Reben’s work takes real-time water turbidity information from buoy 44013 in Boston Harbor. In this case, turbidity is determined by plankton count and it is matched with water temperature to see how quickly the marine environment will encourage life. The data “seeds” the community you see on the screen. The community can grow if the conditions are right. Colors change from green to blue to red. When the new community reaches equilibrium, the program calculates a score to determine successful growth. Then the sequence resets and starts again.
For more information about the artist, visit http://areben.com/.
The National Park Service and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance have teamed up with Boston Cyberarts to create a two year art program calling for artists to make work for the two low-resolution screens at the Harbor Island Pavilion on the Greenway Conservancy. This exciting new endeavor will enliven the Greenway in the evening, while promoting the creative innovation of the region. While the Harbor Island Pavilion displays are approximately 6 x 8 feet, they have a resolution of only 48 x 64 pixels, which is not suitable for recognizable video imagery. Therefore, Boston Cyberarts has decided to commission various algorithmic artists to write programs that will create real time generative art that constantly changes.
In an effort to directly relate to the Harbor Islands themselves, the commissioned artists will draw from the National Park’s geographic information system (GIS) databases as a source, but the work will be abstract in nature. This program ties into the innovative strengths of the Boston area, using digital art algorithms to heighten the interest in Boston Harbor’s history and natural complex ecosystems.
The first work commissioned for the program is Cycles, Tides, and Seasons, by Cambridge-based artist Ben Houge. Houge is a algorithmic artist, composer and sound artist. His areas of activity range from computer game design and soundtracks to sacred choral music. Recently, he was artist in residence at the MIT Media Lab and teaches video game music in the Film Scoring Department at Berklee College of Music.
Houge’s Cycles, Tides, and Seasons reconnects Boston city dwellers with the natural environment in Boston Harbor, recalling a time when sustenance and society depended on the rhythms of nature. The piece superimposes data on three different time scales, reflecting the short term rhythms of Boston Harbor’s three lighthouses, the semi-diurnal rhythms of tides and waves (responding to real-time oceanographic information over the internet), and the slow, phenological change of the seasons, as reflected in bee populations on various Boston Harbor Islands.
Boston Cyberarts and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority are commissioning public media art for display on the new 80 foot LED Marquee outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Our sixth call for entries is happening now! Proposals for 30 second works are due May 6. Click here for the call.
In April we said a fond farewell to Atlantic Wharf, after a successful year of cyberart, electronic music and new media public art on Boston’s waterfront.
Here’s the Cyberarts wrap-up: We organized seven exhibitions of new media art, including art from such new media celebs as Daniel Rozin, David Rokeby, Golan Levin and Martin Wattenberg. We also presented five electronic music performances ranging from drone to voice to alttered and artist-built instruments. During the Boston Cyberarts Festival we hosted an art and technology dance performance by local company Kinodance, an augmented reality installation by Mark Skwarek, a virtual reality presentation by Public VR and a presentation and performance of the DemoScene.
Thanks to the people at Boston Properties for a great year of cyberart!
Imagine a weekend-long party where you make stuff, learn from other coders and artists, watch nifty demos, hang out with your friends, maybe meet some of your heroes, and hear some kickass music. That’s a demo party. A bunch of artists, musicians, and coders sitting in a room with their computers (sometimes escaping outside) being silly, and getting to know each other. Don’t worry, you’re allowed to sleep. This isn’t a 48-hour LARP. No one will assassinate you. It is important to get enough rest and calories or you won’t enjoy the party, and the rest of us will be very thankful if you shower at least twice during the event.
North America’s only current freestanding demoparty took place for the second time from June 17-19, 2011 at Friendly Crossways Hostel and Retreat Center in Harvard, Massachusetts, 45 min west of Boston. Registration for that party opened in April 2011. Watch for the next party, coming June 2012!
The Ghana Thinktank is developing the First World!
Using new media and an interactive process it re-defines the world order, flips the usual roles of international development and builds important cross- cultural relationships. Ghana Thinktank is a decade-long project now in its fifth year. They were finalists last year for the Cartier Award and have been commissioned to exhibit the work at many museums and galleries internationally including ZKM in Germany, F.A.C.T. in Liverpool, Eyebeam and Queens Museum in NYC and The Bat Yam Museum for Contemporary Art in Israel. “Third World” think tanks analyze “First World” problems and propose solutions, which we enact in the community where the problems originated – whether those solutions seem impractical or brilliant. The success or failure of the solutions is documented and sent back to the think tanks, initiating another round of dialogue and action. For exhibitions we build elaborate site specific installations that document the entire process and involve audience participants in each step.
Ghana Thinktank was founded in 2006 by John Ewing, Matey Odonkor and Christopher Robbins. Carmen Montoya joined the group in 2009.
D.I.E.T is a project of Heidi Kayser, funded by New England Foundation for the Arts and sponsored by Boston Cyberarts. D.I.E.T explores the various ways that we as people situate ourselves in society. We follow cultural norms of consumerism, materialism, social boundaries, and all together take life too seriously. A series of public performances / interventions and sculptures take a look at the mechanisms that create our every day lives.
Using the web as a tool for massive collaboration, and both sound and video juxtaposed with sculpture and performance, D.I.E.T is an ongoing project that takes place in public and private space throughout the Greater Boston area.
The performance of “A Dance in Sol LeWitt’s ‘Bars of Color Within Squares’” premiered at MIT’s Green Center on December 12th, 2010.
The dance performance / new media work was staged on the stunning polychrome terrazzo floor, “Bars of Colors within Squares (MIT)” (2007), by Sol Le Witt for the atrium by MIT’s Green Center for Physics and buildings 4,6 & 8. The piece was both a live performance with audience situated at the elevated cross bridges and balconies on floors 2, 3 & 4 looking down from above onto the atrium floor housing the performance and video projections within the performance which revealed real-time transformations of the movements and color fields. It was a tremendously successful collaborative process with music by Phillip Glass, and 12 artist/performers in total. The performance drew over 130 attendees who occupied the upper floors of the atrium.
Concept & Direction: Nell Breyer. Artistic Collaboration: Sarah Baumert, Nell Breyer, Sarah Witt, Dejan Srhoj, Ricky Kuperman, Alissa Cardone. Performers: Sarah Baumert, Isidore Bethel, Nell Breyer, Alissa Cardone, Theodossios Issaias, Ricky Kuperman, Kate Ladenheim, Catherine Murcek, Meg Rotzel, Dejan Srhoj,Torena Webb, Sarah Witt.
During the Month of June, 2010, large glass storefronts in Brookline and Roxbury were transformed into live video screens, providing pedestrians of one neighborhood with a portal into the other’s world. Running 24/7, these life-size screens enabled real-time interaction between residents of Coolidge Corner and Dudley Square.
Though only 2.4 miles apart and connected by the Route 66 bus, people living in these neighborhoods rarely visit the other. Using technology developed to bridge geographical distances, Virtual Street Corners instead traverses the social boundaries that separate two important cultural and transportation hubs tha have significant historical connections.
Virtual Street Corners was created by John Ewing and received grants from Knight Foundation, NEFA and Black Rock Art Foundation.