Expanding Boundaries

The Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at MIT presents

Expanding Boundaries

Presenting educational material in ways unique to Virtual Environments.

Wednesday April 29, 2009, 11am – 1pm

Stata 32-124 map

A panel of Virtual artists will discuss their work in the context of education. The goal of this lecture event is to illustrate the immersive and interactive capabilities of virtual environments by providing a hands-on experience to the MIT community. Participants will be able to speak with the artists and interact with their work follwing the panel.


John (Craig) Freeman

Associate Professor of New Media, Emerson College
Artist and educator John Craig Freeman uses digital technologies to produce place-based virtual reality installations made up of projected interactive environments that lead the audience from global satellite images to immersive, user navigated scenes on the ground. Most noteably his work on Imaging Place has been exhibited internationally.


He recieved his BA from the University of California, San Diego in Visual Art Studio in 1986. His MFA was in Creative Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. The focus of his academic activities throughout the last decade has been to integrate computer technology and theory of electronic culture into visual art curriculum and to explore interdisciplinary approaches to education and technology.

Artwork, Exhibitions, Reviews:

His work has been exhibited internationally including at Fringe Exhibitions in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, the Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, Eyebeam in New York, City, the Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (the national gallery of Warsaw), Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia, Art Basel Miami, Ciberart Bilbao and the Girona Video and Digital Arts Festival in Spain, La Biblioteca National in Havana, the Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary, the Center for Experimental and Perceptual Art (CEPA) in Buffalo, Art interactive, Mobius and Studio Soto in Boston, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, Ambrosino Gallery in Miami, the Photographers Gallery in London, and the Friends of
Photography’s Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tamiko Thiel


She received her B.S. in 1979 from Stanford University in Product Design Engineering with a focus on human factors design. Her M.S. was in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied human-machine design at the Biomechanics Lab and computer graphics at the precursors to the Media Lab. She then studied studio art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, where she received a Diploma in Applied Graphics in 1991, specializing in video installation art.

Artwork, Exhibitions, Reviews:

She exhibits internationally in venues such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, and the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York, and in media art festivals such as Siggraph and ISEA. She was creative director and producer of Starbright World, an award-winning 3D online virtual playspace for seriously ill children done in collaboration with film director and Starbright Foundation chairman Steven Spielberg. Her virtual reality installation Beyond Manzanar is in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art in Silicon Valley, California, USA. Her virtual reality installation The Travels of Mariko Horo, a reverse Marco Polo fantasy about a Japanese woman who constructs the West, premiered in the “Edge Conditions” exhibit, as part of the Pacific Rim Theme of the ZeroOne San Jose/ ISEA 2006 Symposium. Her newest work “Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall”, a virtual reality installation on the Berlin Wall, premiered in 2008 at the Museum for Communication in Berlin, and will be shown extensively in Europe and the USA in 2009 for the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

About John Craig Freeman

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. Freeman is a founding member of the international artists collective Manifest.AR and he has produced work and exhibited around the world including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthallen Nikolaj Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, He has had work commissioned by the ZERO1, Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman's work in her book Digital Art, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently a Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. Freeman writes, “If Andy Warhol set out to create a distinctly American art form in the twentieth century, I identify with those who seek to create a distinctly global art form in the twenty-first.”
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