The MPIWG invites artists to work on their projects within a scholarly context, and bringing them into contact with researchers at the Institute. Artists are personally invited by Directors and Research Group Leaders.
Beijing-born Vivian Xu is a media artist and researcher based in Shanghai. In 2013, she received her MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School for Design. Her work explores the boundaries between bio and electronic media in creating new forms of machine logic, life and sensory systems, and often take the form of object, installation and/or wearable. She has shown, lectured, and performed at various institutions in China, the US, Germany, and Australia, including the National Art Museum of China, the Central Academy of Fine Art, the China Academy of Art, the Chronus Art Center, the Rockbund Museum, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the New York Science Museum, Gallery Ho, the Art Laboratory Berlin, and SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia. Vivian co-founded Dogma Lab, a trans-disciplinary design lab in Shanghai that is dedicated to creating experimental research at the intersection of design, technology, art, and science. She has lectured at various universities and programs, among them Shanghai Tech University, Chinese University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Campus, and the Roy Ascott Technoetic Arts program. Her work has been featured in media and press, including a documentary series by VICE China, Elle US, and the China Global TV English Channel. Her project in Department III is an artist book of her bio machine art series "The Silkworm Project," working closely with Lisa Onaga and the Art Laboratory, Berlin. The piece will be shown in an exhibition alongside "The Silkworm Project" series at Art Laboratory Berlin.
Beate Geissler’s and Oliver Sann’s work concentrates on inner alliances of knowledge and power, their deep links in western culture, and the escalation in and transformation of human beings through technology. In Department I, the artists will work on their most recent project “Hopium Economy.” The project seeks to narrate a larger context for the currently ongoing opioid crisis now bearing down on Midwestern USA, tracing its origins not simply to addiction and dereliction, but instead drawing out how this cycle of dependency, depression, and despair arises from a nexus of factors playing out over public health systems, rural and urban divides, pharmaceutical industries, racial tensions, colonialized monopoly, and de-industrialization. Beate and Oliver’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces, including: the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Fotomuseum Antwerp; the NGBK (New Society for Visual Arts) in Berlin; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; the Fotomuseum Winthertur in Switzerland; the Museum Ludwig in Cologne; MAST Foundation in Bologna, Italy; and the German Pavillion at the Photography Biennial Dubai, UAE. They have received a number of grants and awards, including the Videonale Award from the Museum of Art, Bonn, Germany; the Hermann-Claasen-Award (Cologne, Germany); a production grant from the Graham Foundation, Chicago; and a Humanities without Walls grant. Beate Geissler is currently an associate professor of art at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Oliver Sann is an associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.