Art and technology converge at the highly anticipated seventh Boston Cyberarts Festival when artists, filmmakers, dancers, musicians and visionary thinkers come together to bring the best in digitally inspired creativity to Greater Boston.
The Festival, a collaboration of visual and performing artists, cultural organizations, educators and high-technology professionals, will be headquartered at the newly opened Atlantic Wharf, and take place at museums, galleries, theatres, artist’s studios, schools and public spaces in and around the Boston area, and online from April 22 through May 8. A complete list of exhibitions, performances and locations is available at bostoncyberarts.org/festival.
The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival celebrates a long tradition of technological and artistic innovation throughout Massachusetts. The first Boston Cyberarts Festival took place twelve years ago in 1999, and since that time the biennial event has grown to be an integral part of the New England arts landscape.
George Fifield, director of Boston Cyberarts, noted: “The Boston area has been a center of art and technology for decades, since the pioneering work done by institutions like WGBH, Polaroid and the MIT Media Lab. We’re proud that we are able to shine a spotlight on both the rich history of art and technology, and on the visions for the future.”
CyberartsCentral, a visitor center with festival maps, information and docent volunteers, located at the new Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress Street, Boston, will be the site of innovative exhibitions, music and dance performances.
This year’s Festival will take a look back at the history of Cyberart:
· George Fifield curates Drawing from Code at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, an exhibition of the earliest computer-generated art by the form’s most important practitioners from the 1950s to today. The Providence-based collection of Anne and Michael Spalter is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the U.S. and shines a new light onto a darkened corner of the art historical record.
· MIT’s List Visual Arts Center presents the first United States museum survey of the work of Chilean-born video artist Juan Downey (1940-1993). Juan Downey: The Invisible Architect will feature a selection of key works by this under-recognized pioneer of video art. A key protagonist in the 1970s and 1980s New York art scene, Downey combined autobiographical content with an anthropological documentary style in his video works.
· The Goethe Institut’s RECORD > AGAIN! - 40yearsvideoart.de - Part 2 concentrates on early German video art, including several rarely seen, re-discovered works.
And, a rich array of events and exhibitions in many art forms are on tap for the 2011 Festival:
· Visual art has always been a central part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. Among the 2011 offerings are Jim Campbell at the Howard Yezerski Gallery, Move Me an exhibition of kinetic sculpture at Axiom Center of New and Experimental Media, Andy Zimmerman’s Where Am I? at Boston Sculptors Gallery, Nathalie Miebach’s Changing Waters at the Fuller Craft Museum, Francis Alÿs: The Moment Where Sculpture Happens at the Davis Museum, and exhibitions at 119 Gallery, Mobius, Huret & Spector Gallery, and more;
· Mark Swarek’s Occupation Forces, an augmented reality experience, via smartphone app, of an alien invasion our public space, will be based out of CyberartsCentral and take place throughout downtown Boston's Innovation District. The project mixes alien invasion mythology with contemporary images of a foreign troops' occupation.
· Dance events curated by Alissa Cardone at CyberartsCentral, Lostwax Dance Theatre's Blinking; Nell Breyer's stunning A Dance in Sol Lewitt's 'Bars of Colors Within Squares (MIT),' and a two-day series of readings, demonstrations and small-scale performances at MIT Media Lab’s Dance Technology and Circulations of the Social, Version 2.0 conference;
· Experimental film featuring the premiere of Clea T. Waite’s Moonwalk, specifically designed for the Museum of Science’s new full-dome planetarium. The rough cut of Moonwalk received the IBM Innovation Prize at the 2007 Cyberarts Festival. Part of an entire evening celebrating our love affair with the galaxy, When Science Meets Art: Moonwalk MashUp will also include a cosmic story slam, cosmic cocktail reception with space-wear inspired fashion.
· Electronic music offerings this year include The Brandeis Electro-Music Studio (BEAMS) Marathon, twelve solid hours of international electronic music, and ElectroNEC at the New England Conservatory;
· FAST Light, a two-evening celebration involving light and the kinetic illumination throughout the MIT campus and along Memorial Drive as the culmination of FAST (MIT’s Festival of Art, Science and Technology). Iconic artist Otto Piene will be holding a Sky Event in the afternoon with the launch at dusk with more than 15 other installations lit up on campus and on the Charles.
· Youth programming takes place in collaboration with Urbano Project and Urban Arts Institute
The closing weekend of the Festival features a gala celebration and awards ceremony on May 6, at which artists and arts patrons can meet and mingle; and where Boston Cyberarts presents the IBM Innovation Awards to the top three events or exhibitions of the year.
“Boston Cyberarts has played a unique and vital role in showcasing cutting-edge programming at so many of the arts and educational venues across our region,” says Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “In doing so, the Festival also celebrates the long history of technology and innovation that is one of the hallmarks of the history of Boston.” The Festival is an important contributor to the region’s economy and independent studies have demonstrated that each of the Festivals, with a budget of less than $200,000, generated a total economic impact of over $2 million.
For further information, contact the Festival office at 617.524.8495, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.bostoncyberarts.org.
Cyberart encompasses any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities - that is, where the computer's unique capabilities are integral elements of the creative process in the same way that paint, photographic film, musical instruments, and other materials have always been used to express an artist's vision. The Boston Cyberarts Festival, launched by George Fifield in 1999 with seed funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, is the only Festival in the world that encompasses all art forms, including both visual and performing arts, film, video, electronic literature, public art, and web art.
Boston Cyberarts is grateful for the support of many generous individuals and institutions, including the Boston Cultural Council, IBM, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, ArtsBoston and Avis.. Boston Cyberarts is proud to be a partner with Boston Properties and Atlantic Wharf. Dig Publishing and Art New England are media sponsors.