Digital Art and Public Space: Expanding Definitions of Public Art

Public Art

The public art in the 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival is presented in coordination with the Digital Art in Public Space conference, April 26-27. These public art projects were developed with the support of the LEF Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

James Buckhouse

With "Tap," Buckhouse and his project collaborator Holly Brubach present a PDA-based artwork that exists in the overlap between digital public space, physical public space, and the more personal network of person-to-person exchange. Once loaded onto a PDA running the Palm operating system, the user can work with a "dancer" to practice steps, to improvise new dances, or to choreograph new dances from a palette of sixteen steps. Whether improvised by the character or choreographed by the user, dances can be saved, re-worked, beamed directly from user to user, or posted and retrieved from the permanent dance archive on the "Tap" website. Sponsored by Harvard University.

Fri, April 25, 6:30-9:00pm. Boston Cyberarts Festival Opening Night Party, Hotel @ MIT, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge. Sat & Sun, April 26,27, May 3,4 10:30am-5:30pm. The Copley Society of Boston, 158 Newbury St, Boston, Free. For more info call 617.524.8495, email info@bostoncyberarts.org, or visit www.bostoncyberarts.org/daps. Wheelchair accessible.

Bruce Hanson aka Projectorguy

Investigating visible and invisible wounds-physical, emotional, and cultural wounds-Bruce Hanson projects images of wounds onto the bodies of individuals moving through public spaces. Utilizing multiple video projectors and several sets of digitally created images, Hanson creates dynamic scenarios in which people confront the images of wounds on their own and others' bodies. Hanson writes, "Each projector has images of different wounds: one might be gunshot wounds, one might be skinned knees and other childhood scrapes, and another might be boils or pustules that burst, or perhaps surgical incisions that expose a rat's nest of root-like structures underneath."

Various unannounced locations in Boston and Cambridge.

ISPACE Design Collaborative [N.Makowski & K.Kevill]
WOTS=Word On The Site ILLUMINATED WORDS 42n22, 71w2

WOTS, or "Word On the Site," is an experimental broadcast that displays your words of wisdom and wish lists on an LED display in a public space at South Station. Do you remember things your grandmother used to say that were so profound? Did you save a fortune cookie fortune recently because it was so perfect? Did you read a poem that you couldn't stop thinking about? If you had to write your epitaph today, what would it be? Share it with the world. Visit www.freewalkers.com to create your own WOTS. The content provided scrolls on a large scale LED electronic display at South Station. Sponsored by the MBTA.

April 26-May 11, Mon-Fri 7am-noon and 4pm-midnight, Sat-Sun all day beginning at 7am. South Station Terminal, 700 Atlantic Ave, Boston. For more info email grace@freewalkers.com or visit www.freewalkers.com. Wheelchair accessible.

Miranda July/Harrel Fletcher
Learning to Love You Better

Through their web site, www.learningtoloveyoumore.com, and associated non-web presentations, July and Fletcher encourage the general public to take on one of a series of assignments and report on their work. The artists have invited the Digital Art in Public Space conference participants and attendees to complete Assignment #9: "Fix plop art (big sculptures that don't related to the environment that they are located in) for the people." Go to www.learningtoloveyoumore.com for instructions.

Sat April 26, 9:15-10am, Photonics Lab at BU, 8 St. Mary's St, Boston. For more info call 617.524.8495, email info@bostoncyberarts.org, or visit www.bostoncyberarts.org/daps. Wheelchair accessible.

Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar

"Pedestrian" presents itself as a brightly-illuminated square on the sidewalk: passersby see miniature, moving, realistic human figures standing, stopping, meeting, sitting, running - even lying down. The movements of these small figures seem oddly coordinated, as if unfolding in a story or deriving from some unknown principles. Thematically the work draws on Elias Canetti's classic text Crowds and Power, in which groups and crowds are analyzed almost biologically, as having lives of their own. In the past, pedestrian movement has been impossible to organize aesthetically on a large scale; now, however, motion capture and new software technologies allow us to choreograph the disorganized, unregimented movement of hundreds of moving figures. Sponsored by Forest City.

April 23-May 11. 350 Massachusetts Ave in the storefront. Also around the corner in the Hotel @ MIT with interactive project description. 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge, MA. Wheelchair accessible.

Berkan Karpat/Nazim Hikmet
On a Ship to Mars

The works of Turkish-born artist Berkan Karpat are acclaimed in Europe for their dramatic mix of oriental mysticism, western philosophy and advanced technology. This exhibition features a documentation of a new work produced with the Deutsches Museum, a multimedia installation which combines digital technology, performance (a dance by a Sufi Dervish), and sound (the conserved voice of the Turkish Futurist poet Nazim Hikmet) to induce synchronized REM dream-phases in volunteer sleepers. It asks thought-provoking questions about technology and its ability to manipulate our inner lives. Sponsored by Firma Schwarzer Munich.

April 26-27, Sat-Sun 1-5pm. April 28-29, Mon-Tue 10-8pm with artist present. Artist talk with CD-Rom presentation and reception Tue April 29, 6pm. Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes Boston, 170 Beacon St, Boston. Free! For more info call 617.262.6050, email program@giboston.org, or visit goethe.de/boston. Call in advance for wheelchair access.

Joseph Kosuth
A Centennial Project

Joseph Kosuth is widely regarded as a pioneer of the "conceptual art" movement, which emerged in the 1960s as a sustained questioning of art-world orthodoxies, especially those supporting the authority of the art object over the idea of the artwork. Kosuth has continued his conceptual project through installations and photographic-based artworks for more than thirty years. Marking Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's centennial year, the Museum presents his textual neon work, created in response to the Museum's collection and installed along the Museum's outer wall.

Ongoing through 2003, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston.

Nature and Inquiry Artists Group
Invisible Ideas

Walk through Boston's oldest park and encounter ideas in the air. "Invisible Ideas" links words, sounds, and images to locations on Commonwealth Avenue, the Public Garden, and the Boston Common. Visitors discover this landscape of ideas using GPS-enabled handheld computers available at the Copley Society of Art. "Invisible Ideas" is presented by the Nature and Inquiry Artists Group: Donald Burgy, Margot Kelley, John Holland, Nita Sturiale, and Ron Wallace, in collaboration with Bill Perry, Macromedia Flash Development; Giuseppe Taibi, Flash/Database Integration; Matt Moore, Motion Graphics; Josh Caswell, Audio; Ben Yates, Website. Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and SmartWorlds.

April 10-May 10, Tue-Sat 10:30am-5:30pm, and Sun April 27 and May 4, 1-5pm. Borrower agreement required to sign out equipment. Copley Society of Art, 158 Newbury St, Boston. For more info email info@artscience.org or visit www.invisibleideas.org. Wheelchair accessible.

Surveillance Camera Players
Surveillance Camera Outdoor Walking Tour and Performance

This walking tour through parts of Cambridge bordering on Harvard University includes a general introduction to the surveillance society as well as a choice selection of the cameras that surveill public space. While the elements of each tour are developed in response to reconnaissance of specific locations, past SCV tours have included the performance of short plays "for" particular cameras, the labeling of cameras and other surveillance equipment, and the documentation and web publication of performances and surveillance devices.

Sun April 27, 4pm, beginning at Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge. For more info call 617.524.8495, email info@bostoncyberarts.org, or visit www.bostoncyberarts.org/daps.

Conference Agenda

The 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival is an international biennial festival at museums, galleries, theaters, educational institutions, and public spaces in and around Boston from April 26 to May 11, 2003, and on the Festival's website, www.bostoncyberarts.org