Betye Saar: Mojotech (Artist-in-Residence)

Abstract sculpture that has figurative elements such as a body, head, and crown with an Egyptian hieroglyphic eye at the top.

Archival Slide, Betye Saar, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 1986.

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Betye Saar
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Los Angeles-based collage and multimedia artist Betye Saar will be in residence at MIT for a month to create new works, research new media, and participate in public events. Mojotech is a project that combines Saar’s interest in a variety of spiritual forces with a curiosity about the possibility for magic in technology.

In the mural work Mojotech, a variety of charms, amulets, and voodoo symbols are merged with printed circuit boards, electronic apparatus, and assorted technological pieces. Visitors are invited to participate in the work by bringing personal or technological offerings to be placed on a platform at the base of the work. This accumulative process was inspired by the tradition of African sculpture that incorporates a variety of both decorative and “power” elements from throughout the community.

In a side chamber, the artist has created I Am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, a piece dedicated to the memory of the artist’s mother. This piece integrates images, light, and interactive sound to create a reflective experience for the viewer.

An additional piece will be presented: a holographic collage, Visions, in which three-dimensional images appear and disappear as the viewer moves before the work.In conjunction with this project, the artist has created a “satellite” work at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, 300 Walnut Avenue, Boston.