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NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release - May 1, 2007
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

IBM Innovation Award to be presented on May 4 to Top Event or Exhibition in 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival

Top prize of $5000 and two runner-up prizes to be awarded at Hotel @ MIT event

Boston, MA — The Boston Cyberarts Festival announces its first IBM Innovation Award for Art and Performance, to be awarded for outstanding exhibitions and performances featured in the 2007 Festival. Winners will be announced at the Boston Cyberarts Gala on Friday, May 4, 2007, at the Hotel @ MIT, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge. The top prize is $5,000, and two runner-up awards of $500 will be made as well.

A three-person jury of internationally-known art and technology professionals will select the winners.

  • Pattie Maes is an associate professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and interim head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She founded and directs the Media Lab's Ambient Intelligence research group.
  • Michael Rush is the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. An award winning curator and widely recognized authority on new media, he is the author of several books on new media, including a new edition of Video Art, the first major survey of video since the 1980s.
  • Martin Wattenberg is a researcher at the Collaborative User Experience Group of the IBM Watson Research Center in Cambridge. He is also a well-known artist whose work has been exhibited at the London Institute of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Ars Electronica, The New Museum, and at galleries and festivals internationally.

George Fifield , Director of the Boston Cyberarts Festival, said: “We are most grateful to IBM for its generosity and support of our cyber-artists.” He added, “IBM clearly recognizes that the combination of art and technology can generate important benefits for both the companies who create cutting-edge technologies and the artists who explore the many uses for those technologies.”

Tickets to the Gala and Awards Presentation are $75 and may be reserved by contacting rsvp@bostoncyberarts.org.  Press who wish to cover the event should contact press@bostoncyberarts.org

About the Jurors

Pattie Maes is an associate professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and interim head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She founded and directs the Media Lab's Ambient Intelligence research group. Previously, she founded and ran the Software Agents group. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Maes was a visiting professor and a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds bachelor's and PhD degrees in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Her areas of expertise are human-computer interaction, artificial life, artificial intelligence, collective intelligence, and intelligence augmentation.

Maes is the editor of three books and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. She has received several awards: Newsweek magazine named her one of the "100 Americans to Watch For" in the year 2000; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the Cyber-Elite, the top 50 technological pioneers of the high-tech world; the World Economic Forum honored her with the title "Global Leader for Tomorrow"; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council.

Michael Rush is the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, an institution with one of the leading collections of modern and contemporary art in the region. From 2000-2004, Rush was Director and Chief Curator of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (PBICA).

He is an award winning curator and widely recognized authority on new media. In addition to a number of shows for PBICA, he curated the international video exhibition for Miami Basil in 2006. His books include New Media in Late 20 th Century Art (1999), New Media in Art (2005) and Video Art (2003, 2007), the first comprehensive survey of video since the mid-1980s. His reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Art in America, Newsweek online, and several other publications. His web radio show, Rush Interactive, is heard regularly on wps1.org, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art and PS 1.

Prior to his appointment at PBICA, Rush was an experimental theater and video artist, as well as critic and art writer, based in New York. His work has been seen on Public Television, in theaters and festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, and in museums including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus, Zurich; and the Whitney Museum. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Jesuit College of Arts and Letters at St. Louis University and his doctorate from Harvard University. He is co-founder of the Contemporary Art Museum Directors’ Association (CAMD).

Martin Wattenberg is equally known for his scientific and applied work in the field of information visualization, and for his information-based digital artwork. He is a researcher at the Collaborative User Experience Group of the IBM Watson Research Center in Cambridge, and a mathematician whose research interests include information visualization and its application to collaborative computing, journalism, bioinformatics, and art. Before joining IBM, Martin was the Director of Research and Development at SmartMoney.com, where his work included the groundbreaking Map of the Market, which visualizes live data on hundreds of publicly traded companies. He has also worked with nonfinancial data ranging from email archives to DNA sequences. Technology Review recently named him "one of the world's 100 top young innovators."

Wattenberg's artwork has been exhibited at The London Institute of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Ars Electronica, The New Museum, and at galleries and festivals internationally. Commissions include The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, The NASA Art Program, Ars Electronica, New Radio and Performing Arts, and The Walker Art Center. His projects have been honored by the Columbia Journalism School Online Journalism Award and the National Magazine Award (with SmartMoney.com), the ID Magazine Interactive Media Design Review, the IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Award, and the Graz Biennale of Media and Architecture (with Marek Walczak).

Wattenberg received his Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley, M.S. from Stanford University, and A.B. from Brown University.

About the Boston Cyberarts Festival

Exhibitions and per­form­ances by artists who use computer technology as an integral part of their work are 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 www.bostoncyberarts.org. 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.

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. Boston Cyberarts is the recipient of the 2007 Commonwealth Award, given by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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 the New Television Workshop at WGBH and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at MIT.

Press Contact: Janet Bailey 617.971.9383 or press@bostoncyberarts.org

Recent news releases and high-res photos are available in the “Press Area” at bostoncyberarts.org


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