Friday, May 11, 2007

It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston
A networked running project by kanarinka.

How do you measure fear in a society obsessed with security and preparedness?

This Spring, kanarinka is running the entire evacuation route system in Boston, MA, and measuring its distance in breaths. While running, she amplifies and broadcasts each breath into the public space around her body.

The project is an attempt to measure our post-9/11 collective fear in the individual breaths that it takes to traverse these new geographies of insecurity.

The $827,500 Boston emergency evacuation system was installed in 2006 to demonstrate the city's preparedness for evacuating people in snowstorms, hurricanes, infrastructure failures, fires and/or terrorist attacks.

It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston consists of a series of running performances in public space (2007), a web podcast of breaths (2007), and a gallery installation of the archive of breaths (2008). The performances and website are presented by iKatun for the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival.

More info: | 617-501-2441
Listen now:

Thanks to the generous support of: iKatun, The RISD Professional Development Fund, The LEF Foundation, and the Boston Cyberarts Festival.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Check out your Night Vision Sat May 5

sam smiley here, hailing from the front lines of Night Visions, a four day festival of art, technology and moving image at 1803 Mass Ave, Porter Square in Cambridge in a huge white church. Organized by Karen Frostig and me, it is currently going on and will culminate in a number of really great events this Saturday May 5 and it's free.

I’d like to focus on what is going on Saturday, May 5.

From 1pm-8pm there will be videos and installations going all day. Ongoing screenings include Local Exposure : Wall projections curated by the ICAs Carole Anne Meehan with screenings ofFemlink, With Us or Against Us, and Teleoperator.

Jenn Moller from the Art Institute of Boston has pulled a great selection of innovative works in animation and video. Aziza Braithwaite Bey will create a mixed media installation on the subject of Cherokee Art and Technology, Past and Present. Jonathan Lawrence has a Black Box sculpture..take a look inside the black box!

Here's the evening program:

6-8pm reception and free food!
8:00PM Media Art Screenings by Lumen Eclipse: An assortment of short films, music videos, and animations
9:00PM AstroDime Transit Authority: "Will Pandabears Ride Free on the Handlebars of Bicycles in 2092?" Short experimental videos on future and imagined transportation
10:30PM Perky Pat Layouts- a Space Opera.

For details on events past and current, go to

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cyberarts on Drivetime

One of my dreams come true; I was a guest on Ravi Jain's vlog Drivetime. Ravi and his beautiful co-host Sonya invited me on, to talk about the Festival. We drove around and even switched from Studio A to Studio B, which I'm told is a Drivetime first. Check it out.

George Fifield

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I.C.A.R.U.S. -Take A Trip On A Homemade Ship! April 21st, 5-10 pm

Mass College of Art's Studio for Interrelated Media graduate students have constructed a rocket ship designed to simulate the experience of space travel. Come take a ride on April 21th at Mass College of Art's Doran Gallery between 5-10 PM.

I.C.A.R.U.S. questions our reliance on the Internet as a primary source of entertainment and information. This crew of space pioneers will explore our changing definition of play and escapism by constructing a rocket ship that offers a simulation of space travel. Using schematics, diagrams, and data gathered from Internet sources as a point of departure, they have built the structure out of accessible information and discarded materials.

The possibilities for escape through the internet are limitless, and while the web often provides positive opportunities for connection and the sharing of knowledge, these virtual distractions can also slowly chip away at our own childish abilities to pretend and imagine. I.C.A.R.U.S. plays between our online virtual imagination and our organic imagination in the physical world. Take a trip on a homemade ship, and join the quest to return to the delight of childhood.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Puzzle Master at Brandeis Univeristy

The Puzzle Master is an hour long multimedia retelling of the Daedalus and Icarus myth set on an imaginary island. Five singers perform in counterpoint with layers of computer-manipulated sound and video projection.

Music by Eric Chasalow, libretto by F. D. Reeve, video and set design by Denise Marika.

May 5th and 6th at The Laurie Theater at Brandies University.

Admission: $20 general admission; student/senior discounts available.

