November 25, 2019

Funded Research Assistantship at Poetic Justice Group MIT Media Lab

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ekene Ijeoma, Pan-African AIDS, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

The Poetic Justice Group (PJG), founded by artist Ekene Ijeoma, is accepting applications for their two-year funded (tuition, medical insurance, and a stipend) research assistantship and graduate student program.

The Poetic Justice group is looking for thinkers and makers who feel the urgency to break down the complexities of social issues and build visibility, accountability, and solidarity around them. Applicants should already be thinking critically about their disciplines and continually searching for cross-disciplinary connections. Although not required, we’re particularly interested in applicants with professional experience.

PJG is a group of critical thinkers and makers who are exploring new forms of justice through art. We question, if “Artists need to create on the same scale as society has the capacity to destroy,” as Sherrie Rabinowitz suggested in 1984, then how can social justice be expanded through conceptual art informed by computational and architectural design strategies? As some mediums are better for some messages than others, we question what new media should be used for these new forms of social justice. If a new form of social justice is searching for our truths, how can we find them at the intersections of oral histories and data studies? How can we create artworks which engage with and furthermore embody these truths? How can these artworks extend our perceptions and expose the social-political systems affecting our truths? How can the forms of these artworks function at the intersections of poetic acts and analytic insights as well as aesthetic quality and social efficacy?

We’re exploring these questions through ongoing projects which include A Counting, The Green Book Project and The Scream Project. A Counting is a site-specific multimedia artwork that counts from 1 to 100; playing different crowdsourced multilingual voice samples for every number and displaying the word in the language. The Green Book Project is a series of courses, workshops, publications and interactive installations that reimagine the Negro Motorist Green Book for “traveling while Black” in this era of “New Jim Crows.” And the Scream Project is a series of publications and interactive installations that revive the Teotihuacan folklore/ritual of women practicing catharsis in the pyramids to contemporary urban spaces.

Applications are due December 1. You can read more about our research group here and the graduate program here.

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