2009 Boston Cyberarts Festival

January 31, 2009 § Leave a comment

Tenth anniversary Festival features increased focus on art in cyberspace

cyberartsfest_rgbBoston, MA – Exhibitions and performances by artists who use computer technology as an integral part of their work are once again on display at the sixth Boston Cyberarts Festival, taking place April 24-May 10, 2009. The Festival, a collaboration of visual and performing artists, cultural organizations, educators, and high-technology professionals, takes place at museums, galleries, theatres, schools, and public spaces in and around the Boston area, and online at www.bostoncyberarts.org.

The first Boston Cyberarts Festival took place ten years ago, in 1999, and since that time the biennial event has become an eagerly-anticipated part of the Boston-area arts and technology scene. George Fifield, Director of Boston Cyberarts, noted: “The Boston area has been a center of art and technology for decades, since the pioneering work done by institutions like WGBH, Polaroid, and the MIT Media Lab. We’re proud that for the past decade we have been able to shine a spotlight on both the rich history of art and technology, and on the visions for the future.”

One of the key features of this year’s Festival is an increased emphasis on art in cyberspace.  Among the events and exhibitions that can be enjoyed on the web are:

* Second Life:  Boston Cyberarts is planning an array of projects in the virtual environment of Second Life. These exhibitions include, Cyberart South initiated by Lily & Honglei (杨熙瑛,李宏磊)on view in the gallery at U. Mass Dartmouth,  and Second Life art  in counterpArt Gallery, Lowell, MA.

* Loops: A Dance & Technology Project:  Artists will be repurposing and reinterpreting Merce Cunningham’s “Loops,” using open-source software created from the motion-capture of the Cunningham work.  The results will be available to view online, in exhibition at the MIT Museum, and in a live performance.

* HyperArtSpace Gallery:  Boston Cyberarts’ own online gallery will be the site of a series of curated exhibitions of web-based artwork.

A rich array of events and exhibitions in many art forms are also on tap for the 2009 Festival. [read more…]

Stimulus Bill Includes $50 Million For the Arts

January 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Report on New York Times By ROBIN POGREBIN

The House approved $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts on Wednesday as part of its economic stimulus bill. The money is not in the version in the Senate, where it is expected to go to the floor on Monday. “We hope Congress can come to a sensible consensus as the bill is prepared for its final vote,” said Robert L. Lynch, the president and chief executive of Americans for the Arts, a lobbying group. “The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities, and it is fiscally sound policy to invest in our nation’s arts infrastructure.”

Rose Art Museum to Close, Sell Off Collection

January 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

Reporting from Artforum.com

Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off an eight-thousand-object collection that includes work by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik, report the Boston Globe’s Geoff Edgers and Peter Schworm.

The move shocked local arts leaders and drew harsh criticism from the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries. Rose Art Museum director Michael Rush declined comment, saying he had just learned of the decision. Brandeis is also discussing a range of sweeping proposals to bridge a budget deficit that could be as high as ten million dollars.

“This is not a happy day in the history of Brandeis,” president Jehuda Reinharz said. “The Rose is a jewel. But for the most part, it’s a hidden jewel. It does not have great foot traffic, and most of the great works we have, we are just not able to exhibit. We felt that, at this point given the recession and the financial crisis, we had no choice.” Brandeis said the museum would be closed late this summer. It was founded in 1961; a new wing designed by celebrated architect Graham Gund was added in 2001.

Announcement of the closing came as Rush was searching for a chief curator. A leading expert on video art, he had arrived in 2005 with plans to expand the museum. He also launched a full-scale analysis of the museum’s value by Christie’s. Dennis Nealon, the university’s director of public relations, would not say how much the collection is worth.

Experts on university art collections said the move was unusual, but not unexpected. “Clearly, what’s happening with Brandeis now is that they decided the easiest way is to look around the campus and find things that can be capitalized,” said David Robertson, a Northwestern University professor who is president of the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries. “It’s always art that goes first.”

But there is no precedent for selling an art collection of the Rose’s stature. Internationally recognized, the collection is strong in American art of the 1960s and ’70s and includes works by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, and Helen Frankenthaler. “I’m in shock,” said Mark Bessire, the recently named director of the Portland Museum of Art. “And this is definitely not the time to be selling paintings, anyway. The market is dropping. I’m just kind of sitting here sweating because I can’t imagine Brandeis would take that step.”

related article from Time –

A Talk With: Michael Rush

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