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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Technological Artistry

Technological Artistry

The fifth Boston Cyberarts Festival, a biennial event dedicated to showcasing the work of artists who utilize technology in innovative and provocative ways, kicked off on April 20 and is set to run through May 6 at several locations in and around the Boston area. The event, which launched its first show in 1999, bills itself as “the first and largest collaboration of artists working in new technologies in all media in North America.” It contains more than 60 exhibitions, workshops and symposiums located at various area museums, theaters and universities.

The events are located primarily in Boston and Cambridge, but extend to a number of other locations in the Greater Boston area, including Brookline and Lowell. The artwork on display at the Boston Cyberarts Festival is extremely varied and covers all forms of media from a plethora of visual arts, including computer based compositions created using Flash and 3D animation as well as Web design and other computer generated art. The scope of the event isn’t limited to what you’ll see on computer screens, and contains such wide-ranging mediums as sculpture, video art, music and dance.

The festival draws contributors from all over the country as well as internationally and creates some interesting pairings. Such is the case for “Ideas in Motion: The Body’s Limit,” taking place April 21-22 at the Green Street Studios in Cambridge. The two-day exploration of technology and dance has brought together an international team of dance professionals and engineers to create this conference and performance series.

This year, many of the exhibitions are interactive, such as the 10-Day Cyberarts Festival at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline. The festival includes an interactive Flash workshop in addition to other interactive pieces.

Many of the exhibitions blend several seemingly unrelated elements of art and science to produce inventive and sometimes radical works of art. In “Bio-Art Self-Portraits,” high school art students turn images of their own skin cells into a collage, while “Zap!” features a 50-foot tall Van Der Graff generator and, get this, musical robots!

Festival-goers can also experience music by human beings (if that’s your thing), as the festival with contain fourteen concerts including the world premiere of the day-long multimedia opera “The Puzzle Master,” a retelling of the story of Daedalus and Icarus.

Another highlight of the festival includes “Pulse Pool,” an amazing interactive accomplishment that unites people from Boston and Oklahoma City through the human pulse. Festival attendants will be able to wear specially rigged devices that will measure their pulse and transmit the data to other participants through vibrations created by the technology allowing individuals to feel the pulse of other participants.

Additionally the pulses of those partaking in “Pulse Pool” will be reflected with a visual representation that can be watched by attendants of the exhibit. The pulse of those involved is mimicked by falling water that matches the wearer’s heartbeat creating ripples into a pool in real-time. “Pulse Pool” will run from April 23-30 at the Boston Museum of Science.

On May 4, the Hotel @ MIT will be the site of the 2007 Cyberarts Gala, a party that allows patrons to rub elbows with some of the festivals artists and be on hand for the presentation of the IBM Innovation Awards to the best exhibitions of the festival.

Interested art seekers can get more information and obtain a listing of all the exhibitions and events the festival has to offer from CyberArtCentral, located at Art Interactive on 130 Bishop Allen Dr. in Cambridge, or by visiting the festival’s website at www.bostoncyberarts.org.