Thursday, April 30, 2009

Boston Cyberarts Festival

From my review of the 2009 Boston Cyberarts Festival:
The installation "Children of Arcadia" convinced me that the 2009 Boston Cyberarts Festival isn’t going to suck. I’d been worried because I’ve seen lots of local cyberart (or new-media, or tech art, or whatever you want to call it) since the previous Cyberarts Festival, in 2007, and too much of it had been disappointing.

This work by artists exploring new technologies is one of the distinctive sectors of Boston art. It offers frequent exciting flashes of promise, and yet it often feels stuck in beta mode: full of bugs and half-assed ideas and not ready for full implementation. I should say that the stuff I’m most fascinated by — complex new programming and tinkerer/inventor–type works — is by its very nature slow and labor-intensive to produce. But too often new-media artists get so caught up in developing the new media that they don’t get around to developing the art.

Presented by Mark Skwarek, Arthur Peters, and Joseph Hocking at the Cambridge Arts Council (344 Broadway, Cambridge, through May 15), "Children of Arcadia" is an interactive computer simulation that allows you to roam a pastoral landscape of rolling hills dotted by towering trees, boulders, and classical ruins. (Their locations are pegged to the real-life New York Stock Exchange and other Manhattan landmarks.) The weather gets clear or stormy depending on the fluctuations of the stock market plus tallies of Google searches for “America + good” versus “America + evil.” There’s lots of lightning and thunder these days.
Read the rest here.

Boston Cyberarts Festival, numerous locations across Greater Boston, April 24 to May 10, 2009.

What to see at 2009 Cyberarts Fest.

Pictured from top to bottom: Jeffu Warmouth's "JFC" and "Jeffu Burger" installation at the Art Institute of Boston; Ellen Wetmore's installation at AIB, and the delicious menu from "Jeffu Burger."


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