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NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release - May 3, 2004
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

Boston Cyberarts launches ARTCOM, artist-in-residence program at high-tech firms

Summer residencies at IBM Research and Plum Voice Portals supported by grant from the NEA

Boston, MA - Boston Cyberarts is launching an innovative program that matches artists who work in new technologies with cutting-edge high-technology companies. ARTCOM, or Artists in Residence at Technology Companies of Massachusetts, is being unveiled with residencies that will take place during the summer of 2004 at two firms: IBM and Plum Voice Portals. The development of the program and the initial residencies are being funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"There is a long and rich history of artist-in-residence programs in American companies, and the Boston area is an especially prime location for this kind of creative endeavor," said George Fifield, Director of Boston Cyberarts. "We are hoping that ARTCOM will become an ongoing program, and that it will serve as a model for how these collaborations can be designed and managed productively."

ARTCOM is expected to be of significant benefit to both the artists and the companies involved. The resident artists will have access to the most up-to-date technologies, and will have the opportunity to interact with company researchers to discuss their ideas, new ways of thinking about the technology, and possibly new contexts for applying the technology. In turn, the researchers, who use the same resources in different contexts, might influence the artist's work while gaining new insights into the possibilities of the technology.

Two artists have been selected for the 2004 ARTCOM residencies:

  • Carrie J. Bodle is an installation artist based in Cambridge, MA. She will be working with the Collaborative User Experience (CUE) laboratory at IBM Research's Cambridge laboratory, part of the IBM Watson Research Center. "The researchers in IBM's Collaborative User Experience lab are dedicated to finding creative solutions that will improve communication and collaboration through technology," said Irene Greif, Director of the CUE laboratory at IBM Research. "We are very much looking forward to including Carrie in the mix this summer and seeing what innovations develop as we exchange ideas."
  • John Klima is a leading media artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been selected to work with Plum Voice Portals, a small, dynamic software company that provides platforms, solutions, and consulting services for interactive voice telephony systems. "We're delighted to have the opportunity to work with John this summer," said Jae Roh, Vice President of Engineering at Plum Voice Portals. "Our advanced voice technologies will be a great platform for John's work, and we expect that his projects will push our systems and engineering team in ways that we haven't anticipated."

Ms. Bodle and Mr. Klima were selected from a pool of 25 applicants who submitted proposals seeking admission to the program. The artists were selected by a jury that included Mr. Fifield and Mr. Roh; Helen Thorington of Turbulence.org; Bill Seaman, Head of the Digital Media Graduate Program at Rhode Island School of Design; and Martin Wattenberg of IBM. The recipients were introduced at a special event on the evening of May 3 at the Hotel @ MIT in Cambridge, a major partner of the Boston Cyberarts Festival.

The completed works will be publicly exhibited in the fall of 2004, along with documentation of the process of the residencies and dissemination of the ideas behind the works. The works will also be featured in a special exhibition at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, in collaboration with the DeCordova Museum School of Art, during the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival.

# # #

The Boston Cyberarts Festival is an international biennial festival that brings together artists in all media who are using computers to advance traditional artistic disciplines and to create new interactive worlds. The next Festival will take place at museums, galleries, theaters, educational institutions, and public spaces in and around Boston from April 22 to May 8, 2005, and on the Festival's website. For further information, call 617.524.8495 or visit bostoncyberarts.org.

 

Boston Cyberarts is grateful for the support of many generous individuals and institutions, including:

ARTCOM is funded by a grant from
the National Endowment for the Arts.


ARTCOM 2004 Residencies

Carrie J. Bodle
Carrie Bodle is an artist who works in the realm of installation art, focusing on creating environments that, in comparison to the more traditional art media, allow for the audience to be immersed into the piece as it utilizes stimulation of all the senses - visual, audio, tactile. Viewers become participants as they become involved and interact with the art piece. Her work has been exhibited in numerous places, most recently at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the MIT Media Lab. In addition to her work as an artist, she has held positions in information technology and worked in sales for Apple Computer. She holds a BA in art and technology from Ohio State and is working toward a Masters at MIT. She currently resides in Cambridge, MA.

 

John Klima
John Klima's work occupies new territory in media art, drawing upon gaming and the various possibilities of manipulating and transliterating data. By employing a variety of technologies to produce both hardware and software, Klima's work consistently connects the virtual to the real, addressing issues of remote responsibility, and blurring the distinctions between the simulated and the concrete. He has exhibited extensively, including a solo show at Postmasters Gallery in New York, and was included in BitStreams at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the 2002 Whitney Biennial Net Art Selection, and the Media Z Lounge at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He has also exhibited in Switzerland, Japan, and at numerous international festivals. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

 

About IBM
The Collaborative User Experience (CUE) laboratory at IBM Research in Cambridge is part of the IBM Watson Research Center. The CUE Research group conducts Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) research with emphasis on the interaction between people and computer systems in support of collaboration. The CUE team uses a variety of techniques in their research, including research studies, surveys, ethnographic explorations, strategic design, prototype development, and pilot development. The artist in residence will have access to computer equipment, development tools and large-screen plasma displays, and will work alongside some of the world's leading experts in collaborative technologies. www.research.ibm.com/cambridge

About Plum Voice Portals
Plum Voice Portals provides software platforms, systems, and consulting services for interactive voice telephony systems. Plum's VoiceXML Platform software allows rapid development of interactive systems through open standards. VoiceXML applications easily integrate with database and network resources. Dialogues can support traditional touchtone communications or state-of-the-art speech technologies, including automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech synthesis. The artist in residence will have access to development and production servers, Network and telecommunications capacity, along with a variety of development tools. The artist will work alongside an application development engineer who will assist in setting up the initial systems and will be available to provide technical assistance. www.plumvoiceportals.com

 


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