Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis
School of Architecture + Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Above: Photo: courtesy of Amar Kanwar.
Above: Photo: courtesy of Amar Kanwar.

School of Architecture & Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mondays 7–9 PM
Bartos Theater
20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, USA
Free and open to the public.

[email protected]

ABOUT THE FALL 2011 LECTURE SERIESThe Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Con­flict & Crisis Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of in­tervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environ­mental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how can such interventions propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture. The Fall 2011 lecture series is directed by ACT Associate Professor and Head of Program Ute Meta Bauer and is funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT.


November 14, 2011James Wescoat, Aga Khan Professor& Shun Kanda, Senior Lecturer, MIT (USA)MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative
Respondent: Jegan Vincent de Paul, ACT Lecturer, MIT (USA)


In the aftermath of the disaster suffered in Japan, MIT launched the MIT Ja­pan 3/11 Initiative, a multi-year collaborative project focused on disaster-resilient planning, design and reconstruction. Back from the first MIT Japan 3/11 work­shop which took place this summer, Shun Kanda and Jim Wescoat will discuss the process and challenges in planning and implementing alternative strategies for disaster-preparedness.


MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative:


November 21, 2011Amar Kanwar, Filmmaker & Artist (India)The Impermanent Institution
Respondent: Bish Sanyal, Ford International Professor of Urban Development & Planning, MIT (USA)


Indian artist and well-known filmmaker Amar Kanwar creates documentary-based multi-channel installations that deal with the politics of power, violence, sexuality, and justice. In The Torn First Pages, Kanwar unfolds the struggle for democracy in Myanmar. The eight-channel video piece The Lightning Testimonies reflects upon a history of conflict in the Indian subcontinent through the experiences of sexual violence against women during and after the 1947 partition. Kanwar’s work has been shown in museums across the globe, and he received numerous awards for his works and humanitarian engagement.


Previously in the Fall 2011 lecture series:
Tess Thackara, Director, Survival International (USA)
Jack Persekian, Curator (Jerusalem)
Joichi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab (USA)
Lucy Walker, Filmmaker (UK)
Stella Mcgregor, Director, Urbano Project (USA)




FALL 2011 SPECIAL PROGRAMS & COLLABORATIONSFlorian HeckerPanel discussion with ACT Associate Professor and Head of Program Ute Meta Bauer and MIT Professor of Anthropology Stefan HelmreichTuesday, November 29, 2011, 7 PMLocation: MIT Bartos Theater, Wiesner Building (E15-070), 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, USA
Further information:


An Evening Celebrating the Legacy of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS)Thursday, December 8, 2011, 6 -7:30 PMwith CAVS Director Emeritus Otto Piene and György Kepes Fellow for Advanced Studies and Transdisciplinary Research in Art, Culture and Technology Márton OroszLocation: Wiesner Building (E15), Lower Level, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, USA


Program: lecture, panel discussions, and film screening of the newly restored documentary Centerbeam (1978). The György Kepes Fellowship for Advanced Studies and Transdisciplinary Research in Art, Culture and Technology is a joint initiative of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT), and ERSTE Foundation. The preservation of Centerbeam is supported in part by the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program funded by The Film Foundation.


EXIHIBITIONSMy New Theater: Reading Dante III
An exhibition by ACT Professor Emerita Joan JonasExhibition extended through Friday, December 2, 2011Location: MIT Media Lab Complex Lobby, 75 Amherst St., Cambridge, MA, USA
Further information:


Disobedience, an Ongoing Video Archive
Exhibit reception: Friday, December 9, 2011, 5-8 PMPre-reception talk starts at 3 PMLocation: The Media Lab Complex Lobby (E14), 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA, USA


Curated by: Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas; Assistant curator: Andris Brinkmanis. In collaboration with students from the ACT courses Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media under the instruction of ACT Associate Professor Gediminas Urbonas. This exhibition is made possible through the support of the Office of the Dean at MIT SA+P, Council for the Arts at MIT, the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT), and NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano.


ABOUT ACTThe MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology operates as a critical studies and production based laboratory, connecting the arts with an advanced technological community. ACT faculty, fellows and students engage in advanced visual studies and research by implementing both an experimental and systematic approach to creative production and transdisciplinary collaboration. As an academic and research unit, the ACT Program emphasizes both knowledge production and knowledge dissemination. In the tradition of artist and educator György Kepes, the founder of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and an advocate of “art on a civic scale,” ACT envisions artistic leadership initiating change, providing a critically transformative view of the world with the civic responsibility to enrich cultural discourse.


MIT program in art, culture and technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E15-212
Cambridge MA 02139-4307


November 12, 2011