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For immediate release - January 9, 2007
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

Art + Technology Mix and Merge at Dozens of Venues at the Fifth Boston Cyberarts Festival

A world premiere opera, an international dance + technology conference, and exhibitions featuring interactive art and cellphones lead the roster for 2007

Boston, MA — Exhibitions and per­form­ances by artists who use computer technology as an integral part of their work are once again on display at the fifth Boston Cyberarts Festival, taking place April 20-May 6, 2007. The Festival, which brings together visual and performing artists, cultural organizations, educators, and high-technology professionals, takes place at locations in and around the Boston area, at selected other locations around New England, and online at bostoncyberarts.org.

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

  • The Puzzle Master — This world premiere opera is a multi-media retelling of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus by composer Eric Chasalow, poet F. D. Reeve, and video artist Denise Marika. The work is performed at Brandeis University’s Laurie Theatre. May 5-6.

  • Ideas in Motion: The Body’s Limit — A weekend of performances and workshops explores new technologies in dance. A two-day conference at Green Street Studios includes artists, engineers and experts from the US and Europe. Associated performances include Denizen by Kinodance under the auspices of the Celebrity Series, and Electric Haiku by Cathy Weis at the new ICA. April 21-22.

  • Camille Utterback Interactive Installation — In addition to hosting the Festival headquarters, Art Interactive presents an exhibition of new installation work by Camille Utterback, one of the pioneers in a growing body of artwork where interactivity is intuitive, non-technical and performed with the entire body of the viewer. Opens April 20.

  • Hand Held Histories — The public monuments of Boston are re-interpreted by artists — and brought to life via GPS and mobile communication technology. As visitors explore the city, they receive alternative perspectives on those places via their cellphones, and have the opportunity to report back on their experience as well. Presented by New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. Opens April 22.

  • Syn{a}esthetic — Artists for Humanity’s Epicenter becomes an immersive audio/visual environment for some of the pioneers of electronic music and VJ performances. The space includes a projected “fogscreen” portal entryway, four movie theater-sized projection screens, and a center stage for music and video performers. April 20.

George Fifield, Director ofBoston Cyberarts, noted: “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.” He added, “We are also gratified that the Festival has proven to be such a significant force in the creative economy of our region.” Independent studies conducted after both the 2003 and 2005 events demonstrated that the Festival, with a budget of less than $200,000, had a total economic impact of over $2 million on the regional economy.

In all, nearly 40 organizations are already planning to present exhibitions and events for the 2007 Festival. Museums such as the DeCordova and the Museum of Science and galleries including Howard Yezerski, Judi Rotenberg, and the Mills Gallery at the BCA are presenting exhibitions. And, at least eight of the region’s major educational institutions are involved in the 2007 Festival as well: Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, Emerson, Mass College of Art, MIT, Northeastern, and Suffolk.

As in past years, the opening night preview party takes place at the Hotel @ MIT, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge. This gala event is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, and features many of the artists and performers who are participating in the Festival.

A searchable list of events and exhibitions is available on the Festival’s website, and is being updated continually as events are added to the roster. There is also a special site at bcf.mobi that allows Festival event information to be accessed by Internet-enhanced cell phones, as well as a new RSS feed.  During the two weeks of the Festival, patrons are also able to obtain information in person at CyberArtCentral, the Festival headquarters, located at Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square, Cambridge. A guide to Festival activities is also available in the April 20 edition of the Phoenix.

Cyberart encompasses any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities — that is, where the computer’s unique capabilities are integral elements of the creative process in the same way that paint, photographic film, musical instru­ments, and other materials have always been used to express an artist’s vision. The Greater Boston area has long had an international reputation as a center of cyberart, dating back to pioneering work done by such world-class institutions as WGBH and MIT.

For further information, contact the Festival office at 617.524.8495, email , or visit bostoncyberarts.org.

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