Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson at MIT, 2011. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington.
An actor at Robert Wilson's residency at MIT, 2011. Photo: Peter Moriarty.
Robert Wilson at MIT. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington.
Actors at Robert Wilson's residency at MIT, 2011. Photo: Peter Moriarty.
vo Part & Robert Wilson: Adam's Passion.

Visionary avant-garde director Robert Wilson’s experiments in theater and opera have definitively shaped the art form for generations to come

About the Residency

Artist Robert Wilson had an ongoing collaboration with ACT artist Elizabeth Goldring and her interdisciplinary team, who have developed technologies that address issues of blindness and partial sight using robotics. During a four-day workshop in the ACT Cube, they rehearsed new scenes for My New Friend SU: The Moon’s Other Side, a theatrical collaboration in which Goldring’s Eye Robot played a role. The piece used Goldring’s texts and seeing technologies; the workshop included sketching, mock up and blocking and technology experiments. Participants prepared technologies for the stage that sonify light, enhance robotic movement and amplify vision.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, the MIT Museum, MIT Music and Theater Arts, the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology.


Past Events

Public Lecture and Demonstration
November 9, 2011

Class Visits
Class Visit with Performance Workshop
November 7, 2011

Exploratory Research
Dinner with MIT students
November 7, 2011

Work and Tech Demonstrations with Joan Jonas’ Performance Class
November 7, 2011

Cube Workshop with Core Group
November 7-8, 2011

Cube Workshop with MIT students
November 7-8, 2011

Workshop with Elizabeth Goldring
November 10, 2011

Collaborators at MIT

Benjamin Bloomberg, Graduate Student and special assistant to Tod Machover in the MIT Media Lab

Sara Brown, Director of Design in the MIT Department of Music and Theater Arts

Chris Clepper, Media Assistant in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology from 2009-2012

David Cossin, percussionist in Bang on a Can All-Stars

Gershon Dublon, Doctoral Student and Research Assistant in the Responsive Environments group at the MIT Media Lab

Elizabeth Goldring, Senior Fellow in the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and primary collaborator with Robert Wilson

Tomashi Jackson, Graduate Student in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Joan Jonas, Professor Emerita who teaches Performance in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media in the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

Joe Paradiso, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences directing the Responsive Environments group in the MIT Media Lab

The workshop team also included: Nell Breyer, Theo Issais, Ryan King-Shephard, Christopher Knowles, Everett Lawson, Edwina Portocarrero, Seth Riskin, Meg Rotzel, Sue Jane Stoker, Andrea Tevetkov, Elizabeth Watkins and Yi Fe Wu.


Robert Wilson is an American avant-garde stage director and playwright who has frequently been called the world’s foremost vanguard theater artist. His early activities often focused on work with blind and deaf actors and incorporated themes of autism.

Over the course of his diverse career, Robert Wilson has worked as a choreographer, performer, painter, sculptor, video artist and sound and light designer. He is perhaps best known for his inspired collaborations with artists like Allen Ginsberg, David Byrne, and Philip Glass. With Glass, he created the monumental opera Einstein on the Beach (1976), which earned worldwide acclaim and altered conventional notions of form.

More at the artist’s website: Robert Wilson.

In the Media

TimesTalks: Luminato Festival Video

NYTimes: Flowers from the Cotton Fields

NYTimes Theater Talkback: The Temperature on the Beach