To listen to music samples from The Puzzle Master click here

Excerpts from the video:

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Works selected from ASPECT Magazine at Axiom Gallery

Four years ago ASPECT Magazine published its first DVD volume of contemporary art entitled “Artists of the Boston Cyberarts Festival”. Our goal was to expand understanding and access to new media art by broadly distributing video documentation. ASPECT has become widely regarded as the periodical of record for contemporary new media art. Along the way we have had the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading artists and critics.

Two years ago Axiom Gallery, a small artist run collective curated its first formal show, to coincide with the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival. Since then, Axiom Gallery has emerged as a critical Boston venue and resource for artists who push the limits of new media and experimental art. Given such similar missions, it was natural for our two organizations to work together and create a unique exhibition drawing from the archives of ASPECT. The final selection of work spans the canon of new media and illustrates the many directions that new media artists are exploring utilizing these new tools.

Artists included in the exhibition are as follows:

Jim Campbell: Motion and Rest #2 & #5
Tony Cokes: headphones
Jill Magid: L.O.V.E.
Christopher Miner: Making God Happy

Selected works from ASPECT magazine
runs from 4-6-07 thru 5-6-07
for more information please visit

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble: Pioneers & Premieres IV

Dinosaur Annex presents veteran ensemble member pianist Donald Berman in a solo recital of contemporary classical works. The evening’s program includes works for piano and electric sounds by composer Eric Chasalow and the World Premiere of a commissioned work for piano and computer processor by composer Mark Wingate. The concert will take place at The First Church Boston. on April 29, 7:30pm. Tickets are $20, and student and senior rates are available.

To listen to an excerpt of Donald Berman playing Due (Cinta)mani for piano and electronic sound, by Eric Chasalow please click here

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Smartphone Art: Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments

"Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments" invites participants to construct hyper-monuments at historic sites. HHHM addresses historic bias and exploits pervasive computing through mobile technologies. The artwork expresses my (Carmin Karasic's) concept, but is realized through collaboration with artists Rolf van Gelder, Rob Coshow, Brett Stalbaum, and Jo Rhodes.

I use computer based and emerging technologies in my art to increase social awareness through art activism. I believe it is a cyberartist's responsibility to provoke a reevaluation of our existing systems through technology. Because future communication technology will enable total wireless connectivity, I am specifically interested in our interaction with this pervasive computing.

My art investigates alternative views, new connections and interaction between edges. My artworks consciously examine the hyperreal, because presentation has become more important than personal opinion, observation, or even reality itself. "Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments" was inspired by the gap between official political histories and alternative histories. Digital doubles in this project create spaces for untold stories, forgotten histories, and pure speculation surrounding monuments and events. I am also inspired by Teri Rueb's locative media art projects.
Old South Church as a Hyper-Monument
Given a prominent historic monument, shrine, location, etc., HHHM begins by playing a location specific movie clip that regresses the present day image to a pre-urbanized image for the specific location. Images displayed in HHHM will be based on archived history and related images uploaded by participants. When available colloquial anecdotes will be presented. Accompanying multimedia components will include text, video, images, and audio downloads. Participants will be able to contribute text, image, or audio content from the monument location via GPS and Windows Mobile enabled cell phones to the project website.

Ultimately, my ambition is to contribute to the positive social engagement of new technologies through art. Synergy between artists, scientists, and engineers can lead to new cultural insights and potential innovation, rather than reinforce old assumptions. I want my work to contribute to invention and digital enhancements.

"Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments"
was commissioned for the Boston Cyberarts Festival by The work will be presented along with Brian Knep's work at the Judi Rotenburg Gallery, April 21- 28, Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Artist Talk and Reception with Brian Knep and Carmin Karasic Sat, April 21, 2pm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Visual Music

This is Michael Carter. The east-coast premiere of my piece, “Well (Live)” will be showing at Northeastern University's Visual Music Marathon on April 28th during Boston Cyberarts 2007.

I feel like the term “visual music” is not so common and not so defined (even for an artist working in the “genre”), so I want to briefly say what it means to me and how I approach it.

For me, visual music is not about finding a one to one “translation” between music and image. I don't see the goal as creating a new language by connecting term for term the typical descriptions of sound and music (note, pitch, timbre, etc) with visual counterparts (color, value, shape, etc).

I'm concerned with infusing, or maybe even rejuvenating, visual art with the primacy, directness and effectiveness of music.

