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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

They’re not just regular artists… by Matt McGann '00

...they're Artists in Residence.

…they’re Artists in Residence.

Each year, MIT brings exciting and noted artists to campus to work with MIT students. The program is called Artists in Residence, and has been bringing artists to Cambridge for more than 40 years. Some of the previous Artists in Residence have included:

  • Santiago Calatrava, Architect
  • Tan Dun, Composer
  • Scott McCloud, Cartoonist
  • Barnaby Evans, Installation Artist
  • Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Roberto Sifuentes, Performance Provocateurs
  • George Takei, Actor
  • Arthur Ganson, Kinetic Sculptor
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pakistani Vocals & Music
  • Toni Morrison, Author
  • Gregory Hines, Dancer

Several of my friends had the opportunity to work closely with Tan Dun and also with Guillermo Gomez-Pena. It really is pretty exciting.

I write this entry today because tonight is a lecture by our newest Artists in Residence. Those artists are TATS CRU, graffiti artists from the Bronx.

Apparently, five of the TATS CRU will be at MIT throughout the week, giving guest lectures and working with students in classes and labs.

Twenty-five years ago, the three founding members of TATS CRU, Bio, BG183, and Nicer, were struggling inner city teenagers who expressed their artistic talents by creating subway graffiti in the subway tunnels connecting the Bronx and Brooklyn. Then working as a covert operation, the three hardly imagined that their artwork would evolve into a financially viable business that would someday attract attention throughout the world.

Now as “muralists,” the ten-member TATS CRU has been commissioned to create works for numerous corporate companies including Coca-Cola, Firestone, Reebok, The Bronx Museum of Arts, and Chivas Regal. The Cru have also been commissioned to do murals for hip-hop and rap artists like Grand Master Flash, Zulu Nation, Fat Joe Da Gangsta, KRS One, and Busta Rhymes.

Also among this year’s Artists in Residence is Michel Gondry, director of such films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and such music videos as Bjork’s “Human Behavior.” I’m told he’s a big fan of the Disco Dance Floor. The full list of this year’s Artists in Residence:

  • Jewlia Eisenberg, Composer/Musician
  • Tats Cru, Graffiti Artists
  • Endellion String Quartet
  • Michel Gondry, Music-Videomaker
  • Olivier Gondry, Music Video Maker
  • Cory Doctorow, Writer
  • Katia Lund, Filmmaker
  • Ann Lislegaard, Visual Artist

Who’s knows who we’ll get in the future?

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