FAST was a prominent feature of the MIT150 events, a festival celebrating MIT’s unique confluence of art, science, and technology. Directed by professor of music and media Tod Machover, FAST presented an exciting, surprising variety of work, embracing past to future, performance to debate, and installations to the unclassifiable. FAST appeared throughout the MIT campus and extended  over the entire spring semester, punctuated by five special festival weekend events:

FAST PAST (FESTIVAL KICK-OFF), February 3–5: Exploring MIT's unique tradition in the media arts, systems theory in art and design, and electronic music, through an exhibition of the work of Stan VanDerBeek, a forum on contemporary arts and cybernetics, and demonstrations of the past and future of music and technology, from Hyperinstruments, sensors and interfaces, to theories of musical mind and emotion.

FAST THINKING, March 5: Radical research on music and language, and vision and neuroscience, with a special appearance by London's famed Lontano Ensemble. The concert featured work by MIT faculty composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison, Bang-on-a-Can All-Star Evan Ziporyn, and world premieres by Charles Shadle and Peter Child

FAST OPERA, March 18–25: US premiere of Death and the Powers, a musically and technologically visionary "robotic" opera by Tod Machover, developed at the MIT Media Lab. Commissioned by Futurum Assocation of Monaco and given its world premiere at the Monte Carlo Opera in September 2010, the opera included animated walls, a chorus of robots, and a musical chandelier, launching a new era in opera production and expression. This production was a collaboration with the American Repertory Theater.

FAST FUTURE, April 15–16: A music/media marathon combining the Kronos Quartet, Bang-on-a-Can, Wu Man, and MIT's own Gamelan Galak Tika and Chamber Chorus; featuring hyperstrings and a MIDI Gamelan. Followed by an unprecedented convening of MIT's creative arts faculty, alumni and students, which revealed how new creative practices emerge in MIT's unique environment and how these processes can be expanded and enhanced in the future.

FAST LIGHT, May 7: The culminating event of the FAST Festival shimmered on the waterfront of MIT’s campus on the evening of May 7th. A night of kinetic illumination kicked off with the launch of Otto Piene’s Sky Event, when a group of students and alumni flew a large-scale, brightly lit star over Killian Court. From dusk until dark, FAST Light glowed along the Charles River waterfront and on MIT’s campus with projects created by MIT students and faculty. Each work incorporated light, taking advantage of MIT’s infrastructure in dynamic, energy-efficient and inventive ways.

For more information about the FAST Arts Festival, please contact the FAST organizers.

More detail on FAST programs and events.

Read more at MIT News.

Or watch video of the event at Tech TV.

Arts at MIT