Geeta Dayal and her new book.

Geeta Dayal and her new book.

Geeta Dayal ’01, who writes about visual art, sound, and technology, has just published a book on musician Brian Eno, Another Green World – and won recognition for her edgy work.

Dayal, who earned degrees in brain and cognitive sciences and in humanities, has been named one of 26 recipients of a 2009 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. She won $30,000 for a publication titled Locative Art and Urban Space: Mapping an Emerging Field, which will explore topics from Christian Nold’s emotional cartography to Stefan Schemat’s GPS-enabled aural landscapes. Her work will incorporate multimedia content and be made available online and on handheld mobile devices.

Check out her blog, the Original Soundtrack, to learn about her  work, reflections on turning 30, and a recent article for Rhizome at the New Museum titled “Brian Eno, Peter Schmidt, and Cybernetics.”

An 11-minute documentary made by MIT students and filmmaker Audubon Dougherty sheds light on one of the most  highly sought-after organizations at the Institute—the MIT Glass Lab.

Viewers are introduced to its director and a handful of artists who speak to the collaborative experience of blowing glass, the level of spacial awareness and communication it requires, and the novelty of working in a lab at MIT that doesn’t contain a single textbook or computer station.

The film also looks at why the Glass Lab needs help, financially, and what can be done to help it. Watch the full-length piece below or a shorter 2.5 minute version here.

Yesterday I spent some time looking at images of MIT in Flickr’s Creative Commons pool. Turns out people are making some nice pictures! A few of my favorites are posted below.

If you have any you’d like to add, sign up for a free Flickr account and/or send us links to your work.






MIT Ridonkulous set to audition for the 4th season of MTV’s America's Best Dance Crew.

MIT Ridonkulous set to audition for MTV’s America's Best Dance Crew.

MIT Ridonkulous, a student-run dance group, was recently spotted in New York trying out for the fourth season of America’s Best Dance Crew. These student dancers start with hip-hop…and then it gets complicated. Ridonk Style calls on the dancers’ backgrounds in ballet, jazz, tap, break dancing, hip-hop, street/jazz funk, and bhangra. Founded in 2005, they perform on campus, at nearby universities, and host an annual spring event, Footwork, which brings diverse dance groups to campus. If you missed the performances and workshops, you can catch Footwork ’09 on YouTube or check out the videos on the Ridonkulous Web site. Get down. uh.


I thought I had seen it all when it came to FEMA trailers: Families of nine packed in like sardines, perky television hosts who turned the trailers into retreats, but this is new. Faculty and students in MIT’s Visual Arts Program have transformed one surplus trailer into a green mobile composting center, called “Armadillo.”

The name refers to the trailer’s ribbed retractable shell, which protects the permaculture library and indoor multipurpose space inside. The unit is also fitted with vertical gardens and a rain catchment system.

Jae Rhim Lee, director of the MIT FEMA Trailer Project and visiting lecturer at the MIT Visual Arts Program, says the Armadillo is “both a practical tool and a metaphor for how disaster can be transformed into a tool for environmental and community change.”

On June 18th, the trailer will be handed over to Side Street Projects at a ceremony at the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston. Side Street is an artist-run organization that supports visual artists with a variety of services.

For more information, visit the MIT Armadillo site, view a timeline of the project, or watch the video below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Projected MIT Art at the Venice Biennial

Projected MIT Art at the Venice Biennial

An MIT artist known for his large, politically charged slide and video projections is representing his home country, Poland, at the 53rd Venice Art Biennale, which opened this week. Krzysztof Wodiczko, professor in the MIT Visual Arts Program, is showing “Goscie / Guests” in the Polish Pavilion.

In very MIT fashion, Wodiczko is using high-definition, large-scale images to give a voice to immigrants from Chechnya, Ukraine, Libya, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Morocco who seek work in Europe. His earlier work allowed grieving mothers to speak of murdered children from the surface of Boston’s Bunker Hill Monument, Mexican factory girls to tell their stories from a Tijuana building, and atomic bomb survivors to talk from the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.

Wodiczko is not the only member of the visual arts faculty at the world’s most prestigious art biennial. Video/performance art pioneer Joan Jonas, professor of visual arts, is there presenting “Reading Dante II,” two projections suggested by “The Divine Comedy.” One is a 40-minute poetic narrative and video; the other, chalk drawing shapes and forms projected onto a blackboard.

Neri Oxman creates 21st century materials based on natural structures.

Neri Oxman creates 21st century materials based on natural structures.

The cellular structure of a bone or microscopic images of a butterfly wing are the types of natural structures that Neri Oxman studies then translates into 21st century construction materials and processes. This architect, artist, and Media Lab PhD student regularly crosses the boundaries of the biological world, material structures, and geometry.

And there’s lots of buzz about her work. Just named to Fast Company‘s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’. Art works displayed at MoMA, the International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Seville, and the 2008 Beijing Biennial. Won multiple awards including the Earth Award for Future Crucial Design where a video, FAB.REcology, describes her goals. One project is a new version of the rapid prototyping 3-D printers used to replicate objects whose texture and resilience vary across the object.

Learn more on her blog at materialecology, her interdisciplinary research initiative focusing on design at the intersection of architecture, engineering, computation, and ecology.

BenNot too long ago, I was combing through Facebook when I came across a profile picture of my friend Ben. Actually, the picture wasn’t of Ben, it was of his name—and it was written in light. Maybe you know the 1920s photo of Picasso (below). It sort of reminded me of that.


A couple months went by before I stumbled upon a project called GlowDoodle, which is a collaboration between the MIT Media Lab and graduate student Eric Rosenbaum. Using your computer webcam and a bright or glowing object, GlowDoodle allows you to capture designs created with light and then share them on the project web site. Ever since I saw that photo of Ben, I had been looking for a tool just like this. So with no further ado, here is my first doodle:


Rosenbaum, whose background is in neuroscience, music, and education, has bookmarked a few of his favorite doodles on Flickr. Take a look and then make your own.

Upload a photo and Collage, the creation of MIT undergrad Adam Schwartz, will analyze and pixelate it then replace the pixels with images from’s API service that are close in color. The program only works in Firefox. Also check out Schwartz’s blog, Polymath.

Art created using the Collage software.

Art created using the Collage software.