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FAST is a prominent feature of the MIT150 events, a festival celebrating MIT’s unique confluence of Art, Science and Technology. Directed by Professor of Music and Media Tod Machover, FAST will present an exciting, surprising variety of work, embracing past to future, performance to debate, and installations to the unclassifiable. FAST will appear throughout the MIT campus and extend over the entire spring semester, punctuated by five special Festival weekend events:
FAST PAST, Festival Kick-Off, February 3–5: Exploring MIT’s unique tradition in the media arts, systems theory in art and design, and electronic music, through an exhibition of the work of Stan VanDerBeek, a forum on contemporary arts and cybernetics, and demonstrations of the past and future of music and technology, from Hyperinstruments, sensors and interfaces, to theories of musical mind and emotion.
FAST THINKING, March 5: Radical research on music and language, and vision and neuroscience, which a special appearance by London’s famed Lontano Ensemble. The concert features work by MIT faculty composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison, Bang-on-a-Can All-Star Evan Ziporyn, and world premieres by Charles Shadle and Peter Child.
FAST OPERA, March 18–25: U.S. premiere of Death and the Powers, a musically and technologically visionary “robotic” opera by Tod Machover, developed at the MIT Media Lab. Commissioned by Association Futurum of Monaco and given its world premiere at the Monte Carlo Opera in September 2010, the opera includes animated walls, a chorus of robots and a musical chandelier, launching a new era in opera production and expression. This production is a collaboration with American Repertory Theater.
FAST FUTURE, April 15–16: A music/media marathon combining the Kronos Quartet, Bang-on-a-Can, Wu Man, and MIT’s own Gamelan Galak Tika and Chamber Chorus; featuring hyperstrings and a MIDI Gamelan. Followed by an unprecedented convening of MIT’s creative arts faculty, alumni and students, which will reveal how new creative practices emerge in MIT’s unique environment and how these processes can be expanded and enhanced in the future.
Tod Machover, Chair of the FAST Steering Committee
Co-curator of the Music | MACHINES Exploration and Celebration
February 5, 2011
Professor of Music and Media at MIT Media Lab since its founding in 1985, Tod Machover has been described as “America’s Most Wired Composer” by the Los Angeles Times. His music, which includes several operas in addition to Death and the Powers, has been acclaimed for breaking traditional artistic and cultural boundaries, offering a unique and innovative synthesis of acoustic and electronic sound. Machover is the inventor of many new technologies for music, most notably his hyperinstruments, which use smart computers to augment musical expression and creativity. He has designed these instruments for some of the world’s greatest musicians, from Yo-Yo Ma to Prince, as well as for the general public and for children. His latest opera, Death and the Powers, will receive its U.S. premiere March 18 – 25 at Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater, presented by the American Repertory Theater.
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J. Meejin Yoon is Associate Professor of Architecture at MIT, teaching the architecture design studios. Her design research investigates the relationship between form and performance, public space and technology, and interactivity and architecture. As the founder of MY Studio and co-founder of Howeler + Yoon Architecture, she is engaged in a multidisciplinary practice, operating in the space between architecture, art, and landscape. Her projects include architecture, urban design, installations, concept clothing and artist books. Among her more prominent design projects are: White Noise White Light (an interactive public space installation for the Athens 2004 Olympics), the 3 Degrees of Felt (for the Aztec Empire Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum), and Hover (a solar-powered canopy in New Orleans). Her designs have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum, the Somerset House in London, and Tokyo’s National Art Center. Her many design awards include Architecture Record Design Vanguard, and the Rome Prize.
Leila W. Kinney, Director of Arts Initiatives at MIT
Director of Arts Initiatives at MIT, Leila Kinney previously served as administrator for academic programs in Comparative Media Studies. As Director of Arts Initiatives, Kinney works with Associate Provost Philip Khoury, the Office of the Arts, the MIT Museum, the List Visual Arts Center, and the Creative Arts Council to advance the arts at MIT in the areas of strategic planning, communications, resource development and cross-school collaboration. Kinney is an art historian with experience in both the Schools of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Architecture and Planning at MIT. Previously on the faculty in the History, Theory and Criticism section of the Department of Architecture and Planning, she specializes in modern art, with an emphasis on media in transition, arts institutions and artists’ engagement with mass culture. She also taught in the Program in Women’s Studies and served on search committees for the Visual Arts Program and the List Visual Arts Center. She is delighted to see FAST come to fruition as a celebration of all that is creatively MIT.