Music is unique among the arts in its directness and effectiveness in reaching and creating “inner” emotional and psychological states. Between musician and audience, music communicates “meaning” and “feeling” with potent results. The ability to experience the world from the point-of-view of another, which is so rare and difficult in the normal day-to-day world, happens almost effortlessly in music. We hear the music and we experience it; We feel it directly in our bodies. And, if we look at the moment before taste or preference kicks in, everyone hears the same sounds in the same way. It's message is immediate and intuitive and we are connected by this shared experience.

Yet, for the visual artist, this feat is accomplished without two important qualities: you can't see and you can't touch music. It has no physical form or substance. It is not materially “real”.

For me, then, visual music is a process of connecting the visible world to the invisible world. It is an admission that the unreal is real, that the intangible and imperceptible exist and affect us everyday.

The invisible manifest in the visible - That's what visual music means to me.

“Well(live)” is running during the 3-4pm block in an all-day program of current and historical works by many excellent artists.

Oh, and I had granola for breakfast this morning. ;)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Boston Cyberarts Gala!!

Join The Boston Cyberarts Festival's artists and friends at the Hotel @ MIT for the official 2007 Cyberarts Gala! You'll meet some of the Festival's featured artists who are in the forefront of the art + technology world -- and enjoy great food and drinks too!

This year for the first time we'll be announcing the winners of the IBM Innovation Award for Art and Performance, selected by a jury from all the events and exhibitions in this year's Festival. The winner will recieve $5,000, and there will be two runner-up prizes of $500 each.

Come help us celebrate the best of the best! Invitations will be sent in early April, but in the meantime mark your calander for May 4!

What: 2007 Boston Cyberarts Gala and Awards Presentation
When: Friday, May 4, 2007, 6:30PM
Where: Hotel @MIT 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge
Tickets: $75 per person

Otherwise Uninvolved Individuals

This concert is the premiere performance of Otherwise Uninvolved Individuals, a collection of works by Boston-based experimental composer, Halsey Burgund, which will take place Sunday May 6th at 7pm at the Cambridge YMCA Theater. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Burgund composes music using spoken human voices which he collects using a portable voice recording booth. He has collected over 600 voices with his Bring Your Own Voice booth, and the compositions performed at this event include many of them, triggered by an array of electronic controllers and samplers and projected throughout the theater in surround-sound. Burgund performs the electronic manipulations live as well as playing mallet percussion and piano. He is joined by his band, Aesthetic Evidence, which includes Peter Bailey on guitar, a string section and other traditional instruments.

Listen to samples of Halsey Burgund's music here

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kinodance premiers DENIZEN @Cyberarts/Celebrity Series

In collaboration with the Bank of America Celebrity Series and Boston Cyberarts' Ideas in Motion festival, Kinodance Company will premier DENIZEN an expanded cinema performance at the Boston University Tsai Performance Center on Wed. May 2 (7:30pm) and Thur. May 3rd (8pm). With film by Alla Kovgan, sets by Dedalus Wainwright, lighting by Kathy Couch, costumes by Laura Coulter and performances by choreographers Alissa Cardone and Ingrid Schatz with a stunning cast (dancers Ruth Bronwen, Pape N'Diaye, Deborah Butler) Kinodance stages an intuitive synthesis of film, set, light, sound and movement. DENIZEN explores the act of hunting in the modern world and is inspired by the film Seasons (1979) by Artavazd Peleshian, an Armenian post-WWII Soviet avant-garde filmmaker. Captivated with Peleshian's filmic approach, and the images of Armenian people and rugged Armenian landscapes he portrayed, Kinodance traveled to Armenia in October 2006 to film in the exact landscapes of Peleshian's film. The images are incorporated into the stage work to magnificently manipulate time, memory, space and light.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Analog Night at Beat Research with Pamelia Kurstin - The Greatest Living Theramin Player

Beat Research tends to do things digitally. In honor of their special guest Pamelia Kurstin, who is a maestro of the first electronic musical instrument ever invented, we have decided to go completely analog.

People like Leon Theremin and Robert Moog set out to expand the possibilities of music and art through their own magical inventions. Pamelia (whose Theremin was built, and presented to her by Robert Moog himself) pushes the boundaries of her instrument too. While most people relate the Theremin to eerie science fiction sound effects, Pamelia produces sounds ranging from a grumbling electro bass to a layered symphony. Sometimes she even drops Theremin riffs over hip-hop and jungle beats.

