In Our Present Condition... ACT Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of CAVS

ACT’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the internationally renowned MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) began in April 2017.

CAVS was founded in 1967 by Professor György Kepes, who had come to MIT in 1946 to teach visual communications. Kepes’ arrival found MIT focused primarily on engineering and science, and not on art. He felt that new directions in the world of art would rely on scientific expertise, and proposed that artists and scientists could bring a sense of balance to each others’ fields. This was a core concept behind the founding of the Center, which was ultimately dedicated in 1968 in ceremonies shared with the then-new Center for Theoretical Physics.

Throughout its history, CAVS was known for its emphasis on environmental art and art at the civic scale. These themes remain central to the work of ACT. The 50th anniversary program will stretch and extend the ideas and dynamics of CAVS via current and recent work of contemporary artists, thereby creating new spaces for action, recognizing historical echoes of specific sites of knowledge production, and investigating material energies through symposia, exhibits, performances, publications, and radically experimental artistic interventions and practices.

Read more about CAVS in “Celebrating the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, a pioneer in melding art, science and tech” in MIT News.