Assignment for October 28
We will have class at the normal time (2-4 pm) on Wednesday, October 28. We are roughly in the middle of the semester, so this class will be a great opportunity to take stock of our lass experience so far, and to discuss goals and priorities for the rest of the semester. To prepare for next week:


1) For the discussion we will be having during the first hour of class, please think in advance about these questions and come ready to share your thoughts:
  1. What do you think the final project should be for the class? Individual projects? Individual projects unified by a theme? A single collaborative project? Something else?
  2. Should the project/projects be shared internally only, or should we plan on some kind of Media Lab and/or public sharing?
  3. What elements do you think belong in an ARTS@ML Manifesto?
  4. What else would you like to see us do/learn/accomplish in the second half of the semester?
2) During the second half of the class on the 28th, we will be hosting a panel discussion New Media Experiences-Content-Contexts, moderated by Zach Lieberman, Adjunct Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab. He will be joined by three prominent media artists/curators/entrepreneurs – Sandro Kereselidze, founder of Artechouse; Alex Czetwertynski, installation/commercial artist and curator for Houston’s Day-for-Night Festival; and Ines Alpha, innovator in 3D makeup and VR/AR experiences. Please familiarize yourself with the work of these folks through these links as well as:
MIT News article on Zach Lieberman joining the Media Lab
Zach Lieberman’s very active Twitter feed
Sandro Kereselidze on “infinite space” (video)
Artechouse website
Article on algorithmic art
Artists Explore A.I., with Some Deep Unease (New York Times)
Alex Czetwertynski articles on Medium
Interview with Alex Czetwertynski
5 3D makeup looks by Ines Alpha (video)
Talk by Ines Alpha on AR/3D personal expression (video)
Assignment for October 21
1) We will start class on October 21 at 1pm (instead of 2pm), in order to give us sufficient time to listen to and discuss everyone’s mini-audio projects. So please prepare to present your mini-audio projects in class on the 21st sometime between 1:00 and 2:45 pm (We will take a break from 2:45-3:00 pm). Be in touch with with any special requirements/requests for sharing this work with the class.

2) In preparation for having Yo-Yo Ma, Jacob Collier and Ben Bloomberg in class next week (3:00-4:00 pm), please read/watch the following:
Yo-Yo Ma Bio and Website (including Life & Music)
Yo-Yo Ma on how music can close social distances (with beautiful Bach video)
Yo-Yo on arts during the pandemic
New Yorker article on Yo-Yo’s “Days of Action”
Yo-Yo on innovation, practice and the role of music in our lives
Jacob Collier: NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Jacob Collier Bio
Jacob Collier discusses his latest music
Jacob Collier on the complexity of virtual collaborations
Rolling Stone article about Jacob’s plans to return to touring
Ben Bloomberg Bio
Ben Bloomberg and live performance systems for Jacob Collier
Ben Bloomberg PhD dissertation on Making Musical Magic Live
Assignment for October 14
1) Work on your mini-music/audio projects (due on October 21st) and prepare a brief presentation – including demo – for class on October 14.

2) In preparation for Craig Dykers’ visit to class on October 14 (2:00-3:30 pm), please read the following material about his architecture/design firm Snøhetta, and about the future of architecture in general.
Bio of Craig Dykers
Craig Dykers video interview on how he became an architect
Snøhetta architecture/design firm (based in New York City and Oslo, Norway), including people, process and projects
Announcement of Snøhetta winning the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, just last week
Craig Dykers interview on pushing “non-hierarchical firm” Snøhetta to take risks
Architecture Magazine on Snøhetta’s culture of collaboration
Washington Post article on “Designing to Survive”: understanding the role of post-pandemic architecture
How the Coronavirus will Reshape Architecture from The New Yorker
Assignment for October 7
1) In preparation for Diane Paulus’ visit to class on October 7 (3-4pm), please research work and writings by Paulus and Harvard’s American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) where she is Artistic Director, including – but not limited to – the following:
Wikipedia bio of Diane Paulus
Interview with Diane Paulus in Boston Magazine
Radio interview with Diane Paulus and Tod Machover about Death and the Powers, on WBUR’s On Point
Radio interview with Diane Paulus on “theater as a place for civic engagement” on WHRB
New York Times article: “Looking to past pandemics to determine the future of theater”
Washington Post article on preparing a musical in a pandemic
Diane Paulus’ response to allegations of insidious racism in theater
Video of Diane Paulus talking about “the audience experience” at TEDx Broadway
Video of Diane Paulus talking about “the art of rehearsal”
Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater, by Harvard’s A.R.T. and Chan School of Public Health
Article on selection of architect for new building/center in Allston for the American Repertory Theater
Assignment for September 30
In preparation for next week’s class on The Tradition of Music and Audio at the Media Lab, each class member will join one of the following groups (sign-up in class on 9/23; if you missed class, please contact to be assigned to one of these groups.


