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||Wednesday December 13, 2017
... about the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival
“When looking back on the variety of shows, the range and complexity of new media works were as impressive as the diverse array of venues hosting events. … Even after eight years, the Festival can still delight and inspire … When artists engage with technology or the ideas inspired by new media, they often fold those ideas back into their explorations of more traditional media, creating hybrids that are inspired both by the past and the present.”
- Big Red & Shiny, May, 2007
“Denizen integrates film, a scenic design, and lighting into the dance to create a theatrical experience with enormous dramatic impact.”
- Boston Globe, May 4, 2007
"The convergence of the old and the new turns out to be the most fascinating dimension of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. While I was expecting to see lots of newfangled electronic novelties, what surprised and intrigued me was how much of what I saw revolved around some of the oldest and most traditional ideas and aspirations in the history of art."
- Boston Globe, April 27, 2007
“Once more Boston’s progressive arts communities and high-tech institutions meet each other somewhere at a futuristic crossroads with a variety of interactive arts experiments … This eclectic mix is made possible by collaborations from many of the area’s most prestigious and forward-looking cultural organizations.”
- Dorchester Reporter, April 26, 2007
“For the next two weeks, the ‘Athens of America’ will resemble Renaissance-era Florence with a strongly modern twist, as elite artists from around the world converge on the city for a celebration.”
- Daily Free Press (Boston University), April 23, 2007
“It’s the festival at which to nourish your inner geek.”
- Six New Things, April 22, 2007
“Is it art that draws on the latest technological advances in software-driven interactive imagery? Yes. Is it art that reconnects with primitive mechanics like those reminiscent of 19th-century circus sideshows? That too. Could it be digitally manipulated film stills enlarged to the size of hotel windows? You guessed.”
Boston Phoenix, April 20, 2007
“Move over music and film festivals – technology enthusiasts have lined up their own celebration … Hundreds of events across the city are linked by one common thread – technological interaction between man and machine.”
- Boston Herald, April 20, 2007
"Cyberarts ... is the most distinctive sector of Boston-area art these days, and this year's Cyberarts Festival is the big biennial gathering of artists from all over the world. It's when all art is electric, when interactive is the watchword, when the future is now."
- Boston Globe, April 19, 2007
“The phrase Cyberarts Festival may evoke vague images of science fairs and video installations, but the fifth festival is a wide-ranging events that brings together artists from all disciplines, from painters to musicians and even dancers.”
Bay Windows, April 19, 2007
“If Vincent van Gogh painted today, he might jazz up his sunflowers with Photoshop. And if Igor Stravinsky had a computer, audiences could listen to ‘Rites of Spring’ on their iPods. Lovers and makers of art today looking for the next frontier of creativity and technology should visit the Boston Cyberarts Festival.”
Metrowest Daily News (Framingham, MA), April 19, 2007
"It's hard to believe a festival of the epic scale of Cyberarts could thrive in our disorganized, highly territorialized and heavily divided little burg - but eight years since its inception, the bi-annual fest is still going strong."
Weekly Dig, April 18, 2007
“Among the imponderables we’re mulling: Is art the best thing to happen to technology, or technology the best thing to happen to art?”
- Boston Magazine, April, 2007
"Bohemia will be rubbing elbows with cyberspace this spring."
Beat Magazine, April, 2007
... about Ideas in Motion 2006
"The most thrilling dance work this reviewer has seen in recent memory."
- Boston Globe, April 24, 2006
... about the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival
“Ask a typical techster in the greater Boston technology community about hiis or her hobbies and three things com up more often than anything else: flying, music, and photography. With apologies to the pilots … it’s the second two that intrigue me. The place where technology intersects the arts is a fascinating neighborhood.”
- Mass High Tech, March 28, 2005
“The Boston Cyberarts Festival, along with its visual arts and music programs, will explore the place where chassés, leaps, and lunges merge with celluloid, cutting-edge software, and body–motion sensors.”
- Boston Magazine, April, 2005
“The hot ticket for techies!”
