Gediminas Urbonas is artist, activist, educator and co-founder with Nomeda Urbonas of US: the Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries.
In collaboration with experts from different cultural and professional fields, these projects develop practice-based research models, merging a variety of materials and techniques from urbanism, new media, social science, and ecology.
Urbonas have established an international reputation for socially interactive and interdisciplinary practice exploring the conflicts and contradictions posed by the economic, social, and political conditions in the countries and situations that are in flux. Urbonas uses art platform to render public spaces for interaction and engagement of the social groups, evoking local communities and encouraging their cultural and political imagination.
Urbonas have exhibited internationally including the San Paulo, Berlin, Moscow, Lyon and Gwangju Biennales – and Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions – among numerous other international shows, including a solo show at the Venice Biennale and MACBA in Barcelona. His work was awarded a number of high level grants and residency awards, including the Lithuanian National Prize (2007); a fellowship at the Montalvo Arts Center in California (2008); and a Prize for the Best International Artist at the Gwangju Biennale (2006) and the Prize for the best national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007).
Urbonas is co-founder of Transaction Archive and co-director of the Pro-test Lab Archive. Their writings on artistic research as form of intervention into social and political crisis was published in the books Devices for Action (2008) by MACBA Press, Barcelona and Villa Lituania (2008) by Sternberg Press.
He is currently working on Zooetics, a five-year, connective research project that explores ways of bringing human knowledge and perception closer to other life; this project is intended to seed a new research cluster at MIT. Recent projects include Uto-Pia, an experimental media project mapping heterotopias of dysfunctional infrastructures in the Turku archipelago, and River Runs, an investigation of river culture past and future.
Urbonas is Associate Professor and Director at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology in the School of Architecture and Planning.