Max Wasserman Forum

The Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art was established in memory of Max Wasserman (MIT Class of 1935), a founding member of the Council for the Arts at MIT. This public forum was endowed through the generosity of the late Jeanne Wasserman and addresses critical issues in contemporary art and culture through the participation of renowned scholars, artists, and arts professionals. The Forum is organized and presented by the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

2023 Max Wasserman Forum: Altered Access

The 2023 Max Wasserman Forum: Altered Access brings together artists, educators, and curators to discuss current disability discourse within the arts and museum institutions. This year’s Wasserman Forum will consist of two days of hybrid programming including a virtual keynote address, and three hybrid panel discussion. Registration is available for individual programs with options for tuning in via live stream. 

Event flyer with a light blue architectural blueprint in the background reads: Altered Access Max Wasserman Forum. List Center logo sits at the bottom. Event logo features a tilted A that extends into the shape of an L forming the first two letters of the word Altered.

2021 Max Wasserman Forum: Another World

The 2021 Max Wasserman Forum: Another World brings together artists, educators, and writers at the forefront of discourses on art in the digital realm to share their deep understandings and perspectives on digital media’s potential for more radical, imaginative, and limitless forms of cyber expressions.

Event banner for Max Wasserman Forum 2021 with digitally textured background and light yellow text with event details.

2018 Wasserman Forum: Future Genders 

Artists and cultural practitioners are at the forefront of critically analyzing and reimagining how we think about, experience, and represent gender. 


2018 Wasserman Forum panelists are seated on stage with the MIT List logo behind.

2015 Wasserman Forum: Public Art and the Commons

Public art has emerged as a crucial issue over the past decade. In response to conditions of intensifying economic and political precarity, artists have renewed a dialogue on those social and cultural resources held in common, including media, education, language, the environment, and housing.

A white fabric banner hanging reads "I live, I am a partisan, that is why I hate the ones that don't take sides. I hate the indifferent. Antonia Gramsci"

2013 Wasserman Forum: Chris Marker: Guillaume-en-Égypte

The 2013 Wasserman Forum focuses on the life and work of renowned artist and filmmaker Chris Marker (1921–2012).

Black and white photo of several young people gathering in protest, a large handwritten sign filling the background.

2011 Wasserman Forum: Present Past: Contemporary Art and the Uses of History

This year’s Forum, Present Past: Contemporary Art and the Uses of History, concerns how artists working with historical subject matter engage theories and methods of historical research.

The silhouette of a building structure in front of a sky background.

2010 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Parody, Politics, and Performativity

The MIT List Visual Arts Center has gathered together several practicing artists and experts on performative practices to participate in the 2010 Wasserman Forum.

A woman stands on a ladder and paints onto a figure onto a wall in black paint.

2008 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Eastern Europe Today and the Role of Art in Times of Change

Eastern Europe Today and the Role of Art in Times of Change will begin with an evening screening of recent video works from and about Eastern Europe. 

Three people sit at a table at the MIT List Center Wasserman Forum.

2006 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: The Scholarly and Artistic Contributions of Jeanne Wasserman

A special Wasserman Forum devoted to Jeanne Wasserman’s achievement and continuing influence as an art historian, writer, curator, and educator.

A hand writing and a letter are in frame.

2006 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: A Matter of Time: Fedback and Immersion in Video Installation Art

“Feedback” and “immersion” are two poles of expression in video art. Early in the medium, closed-circuit video feeds were used as an electronic mirror, instantaneously reflecting whatever came into the camera’s gaze.

Man in a red shirt sits on a chair in the forefront with 3 people sitting behind him and white tents in the background.

2004 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: The University as Patron of Cutting-Edge Architecture

The Wasserman Forum at MIT will explore this phenomenon and investigate how architecture can make a difference within the university culture.

Frank Gehry's Ray and Maria Stata Center is situated on MIT Campus.

2003 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Post-revolutionary Sex + the Future of Visual Desire

In the late eighties and early nineties, the imperative within cutting-edge culture to push the boundaries in terms of eroticism and taste was clear, or at least clearer.

A black and white photo of a girll smoking a cigarette and a man in a flannel shirt.

2001 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Losing the Revolution: On the Loss of Seditious Potential when Avant-Garde Art and Music Stopped Sleeping in the Same Bed

A panel of leading theorists and practitioners will discuss the phenomenon of YOKO ONO and John Lennon from the perspective of 2001. 

Installation view of a sculpture that resembles a building with lots of mirrors and a grid running along the side.

2000 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Stopping Time: Performance and the Archive

The artists will express their thoughts about curators’ and critics’ abilities to keep the performative and ephemeral aspects of their work available for critical inquiry.

Installation view of Dimensions of the Mind featuring an image of a woman projected onto a wall.