The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology operates as a critical studies and production-based laboratory, connecting the arts with an advanced technological community. We emphasize experimentation and transdisciplinary approaches to studio production in both traditional and new media. ACT faculty, fellows, and students engage in advanced visual studies and research by implementing both an experimental and systematic approach to creative production and collaboration. As an academic research unit, ACT emphasizes both knowledge production and knowledge dissemination. In the tradition of artist and educator Gyorgy Kepes, the founder of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and an advocate of “art on a civic scale” ACT envisions artistic leadership initiating change, providing a critically transformative view of the world.

ACT courses have a strong focus on dialogues in art, architecture, urbanism, and the production of space; interventions in public spaces and the development of anti-monuments and new instruments of collective memory; interrogative design, body wear, and nomadic devices; interfaces between visual art practices, the performative, and the sonic; experiments with truth-using photographic and time-based media to blur conventional boundaries between documentary and fiction; and Art and Science/Science and Art—research-based artistic practices. Students are encouraged to take both the physical and the cultural contexts of their work as central components of their interpretations. Presentations on contemporary art, discussions in theory and criticism, and an understanding of research-based artistic practice complement studio production and the development of projects.

ACT offers an undergraduate minor and concentration and a highly selective two-year graduate program in which students earn a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology (SMACT). Courses are taught by renowned practicing artists working in an international arena. The program offers a variety of introductory courses to the general MIT student population as well as courses tailored to undergraduates majoring in architecture. Advanced courses related to specific media and topics are offered as electives for both undergraduate and graduate students.