CAST Visiting Artists 2015-16

MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology welcomes the following visiting artists to campus in the 2015-16 academic year. From photographers to filmmakers and architects to musicians, these artists will collaborate with MIT faculty and researchers and present public programs throughout the year. Learn more and check for updated schedules on the Visiting Artists pages.


In collaboration with the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), John Fitzgerald and Matthew Niederhauser are documenting suburbanization across the world and its physical, social and environmental manifestations. As part of the “Future of Suburbia” exhibition (February) and conference (March) at MIT in 2016, Fitzgerald and Niederhauser will present aerial footage, interviews and local conditions in key locations in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing countries, including India, South Africa, Mozambique, Brazil, China and Indonesia. Fitzgerald and Niederhauser also document suburbia across the United States, particularly the West Coast and the South — regions where suburbanization is happening on a huge scale and affecting millions of people. Suburbia manifests itself differently in each city, and their work represents the unique forces at work in each locale. 
July 2015 – April 2016


CAST Visiting Artist Tomás Saraceno is collaborating with Lodovica Illari in MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) for the Aerocene project. Bringing together art and science in a manner designed to engage the public and raise awareness of the environment and sustainability, Aerocene explores the use of high-altitude solar lighter-than-air vehicles. A publication describing the project activities and results will be available at the opening of Saraceno’s installation at the Grand Palais in Paris in December 2015. Saraceno and Illari are also developing educational materials that explore the dynamics and chemistry of the stratosphere inspired by lighter-than-air solar flights. The teaching resources include visualization of stratospheric processes and Aerocene data projected on to the iGlobe, a spherical display used for Earth science education.
July 2015 – December 2015


Keith Ellenbogen is an acclaimed underwater photographer and videographer, who focuses on environmental conservation. Ellenbogen documents marine life to showcase its beauty and to elicit an emotional connection to the underwater world. He aims to inspire social change and action toward protecting the marine environment. In collaboration with MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams, Ellenbogen will use ultra high-speed cameras to create images of nature in exquisite (and previously unseen) detail. As part of the residency, Adams and Ellenbogen developed an Underwater Conservation Photography Course at MIT that will challenge students to push technical and aesthetic boundaries, with a goal of marine environmental conservation and positive social change. An exhibition of Ellenbogen’s photographs are on display at MIT Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP) for the 2015-16 academic year (Building 6C, 4th floor).
September 2015 – March 2016


Lara Baladi is an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary Egyptian-Lebanese artist. Baladi conducted research for a transmedia project, Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, as a Fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab during the 2014-15 academic year. As the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at CAST, she will realize the multi-layered Vox Populi project, which she envisions as an interactive timeline of the Egyptian revolution and its aftermath in the form of an immersive installation. Baladi says the work is “a tribute to the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its impact on and resonance with the uprisings and sociopolitical movements that followed.”
September 2015 – May 2016


Award-winning photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa has worked in more than 80 countries and territories and documented some of the world’s longest standing conflicts including Israel/Palestine, India/Kashmir, and the feud between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes in South Sudan. His experience covering insurgent sides drove him to ask: “Is it possible to invent a new way to make the audience care, to have them think more deeply about war?” As a response, Ben Khelifa designed and prototyped his latest project, The Enemy, during a fellowship at the MIT Open Documentary Lab in 2014-15. This immersive installation explores the essence of conflicts by using VR to present conversations between soldiers on both sides of longstanding global conflicts and involve the audience in discussions about violence, empathy and humanity. As a CAST Visiting Artist for 2015-16, he will collaborate with Associate Professor Fox Harrell in the Imagination, Computation and Expression (ICE) Laboratory. Ben Khelifa and Harrell will integrate concepts from cognitive science and artificial intelligence-based interaction models to deploy new storytelling tools.
November 2015 – September 2016


CAST and the Department of Architecture will host four artists for Publishing as Public Practice workshops investigating publishing methods, design and medium. This series draws upon a history of experimental publishing while bringing together MIT faculty, researchers and students interested in experiments in publishing, media and broadcasting. The workshops will address the speed of publication (immediate, reviewed, added to, collected), various types or decibels of conversation (chatter, conversation, scream, rant, proclamation), what counts as content (personal work, course work, archival, MIT’s campus, the web), and economy and methods of production (online, print, copied, distributed). Prominent artists, designers and publishers will lead workshops to instigate and activate many voices so that we can discover new ways to discuss and theorize acts of publishing happening within MIT and in the field at large and foster a sense of an active, collective conversation.
February 2016 – December 2016

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Katherine Higgins