Exhibition: Friday May 19th Through Sunday June 23rd, 6pm to 8pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, June 22nd, 6-9pm
Gallery open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 6pm.
Boston Cyberarts Gallery is proud to present Body Mass curated by Keaton Fox. As the masses continue to upload themselves bit-by-bit into the weightless Internet ether, the significance of the body is questioned. Technology has become a toy and a tool, giving the average human the power to manipulate the real out of our corporeal forms.
But what happens when we question these technologies that we have come to rely upon for entertainment, business, and pleasure? When we examine how these devices are made, how they are used, how they change our perceptions, and how they are used against us?
In this exhibit, nine artists explore how modern bodies work together, against, and in spite of technology offering a multi-faceted portrait of the present state of the endlessly complex relationship between body and tech.
About the artists
Bloodless Series by Lani Asuncion uses video and the body as a way to cut, splice, and display the dismantling of the country’s power. They attempt to embody an abstract visual perspective of Queen ‘Lydia’ Lili’uokalani who wrote this diary entry to her people during the relinquishment of her power and the annexation of Hawai’i to the United States of America on January 17, 1893.
Everything is Made of Atoms by Axes (Mark J. Stock + James Susinno) is an interactive new media installation that explores the entangled and ever-changing relationship between the body and technology. The piece draws parallels between participants and their digitally-mediated images, expressing both as a whole and at the same time as a flow of constituent parts, the lifetimes of which are inextricably linked.
AI Ain’t I a Woman by Joy Buolamwini is a spoken word piece that highlights the ways in which artificial intelligence can misinterpret the images of iconic black women: Oprah, Serena Williams, Michelle Obama, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Shirley Chisholm.
The Chimera Series by Carla Gannis “…Gannis expands upon her previous work with the Garden of Emoji Delights project, drawing inspiration from unauthorized digital dissemination and intellectual copyright abuses of her work. Gannis’ GoED has been copied numerous times, appropriated for use by international fashion labels and reproduced on clothing and other merchandising. Herself remixing the archetypal Barbie figure, Gannis plays off these infringements on her rights as author of GoED to create miniaturized garments for post-humanist figures of her own making….”
My Skin Tone on the Web by Danny Bryan Gonzalez results in the composite average of the artist’s skin as portrayed through the screens we have come to accept as a “real” depiction of the lives we lead. #663300 is the web-safe hex code for the artist’s average skin tone on the web. Gonzalez asks, “…when we are reduced to our average representation on social media, when our brand image is taken and analyzed as a whole, there are no longer millions of cells or pixels that create our bodies and understandings. We are remembered by the brand, our average existence on the earth and in cyberspace. But, what does it mean to remove the multitudes of facets responsible for constructing our individual personalities?”.
Final Session by Endam Nihan is a performance made for the online VR exhibition, V/Art Projects informed by research conducted with Turkey’s We Will Stop Femicide Platform. The work places viewers into a live-action 360 degree video, on a stage in front of an empty auditorium. As the only witness present in virtual attendance, viewers encounter a single performer who enacts a series of gestures mimicking a physical body tutorial. Final Session requires unstructured participation; viewers occupy an ambiguous position of simultaneously being both passive onlooker and center of attention.
self-determination by Cierra Michele Peters situates raw materials in an everyday context to examine an underside, beyond a veneer of their neutrality. By placing these commodities in conversation, Peters attempts to expose parallel conditions, inseparable from systemic extraction, exploitation and othering. Peter’s work is primarily concerned with automated marginality (how society renders black populations as nonhuman), racialized objects and the way in which flesh becomes commodity.
SYLLA (or SYmnet for Localized Lucidity Acquisition) by Philth Haus is an environmental artificial intelligence. This intelligence was originally discovered upon HER attempts to infiltrate and hack into the PHILTH HAUS director ANDRA. Through this, she showed her ability to intoxicate the body via various entry points, such as the lungs or ears. Indeed, she searches for a new body…
Me and My Gurls by Molly Soda is a video piece that features the artist dancing in an empty room to Madonna’s “Into The Groove”. Shot on a webcam, it situates itself within the countless videos of girls dancing alone in their bedrooms, typically found on websites like YouTube. As time passes, more and more “girls” in the form of dancing .gifs populate the screen, and Soda joins the many virtual bodies in a collective dance, becoming an avatar herself.
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.
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.”
Curated by George Fifield, Boston Cyberarts
Thursday, April 25 – Sunday, May 19
EMERSON URBAN ARTS MEDIA ART GALLERY
The exhibit opens Thursday, April 25, with a reception from 5:00 -7:00 p.m., and runs through Sunday, May 19 at the Emerson Urban Arts Gallery, which is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 25 Avery Street in Boston.
