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What to see at 2009 Cyberarts Fest

by Greg Cook

With the 2009 Boston Cyberarts Festival offering around 70 things to see spread out all across Boston and its suburbs, who can get to it all? Below is our shortlist of what our Magic 8-Ball predicts will most likely reward your effort to get there. (Translation: This is what we’re hoping to see.)

“Virtuelle Mauer / ReConstructing the Wall,” interactive 3D installation allows you to visit Berlin Wall in mid-1980s, Goethe-Institut, April 24 to May 6.

• Mark Skwarek’s “Children of Arcadia” (pictured above), Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor, April 24 to May 15.

“Geyser” (pictured below) by Georgie Friedman, Boston College’s Higgins Hall, 3rd floor atrium, April 24 to May 10.

“Nourishment” by Jeffu Warmuth and Ellen Wetmore at Art Institute of Boston, April 16 to May 3.

“Carlson/Strom: New Performance Video” at DeCordova, Jan. 24 to May 17.

“Parse: Visualizing Data That Makes Us Human” at Axiom, March 27 to May 10.

“John Powell: Star Bright” interactive light sculpture, Yezerski Gallery, April 24 to May 10.

“Loops: An exhibition of open source software,” Brian Knep, Golan Levin, Casey Reas and Sosolimited rework 2001’s “Loops” digital portrait of Merce Cunningham, MIT Museum. April 25 to May 10.

“Syntax” at Photographic Resource Center, March 27 to May 10.

The New England journal of Aesthetic Research

April 24, 2009



April 27, 2009

The Boston Cyberarts Festival is upon us. This biennial festival began on Friday the 24th and is taking place in and around Boston over the course of 10 days....

I began by tackling an exhibition far out and then working my way back into town. First stop was Georgie Friedman’s two-channel installation at Boston College. Here is where admission number two comes into play: I have never been to the Boston College campus. But I thought to myself, how hard can it be to find Higgens Hall (that is the only detail I wrote on my little pad). Turns out that I probably should have looked at the BC website beforehand. After wandering around a bit trying to figure out which building was what I finally resorted to asking a security guard. I was close but thanks to the crappy GPS in my Blackberry not where I needed to be. I was pleasantly surprised at Friedman’s piece. Titled “Geyser” it is two very large flat panel televisions mounted in an entryway. Luckily the corridor was quite wide and allowed for some distance from the piece. Although the description of the installation online describes it as being horizontally mounted here it was vertical, which I felt actually worked better (if a little literal), the top screen being an image of the Icelandic sky and the bottom being the geyser hole. The video is quite beautiful and I liked it despite what I felt were conceptual limitations. It was worth the jaunt out to Chestnut Hill. Check out Matt Nash's review of it in this issue.


Big Red & Shiny, Issue #105, April 27, 2009

full 2 page article


Candid snaps from a Big RED afternoon on-the-town at Boston College for the opening of Georgie Friedman's 'Geyser' and Howard Yezerski for the opening of John Powell's solo exhibit.

Big Red & Shiny, Issue #105, April 27, 2009

Museum And Gallery

Our digital landscape

The 2009 Boston Cyberarts Fest

By GREG COOK  |  April 28, 2009

...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....

Instead, check out Georgie Friedman’s Geyser at Boston College’s Higgins Hall (140 Comm Ave, Chestnut Hill, through May 10). On two stacked televisions, she screens footage of Iceland geysers. The bottom one shows boiling water sloshing around a rocky pot until it explodes. The top shows clouds rolling by, and now and then the top of a geyser’s splash. The installation is less elaborate — and correspondingly less dramatic — than some of her past work. It ruminates on the elemental nature of our world, but what grabs is its simple, elegant, luxuriously beautiful movement. ...

full 2 page article



April 27, 2009

Georgie Friedman's video installations require patience. They are not for those with a short attention span, and they only reward the viewer willing to sit and wait. Sometimes the rewards are small, tiny flickers of action or moments of surprise; sometimes they are great gushing explosions of catharsis. Geyser, Friedman's latest 2-channel video piece currently on view at Boston College, is full of small discoveries and big explosions.

Filmed in Iceland, Geyser is an 18-minute video pairing, showing a closely cropped view of a geyser as it collects water and begins to bubble, eventually spewing water 100 feet into the air with a great roar before starting the cycle all over again. Above, a second video shows the sky above the geyser, ominous clouds drifting slowly overhead, until a great rush of water obscures them briefly from view.

There are several oddities about Geyser that, as one ponders its slow pace and building sense of anticipation, become obvious and yet intriguing. The first is that the explosion of the geyser below does not correspond to the explosion above, so that the four explosions in the piece appear eight times as disjointed and separate experiences. The second is that the explosions below, in which the viewer can see the geyser filling with water and building to a climax, are satisfying and rewarding of the patience it takes to sit for five minutes waiting. However, the explosions above, when the water shoots into the sky, are oddly disappointing, seemingly random moments that are not the culmination of any anticipation.

In this piece, Friedman seems to be exploring the type of experience one expects from a geyser and how the construct of the "moment" is created by all the others before and after. Geysers, after all, are fascinating because of their predictable build to an explosive release, rewarding those who visit them with specific moments of meaning or experience. In Geyser, Friedman gives us this cycle of anticipation and pleasure, while also pointing to how that pleasure is created. She indicates that it is not the moment of explosion that is the reason for excitement, but all that leads up to it.


Matthew Nash is the publisher of Big RED & Shiny.

Big Red & Shiny, Issue #105, April 27, 2009