Arts on the Radar: hundreds of students kick off a year in the arts at MIT

Fourth annual event hosted by Arts at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, and MIT Music and Theater Arts

Hundreds of students flocked to MIT’s building E15 to kick off a new year for the arts on campus at the fourth annual Arts on the Radar event on Friday, September 7, 2018. Hosted by Arts at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center and MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology, the event spanned two floors, and flowed outside where a live band from MIT Music and Theater Arts performed, and Redbones BBQ drew long lines. Students darted around the List, arching their necks to see all the art hanging salon-style in the gallery, took in art demonstrations or danced with friends. For the first of many creatively inspired nights this academic year, the arts unified the MIT community.

Warhol for Your Wall

Works by renowned artists such as Miró, Warhol and Murakami covered the gallery walls at the List Visual Arts Center’s Student Lending Art Program Exhibition and Lottery. Students walked through the List Galleries with the opportunity to borrow original works of art from the collection for their dorm rooms. Groups of students poured into the galleries, their eyes lasered on pieces of art that might give their private spaces a special finishing touch. After selecting their five favorite artworks, students left hoping the lottery would deliver a prized piece to their wall.

ACT Art Cubed

Similarly, graduate students from the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) hosted open studios in the ACT Cube. Attendees could climb to the second floor of the ACT Cube and visit several studios housing a variety of work including that of conceptual artist Erin Genia SMACT ‘19, whose work explores perceptions of reality through two- and three-dimensional media. Another feature was interdisciplinary artist Nancy Dayanne Valladares SMACT ’20, whose work attempts to trace the ecosystems of power embedded within modes of representation and image making technologies. Lastly, Xiaoyan Shen’s SMACT ‘19 put her interdisciplinary practice on display, which builds bridges between art, science and technology.

A Game and Grants

Students were also able to participate in an interactive art installation by Graham Yeager called Between Us and visit art showcases supported by Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) grants. Between Us offered students the chance to play a collaborative, fast paced game where players work together to each think of words that fall under a predetermined label. MIT Mechanical Engineering Postdoctoral Associate and CAMIT grant recipient Baudouin Saintyves’s project, Shapes of Emergence, gave viewers the chance to watch a live visual performance of shapes and patterns created by different liquid and gel materials in response to musical vibrations” A giant inflatable orange “bug” by Gary Zhang SMACT ‘19 and MIT Media Lab Research Assistant Agnes Cameron enlivened the base of the stairs, while students from Infinite, MIT’s undergraduate-run fashion magazine, exhibited their recent designs.

The evening culminated with a dance party under the disco ball in the ACT Cube, where attendees danced to the beat put on by student DJs. The event, filled with students coming to MIT to study a wide range of disciplines within the arts and media, science, business, engineering and technology, was a reminder that arts are tightly woven into the fabric of the MIT community.

Posted on October 4, 2018 by Harry Bachrach