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MMoCA Presents imaginary i

MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will present imaginary i, an exhibition of artists working at the intersection of math and imagination to envision the future and reveal patterns in history. imaginary i will be on view from November 11, 2023, through April 7, 2024 in the Main Galleries and Imprint Gallery on the second floor of the Museum.

Artwork with wavy lines formed by dots.
Michelle Grabner, Untitled, c. 2005. Painting, 44 x 45 inches. Gift of Nancy Mladenoff and J.J. Murphy, Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Examining MMoCA’s collection, a pattern of acquisitions emerges that dovetails with explorations of science and math. Together, art, math, and science explore and seek out unknown worlds and concepts projecting future and undiscovered realities. Artists utilizing mathematical iterative processes, such as Charles Gaines; those exploring modeling time, such as Bruce Conner and Annette Lawrence; and Erika Blumenfeld and Martha Glowacki, who reflect the scientific realm, reveal new ways of looking that open dialogues on potentialities.

The exhibition also features two installations created specifically for MMoCA. New York-based artist Anne Lindberg will create impossible red, an immersive, site-specific installation consisting of heavyweight thread suspended across the gallery. The piece evokes fundamental questions about perception, time, and causality. 

Collaborating under the name Culture Industry [dot] Club, artists Zach Kaiser and Gabi Schaffzin present Blessed is the Machine in the Imprint Gallery. In the space, an AI-powered avatar greets and engages with each visitor to harvest data. The data exchange is visualized as the avatar informs the visitor about its actions, forewarning them that the guise of convenience presented by reliance on technology yields depersonalization and diminishes real lived experiences.

Pairing works from the MMoCA collection with contemporary artists engaged in similar pursuits, the exhibition postulates that science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), have coalesced within the collection for the last half-century. Further research into the history of donors and the relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Madison infers an inherent interest in seeking out the mathematical and scientific in art. For example, renowned mathematician and professor at UW-Madison Rudolph Langer provided the founding gift of artwork that established MMoCA’s collection.

Complemented by humanities-based programming, collaboration with K-12 educators, and onsite activities for families in the Learning and Activity Centers, the exhibition will utilize data visualization techniques to develop conversations around the vital role of the arts and humanities in conjunction with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). An exhibition celebration is scheduled for Friday, November 10, 2023, from 5–8 PM, with an artist talk by Anne Lindberg from 6–7 PM in the Lecture Hall. Lindberg will discuss her installation commissioned by MMoCA and on view in imaginary i, along with her artistic practice. Admission to MMoCA’s galleries and exhibition events is free and open to the public.

imaginary i
On View
November 11, 2023–April 7, 2024

Exhibition Celebration
November 10, 2023
Reception | 5–8 PM
Artist Talk | 6–7 PM

Free Admission

Andrew Rogers
Director of Communications
Direct: 608.257.0158 ext. 261


About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is always admission free. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them. The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community.

The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, and cinema. The adjacent Rooftop Lounge is used for community and collaborative art pop-ups, as well as a reception area for Museum events. Please visit to learn more.


Artwork with wavy lines formed by dots.


Michelle Grabner, Untitled, c. 2005. Painting, 44 x 45 inches. Gift of Nancy Mladenoff and J.J. Murphy, Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.