The List’s Artist-in-Residency Program enables contemporary artists to work with MIT’s most remarkable asset: the extraordinary intellectual richness of its students and faculty.
The residency initiates extensive contact between an artist and traditionally non-arts community members across the Institute, including scientists, humanists, and social scientists. Residency activities may develop into a project, such as a new work, exhibition, or broadcast, or the artist and MIT constituents may want to work on an idea or project that will not manifest itself in an on-campus presentation.
Most recently the List Center hosted a Visiting Artist residency with Anicka Yi in collaboration with the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST). As a visiting artist at MIT Yi worked with cutting-edge researchers in synthetic biology and the art and science of light. Yi worked specifically with MIT post-doctoral researcher Tal Danino on cultivating bacteria taken from one hundred of Yi’s female friends, colleagues, and associates, the odor of which Yi replicated for her exhibition Anicka Yi: You Can Call Me F, at The Kitchen in New York. Yi also worked closely with Seth Riskin, an expert in holography at MIT, on illuminating Anicka Yi: 6,070,430K of Digital Spit, her recent sculptural installation for the List Center.
In 2011 Trevor pagan examined connections among his photographic work exploring the secret activities of the US military and intelligence agencies, satellites and spacecraft in the Earth’s orbit, and high-end optical systems in collaboration with MIT’s Aeronautics and Astronautics and Electrical Engineering departments, as well as the Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication group. The residency culminated in the project The Last Pictures. Inspired in part by ancient cave paintings, nuclear waste warning signs, and Carl Sagan’s Golden Records of the 1970s, Paglen developed a collection of one hundred images that were nanoscopically etched onto an ultra-archival, golden silicon disc. The disc, commissioned by Creative Time and developed with researchers at MIT, was sent into orbit onboard the Echostar XVI satellite in Fall 2012, to act as both a time capsule and a message to the future. In conjunction with this project, Creative Time and California University Press published an accompanying book The Last Pictures. Paglen also presented a series of public talks at the List about this project during 2011 and 2012.
Past artist-in-residency projects have included Mathieu Briand, Cai Guo-Qiang, Christian Jankowski, Marjetica Potrc, Francois Roche, Natascha Sadr-Haghighian, Cerith Wyn Evans, Matthew Day Jackson, Adel Abdessemed, Tavares Strachan, and Sara VanDerBeek.