4.368 / 4.369
Studio Seminar in Public Art/Public Sphere

4.301, 4.302, or permission of instructor
Limited to 12

The first day of class will be on: Tuesday, February 3 at 9:30am in E15-001 (The ACT Cube).
Contact ujaugust@mit.edu for more information.

This course focuses on the production of art for public space and conceptually deals with new modes of public art that shift the discussion on public space toward discourse on the environment by unpacking, reevaluating, and recombining the notion of the Anthropocene.

The subject will be organized around research and design for a public art intervention on the site of a recently decommissioned United States Naval Air Station in Iceland. From the perspective of both crisis and possibility, the class will consider attempts to develop sustainable culture, environment, and enterprise in a post-NATO and post- economic meltdown environment. Working towards “cleaning up”, the course seeks a dialogue across disciplinary boundaries–with parallel experiences and work–in order to develop critical strategies, methods, and actions toward social and ecological transformation.

There is a mandatory travel component to Iceland for the class during spring break. The itinerary will include meeting with scholars and artists, exploring the site, researching the technology relevant to the location, and finally, modelling and implementing an artistic intervention.

Students will propose projects and develop them from an initial concept to an actual rustic engagement in the public realm. To support students’ work there will be group discussions, presentations, and individual meetings, as well as visits by guest lecturers, practitioners, and scholars in the field. Readings will include work by Gaston Bachelard, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Timothy Morton, Vilém Flusser, Elizabeth Grosz, Michel Serres, and Jill Bennett.

Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to enroll.