kanarinka | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by kanarinka

Art, Community and Creative Action - Lunch with Mel Chin and Rick Lowe

This week the MIT Office of the Arts is hosting kick-off events for Artists-in-Residence Mel Chin and Rick Lowe. Both artists are renowned in the field of "social practice" which conceives of art-making as an activity that can be participatory, social, community-oriented and engage many fields in and outside of the arts. For example, Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses which is an arts and cultural community located in Houston, TX. Originally motivated by wanting to preserve informal architecture from gentrification and demolition, the project has grown from a single block to encompass six blocks, 40 properties, an artist in residence program, gallery spaces, a park, low-income and commercial spaces and seven houses for young mothers. It might sound alternately like an urban planning project, a grassroots activism project, a capacity-building project, or an arts program. And it is all those things. But it also brings a creative, artistic sensibility to building strategies (spatial and programmatic) for community engagement and empowerment. 

Digital Inclusion in Waltham, MA


Last week’s topic in Intro to Civic Media was Digital Inequality. Aviva and Alexander wrote a great summary post of our readings and conversation.

Introduction to Civic Media in 10 Twinkle Points

I have recently joined the Center for Civic Media/MIT Media Lab as a Research Assistant. My background is in visual and media arts, software development and higher ed. In the arts, one thing I always worked against was the notion that "Art" (capital A, fancy Art) is the product of a lone genius working apart from society. I make artwork collaboratively with groups like the Institute for Infinitely Small Things and Platform2. And many projects involve the participation of specific publics such as the Institute's map The City Formerly Known as Cambridge where we invited residents and visitors to the city to propose new names for Cambridge's public spaces.

Extreme Data/Extreme Story: Liveblog from the 2012 MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference

The Extreme Data and Storytelling plenary session showcases people who are out on the frontiers of storytelling, and who are analyzing and presenting data to make sense of large-scale, complex human issues. They include a scientist using data to unpack the mysteries of economic development, a cartographer working to make poetic, public visualizations of place and a storyteller who's going to amazing lengths to tell the story of human migration. How do you map the world in ways that people can make sense of? Data visualization for legibility is one thing but visualization is also a form of poetry. How do you create images that stay with us for a long time?