Being Material

Symposium, MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology

April 21-22, 2017
MIT Samberg Conference Center, Building E52
50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139

In 1995, MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte predicted that “being digital” would have us entering a realm increasingly unconstrained by the materiality of the world. Two decades later, our everyday lives are indeed ever more suffused by computation and calculation. But unwieldy materiality persists and even reasserts itself. Programmable matter, self-assembling structures, 3D/4D printing, wearable technologies and bio-inspired design today capture the attention of engineers, scientists and artists. “BEING MATERIAL” will showcase recent developments in materials systems and design, placing this work in dialogue with kindred and contrasting philosophy, art practice and critique. Panels on the PROGRAMMABLE, WEARABLE, LIVABLE and INVISIBLE—along with a concert, AUDIBLE—will explore new and unexpected meetings of the digital and material worlds.


Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology and Program Head
Leila W. Kinney,  Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and MIT CAST
Skylar Tibbits, Research Scientist, Department of Architecture
Rebecca Uchill, Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, Department of Architecture
Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor; Chair, Music and Theater Arts; and Faculty Director of MIT CAST


Being Material

Friday, April 21, 2017

1:00- 3:00pm: Programmable
Benjamin Bratton, Ben Fry, Nadya Peek, Casey Reas, Kevin Slavin

3:30-5:30pm: Wearable
Azra Aksamija, Christina Agapakis, Hussein Chalayan, Michelle Finamore, Lucy McRae, Natasha Dow Schull

Saturday, April 22, 2017

10:00am-12:00pm: Livable
Claire Pentacost, Tal Danino, Bill Maurer, Bettina Stoetzer

12:00-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm: Invisible
Sandy Alexandre, George Barbasthathis, Trevor Paglen, Lisa Parks, Michelle Murphy

Followed by a reception

8:00pm: Audible, A Concert
Maya Beiser