood might be meditative, the stakes are high. Medina’s guiding preoccupation is the presence and threat of climate change; his work is motivated by the urgent need to rethink relationships between nature, technology, and science, making way for new paradigms of resilience and innovation.