Boston Cyberarts’ 20th Anniversary

May 1st2019 is the twentieth anniversary of the first day of the first Boston Cyberarts Festival. Boston Cyberarts turns 20 this day. The idea of celebrating the confluence of art and technology with a city wide festival was the product of many minds. Especially important was that people in different fields of art came together to make the festival an examination of all art forms; visual arts, video, music, dance theater, web art, sculpture, literature and recorded and live video sampling.

1999 Cyberarts Banner on the Computer Museum

Besides being an all art forms event is was also a great collaboration of arts organizations. It would have been a success if twenty organizations participated; however sixty cultural and educational institutions signed up and organized over 100 events. Each organization organized their events, within the two weeks of the Festival, according to their own mission and within their own budget. The question of what was the impact of technology, particularly digital technology on the arts was a question whose time had come. An estimated 7,800 people came from across the city, garnering national attention. 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. 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.”

Boston Cyberarts’ Youth Project, Faces of Tomorrow