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MIT student blogger Shuli J. '22

socially aware hacking, part 2 by Shuli J. '22, MEng '23

this time, it's personal ((last time it was also personal))

I wrote a little while ago about a hack on the Dot raising awareness of MIT’s partnership with/acceptance of money from Shell and other companies which are, uh, potentially accelerating the doom of our species not doing great on the climate change front.

Here’s another one by the same group (or same-named group, anyway) that went up in Building 66 on the 10th. There’s a very, very fancy portrait of David Koch in the first-floor lobby — or, I guess, there was a fancy portrait. Now there is a very different kind of portrait. I have a few pictures below; the best ones are by Maxwell Yun ’21, who, unlike me, actually owns a camera. Thanks Maxwell :)


An impressionist-style painting of a blue ocean and sky. On the horizon, a burning oil rig has turned the air and water around it smoky and reddish.


The painting in the case for the portrait of Koch, covering up almost the entire portrait. To the left, a printed artists statement is visible.
The artist statement (text in text of blog post).

The statement reads,

Tarnished Horizons
Dedicated to the lives disrupted by climate change

Tarnished Horizons is intended to pivot attention away from MIT’s exaltation of David H. Koch, and instead towards the spectre of his actions. Koch spent decades exploiting ecosystems and championing climate change denialism for the financial benefit of himself and his family company, the petrochemical giant Koch Industries.

We strongly encourage the MIT administration to step away from embracing the patronage of the Koch family and the fossil fuel industry, and realign its values with MIT’s mission to brighten the horizons of humankind.

Installation runs November 11th to 17th
Commissioned by the MIT Committee on Climate Change