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For immediate release - May 4, 2007
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

IBM Innovation Awards presented at 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival

Grand Award of $5000 goes to Clea T. Waite's Moonwalk

Boston, MA — Three new-media artists are the recipients of the first-ever IBM Innovation Awards for artistic creation in art and technology, given in recognition of the outstanding exhibitions and events featured in the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival. The awards were presented this evening at the 2007 Cyberarts Gala at the Hotel @ MIT.

Left to right: Clea T. Waite, Brian Knep & Camille Utterback

The Grand Award of $5000 went to Moonwalk by Clea T. Waite, seen at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Moonwalk is an experimental film designed for projection on a traditional planetarium cupola, composed of found footage, astronomical photographs, sound bites, poems, stories, and drawings. Recent technological advances have made it possible to project high-definition video onto a hemispherical surface, and Moonwalk takes advantage of this technology. Moonwalk will be screened at the Radcliffe Gymnasium, 18 Mason Street in Cambridge on May 5 and 6.

A Merit Award of $500 went to Animated Gestures by Camille Utterback at Art Interactive. Utterback is a pioneer in the field of interactive installation, and the Animated Gestures exhibition contains three of her works. In these works, the viewer moves through a space in front of a screen on which an art work is projected, and this movement both alters the works and creates a temporal history of the movement. This work can be seen at Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge through May 13.

A second Merit Award of $500 went to Brian Knep’s Aging: Works in Progress from the Harvard Medical School Residency, which was on view at the Judi Rotenberg Gallery from April 21-28. Knep has been artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School for two years. Working with one particular lab that focuses on the aging process, he observed and filmed frogs in the lab over their lifespan and created videos in which the frogs swim up and down the gallery walls as they age.

George Fifield, Founder and Director of the Boston Cyberarts Festival, said: “We are delighted to be able to recognize the outstanding contributions these artists have made to the 2007 Festival.” He added, “We are very grateful to our friends at IBM for their support in making these awards possible.”

The award recipients were selected by a three-person jury of leaders in the art and technology community. The jurors were Pattie Maes, an associate professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and interim head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences; Michael Rush, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and a widely recognized authority on new media; and Martin Wattenberg, a well-known artist and a researcher at the Collaborative User Experience Group of the IBM Watson Research Center in Cambridge.

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.

About the Award Recipients

Clea T. Waite is a 2006-07 recipient of a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Research Fellowship at Harvard University. Her experimental video works examine the meta-meanings found in unlikely correspondences between myth and science. Waite’s artistic process incorporates a dual path of inquiry, giving equal weight to aesthetic exploration and innovative technical realization. her early video works focused on synaesthetic assimilations of language, image, and music. In the 90s, her work shifted to large-scale, multi-channel, CG/video installations that explore the corporal perception of time using montage in virtual and physical space. Waite’s works include computer animation, stereoscopic, multi-channel video installation, hemispherical digital-film, and a collaborative work with several hundred tropical spiders.

Waite has divided her time between New York City and Germany since 1993. She has held positions as Adjunct Assistant Professor for Computer Graphics at Pratt Institute in New York, and Associate Professor for Digital Artistic Montage at the Academy of Film and Television (HFF) “Konrad Wolf,” Babelsberg (Berlin). She was chairwoman of the HFF Montage Department in 2003 and 2005-06.

Waite studied laser physics at MIT (’84) and did her graduate work in 3D computer graphics at the MIT Media Laboratory (’89).

Waite has exhibited and received prizes internationally. She has been an artist-in-residence at The Swiss Museum of Transportation and Communication in Lucerne, CERN Laboratory for Nuclear Physics in Geneva, and CICV Pierre Schaeffer in Montbeliard, and has received fellowships from the AIL Artists-in-Labs program, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, and the NEA.

Camille Utterback is a pioneering artist and programmer in the field of interactive installation. Her work has been exhibited at galleries, festivals, and museums internationally including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the NTT InterCommunication Center in Tokyo, the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Netherlands Institute for Media Art, the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, the Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine; and the Ars Electronica Center in Austria. Utterback’s work is in private and public collections including Hewlett Packard and the La Caixa Foundation in Barcelona, Spain.

Awards include a Transmediale International Media Art Festival Award (2005), a Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship (2002), and a commission from the Whitney Museum for the CODeDOC project on their ArtPort website (2002). Utterback holds a US patent for a video tracking system she developed while working as a research fellow at NYU in 2004. She was selected as a member of the “TR100 – the top 010 innovators of the year under 35” by MIT’s Technology Review (2002) and by Res Magazine as artist pick of the year for their “Annual Res 10 – Ten people who are making a difference in their field” (2000). Her work has been featured in Art in America, Wired Magazine, the New York Times, ARTnews, and many other publications. It is also included in Thames & Hudson’s “World of Art – Digital Art” book by Christiane Paul.

In addition to creating her own artwork, Utterback develops long term and permanent installations for commercial and museum settings via her company Creative nerve, Inc. Creative Nerve commissions include work for the American Museum of Natural History, the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, the Manhattan Children’s Museum, Herman Miller, Shiseido Cosmetics, and other private corporations.

Utterback holds a BA in Art from Williams College and a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has also taught in the MFA Design of Technology department at the Parsons School of Design and in the Interactive Telecommunication Program at NYU. She currently resides in California.

Brian Knep combines art, architecture, and science in work that has been shown widely throughout the United State, Europe, and Korea. He uses custom software to create pieces that are dynamic and react to changes in their environments. Some are simply aware of the passage of time, changing, evolving and never repeating. Others and interactive, aware of the people around them – where they are walking or perhaps where they are looking – and react in response. Some of the pieces are small and intimate but most are large in scale, projected onto walls and floors. They feel organic and alive.

Much of Knep’s work borrows from emergent processes in biology and mathematics. By simulating thses processes on a computer, he explores the boundaries between complexity and simplicity, infinite and finite, organic and inorganic.

Knep has worked in the art and science fields for over twenty years. His career has included the film industry, where he was a member of two teams receiving Academy Awards, one for Technical Achievement and a Scientific and Engineering Award. He then moved to the exhibit design industry, and now to full-time art practice. In 2005 he became the first artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School and in 2006 received grants from the Creative Capital and LEF Foundations. His large-scale interactive exhibit Deep Wounds, 2006, recently won an AICA/New England award for Best Time Based Work. Knep has had solo shows at the New Britain Museum of American Art, the MIT Museum and Arizona State University, and group shows at the University of Hartford and the DeCordova Museum, among others.

Knep lectures extensively about his work, has been published in ACM Computer Graphics and other scientific journals. He graduated with honors from Brown University, where he studied computer science and mathematics. He currently lives and works in Boston.


Press Contact: Janet Bailey 617.971.9383 or

Photos are available for download as follows:
Moonwalk at http://bostoncyberarts.org/home_hires.php?page=2
Animated Gestures at http://bostoncyberarts.org/home_hires.php?page=6
Aging at http://www.blep.com/images/

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