Brian Kane: Free WiFi at the Cambridge Arts Council

Apr 23, 2011   //   by van Gelder   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Brian Kane: Free WiFi at the Cambridge Arts Council

Free WiFi at the Cambridge Arts Council. Photo by A. Hasler

Brain Kane’s Free WiFi, now on view at the Cambridge Arts Council’s gallery space, brings familiar internet iconography and design into the real world with a floor-to-ceiling replica of the Google Maps pointer. The piece represents the third item in Kane’s series, the “Real Reality Project,” which seeks to replicate in three dimensions the objects from virtual or augmented reality. Free WiFi appears at the Cambridge Arts Council through May 13th as a collaboration with the Boston Cyberarts Festival, which will sponsor events from April 22nd-May 8th.

Kane constructed the piece out of vinyl, and a pump housed inside inflates the pointer to give it its characteristic shape. Suspended from the ceiling, the pointer bears a surprising likeness to its functional and now ubiquitous online parent. In a phone interview, Kane suggested that this version of Free WiFi may serve as a proof-of-concept for a later iteration made from a more permanent material like stone. Kane has already used stone in other works, most notably a granite iPhone.

“The Cyberarts Festival features a lot of tech-based exhibits, and this project extracts the language of these and makes something real out of it,” C.A.C. Public Art Administrator Jeremy Gaucher said.

C.A.C. administrators planned to host an event for the Cyberarts Festival, and a discussion between Gaucher and Kane after another, unrelated project suggested an opportunity for collaboration. While the Cambridge Arts Council had originally considered an artist from overseas, the quality and subject matter of Kane’s work, in addition to his residency in Cambridge, made him the ideal artist to feature. Kane also currently has pieces from the “Real Reality Project” on view at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts and at UMass Amherst.

For more on Boston Cyberarts, visit their festival website. For more on Brian Kane, his work, and Free WiFi visit his site and the Cambridge Arts Council. Brian Kane: Free WiFi is on view through May 13th at the Cambridge Arts Council, located at 344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.

Written for the 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival; for more about Adam Hasler visit his site

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