- Where Magazine, April, 2005
“Eclectic and electric … A whole motherboard of exhibits is opening in the area, and they’re not just for the pencil pushers at MIT.”
- Stuff @ Night, April 12, 2005
“Artists are leaping on this new understanding of space … The new landscape has gone three-dimensional, and you’re standing in the middle of it. And it’s not just what surrounds you; it’s also in your head. It’s a map that charts trends, emotions, and the neglected and hidden parts of society.”
- Boston Globe, April 15, 2005
“Many of the artists who operate at the far reaches of technological sophistication will be showing off their cool stuff in the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival, a biennial event that invades virtually every corner and power source in our digi-savvy city.”
- Boston Phoenix, April 15, 2005
“The sense of feedback – of the medium of technology interacting with humans and the environment, which are in turn affected by the technological medium that they are interacting with – this is what the Festival is about, and this is why it is so interesting.”
- Weekly Dig, April 20, 2005
“Closer to the ground, the city tells a deeper story, however, one that an artist has documented with satellite and panoramic photographs, digital video and navigable 3-D environments. Imaging Place is one of several interactive virtual-reality exhibits in the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival.”
- Wired News, April 26, 2005
“Creepy and awesome.”
- The New York Times, April 27, 2005
“The trick in all this raging technology is to quell my curiosity about how it’s being produced. You can’t get away from the fact that machines, new machines especially, fascinate us as much as the fantasy worlds they open up.”
- Boston Phoenix, April 29, 2005
“Technology was supposed to leave the body behind. … [But] A funny thing happened on the way to disembodiment. Digital artists remembered the pleasures of being human.”
- WBUR (NPR), May 5, 2005
“Cyberart can be anything from an examination of complex ideas about the nature of reality to sheer unadulterated fun – and if you’re lucky, both at the same time.”
- BBC, May 7, 2005
... about the 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival
"The biannual Boston Cyberarts Festival is building momentum. The third festival opened there on April 26 and runs through Sunday. Since 1999 its director, George Fifield, has corralled 60 diverse cultural institutions in the Boston area into presenting exhibitions and concerts that coincide with festival events. The festival has a vibrancy that the [New York Digital] salon sorely lacks."
- New York Times, 05.05.03
"The Boston Cyberarts Festival is supposed to be all about artistic expression. But look closely at many of the projects and you'll see a start-up technology on a shakedown cruise. Now that funders for technology projects are understandably conservative, some technologists are trying out their most adventurous ideas with an audience that enjoys experimentation."
- The Boston Globe, Business Intelligence column, 05.04.03
"Public digital art is also stealthlike in the way it engages, provokes, and interacts with often unsuspecting viewers. In the same way the Internet has made publishing more wide-ranging and democratic, these projects make art more accessible and turn the viewers into artists themselves."
- The Boston Globe, 04.25.03
"If you think the Boston Cyberarts Festival is a computer-techie convention, think again. The third biennial Festival makes bridging the gap between technology and art child's play."
- Boston Herald 04.26.03
"If computer art once meant only jarring, cutting-edge images, that era has passed. Now cyber-influenced works can have the patina of age, the flash of the new, or a combination of the two."
- Boston Herald, 04.25.03
"Sometimes art and science work together. Sometimes they collide in the freakiest possible way."
- The Boston Globe, Health/Science Calendar, 04.29.03
"Left brain, meet right brain. That might be a pithy oversimplification of the concept behind the third by-annual Cyberarts Festival . but it's not inaccurate."
- Metro West Daily News 04.20.03 (reprinted in selected Community Newspapers)
"What about high tech? Add artists and the result can be good for business . The [New England] Council should foster collaborations between artists and corporations that could yield similar creative outcomes and markets."
- Boston Globe, Editorial, 04.20.03
"The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival . has given Boston a front-row seat on new developments in this realm. So if definition is difficult, that must to with the territory. Maybe it's even part of the thrill of the cyber."