Each group should prepare a ca. 10-minute presentation for next week’s class on the person-group-subject, including:


  1. A synthesis of the materials proposed for each group, and an analysis of underlying ideas that are relevant to Media Lab arts culture;
  2. The introduction of additional material researched before next class;
  3. One high-quality audio example sent to artsml-admin@media by Monday morning, 9/28, so that everyone can listen to material from each group before class on the 30th.


The four groups – and core material to be studied by each – are:


  1. Marvin Minsky: Music, Mind and Minsky
    Extensive article on Marvin Minsky in The New Yorker, 1981
    Video (long) of Marvin Minsky – with Mike Hawley and Mary Farbood – at MIT FAST Festival, 2011
    Minsky’s seminal paper on music, Music, Mind and Meaning
    Online version of Minsky’s central work, The Society of Mind, plus basic info and hard copy; read as many excerpts as possible
    Video (long) of Celebrating Marvin Minsky, a Media Lab memorial event in March 2016
  2. Barry Vercoe: Machine Listening and music software systems
    Basic bio of Barry Vercoe
    Interview with Barry Vercoe
    PhD dissertation on Machine Listening Systems by Eric Scheirer, student of Barry Vercoe
    Video (long) of Barry Vercoe and Miller Puckette at MIT Music | Machines event, 2011
  3. Tod Machover: Music interactivity, inclusion, and The Brain Opera
    Basic bio of Tod Machover, by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, and interview in NewMusicBox (1999)
    Original Progress Report on first generation of Hyperinstruments (1987-1991)
    Video (long) of Tod Machover at ARTS@ML class, 2011
    Brain Opera articles in Electronic Musician, The New York Times (1 and 2), The New Yorker, and The Los Angeles Times
    Musical Memory and Minsky Melodies sections from The Brain Opera, and articles on Technology of the Brain Opera (Paradiso) and The Singing Tree (Oliver)
  4. Joe Paradiso: Sensing for music performance and everything else
    Basic bio of Joe Paradiso
    Video (long) of Joe Paradiso at ARTS@ML class, 2011
    Article on musical uses of electric field sensing
    Article on Sensor Architectures for Interactive Environments
    Info on Joe’s giant modular synth in The AtlanticGizmodo and The Verge; plus two articles by Joe (1 and 2) on his modular synth work


In addition, each group should have a kick-off meeting with a “designated guide or guides” who will help to position the subject and to give pointers for further research:


MinskyRébecca Kleinberger and Xiao Xiao
VercoeNikhil Singh
MachoverTod Machover
ParadisoJoe Paradiso


Don’t hesitate to contact artsml-admin@media with any questions about this assignment.


Assignment for September 23
1) Imagine something to share that would be truly exciting – but almost impossible – to exhibit. Send title/brief to artsml-admin by 5pm Friday. Share (or show) full idea in class next week.

