Maggie Orth--Production Design and Direction

After receiving a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1986, I created installations and gallery shows in the NY area until my artistic interests in new audiences, media and technology led me to the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, I received a Master of Science for my thesis Skin Flicks, a feminist video and performance work. I have since worked as a technical director and theater artisan in a variety of Boston productions and multi-media exhibitions. I have also continued to show video and installations locally and pursued my Suitcase Full of Dreams, a portable interactive vehicle for the representation of women. After working for the Computer Clubhouse, a children's program at the Computer Museum in Boston, I founded and now direct a computer art program for children at the Community Art Center in Cambridge, a United Way organization.

The Brain Opera and the environment of the Media Lab have given me the tremendous possibility of combining my various interests and expertise. This project gave me the opportunity to coordinate and integrate an incredible range of people and technology, from the computer systems, to the physical set, to the electronics, audio and video equipment and theatrical needs. Of particular pleasure was my time spent developing the molded plastic musical instruments in the project. Next year, I am very much looking forward to beginning a Ph.D. student here at the M.I.T. Media Lab with Tod Machover as my advisor. I hope to continue to create new projects with him and plan to focus on the physical design and structure of digital instruments, objects and environments. I also plan to pursue my personal interest in the empowerment of young women by giving them a better understanding of and education in, technology. Ultimately, I hope to be able to create new models for young women through toys and media and to develop my web-based women super heroes, the Technae.