Please join us in the lobby of the Ronald E. McNair Building (37-1st Floor) April 20-23rd for the exhibition Infinite Footsteps featuring a unique collaboration between the Blacks at MIT History Project, ACT Program, M.Arch Program, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT Office of Minority Education, and contributors from the greater Boston community including Salem State University and a local street breakdancing crew.
Conceptualized by ODGE Graduate Community Fellow Ron Martin, Infinite Footsteps is a multi-layered and dialogic engagement with the theme of mentorship against the backdrop of a fragmented history of racial discrimination in the world of academia in the US. Exploring the notion that over time architecture registers cultural identity and social change, the site-specificity of Infinite Footsteps becomes a key investigatory tool. Formerly known as the Center for Space Research, the SOM designed MIT Building 37 was rededicated as the Ronald E. McNair building in 1986. This exhibition explores the ramifications of this act of re-naming in the wake the Challenger NASA mission disaster, now in its 30th anniversary, where MIT Alum Ronald McNair Ph.D.’76 lost his life. Few know that McNair succeeded in MIT having dealt with the challenges of racial tensions with the help of Michael Feld, of Jewish heritage. They forged their relationship through McNair’s love for Karate and his passion in teaching the martial art to Feld’s twin sons. Feld subsequently staged a famous MIT class lecture in 1991 named The Physics of Karate.
The exhibition of archival materials from the Blacks at MIT History Project will be accompanied by artworks and experimental spatial interventions along with a set of nightly events including a reading group and production workshop, a panel discussion and live dance performances:
Wed 4/20, 6-7pm: Live breakdance performance with multimedia installation (Building 37 Lobby)
Thu 4/21, 6-8pm: Reading Group and Production Workshop with special guests (Building 37 Lobby)
Fri 4/22, 5-7pm: Reception and panel discussion (Marlar Lounge 37-252)
Sat 4/23, 10am-3pm: MIT Open House programming (Building 37 Lobby)
Food and refreshments will be served at each event.
Funding for the project is provided by The Council for the Arts at MIT, The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education and the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (SA+P).