2) Read the following material on Paola Antonelli, MoMA, other museums, and consult materials from last week’s assignment on Pattie Maes, Hiroshi Ishii, Bill Mitchell and Neri Oxman.
Wikipedia entry for Paola Antonelli
2007 TED Talk by Paola Antonelli: “Treat Design as Art”
Interview with Paola Antonelli on the future of design
Interview with Paola Antonelli on the defining designs of 2020
Brief history of Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York
Article on MoMA’s online archives and complete exhibition history
Neri Oxman’s Material Ecology exhibition, at MoMA until October 18th plus Virtual Views
Brief history of art museums (Khan Academy) and video on “The Case for Museums” (PBS)
Reopening the interactive Makeup Museum and other New York museums during the pandemic
Ars Electronica 2020 Festival, international “Kepler’s Gardens”, and Tangible Media’s “Presence of Absence
MIT Visual Arts Center exhibits on Instagram
The Museum of the Future by Jasper Visser
Steve Benton tribute in Holography
Mschool by Seymour Papert and Tod Machover
Assignment for September 16
1) Prepare a 1-minute-or-less introduction of yourself using any artistic medium/media. The goal is to give everyone in the class a strong sense of who you are and what you care about, through “experience” rather than “description.”
We will share all of these in class on September 16.

2) Please view at least one video, and read at least one article, in advance of Class 2; you are – of course – invited to read/view as much of this material as possible before class on September 16. In any case, please try to view/read the rest over the course of the semester.
Original proposal (1986) to MIT to create the academic program in Media Arts and Sciences
MIT News obituary for Jerome “Jerry” Wiesner
Article on Wiesner and Negroponte, and “radical pedagogies”
Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) founded by Jerome Wiesner in 1972
Article by David Reinfurt about Muriel Cooper and the Visible Language Workshop
Video (long) of presentation about the Visible Language Workshop (from Arts@ML course, fall 2011)
Video (long) of Muriel Cooper Memorial event at Media Lab in October 2017
Music, Mind and Meaning by Marvin Minsky
Video (long) of Marvin Minsky Memorial event at Media Lab in March 2016; Margaret Minsky (daughter) and Tod Machover, 13:34-38:58
A Brief History of Film/Video and Interactive Cinema at the Media Lab by Gloriana Davenport (slides, with movie inserts)
Media Fabrics by Glorianna Davenport
Video (long) of presentation by Glorianna Davenport on history of Film/Video and Interactive Cinema (from Arts@ML course, fall 2011)
Tribute Issue to Steve Benton in HOLOGRAPHY: The Journal of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Video (brief) of Steve Benton’s Synthetic Holography group (from 1985 MIT Media Lab videodisc)
Video (16 minutes) of Tod Machover presenting at World Frontier Forum, Berlin in November 2019
Opera of the Future updates from Media Lab’s Summer 2020 “Out of Lab Experience” (if you need login info, contact
Duet for Composition and SoftwareNew York Times, August 2013
Streaming videos of Chomsky Suite and A Toronto Symphony by Tod Machover
Article about John Maeda and “In reality, design is not that important”
Website from John Maeda’s Aesthetics and Computation Group
Video (long) of John Maeda’s public lecture as part of Arts@ML course, fall 2011
Article on “Tangible Influence: A stroll through Hiroshi Ishii’s living legacy”
Video (long) of Hiroshi Ishii presenting on “Making Digital Tangible”
Article by Joe Paradiso on “The Brain Opera Technology”
Draft book intro by Joe Paradiso on “Electronic Controllers for Musical Performance and Interaction”
Video (long) of presentation by Joe Paradiso on history of Responsive Environments/Artistic Sensing+Performance (from Arts@ML course, fall 2011)
Book chapter by Cynthia Breazeal on “Designing Socially Intelligent Robots”
MIT News article – with link to Consciousness and Cognition paper – on Dormio by Adam Haar Horowitz, Pattie Maes, et al
Video (long) with Cynthia Breazeal, Pattie Maes and Leah Buechley discussing “Is it Art? Is it Design? Is it a Demo? Does it Matter” (Arts@ML course, fall 2011)
Obituary for Bill Mitchell, former Dean of SA+P, the Head of MAS and Media Lab professor
Listing/description of Bill Mitchell’s books published by MIT Press
Video (long) of Bill Mitchell summing up ideas and history as part of MIT’s Infinite History project
PhD dissertation by Neri Oxman on “Material-based design computation”
Website for the Mediated Matter Group