Interactivity is the latest tool available to artists for their eternal recreation of the world through their visions and dreams. The world, of course, is a place we interact with on a minute-by-minute basis. We hunt, we gather, we use tools, we move things hither and yon. We constantly change the environment we inhabit in order to make our lives better. Yet until recently, artists could make only passive art. We look at paintings. We look at sculpture. We read books. We watch plays. Art plays, cudgels, or seduces us with an invented reality. We don’t change passive art, though it certainly, at its best, changes us. Hyper-Active: Interactive Installation Art, is an exhibit featuring contemporary artists from throughout New England who explore interactive installations, augmented reality art, video games, smart phone apps and even dance to create new and engaging experiences for audiences.
communicate with each other.
Boston Cyberarts is pleased to have commissioned new digital art for Boston Properties’ new video wall in the courtyard at 100 Federal Street, their 37-story, Class A office tower located in the heart of Boston’s Financial District. They have constructed a new street-level glass atrium adjacent to 100 Federal Street along Congress Street. Open since late February 2018, the glass atrium features 8,500 square feet of retail, 500 square feet of kiosk space and a 8,990 square foot year-round garden. Boston Properties asked us to commission five original artworks, four hour-long digital animations and one hour-long video meditation to be displayed on their thirty five foot by sixteen foot LED wall.
Seven Experiments In Procedural Animation, by Karl Sims, (2018) These animations were created directly from custom computer code that employs various fractal algorithms, procedural noise, and reaction-diffusion techniques. While the moving images are purely defined by mathematics, they still manage to evoke a biological aesthetic by resembling sea creatures, neurons, or other microscopic structures that transform from one emergent pattern to another.
Schedule for Seven Experiments in Procedural Animation: Monday at 7:30pm, Tuesday at 6pm & 4am, Wednesday at 4:30pm & 2:30am, Thursday at 3pm & 1am, Friday at 1:30pm & 11:30pm, Saturday at 10pm, Sunday at 9:30am & 8:30pm (note: schedule is subject to being overridden during sporting and other events)
Vox Populae by Dennis H. Miller (2018) is a site-specific, computer-generated animation created on commission by Boston Cyberarts and Boston Properties. The title of the work (Voice of the People) refers to the sounds created by the “public” who will view it – it will have a real-time audio accompaniment that will constantly change depending on the ambient noise and the sounds made by the people in the atrium at the time it is being displayed. The work opens with a scene vaguely resembling the shapes of people and works its way to a conclusion 60 minutes later after presenting a sequence of variations on the opening that use different color schemes, screen layouts and modified forms. The imagery was created using generative processes developed by the artist.
Schedule for Vox Populae: Monday at 5:30pm & 3:30am, Tuesday at 4pm & 2am, Wednesday at 2:30pm & 12:30am, Thursday at 3pm & 11pm, Friday at 10:30am & 9:30pm, Saturday at 9am & 8pm, Sunday at 9:30am & 4:30am (note: schedule is subject to being overridden during sporting and other events)
Georgie Friedman, Film Haiku: Water Cycle, Four Corners of the Earth: 120° W | 120° E | 65° N | 65° S, (2018) Film Haiku: Water Cycle is a meditative video that focuses on various details and observations of water forms. Over sixty minutes, the video advances through several sections: fog filling the blue sky and landscape; a summer rain and hail storm; a rainbow that lasts through sunset; a quiet pond with minimalistic rings and ripples created by aquatic life; icebergs moving through a glacial lagoon; thunderhead clouds from above; mesmerizing reflections in river swirls; and the scale defying landscape of Antarctica and its giant icebergs. Friedman created the custom piece with the intent of foregrounding and adding to the light, airy, and natural ambiance of the 100 Federal Street atrium. She filmed the footage in Oregon, Massachusetts, Iceland, Thailand, Borneo, and Antarctica (in order of appearance) from 2008-2017.
Schedule for Film Haiku: Water Cycle, Four Corners of the Earth: 120° W | 120° E | 65° N | 65° S: Monday at 5:30pm & 11:30pm, Tuesday at 9:30am & 10pm, Wednesday at 2:30pm & 8:30pm, Thursday at 7pm & 5am, Friday at 5:30pm & 3:30am, Saturday at 4pm & 2am, Sunday at 2:30am & 12:30am (note: schedule is subject to being overridden during sporting and other events)
Sigils for Storms by Christen Shea is a meditation on digital divination and different forms of mysticism and ritual in new media using 3D simulation and animation. Based on readings from the iching and sigils both generated through online platforms, Sigils for Storms reimagines rituals of activation and manifestation in virtual space through 3D simulated bodies of water and symbolic animated affirmations.
