For the 2019 spring semester, Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) at Brown University welcomes performance and installation artist Tania Bruguera; multimedia artist, composer and performer Ali Momeni; and writer, performer and interactive electronics artist Andrew Schneider as Professors of the Practice. Established by the BAI in September 2016, and made possible by endowed gifts, Professor of the Practice (PoP) positions bring distinguished artists of all genres and other arts practitioners and professionals to the University to further enrich the Brown experience.

BAI Faculty Director and Professor of Music Joseph Butch Rovan said, “These three talented artists and their leading-edge practices exemplify BAI’s key goals: enabling experimentation across disciplines and contributing to international discourse and scholarship. Professors of the Practice provide a singular opportunity for our students and the Brown community to directly engage with and learn from these influential, multi-faceted artists.”

BAI Managing Director Anne Bergeron said, “Through the PoP program, Brown students have direct access to working artists as they come together to learn from one another and examine contemporary issues through their practices. The BAI’s interdisciplinary ethos supports the efforts of full-time and visiting faculty to significantly integrate the arts into Brown’s open curriculum.”

In addition to curriculum expansion, the BAI PoPs contribute to thematic programming, resource opportunities and other extra-departmental needs. PoPs are provided with support, space, research funds and the opportunity to work with students, other faculty, and staff across the University and the Providence arts community while advancing their own research and practice.

About Tania Bruguera
Professor of the Practice – Brown Arts Initiative and David Winton Bell Gallery

For over 25 years, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera has created socially engaged performances and installations that examine the nature of political power structures and their effect on the lives of society’s most vulnerable individuals and groups. Social activism is a fundamental aspect of Bruguera’s practice.

In Havana, Bruguera established the Arte de Conducta (Behavior Art) program at Instituto Superior de Arte in 2003, and recently opened the Hannah Arendt International Institute for Artivism, a school, exhibition space and think tank for activist artists in Havana. Bruguera’s work has been included in Documenta 11 (2002) and the 2015 Venice Biennale. She has exhibited at the National Museum of Wales, Museum of Modern Art, Queens Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and other international venues. She recently completed an installation for the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, London, as part of the annual Hyundai Commission. Bruguera is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship and a Yale World Fellowship, and she was the first artist-in-residence in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

She attended art schools in Havana, including the Instituto Superior de Arte (1987‒92), and received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2001).

During her PoP residency, Bruguera will teach a course on The School of Arte Útil, an ongoing project conceived by the artist in 2013 to address art’s use as a tool for social and political change.
Students will study the shifting roles of contemporary art and consider factors of the practice of Arte Útil such as institutional self-criticism, active hyperrealism, beneficial outcomes, sustainability, intersection with other disciplines and modes of creative collaboration.
Bruguera will also organize an exhibition at David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown on view from August 31 – November 10, 2019. It follows her project at Tate Modern about the global migration crisis and will further explore themes and techniques arising from her work and research at Tate Modern.
About Ali Momeni
Professor of the Practice – Brown Arts Initiative and Brown Data Science Initiative (DSI)

Ali Momeni is an artist and designer whose research interests span performative robotics, interactive projection, machine learning for artists and the intersection of sound, music and health.
Born in Isfahan, Iran, Momeni emigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He studied physics and music at Swarthmore College and completed his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at University of California at Berkeley.

Between 2007 and 2011, Momeni was an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota where he directed the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art and founded the urban projection collective called the MAW. Momeni next served as an associate professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he founded and directed CMU ArtFab. He was also a founding faculty member in CMU’s IDEATE program and contributed to the Music Technology program. In 2018, Momeni joined as a senior principal scientist focused on user experience in artificial intelligence.

In addition to his work in industry and his academic research and teaching, Momeni is also co-founder of IRL Labs, an educational technology start-up focused on transforming everyday situations into interactive learning opportunities. His research interests include educational technologies, human-computer-interaction for performative applications of robotics, playful urban interventions, interactive projection performance, machine learning for artists and designers, interactive tools for storytelling and experiential learning and hybrid musical instruments.

As a PoP, Momeni is initiating a collaboration between the BAI and DSI. He will set up a research lab in the Granoff Center focused on the intersection between machine learning, big data, artificial intelligence and the arts. Momeni will teach a course called “Reality Remix – Experimental VR” that pursues collaborative experimentation with virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). The class will work as a team to pursue research (survey of VR/AR experiences, scientific and critical literature review), reconnaissance (identifying VR/AR resources on campus, in Providence and the region) and design (VR/AR prototyping). The course makes use of BAI facilities in Brown’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts where an existing VR laboratory will be expanded based on student needs.

About Andrew Schneider
Professor of the Practice – Brown Arts Initiative and Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Andrew Schneider is an OBIE award-winning, Drama Desk nominated performer, writer and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, video and installation since 2003. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Schneider creates and performs original works and builds interactive electronic art works and installations. He was a Wooster Group company member (video/performer) from 2007‒14. Rooted at the intersection of performance and technology, Schneider’s work critically investigates human’s over-dependence on being perpetually connected in an always-on world.

Schneider’s original performance work in New York City includes AFTER (2018) Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater; YOUARENOWHERE (2015) The Invisible Dog; DANCE/FIELD (2014) Dance Roulette; TIDAL (2013) River to River Festival; WOW+FLUTTER (2010) The Chocolate Factory Theater; five AVANT-GARDE-ARAMA! works (2005‒13) PS 122; PLEASURE (2009) Issue Project Room; and as resident artist (2006) at LEMURplex. His work at The University of Chicago as a resident artist includes STRATEGIES AGAINST ARCHITECTURE (2008) andTRUE+FALSE (2007) among others. Schneider’s most recent commission was NERVOUS/SYSTEM (BAM, Bard College and MIT in 2018). He is currently working on Ars Nova (in 2019).

Schneider has created wearable, interactive electronic art works such as the Solar Bikini, (a bikini that can charge an iPod), and wireless, programmable sound-effect gloves. His interactive work has been featured in such publications as Artforum and Wired, among others.

Schneider has served as an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and has held teaching positions at Bowdoin College and Carleton College. He holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University.

Incorporating rapid prototyping, workshops and critiques, Schneider’s class will explore how time-based art is an effective manipulator of perception. The class will also investigate the science beyond the shared experience focusing on the brain. Through performance, students will examine how what happens in our brains happens; how art can be used to make our brains experience the same things; and what we can selectively organize for our brains based on science. By showing rather than telling, students will consider how a performance is experienced rather than merely watched and what behind-the-scenes activities, like a musical score, can be employed to manipulate experiences in the moment and in our memories.

The BAI comprises and integrates History of Art and Architecture; Literary Arts; Modern Culture and Media; Music; Theatre Arts & Performance Studies; Visual Art; the David Winton Bell Gallery; and Rites and Reason Theatre/Africana Studies.

More information: The BAI comprises and integrates History of Art and Architecture; Literary Arts; Modern Culture and Media; Music; Theatre Arts & Performance Studies; Visual Art; the David Winton Bell Gallery; and Rites and Reason Theatre/Africana Studies.

More information: