The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced today that Mexico City–based artist Pedro Reyes will be the center’s first Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist. Reyes will be in residence at the Cambridge school for at least one year.
The residency is funded by Dasha Zhukova, the philanthropist and founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow who, in October 2015, gave a $1 million gift to MIT. (Zhukova is also an ARTnews Top 200 collector.) The gift funds a year-long residency at the institute that allows an artist to pursue projects and research while also teaching a course.
Reyes’s course will be called “The Reverse Engineering of Warfare: Challenging Techno-optimism and Reimagining the Defense Sector (An Opera for the End of Times),” and based on its title, it seems as if it will focus on surveillance technology. A press release includes no information about what Reyes will work on while at MIT.
Reyes, who will soon debut a “political house of horrors” called Doomocracy at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, said in the statement, “My personal experience and perspective from Latin America, where human interaction matters more than technology, have made me particularly interested in challenging techno-optimism at MIT….It’s my hope, along with my co-teacher Carla Fernández’s, that this long-term residency, encompassing both our course and my own research and experimentation, can serve as a laboratory of sorts that will give feedback to MIT as much as it will impact my own practice. We want to place a human perspective where the machine now lives, which is very much a departure from the idea of progress that has prevailed for the last three centuries.”