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Announcement
September 21, 2016

Pedro Reyes: Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Pedro Reyes. Photo: Ana Hop.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce visual artist Pedro Reyes as the inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT, a new artist residency program announced last fall. The appointment, sponsored by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) will begin this fall. Reyes will teach a studio entitled “The Reverse Engineering of Warfare.” The course will be the beginning of Reyes’s residency dedicated to the research and development of a new work, shaped in collaboration with MIT faculty, students and researchers across the Institute’s different departments. Reyes was chosen by the CAST Executive Committee from a pool of more than 50 nominations by MIT faculty and arts leaders.

Launched in fall 2015 with a 1 million USD donation from Dasha Zhukova, a Russian American philanthropist, entrepreneur, art collector and founder of Garage Museum for Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist residency program provides support for artists from a range of disciplines to engage with the creative energy, innovative thinking and advanced technology found throughout the MIT community. The arts have been an integral part of MIT since its founding, and this new position builds upon the university’s vision for the intersections of art, science and technology as the essential foundation for achieving institutional excellence.

Pedro Reyes is a widely celebrated multi-platform artist, activist and educator based in Mexico City. He uses all aspects of visual art and education to address political and social issues. One of his main commitments is using the arts to reduce gun and drug trafficking across Mexico. In 2008, Pedro commenced Palas por Pistolas. The program collected over 1,500 guns donated from Mexican citizens and melted them down into gardening tools, then gave them out to various schools and art institutions who used them to plant over 1,500 trees. The program’s success garnered attention from the Mexican army, who donated 6,700 weapons. In 2012, Pedro started Disarm, which converted donated military weapons into musical instruments. Last year he was one of 13 artists included in the Ford Foundation’s The Art of Change fellowship program. His newest work Doomocracy, presented by Creative Time, is on view at the Brooklyn Army Terminal starting October 7, 2016.

A major cross-school initiative, the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) creates new opportunities for art, science and technology to thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge and discovery.

CAST’s multidisciplinary platform presents performing and visual arts programs, supports research projects for artists working with science and engineering labs, and sponsors symposia, classes, workshops, design studios, lectures and publications. The Center is funded in part by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Evan Ziporyn is the Faculty Director and Leila W. Kinney is the Executive Director.

Since its inception in 2012, CAST has been the catalyst for more than 35 artist residencies and collaborative projects with MIT faculty and students—20 cross-disciplinary courses and workshops, four concert series and numerous multimedia projects, lectures and symposia. The visiting artists program is a cornerstone of CAST’s activities, which encourage cross-fertilization among disciplines and intensive interaction with MIT’s faculty and students. More information at arts.mit.edu/cast

 

Pedro Reyes is inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT

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