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Image-projection artist appointed CAVS director

Krzysztof Wodiczko, an artist whose internationally recognized image-projection creations are strongly linked to social issues, has been named director of MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

The appointment was announced by Professor William J. Mitchell, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.

Professor Wodiczko, who will come to MIT in February as an associate professor in the Department of Architecture, succeeds Otto Piene as CAVS director. Professor Piene, the sculptor known and respected worldwide for his stunning and majestic sky figures, retired in 1993 after 20 years in the post.

"Professor Wodiczko is exactly the right person to lead the Center for Advanced Visual Studies as it breaks new ground in invigorating the exploration of the connections between art and technology, an activity that has became a strong MIT tradition under Professor Piene," Dean Mitchell said. "We are fortunate that Professor Piene, through the MIT Advisory Council on Art and Technology, which he chairs, will continue to play a role in this exciting activity."

Professor Wodiczko was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1943, and received the master of fine arts degree in industrial design in 1968 from the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademia Sztuk Pieknych) in Warsaw.

He has had numerous solo exhibitions and public projects in the United States and Europe. Another is scheduled for next year in Japan. In addition he held teaching positions at leading schools in North America and Europe. He is now at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he is preparing a retrospective exhibition for Warsaw and continuing his Alien Staff Project with immigrants in Sweden, Finland and Poland.

An article by Peter Boswell, associate curator of the Walker Art Center and organizer of its recent exhibition of Professor Wodiczko's work, said: "Krzysztof Wodiczko is best known for the public projections he has been creating since the early 1980s-shimmering, ephemeral displays of colored light cast on public monuments to convey. images relating to concrete social issues."

Until February, Paul L. Earls, a CAVS pioneer of music-modulated laser installations and events, and Elizabeth Goldring, exhibits and projects director of CAVS, will serve as acting directors.

CAVS was established in 1967. Its founding director was painter and author Gyorgy Kepes. Professor Piene was director from 1974-1993. The center has become an important hub for creative and scholarly work involving the relationship of the visual arts and technology.

Light/Space/Time: CAVS/MIT/25 Years, a retrospective showcasing the work of more than 25 former CAVS fellows, opened June 4 and will continue through October 2 at the MIT Museum and CAVS, both at 265 Massachusetts Ave.

Curated by Professor Piene, Light/Space/Time features works employing lasers, computers, holograms, play decks, disc players, video projectors, synthesizers, sound, radio, TV and telecommunications components.

Mary Haller, Office of the Arts

A version of this article appeared in the August 31, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 3).

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