Poetic Justice is a research group in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab within the School of Architecture and Planning of Architecture. They’re now accepting applications for their funded graduate program for the fall 2022 semester.
Founded in spring 2019 by artist Ekene Ijeoma, Poetic Justice researches intersectional issues, such as racial and environmental justice, and develops artworks about or with communities. Their participatory public artworks, including phone and online accessible sound and video streams, have been presented by the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Museum of the City of New York.
Current projects question, if “Artists need to create on the same scale as society has the capacity to destroy,” as Sherrie Rabinowitz suggested in 1984, then how can we scale social practice through conceptual art and computational design strategies? They’ve been thinking through this question by developing a series of generative sound and video portraits of linguistic and ethnic diversity in US cities, Black thought and expression in the US (TBA), and liberty and equality across multiple countries (TBA). These digitally-distributed artworks feature oral histories from crowdsourced phone and webcam recordings or internet archives remixed into evolving poetic collages. Next year they’ll be announcing our first physically-distributed artwork, including a series of monuments and sound portraits for Black lives lost to COVID-19 in the US.
Their seminar courses create spaces for discourse around how Black and Brown lives are affected by racism in the US and by the climate crisis in and outside the US. Guest lectures have included artists John Akomfrah, Garret Bradley, Hugh Hayden, Tricia Hersey and Hank Willis Thomas; journalists Topher Sanders and Linda Villarosa; environmental activist Marcus Franklin; anthropologist Dr. Ashanté M. Reese; public health specialist Professor Arline T. Geronimus; sociologist Professor Elijah Anderson; historian Dr. Cooper Owens; chef Omar Tate and more.
They’re building a community of staff, students, research affiliates, and guests interested in developing new modes of technology-enabled social practice art. They are looking for three self-directed graduate students interested in contributing to their group projects while developing independent work within a shared studio environment.
All graduate students receive full funding for two years, including tuition and health insurance, a stipend for research assistantship, and a new laptop. You can read more about applying here.
Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.