- The Boston Phoenix, 04.18.03
"In recent years, the art and tech worlds have become so intertwined that cyberarts is now its own genre. As proof of the expansiveness of the genre, the Boston Cyberarts Festival . has become one of the biggest art events in the city - and, we might add, one of the most entertaining. Where else do people from such disparate backgrounds - think super-nerdy techies, flamboyant artists, and hip electronic musicians - mingle?"
- Improper Bostonian, 04.16.03
"Geekiness is not a prerequisite for success in cyberspace. Proof of this can be found at Bottlecap Studios, where the staff is hip, the surroundings are arty, and the technology is aesthetic."
- Mass High Tech, 04.14.03
"Lest the Festival get tagged Geekapalooza '03, just boys with new toys, it's important to point out that cyberart is less about a new meaning for art, and more about new ways to create it - the laptop gets as much play as the violin or the paintbrush."
- Light, April 2003
... about the 2001 Boston Cyberarts Festival
"After many years of wrestling with new techniques, the art in cyberart is finding its own footing, giving viewers and participants opportunities not only for the 'oooh-aah' of the unexpected but for the entire array of experiences we derive from art, including beauty, ruminations on the nature of nature and experience, and insight into our place in the universe."
- Boston Phoenix
"If all art is the product of imagination, then the exhibits in this festival deserve double the credit. Because ... the bulk of the material presented around the city in the last few weeks has been the product of genuine novelty. By that I don't simply mean the level of experimentation that pervades the festival, but the vision required to yank something out of its traditional context and turn it on its head."
- ArtByte Magazine
"There are many reasons artists view Boston as a poor second cousin to the cultural mecca of New York, but when it comes to computer-generated art, Beantown rules. ... From electronic music to digital animation to hypertext, virtual reality, and computer-generated visual art, the Boston [Cyberarts Festival] has it all."
- Boston Globe
"When he launched the first Boston Cyberarts Festival in 1999, George Fifield predicted some of its most innovative new technologies would be commonplace when the second festival opened two years later. He also believed the second festival would feature cyberart unimaginable at the debut event. He was right."
- Boston Herald
"The free concert [at Symphony Hall] drew a large audience that appreciated innovation. Young and cool, middle-aged and hip, plugged-in, free-spirited, garbed in the many varieties of geek chic and la mode Bohemian, the demographic was the sort many conventional music organizations would kill for."
- Boston Globe
"Boston's City Hall, a gloomy cement structure near the picturesque town houses of Beacon Hill, suggests a Soviet monolith more than the red-brick character of the city. But on the evening of April 27, [artists Liz Canner and John Ewing] introduced some personality to this stark box by projecting four giant color-video images on its exterior, each showing a Bostonian going through a typical day."
"The Boston Cyberarts Festival brings together technology and art. But it does not stop there. The festival also is doing its part to bring people together. ... This year, the Community Sites program made its debut."
- Mass High Tech
"[Our] vote for the event that promises to have the most interesting cross-section of attendees: tonight's opening party for the 2001 Boston Cyberarts Festival. Black-garbed art types, large-brained techies, formerly affluent dotcommers, still-affluent art collectors - they'll all be there, ooohing and aaahing over the cyberart demonstrations, the installations, the food."
- Boston Globe (Go! column)
"On one level these installations are simply games, as are most interactions without true consequence. From another perspective, a viewer has the opportunity to assist in creation or disintegration of the original forms. Viewed as metaphors for societal interaction, these are platforms for the larger ramifications of small gestures, an urge to be thoughtful in all we do."
"Exhibits like these demonstrate how versatile and common a tool the computer is in artmaking. The more integrated it becomes in the culture, the more it will shape how we think and what we make."
- Boston Globe
"To the world at large, we're a city of scholarly interests and traditional tastes - with a certain leaning toward computer science. But then the Boston Cyberarts Festival hits town, and art and culture take on a whole new digital dimension."
- Museums Boston
"The idea of using computer technology as an integral part of creative works, whether they be musical compositions or virtual sculpture or hypertext fiction, has been irresistible to artists and scientists for at least the past decade, and the Boston/Cambridge/Route 128 area sits squarely at the heart of the action."
