The first comprehensive history of MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), told through personal accounts and groundbreaking artwork.
In 1967, in a time of student unrest, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did the unexpected: it established the first academic center for research and collaboration in art, science, and technology. The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) brought artists to the MIT campus with radical expressions of a rapidly evolving technological era.
The brainchild of founding director Gyorgy Kepes, CAVS sought to repair the distance between practitioners of art and engineering within the halls of MIT. "The scientist may be an extra brain to the artist, and the engineer may be an extra arm to the artist, whereas the artist can be an extra eye to the scientist and engineer,” said long-time director Otto Piene in Centerbeam, a 1978 film about a CAVS collaboration. As a breeder of new art forms and future-oriented artistic education, CAVS became a pioneering model for the art, technology and media labs that proliferated worldwide.
This first comprehensive history of CAVS presents an inside view, told through personal accounts, exhibit documentation, and groundbreaking artwork, and and includes a new text on the genome of art and technology by Peter Weibel. The book chronicles, in vivid visual narrative and testimony by those who were there, the birth and flowering of a unique research node dedicated to multiple interactions of art, science, technology and environment.
Copublished with ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
About the Author
Elizabeth Goldring, a poet and media artist, is CAVS Fellow at ACT and director of the CAVS Vision Group. Also at CAVS (MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies), Goldring was Exhibits and Projects Director, Senior Fellow, Acting Director, and Lecturer in MIT's Architecture Department.
Ellen Sebring is a media artist and theorist. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University, she was a Research Fellow at CAVS and, from 2002 to 2012, was Creative Director of MIT's Visualizing Cultures project.
Gediminas Urbonas is an Associate Professor at MIT and an artist, activist, educator, and is cofounder with Nomeda Urbonas of US: the Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary research practice.
Peter Weibel is Chairman and CEO of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. With Bruno Latour, he coedited ICONOCLASH and Making Things Public as well as other ZKM volumes, including, most recently, Sound Art and Global Activism (all published by the MIT Press).