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r&d project initiated by Urbonas Studio in collaboration with Tracey Warr
January 4th, 2012

syllabus of the workshop


Subject meets: Monday-Friday, January 9-13, 10am-04:00pm daily,

Location: the Roth Room (E15-238a) http://whereis.mit.edu/?go=E15

website: vilma.cc/river

Gediminas Urbonas, Associate Professor, urbonas@mit.edu, (617) 324-6471
Office: E15-238

Dr Tracey Warr, Senior Lecturer, Contemporary Art Theory/Art & Design Research Co-ordinator, School of Arts, Oxford Brookes University

Teaching Assistant:
Lily Tran, S.B. Candidate Brain and Cognitive Sciences

with participation of:
Michael Blow, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Nomeda Urbonas, PhD candidate, ACT affiliate, co-founder of Urbonas Studio

Monday, January 9

Brief introduction from everybody about themselves and their work and why they are interested in this workshop.

Introduction by the instructors about the river in art and architecture and CAVS River project archive. Imaginable map of the river.

Guest Speaker :
Alise Upitis, public art curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center (TBC)

Joan Brigham, artist, CAVS fellow (TBC)

Discussion: Your own experiences of rivers.

Introduction of assignment and tasks for the week. Participants will be asked to produce a developed proposal/model/prototype for a river structure or vehicle linking it to citizenship, quality of life or fiction.

Screening of films.

Tuesday, January 10

Field Research: meeting with Kurt Hasselbach, curator of Hart Nautical Collections at MIT Museum (confirmed)

Participants will be asked to undertake river observations in small groups: observations with written notes, photographs, drawings, mappings, interviews with people working or living on the river, or using it for leisure.

Guest Speaker:
Renata von Tscharner, president of Charles river conservancy agency (confirmed)

Wednesday, January 11

Participants will be asked to bring field research materials to the studio/classroom for discussion.

Invited guests:
Svetlana Boym, critic, professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University (TBC)

Tobias Putrih, artist working in the intersection of art and architecture (TBC)

Develop an idea for a river structure or vehicle.

Discussion of initial ideas.

Consultation with Martin Seymour, product designer and technical instructor at ACT, MIT

Thursday,  January 12

More independent research and development of ideas in small groups, construction. In the early afternoon instructors and invited guest will go around giving feedback on work in progress.

Consultation with Martin Seymour, product designer and technical instructor at ACT, MIT.

Friday, January 13

Public presentation of projects and discussion with invited reviewers.

The ACT CUBE, E15-001


About instructors

Gediminas Urbonas is Associate Professor in Visual Art at the Program in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT. With his partner Nomeda they are running The Urbonas Studio’s interdisciplinary research program that advocates for the reclamation of pubic culture in the face of overwhelming privatization, stimulating cultural and political imagination as tools for social change. Often beginning with archival research, their methodology unfolds complex participatory works investigating the urban environment, architectural developments, and cultural and technological heritage.

Urbonas work was awarded Honorable Mention for the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2007; they had a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art Barcelona MACBA in 2008. Urbonas is co-founder of Transaction Archive and the director of the award winning Pro-test Lab Archive.

more at: nugu.lt/dossier

Tracey Warr is a Senior Lecturer in Art Theory at the Oxford Brookes University in UK. She joined the staff of Oxford Brookes in 2008 having previously worked at Bauhaus University Weimar, Glasgow School of Art, Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, Open University and Dartington College of Arts. She leads the art history and theory undergraduate teaching in Fine Art, focussing on art of the 20th and 21st centuries. She supervises PhD students. She co-ordinates Fine Art international and Erasmus exchanges. She is the Art & Design Research (Unit of Assessment) Co-ordinator. Tracey Warr has a mixed practice as writer, curator and teacher. She has developed a mode of writing with contemporary artists as opposed to about them. She sees curating and art writing as part of a continuum with artists’ practice, rather than segregated categories. Her research work focuses on the body and site in contemporary art.

more at: http://arts.brookes.ac.uk/staff/details/warr/

About ACT

The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology operates as a critical studies and production based laboratory, connecting the arts with an advanced technological community.

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


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