Also, Beat Research residents DJ Flack and DJ C, leave their laptops home in favor of spinning good old fashion analog slabs of vinyl while abstract video art is projected from VHS tapes.

Download sample from Pamelia
Download sample from DJ Flack
Download sample from DJ C

Boston Cyberarts Music Samples

Boston Cyberarts will feature music samples from a variety of artists participating in sound/performance events in the Festival. Stay tuned for said samples....

Ideas in Motion 2007

Ideas in Motion 2007
hosts a selection of dynamic artists and artworks from all over the world.
In this exciting event series artists & engineers explore aspects of movement, motion, mobility, motors, motor memory, and dance in the digital age. More here

Nell Breyer
'Wonderland' excerpt

Monday, March 12, 2007

Commonwealth Awards

As you might imagine, receiving the Massachusetts Commonwealth award was a wonderful experience for all of us at Boston Cyberarts. For those of you who don’t know, the festival was awarded the state’s highest honor in the arts and humanities in the category of Creative Economy on Wednesday afternoon at the State House. Actually it was an all day affair, starting with a breakfast event at the Bank of America. Janet Bailey and Phaedra Shanbaum joined me there for what we thought was just a meet and greet.

But then all the honorees were surprised with a grant from the bank of America for $2000. As the Festival is coming up shortly, it is sorely needed. Thank you, Bank of America!

As you can see, the bank gave the honorees one of those oversize checks that they use for photo ops. On the way from the bank of America to the State House for the public Commonwealth Awards event, my assistant, Phaedra (also co-director of Axiom Gallery) and Janet (Boston Cyberarts director of marketing) got the giggles and started running around with the big check and my camera for a set of wonderful pics:

Then at the State House there were talks about the state of the arts in the Commonwealth, lunch, lots of schmoozing time, lots of friends in the arts to schmooze with and finally the awards. Our board members, Dave Newbold and Geoff Pingree were able to join us, along with Dedalus, Lynne, her friend Kit, visiting from LA and Brian Knep. I had invited John Tobin, my friend and our city councilor, here in Jamaica Plain and was happy to see he showed up in time for the awards, but stayed in back. The Massachusetts art community was well represented. Read more here.

It was a wonderful honor to get this year’s Commonwealth Award. Especially with the other awardees this year, all of whom are smaller scrappier organizations, who have done great work for many years. The Revolving Museum, Ploughshares and Express Yourself are all inspiring organizations. It was a thrill to be included in their company.
George Fifield

Thursday, March 1, 2007

First Post

Brian Knep here. I'll be showing a new piece, Drift Wall, at U. Mass Lowell and a new body of work at Judi Rotenberg during Boston Cyberarts 2007.

The piece in Lowell is a larger version of Drift Grid. I want to see what happens when an entire wall is bubbling upwards, reacting subtly to viewers' presence or gazes. I recently recreated Drift Grid at Ron Feldman Fine Arts in New York, making it larger than I had before. The effect is beautiful. Standing in front of the piece, it fills your vision and feels more persent, alive, even intimidating.

At Rotenberg I will be showing work in progress from my artist-residency at Harvard Medical School. I've been filming frogs, worms and other small organisms, manipulating the video, and creating pieces about change and again. It's been slow going. I'm hoping to get a few finished pieces done by Cyberarts and show some other work in beginning stages. You can read more about it in my journal.

Oh, and I had eggs for lunch today.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Welcome to the Boston Cyberarts Festival blog. The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival has become an eagerly anticipated part of the Boston-area arts and technology scene since the first one took place in 1999. The Festival is the largest collaboration of arts organizations in New England and the only new media Festival in the world that encompasses all art forms, including both visual and performing arts, film, video, electronic literature, and public art.

The concept behind this blog is to give some insight as to the artistic and technological genius that goes into developing the exhibitions and performances that make up this year’s Festival. We will be asking some of the finest artists participating in 2007 to write descriptions of their creative process, what the outcome will look like and even some preview video and sound files.

The Festival celebrates the rich history of art and technology in New England, while providing a forum for the international cyberart community to come together and glimpse the future.

Thank you,

George Fifield, Director