AIC RSS Greater Boston Maine Pioneer Valley Rhode Island
This website is an archive of previous AIC activities.

Click here to link to the current AIC website.


  • Our unique approach allows clients to select from an a la carte menu of services and to engage with us over various time frames, from an isolated and short-term consultancy to a long-term, embedded relationship.
    • Services are based on initial consultation and needs assessment.


Conversational Starters

 OneBook Book Clubs

AIC created the OneBook Book Club to instigate conversations among people from different backgrounds about issues of common concern or passion. The OneBook is a discrete, one-time only meeting about a text (book, article, blog, research study, etc.) that encourages participants to engage with other points of view on a subject.  In some cases, the OneBook generates additional discussions and future collaborations.

  • Meeting the Universe Halfway by Karen Barad
    Focused on the author’s acclaimed study of quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning         
  • At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America
    With author Rebecca Kneale Gould, held in conjunction with a School of the Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Colloquium in 2010
  • The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman
    About the future of water as it relates specifically to the Providence, RI, community and the artist’s role as public intellectual in displaying, provoking and engaging responsibility in the face of environmental degradation
  • Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Post Industrial City by Richard D. Lloyd
    A discussion of a case study of the cultural revitalization/gentrification of a city neighborhood moderated by Sandy Zipp, Assistant Professor of American Civilization and Urban Studies at Brown University 
  • Becoming Beside Ourselves: the Alphabet, Ghosts, and Distributed Human Being, by Brian Rotman
    An author-led discussion on the interrelations between computational media, subjectivity and human evolution
  • International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, entries by Denis Wood
    A conversation about practice, technique and theory behind research mapping


Main Events

Lecture/Presentations, Lecture Series, Symposia and Conferences

AIC researches and organizes interdisciplinary educational events on specific themes that relate to the role of contemporary art and design in social progression.  Our expertise lies in assembling a group of speakers with different points of view, profiling exemplary research and projects in a case-study format and facilitating critical discussion, documentation and dissemination. 

Conferences and Symposia

  • Climate Culture: Art, Action, Climate Change: A symposium at Mass Art funded by the Barr Foundation,
    February 2012

AIC was the lead consultant for design of a symposium that explored the possibilities of artists collaborating with a variety of partners (scientists, educators, environmental agencies, academic institutions) to address climate change, environmental awareness and personal understanding of the issues involved.  AIC was responsible for the overall conceptual design of the symposium (the case-study approach); developing a participant list of scientists, activists, artists and public policy leaders; curating and presenting case studies (Mary Mattingly’s Waterpod and Rhode Island’s federally funded EPSCoR project);and editing the evaluation report .Following the symposium, AIC was awarded additional funding to select and manage the early development of two art/climate projects that originated at the symposium.

  • For information on the five Connected and Consequential convenings that AIC organized in 2011-2013, please click here

Lecture/Presentations and Workshops
A Selection of Past Titles

  • It is Difficult with artist Alfredo Jaar
  • art and technology in the age of activism with entrepreneurs Nicco Mele and  Theaster Gates
  • Wet Landings: The Environmental Health Clinic with artist/engineer Natalie Jeremijenko
  • Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else with architectural theorist  K. Michael Hayes
  • Art and Healing with Harvard Public Health Professor Dr. Jeremy Nobel
  • Women in Science and Animation with animators Jo Dery  and Sophia Tintori
  • Immigrant Movement International with artist Tania Bruguera
  • Small, Fragile and Immaterial, On Reconstructing the Civic with Slought Foundation Director Aaron Levy
  • Ocean Voices with artist Halsey Burgund and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols
  • Permaculture with urban homesteading specialist  Rachel Kaplan
  • The Problem of Normal with artist Nancy Andrews andWalter M. Robinson, MD, MPH

  • For a full listing of all events AIC produced from 2009 -2013 please click here


Imaginative Offerings

Creative Public Programming, Engagement and Continuing Education
AIC finds innovative ways to lift project content out of its institutional setting and move it beyond traditional educational and outreach strategies. AIC contends that project content will grow organically beyond institutional walls through interaction with new publics in non-traditional situations.


