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Damon Rich_

MIT Museum Compton Gallery
77 Massachusetts Ave, Bldg 10-150 Cambridge, MA
Open M-F 9:30 am–5:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Press inquiries: Meg Rotzel at 617 253 4415 or mrotzel at


October 6 5:30 pm at the Compton Gallery: Exhibition tour with Damon Rich

October 6 7:00 pm at the MIT Museum: Damon Rich moderates a discussion with Phil Thompson (MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning), Margaret Crawford (Harvard Graduate School of Design), Lynn Fisher (MIT Center for Real Estate), and Richard Healey (Grassroots Policy Project).

December 11 6:30 pm at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies: The institutional critique of architecture: A conversation between Martha Rosler and Damon Rich

Additional pages for this artist


Red Lines - OPENING


Predatory Tales - VIDEO

Reimagining Risk at Architectural League, New York

Dec 11 06 talk - IMAGES

Who$e Money is it anyway? - VIDEO

DEC 11 06 talk - VIDEO

Jan 30-31 06 workshop

Visiting artists in 2005

Exhibition view. Photo: Judith M. Daniels/Courtesy of the MIT Museum.

Exhibition view. Photo: Judith M. Daniels/Courtesy of the MIT Museum.

L: Illustration from Disclosure, a publication of Chicago’s Nat'l Training and Information Center. R: Cover of The Nat'l Survey of Housing Abandonment, published in 1970 by the Nat'l Urban League and the Center for Community Change.

Predatory Tales , a short video produced in cooperation with Lawrence Community Works in Lawrence, Massachusetts features victims of mortgage and housing scams telling their stories in order to educate their neighbors.

Red Lines
Death Vows
Risk Structures

Architectures of finance from the Great Depression to the Subprime Meltdown

An exhibition by Damon Rich
A project of the MIT Center For Advanced Visual Studies and the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
Commissioned by the Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Organized for the MIT Museum Compton Gallery by Laura Knott, Don Stidsen and Gary Van Zante


The American preference for traditional residential design masks a frightening reality: across the globe, individual buildings have been retrofitted to serve as interchangeable nodes in a vast abstract structure, held loosely together by legal and political restraints, made to allow the furious circulation of finance capital.

An installation of models, photographs, videos, and drawings by artist-designer Damon Rich, Red Lines immerses visitors in a landscape of pulsing capital and liquidated buildings, exploring the relation between finance and architecture.

During a year-long residence at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Rich, founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), surveyed the darkening realm of real estate markets: foreclosures, pro-formas, chains of title, block busting, exploding ARMs, and the obscure history of the mortgage, Old French for death vow.

In the resulting installation, the head of Frederick Babcock, pioneer appraiser, gazes over a scattered field of diminished Detroit houses, still showing damage from 1960s real estate scandals. Looming behind Babcock, the flicker of a neon sign – BUY LOW SELL HIGH – reveals the spikes and troughs of a wall cut by the 20th century’s prime rate, the sharp line between lenders and borrowers. Projected videos haunt the gallery with the apparitions of financial engineers, federal regulators, and anti-foreclosure activists.

Today, what has become known as the Subprime Meltdown continues to spread, pushing people out of homes, wasting neighborhoods, bankrupting institutions, and threatening global economic crisis. Red Lines aims to broaden and enrich the urgent conversation about how our society finances its living environments.


Damon Rich is an artist and designer. His exhibitions use video, sculpture, graphics, and photography to investigate the political economy of the built environment. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SculptureCenter (New York City), the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Liepzig), the Venice Architecture Biennale, and Netherlands Architecture Institute (Rotterdam). In 1997, he founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people understand and change the places they live. In 2007, Rich was selected as a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies by the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of public participation in urban planning and community design. Visit to learn more.


This exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation, the LEF Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Loeb Fellowship of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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