The 1999 Boston Cyberarts Festival...


Boston Cyberarts Director, George FifieldThe Boston Cyberarts Festival is a biennial festival of art and technology and the nation's first and largest all-media cyberarts festival. It explores how artists throughout the world are using computers to advance traditional artistic disciplines and create new interactive worlds.

The 1999 Boston Cyberarts Festival, held May 1-15, was one of the largest collaborative events in the history of the arts in Massachusetts, involving over 100 events organized by 60 cultural and education institutions, including museum and gallery exhibitions and programming at the Museum of Fine Arts, The List Center for the Arts, The Museum of Science, the Computer Museum of Boston, The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Danforth Museum, The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the Boston Art Dealers Association and numerous commercial galleries. In addition visual arts programming was presented as part of the Festival at Harvard, MIT, Boston University, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts College of Art and four campuses of the University of Massachusetts. These organizations are participating in the 2001 Festival. Galapagos by Karl SimsSome of the many artists who were included in the 1999 Festival were Harriet Casden-Silver, Ingo Gunther, Jennifer Hall, Kenneth A. Huff, J. Michael James, Carmin Karasic, Eve Andree Laramee, Denise Marika, Dennis Miller, Tony Oursler, John Powell, Micheal Rees, Karl Sims, and X-PRZ. Performers included Richard Boulanger, Eric Chasalow, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Richard Cornell and Teresa Marrin. Boston Cyberarts also presents exhibitions and performances on its own during the Festival. At the Computer Museum, for example, we presented the exhibition Mind Into Matter, co-curated by Festival director George Fifield and Francine Koslow Miller. This was the first international survey of digital sculptureLavigne's Digital Sculpture in Mind into Matter.

The Festival was a critical and popular success, drawing an estimated 7,800 people from across the city and region and garnering national attention. The Boston Globe called the Festival, "a two-week, state-wide extravaganza embracing dance, literature, music, theater, performance art, sculpture, video, Web, new media and recorded and live video sampling" (5/25/99). A feature article in the Sunday New York Times noted the Festival's implications for Boston's cultural reputation, "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 history blending art and science." (Arts and Leisure section, 4/25/99). The Boston Herald reported: "One week into Boston's first Cyberarts Festival, the biggest surprise is not the machines but the people. . . onlookers and participants have been eager to explore this celebration of the connection between art and technology." (5/7/99).

Photos on this page - 
Top: Boston Cyberarts Director, George Fifield
Middle: Still from Galapagos by Karl Sims 
bottom: Digital sculpture by Lavigne

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