Ute Meta Bauer


Ute Meta Bauer is an Associate Professor and served as the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning from October 2009 – January 2012. Previously she was Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program from 2005 – 2009.

From 1996 until 2006, she held an appointment at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria) as Professor of Theory and Practice of Contemporary Art. At the Academy she has also served as Head of the Institute of Contemporary Art (1996-2001) and as Head of the Institute for Art and Cultural Science (2003-2005). In 2002 – 2003 she held the position of Vice Rector and was in charge of International Affairs.

Bauer was born in Germany, educated as an artist at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg (Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg, Germany), where she received her Diploma with Honors in Visual Communication/Stage Design in 1987.

For more than twenty-five years, Bauer has worked as a curator of exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video and sound, with a focus on transdisciplinary formats. Working as an independent curator she began her institutional career as Artistic Director of the Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart e.V. in 1990, where she curated numerous exhibitions by emerging artists, as well as historical exhibitions that linked to contemporary discourses. At Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart she also organized symposia of international scope: “A new spirit in curating?” (1992), and “Radical Chic” (1993). Bauer also curated section “?” along with artist Fareed Armaly for the exhibition “NowHere” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of Copenhagen Cultural Capital of Europe 1996. In 2001 she curated “First Story – Women Building/New Narratives for the 21st Century” for Porto 2001 – Cultural Capital of Europe and “Architecture of Discourse” for the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona. She was a Co-Curator of Documenta11 (2001/2002) on the team of Okwui Enwezor and the Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2004). In 2005 she curated the “Mobile_Transborder Archive” for InSite05, Tijuana / San Diego, and in 2008 she was the Director of SITAC VI (Symposio International Arte Contemporanea, Mexico City).

Bauer served as Founding Director of the Office For Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) from 2002-2005 and was the Commissioner for the Scandinavian Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and for the official Norwegian contribution for the 26th São Paulo Biennale (2004).

She was the Chairwoman of the Art Advisory Board of the Goethe Institutes and served as General Secretary for the International Curators Association (IKT). Currently, she is a member of the International Scientific Board of the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau (Germany), of the Advisory Board of the LIST Visual Art Center at MIT, and of the Advisory Board of the newly established Bergen Assembly (Norway).

Bauer has edited numerous publications in the field of contemporary art, including: “What’s left…What remains?”, SITAC VI (Mexico City, 2009), “3rd berlin biennial for contemporary art. komplex berlin / complex berlin” (Cologne, 2004), ”Education, Information, Entertainment. New Approaches in Higher Artistic Education” (Vienna, 2001), and the art periodicals META 1-4 (Stuttgart, 1992-94), case (Barcelona, 2001; Porto, 2002), and Verksted # 1-6 (Oslo, 2003- 06). She publishes regularly on artistic and curatorial practice and education, and most recently co-edited with Florian Dombois, Michael Schwab and Claudia Mareis “Intellectual Birdhouse. Artistic Practice as Research” (London, 2012).

Her guilty pleasure is the collaboration with apparatjik, a creative multi-genre platform founded by four musicians, which she joins as artistic director on special occasions.