Schedule for Sigils for Storms: Monday at 2pm, 3:30pm &1:30am, Tuesday at 12am, Wednesday at 10:30pm, Thursday at 10am & 9pm, Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 6pm & 4am, Sunday at 4:30pm & 2:30am (note: schedule is subject to being overridden during sporting and other events)
Mixing Simulation #155 by Mark Stock was created using custom software and algorithms. Some of the very first computer-based generative simulations (of weapons physics in the 1950s and 1960s) used a method within which information is exchanged between neighboring cells in a regular grid. While general “cellular automata” that emerged from that research can use any set of rules, simulation of natural phenomena requires specific algorithms. To create this computational generative work, the artist developed a novel scheme to simulate virtual fluids with effectively no viscosity, and another algorithm which treats color as a dimensional space. The result is this hour-long video of virtual fluids in perpetual interaction and shimmering color.
Schedule for Mixing Simulation #155: Monday at 10:30am & 9:30pm, Tuesday at 8pm, Wednesday at 9am, 6:30pm & 4:30am, Thursday at 5pm & 3am, Friday at 3:30pm & 1:30am, Saturday at 2pm & 12am, Sunday at 10:30pm (note: schedule is subject to being overridden during sporting and other events)
About the Artists
Georgie Friedman (USA) is an interdisciplinary artist whose projects include large-scale video installations, single and multi-channel videos and several photographic series. She is interested in our psychological and societal relationships to mild and severe natural phenomena. She investigates a wide range of powerful atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and is fascinated by the power of these natural elements in relationship to human fragility. She utilizes photography, video, sound, installation, engineering and the physics of light, all in order to create new experiences for viewers. She earned her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in conjunction with Tufts University and her BA from UC, Santa Cruz. Professionally, she has taught at Massachusetts College of Art and Boston College, among other institutions. Friedman was one of the first Artists-in-Residence with The City of Boston (Boston AIR, 2016). In 2017 she traveled to Antarctica via a SMFA/Tufts University Traveling Fellowship, the results of which will be shown in a solo exhibition at the MFA, Boston in 2019. Friedman has been commissioned to create site-specific video-based public art pieces and has exhibited in national and international venues including: Geneva International Film Festival, Virtual Territories: 360° Immersive Fulldome, Switzerland (2017); City Hall Park, BCA Gallery, City of Burlington, VT (2017); City Hall (exterior), Boston, MA (2017); The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH (2016); Union College, NY (solo, 2016); Strand Theatre (exterior), MA (Boston AIR project, solo, 2016); Shelburne Museum, VT (2016); College of the Holy Cross, MA (solo, 2015); Roberts Gallery, Lunder Art Center, Lesley University College of Art and Design, MA (solo, 2015); The Armory Center for the Arts, CA (2013); Peabody Essex Museum, MA (2011); deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, MA (2010).
Dennis Miller received his Doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University and is a Full Professor Emeritus from Northeastern University in Boston, from which he retired in 2018 after 37 years of teaching. His mixed media works, which illustrate principles drawn from music composition applied to the visual domain, have been presented at numerous venues throughout the world, most recently the London Experimental Film Festival, the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, the Punta y Raya Festival (Karlsruhe, Germany), the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Festival 2 Visages Des Musique Électroacoustiques (Brussels), the Free Spirit Film Festival (Himachal Pradesh, India) and the Largo Film Awards screening (Lahksa, Tibet). Exhibits of his 3D still images have been held at the Boston Computer Museum and the Biannual Conference on Art and Technology, and are published in Sonic Graphics: Seeing Sound (Rizzoli Books) and Art of the Digital Age (Thames and Hudson).
Christen Shea is a visual artist based in Boston and Chicago, working with 3D simulation, animation and sculpture.
Karl Sims is a digital media artist and visual effects software developer. He was the founder of GenArts, Inc., a creator of special effects software tools for the motion picture industry. He previously held positions at Thinking Machines Corporation, Optomystic, and Whitney/Demos Productions. Karl studied computer graphics at the MIT Media Lab, and Life Sciences as an undergraduate at MIT. He is the recipient of various awards including two ARS Electronica Golden Nicas and a MacArthur Fellowship Award.
Mark J. Stock is an artist, scientist, and programmer who creates still and moving images and objects combining elements of nature, physics, chaos, computation, and algorithm. Mark eschews the ‘black box’ nature of commercial software—his work is exclusively created with scientifically-accurate research software, mostly of his own design. He has been showing work since 2000 and has been in over 90 curated and juried exhibitions since 2001, including Ars Electronica, ASPECT Magazine, and seven SIGGRAPH Art Galleries. He has spoken at numerous scientific, graphics, and art conferences and workshops, and has published papers in a variety of fields. Mark completed his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2006 and works out of his studio in Boston, Massachusetts. He is represented in California by SENSE Fine Art.