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Awesome series at MIT this spring!

If you're planning on being in the Boston/Cambridge area this spring - check out the lecture series below. What a great line-up on to support the series' focus - filmmakers, dancers, choreographers, puppetmakers, video artists -- all talking on "The Theatrical. The Performative. The Transformative."

MIT Visual Arts Program Spring 2010 Lecture Series: 

The Theatrical. The Performative. The Transformative. :: Mondays at 7:00 pm :: MIT’s Bartos Theater (Wiesner Bldg, E15), 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA.

The Theatrical. The Performative. The Transformative. is a lecture series introducing key figures whose artistic practice is situated at the intersection of performance art, avant garde dance, and activist theater. Focusing on time-based and ephemeral formats that navigate between art, film, theater and dance, the series juxtaposes speakers of different generations and backgrounds who share an interest in feminist discourses and politics.

Production and Reception of the Visual :: February 22 :: Speaker: Xavier Le Roy :: Moderator: Nell Breyer: In this lecture, French choreographer Xavier Le Roy explores the relationships between the production and reception of the visual. What do spectators see? Watching a choreography, they see not only a form or a content, but processes at work during the production of the movements in rehearsals as well as during execution of the movements in performance. How and when are these relationships constructed?

Xavier Le Roy studied biochemistry at the University of Montpellier before beginning his dance career in 1988. He performed for various companies before founding his current company, in situ productions with Petra Roggel in 1999. From 2000 and on, Le Roy collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Jerome Bel and Yvonne Rainer and presented his work in various settings. He recently choreographed and performed Rites of Spring at Performa 07 in New York City; and another new work at the Montpellier Danse Festival 2008. Xavier Le Roy is in residence at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) this spring.

Moderator: Nell Breyer, a research affiliate at ACT, situates her work at the intersection of dance, new media, and visual art.

Xavier Le Roy will also perform at the Boston ICA on April 2 and 3 at 7:30 PM, and will present his work in progress from his residency at MIT on April 24, 7 PM, at the MIT Media Lab.

Dance on Top of Everyday Throwaways: Extreme Simultaneity :: March 1 :: Speaker: Constanza Macras :: Moderator: Jay Scheib: Constanza Macras, an Argentine choreographer based in Berlin, was recipient of the 2009-2010 Abramowitz Award. Macras and her company, DORKYPARK, create works that mix video, dance, text and music with a diverse cast of performers. Her work is based on everyday situations that interrupt themselves and accumulate, creating a form of hyper-narrative. Macras is at MIT through the Student & Artist-in-Residence Programs of the Office of the Arts and the William L. Abramowitz residency. Moderator Jay Scheib is Associate Professor for Music and Theater Arts at MIT and is a writer, director and designer.

The Bread and Puppet Theater :: March 8 :: Speaker: Peter Schumann :: Moderator: John Bell: Peter Schumann, legendary founder of The Bread and Puppet Theater will present a short ‘fiddle lecture’ illustrated with cantastoria banners. Moderator John Bell, long-time collaborator of Bread and Puppet Theater, will discuss with Schumann the theater’s use of public space, technology, the concept of progress, and the relations between puppet theater and modernism. The evening will end with a drum and fiddle performance. John Bell, a fellow at MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, is a puppeteer, scholar, and teacher.

It’s Real to Me :: March 15 :: Speaker: Magda Fernandez :: Moderator: Amber Frid-Jimenez: Magda Fernandez, a Boston-based artist, creates synthetic video worlds that question our real lives in contemporary times. Fernandez’s videos rely liberally on composite technology and special effects to make sense out of the nonsensical. Fernandez will screen four of her videos and discuss their subjects and means of production. Amber Frid-Jimenez is a lecturer in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology.

Stylistic Economies, Reenactments, and Choreographic Regimes :: April 5, 2010 :: Speaker: Catherine Sullivan :: Moderator: Jane Farver: Catherine Sullivan’s works engage a variety of media-theater, film, video, photography, writing and sculpture. Sullivan will discuss the numerous layers of collaboration and reference apparent in her work, and the anxious and unresolved political and social sensibility that it gives rise to. Catherine Sullivan is a Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Jane Farver is a curator and the director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Where’s the Passion :: April 12 :: Speaker: Yvonne Rainer :: Moderator: Joan Jonas: Yvonne Rainer made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer. Where’s the Passion is a lecture in which notions of self-expression, impersonation, and the politics of looking and being looked at are examined, accompanied by documentations of two of her recent performances. Rainer is a professor of Studio Art at the University of California, Irvine. Joan Jonas is a pioneer in video and performance art and a professor in the MIT Program of Art, Culture and Technology.

Text: Free and Indirect. A Future :: April 26 :: Speaker: Eva Meyer :: Moderator: Ute Meta Bauer: Eva Meyer, a writer and filmmaker based in Berlin, will screen and discuss Sie kőnnte zu Ihnen gehőren/She Might Belong to you, a 37-minute film Meyer created with artist Eran Schaerf in 2007 for Skulptur Projekte Münster. Meyer describes the film: ‘With the passing of time she has become clairvoyant….She could go beyond the perceptive and sensitive states of experience and entrust sensations surpassing them to a future perception.’ Ute Meta Bauer is a curator and director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology.


The Lecture Series is dedicated to Joan Jonas, a pioneer in video and performance art and a professor in the MIT Program of Art, Culture and Technology. Jonas is the 2010 recipient of the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize presented by the Council for the Arts at MIT on April 15, 2010. The series is directed by Associate Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) in collaboration with ACT Professor Joan Jonas, and ACT Lecturer Amber Frid-Jimenez. The lecture series was made possible in part by the Grants Program of the Council for the Arts at MIT. Thanks also for support from the MIT Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Program.


The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) is a merger of the Visual Arts Program (VAP) and The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS). The program emphasizes the development of artistic practices focusing on artistic research and transdisciplinary studies. ACT offers a two-year Masters of Science in Visual Studies (SMVisS).

March 13, 2010 - Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art Parody, Politics, and Performativity, Saturday, March 13, 3PM, Stata Center, presented by the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

April 15, 2010 - The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) is celebrating its official inauguration with an Open House and day of activities in Buildings E14 and E15 presenting various projects by our current SMVisS graduate students, ACT fellows and affiliates, the launch of new ACT website and the release of Engaged a DVD celebrating 20 years of the MIT Visual Arts Program in collaboration with Aspect: the Chronicle of New Media Art featuring works by VAP faculty and alumni. More details TBA.


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