Albert Figurt

2023–24 Visiting Artist

Albert Figurt, Desktopian Happening. Courtesy of the artist.
Albert Figurt, Google Maps Fingerwalk. Courtesy of the artist.
Albert Figurt, Videosphere Drumming. Courtesy of the artist.

Exploring the many lives of the Desktop Narrative format

About the Residency

Video-artisan and new media scholar Albert Figurt (aka Alberto Angelini), together with MIT Professor of Digital Media Nick Montfort, collaborate on the “retroduction” of a new screencast movie—a film entirely unraveling within the borders of a computer screen. The movie is produced using historical computing technology from the late 1990s, well before the earliest “desktop movies” were actually shot and released for a broader mainstream audience.

Albert Figurt comes to MIT in 2023-24 as a visiting artist in the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, a lecturer in Comparative Media Studies/Writing, and a residential scholar at MIT’s New Vassar residence hall. Throughout the fall semester and Independent Activities Period (IAP), he will share his expertise in desktop cinema and new media studies through teaching, student workshops, and a public lecture.

A former Fulbright Scholar at MIT, Albert Figurt previously collaborated with CAST Visiting Artist and MIT MLK Scholar Lupe Fiasco on the music video for “Precious Things.”

Project supported by the Alan W. Katzenstein (1942) Memorial Fund.


Past Events 

ACT Artistic Inquiry Luncheon Series: Albert Figurt
Monday, November 6 / 12:30–2pm
Wiesner Room, E15-207

Open Class: 21W.752 Making Documentary: Audio, Video, and More
Tuesday, December 5 / 2–4:30pm
The Exchange, MIT Museum, 2nd floor
Free with museum admission

Lunchtime Presentation: Desktop Cinema
Part of the MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellows Campus Retreat
Thursday, December 7 / 11:45am

MIT in 3:00 IAP Guerrilla Filmmaking Workshop
Tuesday, January 09, 2024 / 2-7pm
Thursday, January 11, 2024 / 2-7pm

Learn more

Desktopia Workshop
Saturday, January 20, 2024 / 10:00am – 8:00pm
MIT Theater Arts Building W97, Room 160
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Learn more

CAST Visiting Artist @lbert Figurt invites you to a full-immersion theater workshop centered around our multifaceted relationship with screen-based devices.

Profiting from a dedicated studio space in the Theater Arts building, participants will engage in a convivial brainstorming in order to share their idiosyncratic digital routines, confront personal computerized emotions and ultimately remix tics, obsessions and fears in as many unexpected performative stimuli.

Little by little, with Albert helping in the guise of a facilitator / co-creator (rather than a director / choreographer), the scattered fragments will be then orchestrated and assembled into a minimal, multimedia theatrical outcome — to be presented at the very end of the day for a small audience.

Open to all members of the MIT community (students, staff, faculty, alumni). No experience necessary, just bring a sense of curiosity and a willingness to explore. Guests of participants are welcome to attend the showcase at the end of the day.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology and supported by the Alan W. Katzenstein (1942) Memorial Fund, with thanks to MIT Comparative Media Studies / Writing and MIT Music and Theater Arts.

Collaborators at MIT

Nick Montfort, professor of digital media in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing department, examines creative computing and develops computational art and poetry. Montfort founded and directs the Trope Tank, a DIY research lab/studio, based at MIT and in New York City, that undertakes scholarly and aesthetic projects and offers material computing resources. His computer-generated books of poetry include #!, the collaboration 2×6, Autopia, The Truelist, and, most recently, Golem. His digital projects include The Deletionist and Sea and Spar Between. His MIT Press books, collaborative and individual, are: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, and The Future.

Biography: MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing


Albert Figurt (aka Alberto Angelini) is an Italian video-artisan, multi-instrumentalist, and independent researcher. He produces words, notes, images, crossmedia happenings, and fuzzy thoughts while being happily obsessed with the socio-anthropological and perceptual side effects of online video. His recent work includes guerrilla filmmaking workshops, lectures on screencast narratives, desktop documentary projects, and classes about nonlinear storytelling, expanded video editing, and digital cultures.

Website: D E S K T O P I A
Social: Vimeo