- Boston Phoenix
"If you've spent the past few weeks trying to wrap your mind around all the events and exhibitions featured in the Cyberarts Festival, you're probably starting to feel a little cyberspaced-out ..."
- The Improper Bostonian
"The 2001 Boston Cyberarts Festival, featuring the work of artists working with new technologies in all media, kicked off with a bang on April 20 with a party at the Hotel@MIT and continued through May 6 with exhibits, performances, screenings, and lectures and symposia at sites all around the Boston area as well as on the Web."
- Boston Digital Industry
"I was mesmerized by a computer than showed image from the Faces of Tomorrow project. Young folks from around the city have been asked to digitally scan a photo of themselves and then alter the image using software tools. The self-portraits ... are fresh and vivid."
- Boston Herald
"This futuristic marriage of art and technology may at first seem odd in tweedy old Boston, which takes its traditional culture seriously. But Boston also takes its technological eminence seriously."
- Proscenium Magazine
"Technophobes beware. The Boston Cyberarts Festival will make you look forward to the future. If necessity is the mother of invention, then invention's other parent is surely art."
- Cambridge Chronicle
"Investing money in dot-com stocks might not be the best idea these days, but if you're a fan of art or technology, investing your time in the Boston Cyberarts Festival may prove worthwhile."
- Boston Herald (Weekending column)
"An exciting time is afoot for those who combine art and technology, and the Boston Cyberarts Festival is on the forefront of the movement. ... The festival encourages Boston's art community to harness the innovative technological breakthroughs occurring regularly in the area and to use artistic finesse to manipulate the media."
"The artistic process and product is an incredibly rich place for individuals to get hooked into the wonder and beauty of nature's details. In turn, they become more engaged with the evolution of science, as well as their own development as creative beings."
- The Lancet
"When you step back into reality, you may find yourself dizzy or even queasy from the experience. But you won't be sorry you got your feet wet."
- Boston Globe (Calendar section)
... and about the 1999 Boston Cyberarts Festival
"The presence of so much experimental work in and around Boston might surprise those who view the city as a bastion of cultural conservatism, but it reflects a long local history blending art and science. ... Cyberart is a field where imagination often outstrips available technology, and much of the most intriguing work in the Festival remains admittedly experimental, occupying a place somewhere between research and development and the polished art object."
- The New York Times
"Boston is home to some of the most sophisticated, daring and experimental cyberart being made today. The best of this, on display at festival locations, involves technology in its creation, but does not substitute such wizardry for aesthetic merit. ... The focus is on art, and art is, above all, a human enterprise."
- Boston Herald
"If the art world is unsure just 'what is art' at the millennium, it's really undecided about what is cyberart. That's why the Boston Cyberarts Festival was so important."
- Christian Science Monitor
"It's easy for computing enthusiasts to get caught up in the 'gee whiz factor' of cyberart ... but the Festival is first and foremost about art. The technology serves as the 21st century equivalent of the conductor's baton, the sculptor's chisel, and the painter's palette."
- Boston Software News
"Despite the state's strength in this field, many techno-artists receive far too little attention; the Festival will showcase their talents while securing the state's leadership in this field."
- Boston Magazine
"[Festival Director] George Fifield has taken an inclusive approach ... showing everything from the gleefully amateurish to the technically difficult and esthetically polished, hoping in the process to convince us that a joystick can be put to better use than zapping aliens, and that there is poetry in a well-tuned algorithm."
- The New York Times
"Together, these [works in the Festival] echo the haunting refrain of Gauguin's masterpiece in the Museum of Fine Arts: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? The city that has consistently been berated for ignoring the art of this century is, in fact, zooming into the next."
- Boston Herald
"Massachusetts is fortunate to be home to the creative talents of both artists and high-technology professionals. The Boston Cyberarts Festival furthers the vital - but too often invisible - tradition of artists working with private enterprises to develop and apply new technologies. The potential for aesthetic and industrial innovation is enormous."
- Peter Nessen, Chairman, Massachusetts Cultural Council