MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology / course 4.368/369 / production of art for public space
May 2nd, 2014



April 18-19, 2014

A symposium and exhibition that investigate definitions of public space across disciplines and the tools, tactics, and consequences of reclaiming public space through art and architecture.


The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) and the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology (CAST) present Public Space? Lost & Found, a two-day symposium and accompanying exhibition to celebrate the living legacy of artist and educatorAntoni Muntadas and collectively redefine ideas of public space and its multiple functions. Convening scholars, artists, architects, and planners from MIT and beyond, the symposium will engage contemporary critical discourses and practices on public space.

The symposium and exhibition investigate the definitions of public space across disciplines and the tools, tactics, and consequences of reclaiming — or to use a term coined by Muntadas, creating interventions in — public space through art and architecture. Public Art, that is art in public space, is a concept that has been in discussion and revision throughout the evolution of the terms “art” and “city” themselves. Recent movements — including those in Egypt, Madrid, New York and around the world in Occupy communities — have exposed the distance between “public” and “space” and reflect citizens’ interests in recovering and re-appropriating the city or town square.  The themes of the symposium draw from Muntadas’s career at MIT and his artistic practice, a legacy that directly affects the work and philosophies of many of the invited speakers.

Muntadas came to MIT in 1977 to join the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) as a research fellow. In this experimental setting, he explored topics such as the media landscape and the dichotomies between subjectivity and objectivity and private and public. It was at CAVS that he coined the term “media landscape” to define the ever-expanding presence of mass media, audiovisual material, and advertisements in public space. While the institutional structure changed two times over his career and he later became Professor of the Practice, his seminars became a fixture in the curriculum as they focused on understanding spatial cultural identity through art and architecture.

A forthcoming publication will expand the symposium discussions and bring together divergent voices in theory and practice through texts and projects that challenge or support ideas of cultural identity by documenting and analyzing public spaces across several geographies and cultures in recent history.


Symposium Program:

Friday, April 18

2 pm—Adèle Naude Santos (SA+P, MIT)

Private Public Spaces: Cultural identity and Context
Meejin Yoon (Architecture, MIT)
Ina Blom (Oslo University)
Antoni Muntadas (ACT, MIT)
Néstor García Canclini (UAM Iztapalapa Mexico)
Doris Sommer (Cultural Agents, Harvard)
Ana Maria León (HTC, MIT)

5 pm—Reclaiming Public Space/Surveillance and Control
Catherine D’Ignazio (Media Lab, MIT)
Teddy Cruz (UCSD)
Marjetica Potrč (HFBK, Hamburg)
Krzysztof Wodiczko (GSD, Harvard)
Jane Hutton & Adrian Blackwell (GSD, Harvard)

7 pm—Opening Reception

Saturday, April 19

10 am—Otto Piene (CAVS, MIT)

Alternatives for Contemporary Public Space: Interdisciplinary Praxis
Ute Meta Bauer (NTU, Singapore)
Juan Herreros (GSAPP, Columbia)
Dennis Adams (Cooper Union)
Angela Vettese (IUAV, Venice)
Caroline Jones (HTC, MIT)

2 pm—Speculations on the Future of Urban Space: Utopia
Alexander D’Hooghe (CAU, MIT)
Gediminas Urbonas (ACT, MIT)
Andrés Jaque (Princeton)
Mark Wigley (GSAPP, Columbia)
Ana Miljacki (Architecture, MIT)

5 pm—Public Space: Research, Projects, Production
Antoni Muntadas (ACT, MIT)
Jennifer Allora (Allora & Calzadilla)
Marrikka Trotter (GSD, Harvard)
Matthew Mazzotta (ACT, MIT)
Coryn Kempster
(Harry Gugger Studio)
Beatriz Colomina (Princeton)
Azra Akšamija (ACT, MIT)

7 pm—Nader Tehrani (Architecture, MIT)


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May 1st, 2014

Public Space? Lost & Found exhibition









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