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MIT List Visual Arts Center presents works by Ethan Hayes-Chute
Ethan Hayes-Chute, Epson HX-20 Portable Computer, 1982, Epson Corp, Japan, 1 ¾ x 14 ¾ x 8 ½ in. Courtesy the artist.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.- Ethan Hayes-Chute’s installations, sculptures, drawings, text pieces, and performances explore ideas of self-sufficiency and self-preservation as alternative models for living. He constructs small, near-functional cabins and partial interiors out of entirely salvaged materials; the structures variously make reference to landscapes on the margin, life off the grid, ecology and waste. Many of Hayes-Chute’s recent works reflect a “DIY” vernacular approach to architecture and technology, and investigate processes of labor, production, and redistribution.

The exhibition at the List presents a new architectural installation developed for Bakalar Gallery that includes the display of a number of repurposed 1980s Epson HX-20 Notebook computers, a series of smaller assemblages using found and retrofitted objects, as well as selected video works from his recent collaborative project, an artist-run television network originating from Berlin.

The New Domestic Woodshop (2016), Hayes-Chute’s first contribution to the channel billed as bringing “your domestic fantasies to life,” riffs on DIY-culture and amateur tutorials posted on YouTube. As the artist demonstrates how to construct a pizza oven from two hot plates, he also presents a deadpan reflection on his own working process in the studio.

Hayes-Chute first began utilizing repurposed HX-20 computers in his 2012 exhibition Portable Practicality, Practical Portablility. The artist has reprogrammed the near-obsolete machines— considered to be one of the first laptop computers to become widely available in the US in the early 1980s—and uses them, for other practical applications, as a labeling and output device for an absurdist line of salves, balms, ointments, tinctures, and sauces. The rudimentary text labeling lends a retro-futuristic undertone to the artist’s “products.” In the exhibition, visitors will be able to engage interactively with at least one of the antiquated computers.

Ethan Hayes-Chute (b. 1982, Freeport, Maine) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin; Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport; Entrée, Bergen; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; the Marrakesh Biennial, Morocco; and others. Hayes-Chute received his BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.

List Projects: Ethan Hayes-Chute is curated by Henriette Huldisch, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.

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