Avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, playwright-director Moisï¿½s Kaufman, the boundary-smashing musicians of the Bang on a Can All-Stars and vocalist Linda Tillery are among the guest artists coming to MIT this fall.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of MIT's Artist-in-Residence Program, which brings both renowned and emerging artists to MIT to work with students and faculty in curricular and co-curricular settings.
Most of this fall's visiting artists will be working with students in humanities and arts-related courses at MIT, complementing the work of MIT's own distinguished faculty in areas such as music, theater and creative writing. Many of the artists will also present programs open to the general public.
The following is a partial list of visiting artists for Fall 2001 and their public programs:
Playwright-director Moisï¿½s Kaufman of the Tectonic Theater Project will work with theater students at MIT from Oct. 2-4 and discuss his two latest works, "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and "The Laramie Project" on Thursday, Oct. 4 in Wong Auditorium. A reception will follow this 40th annual Abramowitz Memorial Lecture. For more information, call x3-2341.
Choreographer, actress and dancer Isaura Oliveira, who teaches Afro-Brazilian dance at MIT, presents her solo work for body, voice, media and visual art, "Ancestrais (Ancestors)" from Oct. 5-7 in Kresge Little Theater. The piece is inspired by the African Divinities of the Condomblï¿½--the religious system transported by African slaves to Brazil. For more information, call x3-2877.
Abe Rybeck, a performer, playwright and artistic director of Boston's Theater Offensive, a company dedicated to forming and presenting the diverse realities of "queer life," is teaching a theater class in Experimental Studies this term.
Installation artist Paul Pfeiffer will be at MIT for a second three-day period from Nov. 27-29 (the first was Sept. 18-20) this fall and again in the spring, working with MIT faculty and students to investigate the concept of racial identity and how it can influence and disrupt the artistic, cultural and academic worlds. Pfeiffer uses a variety of media to investigate the human body and psyche and racial identity through popular iconography such as athletes and movie stars.
Avant-garde artist Yoko Ono will present a free event at MIT on Saturday, Oct. 20 in conjunction with the opening of her retrospective show, "YES Yoko Ono," at the List Visual Arts Center from Oct. 18 to Jan. 6. Reservations are required for this event; call x3-9477.
The six-member, New York-based Bang on a Can All-Stars and Balinese puppet master I Wayan Wija present the World Premiere of "Shadow Bang" from Oct. 12-14. Both a continuation of the timeless "shadow puppet" art form and a radical reinvention of it, "Shadow Bang" is a collaborative performance blending the imaginary and the everyday, the traditional and the avant-garde. Wija uses hand-carved and painted puppets to tell a humorous story based on an episode from the Mahabharata, the ancient religious epic from India. Original music by Professor Evan Ziporyn. From Oct. 9-14, the All-Stars will be at MIT, working with Gamelan Galak Tika; Wija will work with students in MIT's theater arts section. For more information, call x3-9800.
San Francisco composer, singer and musicologist Linda Tillery and the all-women a cappella ensemble Cultural Heritage Choir will perform African-American roots music on Sunday, Oct. 21 in Kresge Auditorium. The music, ranging from slave songs to contemporary African-American vocal music and jazz, includes field hollers, moans, shouts, playsongs and folk spirituals, accompanied by sticks, stones and tapping feet. For more information, call x3-4795. On Monday, Oct. 22, the Cultural Heritage Choir will hold a workshop with the 100-member MIT Concert Choir directed by Bill Cutter.
Violinist Joshua Bell will be among the artists visiting the Media Lab this year. Bell is working with Professor Tod Machover on the development of Machover's hyperviolin and his "Toy Symphony," an international music performance and education project designed to introduce children to the joy and excitement of creative music-making.
Now in its eighth season, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of South Asia), presents a full roster of South Asian performing artists including Hindustani vocalist Veena Sahasrabuddhe (Oct. 7); Carnatic clarinet player A.K.C. Natarajan (Oct. 28); Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri (Nov. 11). For more information, call x8-7971 or go here.
The MIT Chapel Concert Series continues its 35th season with performances by local musicians each Thursday at noon in the MIT Chapel. For more information, call x3-9800.
The poetry@mit series opens its season on Thursday, Oct. 18 with a reading by New York City poet Ron Padgett. For more information, call x3-7894.
A number of Artists-in-Residence are continuing longer-term residencies at MIT: members of Shakespeare & Company begin their sixth year teaching and directing in MIT's theater arts section; visual artist Diane Willow continues her engagement in sound and environmental art with students in the Media Lab; and glass artist Peter Houk returns to teach glass-blowing at the MIT Glass Lab in the Materials Processing Center.
For complete event listings, see the weekly Tech Talk arts listings and the MIT Events Calendar.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 26, 2001.