Chris Csikszentmihályi is the Muriel Cooper Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and directs the Computing Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. Since earning a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the University of California at San Diego, he has worked at the intersection of new technologies, politics, media, and the arts—lecturing, showing new media work, and presenting installations on five continents and one subcontinent. Interested in cultural narratives, he typically aims to create a new technology to embody some particular social agenda.
His current work includes a set of autonomous agents—technical devices and mobile robots for land, sea, and air—that can explore the political landscape, from Guantánamo and the US/Mexico border to the factories of arms manufacturers. These devices work in the instrumental sense, to achieve a task or goal, and also to reveal the assumptions of conventional technological research, development, and production.
Csikszentmihályi was a 2005 Rockefeller New Media Fellow, and Charta published the catalog for his most recent solo show at the Location 1 Gallery in New York City. Skin and Control were major installations consisting of a full-scale 737 and a re-creation of the Chernobyl control panels. His previous piece, DJ I, Robot, won the special award for new media at the Split Film Festival and was nominated for the Best Artistic Software award at Berlin’s Transmediale. An earlier installation, Natural Language Processor, was commissioned by the KIASMA Museum in Helsinki, Finland.