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Announcement
March 4, 2014

Olafur Eliasson: artist residency and public event

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Olafur Eliasson, Din blinde passager, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce that Olafur Eliasson, 2014 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT recipient, will be at MIT on March 12­–14 to accept the honor. A distinctive feature of the award, beyond the 100,000 USD prize, public programs and gala, is a residency in which the artist interacts with the MIT community.

Eliasson’s collaboration with MIT focuses upon his art and social business enterprise Little Sun, a portable, solar-powered lamp that he calls “a work of art that works in life.” Eliasson’s Little Sun forms the architecture of a vast global network, bringing together people, places and resources towards the common goal of more equitably distributing the world’s power, both literally and figuratively. An installation of over one hundred Little Suns is on view at the MIT Museum, in addition to a four-channel installation at the MIT List Visual Arts Center of Little Sun-themed films commissioned by Eliasson.

The artist’s activities on campus will center around discussions of his studio’s practice in multiple domains, design, product engineering, sustainable development, community engagement, and social entrepreneurship in global economies. He will engage with faculty and students in the School of Architecture and Planning; the MIT Energy Initiative (MITei), a multidisciplinary, Institute-wide research program working to find secure, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable energy sources; the MIT D-­Lab (Development through Dialogue, Design and Dissemination); the Sloan School of Management; the MIT Center for Civic Media; and the MIT Museum, among others.

Uniting MIT’s pioneering research with Eliasson’s attention to the sensory and subjective, the residency re-conceptualizes the field of sustainable development beyond the merely functional. The Little Sun project asks: How can we create an affordable global energy system that factors in human emotion, creativity, and desire? Connecting an acclaimed artist like Eliasson with MIT’s rich culture of innovation presents a profound opportunity to radically expand the discussion around issues of sustainable energy as well as collectively imagine inventive solutions for the future.

For more information on the public programs associated with the residency and the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, please visit arts.mit.edu/mcdermott.

 


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