Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Folke Stone Power Plant, 2017, commissioned by the Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial 2017. Credit: Thierry Bal.
Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Folke Stone Power Plant 2017, commissioned by the Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial 2017. Credit: Thierry Bal.

“Humanities through material engagement”: Gediminas Urbonas on artistic research

“The notion of ‘artistic research’ has really taken hold and captured the imagination of the art world in the past fifteen years,” explains Gediminas Urbonas, associate professor in the Art, Culture & Technology (ACT) program in the MIT School of … Continued

The Lightweaver, photomontage of a kinetic light installation for the Future Heritage Lab at the refugee camp Al Azraq, Jordan by Azra Aksamija / FHL. Credit: Azra Aksamija, The Lightweaver, 2017.

Future Heritage Lab Devises Creative Responses to Humanitarian Crises

Artistic Collaboration Between MIT, German-Jordanian University and Refugees in the Al Azraq Camp in Jordan Associate Professor Azra Akšamija, Art, Culture & Technology Program, MIT Department of Architecture, first visited the Al Azraq refugee camp in Jordan in 2016. “Once … Continued

Notes On Blindness, Arnaud Colinart

Hacking VR, 7 ways

Ever since Ivan Sutherland, PhD ’63, developed Ultimate Display in 1965—a forerunner to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that uses tactile stimuli to mimic the physical world—MIT researchers have been engineering new forms of immersive media. Today, the … Continued

Pink Anemonemefish by Keith Ellenbogen

Tactical Beauty

How underwater photography serves conservation efforts Coping with climate change is such a profoundly new part of the human experience that a new word, solastagia, has been coined to describe the emotional distress caused by violations against the planet. Underwater … Continued

Open letter. Photo: ©Signed, Sealed & Undelivered Team, 2015. Courtesy of the Museum voor Communicatie, The Hague, The Netherlands.

MIT Libraries explore 17th-century postal archive in “Signed, Sealed, and Undelivered”

2,600 recently rediscovered early modern letters to be analyzed in groundbreaking international digital humanities project. A recently rediscovered trunk containing 2,600 letters sent from France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands between 1689 and 1706 will soon provide a fascinating glimpse … Continued

Tomas Saraceno’s “On Space Time Foam,” Hangar Bicocca Milan, 2012. Photo: Barry Hetherington.

Saraceno: Conversations on Cosmology

In Tomás Saraceno’s most recent installation On Space Time Foam, visitors are invited to enter three clear membranes of plastic suspended 25-meters in the air. The installation creates a new bodily experience, transforming everyday perceptions of space and one’s relationship to others. In this work, he takes as his material and inspiration the basics of physics: mass, energy, space, and gravity. At MIT, he had the opportunity to share his work with physicists Jerome Friedman and Robert Jaffe, Edward Farhi, and Alan Guth from MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics.

Tomás Saraceno, Flying Garden/Air-Port-City, 2005. Image courtesy of Tomás Saraceno; pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa. Installation view: Villa Manin, Center for Contemporary Art, Codropio. Credit: Sillani.
Tomás Saraceno, Flying Garden/Air-Port-City, 2005. Image courtesy of Tomás Saraceno; pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa. Installation view: Villa Manin, Center for Contemporary Art, Codropio. Credit: Sillani.

Saraceno: Conversations on Atmosphere

The dream of Saraceno’s ongoing project, “Cloud City,” is not only to live among the clouds but also to create cities more like clouds – changeable, mobile, and responsive to atmospheric shifts. His experimental sculptures, expressing an aerial vision for the future, are often prototypes for incubating an interconnected existence in the sky. At MIT, Lodovica Illari, Adrian Dalca and Michael Rubinstein, and John Hansman shared with Saraceno their expertise on atmosphere and flight, representing the exciting possibilities in hinging visionary thinking to technical expertise, imaginative speculation to material realities.

Tomás Saraceno , 14 Billions, 2010. Credit: Studio Tomás Saraceno.
Tomás Saraceno, 14 Billions, 2010. Credit: Studio Tomás Saraceno.

Saraceno: Conversations on Biomimicry

When asked who the audience was for his work during a public lecture here at MIT, Tomás Saraceno replied, “spiders!” Here we explore the artist’s ongoing interest in biomimicry –- the creative application of natural systems and processes towards human solutions -– through the work of several MIT researchers. Like Saraceno – whose aerial installations take inspiration from spider webs, soap bubbles, neural circuits, and cosmology – faculty Markus Buehler, Neri Oxman, and Dörthe Eisele are similarly interested in harnessing the power of nature to create new materials for a more sustainable future.