  • SUGAR Story Circles
    AIC worked with theater artist Robbie McCauley to conduct story circles in Boston, wherein participants listened to and told stories based on their interests and concerns – in this case, stories of being or caring for a diabetic.These story circles provided support for diabetics, relatives of diabetics and medical personal concerned with the disease. AIC worked with the artist to arrange and facilitate story circles at HEARTH, an assisted living facility for the formerly homeless in Roxbury, MA, and the Mattapan Community Health Center.
  • Philosopher’s Walk in Urban Nature
    Mildred’s Lane/Renovating Walden, a project by J. Morgan Puett and Mark Dion, was exhibited at the Tufts University Art Gallery in the fall of 2010. To extend the impact of the exhibition and to create new audiences, AIC organized a Philosopher’s Walk in Urban Nature. AIC transposed the shape and length of two of Thoreau's many walks near Walden Pond onto the Roxbury, MA, cityscape, thereby setting the stage for a walk of layered meanings. Artist J. Morgan Puett, architect/community gardening researcher Ben Peterson and history and philosophy of science scholar Peggy Reynolds made presentations as we walked, thought and talked about the relationships between town and country, society and nature.
  • Foreign Parts
    AIC held a work-in-progress film screening with award-winning filmmaker Verena Paravel at  the  Aladdin Auto Service, Cambridge, MA.
  • Water as Food: Possible Water Futures: A Cross(x) Species Dinner
    AIC organized a dinner in collaboration with The Lab at Harvard and the Environmental Health Clinic, a collaborative project by artist/engineer Natalie Jeremijenko and molecular gastronomist Mihir Desai. At the dinner, participants explored our collective relationship to water and our capacity to improve this through redesigning our food and food systems.  In each of 5+ paired courses, diners experienced water equivalents, shadow water, green, blue and grey water… all of which quantify the water required in the various stages of the production and digestion of a particular food, ranging from lettuces to beef, to trace the complex distribution and transformation of this transparent substance of life.
  • FUNDRED:PAYDIRT by artist Mel Chin and collaborators
    AIC acted as the New England coordinator for the national Fundred/Paydirt project (aimed at remediating lead from the inner-city soils of New Orleans and other US cities) by conducting Fundred-making workshops in such locations as urban supermarket parking lots, outdoor festivals and the Maine State Capitol.


Technical Sides

 Research Services

Clients hire AIC to generate and interpret data from the field to produce data for planning or evaluation purposes. Unique to AIC’s research practice is the analysis of complex social, environmental, economic and political forces that influence the data.  We have developed a series of workshops that train others in research methods, especially those who derive inspiration and content from human and non-human interactions in space and place. We advocate for long-term, collaborative research roles for artists so that their unique perspective is fully ingrained in the research process from the earliest stages.


  • Mapping (Data Creation and Testing; Quantitative, Qualitative and Hybrid; Traditional, Community-Based and Alternative)


AIC co-director Marie Cieri is a social/cultural geographer and cartographer. Among relevant data sets and maps she has created are:


  • Analysis, graphing and mapping of grants given by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts from 1989 to 2002 to help assess geographic extent of its Curatorial Grants Program and plan outreach to underserved areas
  • A series of printed maps and an annotated Google map showing visual arts, music, dance and theater programs in elementary, middle and secondary schools in the state of Maine (subcontractor for Wolf Brown Associates)
  • An “Impressionistic Map of the Katrina/Rita Diaspora,” used in association with artist Rick Lowe’s Transforma Projects working in the Gulf Coast area for several years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita;
  • With more than two dozen local African-Americans of different ages, education levels, gender, sexuality and tenure in the city, mapping of African-American social space in Boston (a work-in-progress)

Examples of other types of mapping and data set creation are available upon request.


  • Artist as Researcher

AIC creates the space for an alternative and deliberately articulated research paradigm where artists are considered partners in research design, positioned much more upstream in the process of inquiry. They look at how research questions are framed and bring a uniquely embodied set of symbolic languages and performative strategies to these questions. In this model, artists facilitate partnerships and communications among experts and non-experts, formal and informal communities.

  • Art and Health: With artist Sara Hendren, AIC is designing a distinctive and sustained model of arts and design inquiry about health.The city of Boston provides a unique opportunity for cultural producers to engage expert cultures in health sciences, medical care and biotechnology in a much more robust way than typical residencies or collaborations.
  • Art and Environment: AIC designed a structured residency for artist Ilana Halperin at Earthwatch to explore how integrated art-/science-based practice actually works.  The  overall project was intended to create an in-depth creative field diary, the outcome of which could have long-term effects within Earthwatch.


  • Professional Training in Research Methods

AIC has developed a series of lecture/workshops on Research Methods. Artists, designers and other creative practitioners working “in the field” need to explore issues of how to generate and interpret research data. Through readings, discussion, work “in the field” and practicum presentations, AIC’s course explores an array of research methods that are inherently cross-disciplinary. Overarching themes such as reflexivity, representation, validity and ethics are also discussed. Sequential workshops include:

  • Artist as Researcher, Collaborator, Agent
  • Research Methods in Geography and Related Fields
  • The Power of Mapping
  • Situated Research Methods


Project Management

 AIC has worked on all stages of collaborative projects: from the conception of an idea, when it is important to outline research tactics and procure research resources; to identifying and convening collaborators; to assistance with project presentations;  to project production and the attendant long-term organizational partnerships to sustain the work; fundraising, amplification and documentation.

Ongoing Work
Artists’ Prospectus for the Nation
To compile the first issue of the Prospectus, AIC managed 17 separate projects. Some of the projects are new and others are extensions or revisions of existing projects. AIC worked closely with the collaborating artists over a two-year period to develop their contributions, to provide editorial advice and critique, to assemble the project within a larger conceptual framework and to complete the project on budget and on time.        

Sample Projects