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Axiom & Boston Cyberarts merge

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Last evening at MassArt's Pozen Center, about 200 people gathered for "Spark: A Gala Celebration". The event was created for three reasons, each worth a party in their own right.

The big news of the evening was that the Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media, celebrating their fifth anniversary, would be merging with Boston Cyberarts. This merge has been a while in the making, and is very logical for both organizations. Cyberarts has been working for over a decade to create biennial festivals of new media art, working with most of the venues, colleges & universities and many other organizations in Boston & Cambridge to foster and promote new media. Axiom has grown from a small, student-run space in Allston to their current highly visible location in Jamaica Plain, expanding greatly along the way.

Axiom Director Heidi Kayser will take on the new role of Assistant Director of Boston Cyberarts, alongside Director George Fifield and Janet Bailey, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The new combined organization will have the full resources of Cyberarts and the visibility of Axiom, and makes perfect sense for both of them.

The third part of the evening was devoted to a new initiative by the combined organization. This state funded project, called Art Technology New England (ATNE) is intended to foster more complex working relationships between artists, funders, technology creators and researchers. The mission of this organization is currently very broad, and Massachusetts Creative Economy Industry Director Jason Schupbach spoke of encouraging artists, especially new media artists, to take pride in the leadership of Massachusetts and help ATNE build stronger alliances between creative and technological minds.

From the press release:

Boston Cyberarts, Inc., and the Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media have announced plans to merge.The two nonprofit organizations, both of which serve artists and others who are involved in the creation and exhibition of multimedia and digital art, will combine their operations into a single entity, pending approval of their two Boards, which is expected in January.

The Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media was originally founded as an artist collaborative in 2004. Axiom mounts regular exhibitions of both emerging and established artists in its gallery space located at 141 Green Street in Jamaica Plain. In addition to its highly-regarded series of exhibitions, in recent years Axiom has expanded its programming to include performances, lectures, workshops, and other events.

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In addition to Axiom's programming and the biennial Festival, the two organizations have already begun collaborating on the launch of Art Technology New England (ATNE), a new service organization founded to bring together artists, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and companies involved in the art and technology sector. Boston Cyberarts also runs an artist proposal matching service and an online art gallery, and produces a free monthly newsletter for the cyberarts community.

Images: from "Spark: A Gala Reception" by the author. More images by James Manning will appear in the on-the-town section of Big RED #121.

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About Author

Matthew Nash is the founder of Big Red & Shiny. He is Associate Professor of Photography and New Media at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and was the 2011-12 Chair of the University Faculty Assembly. Nash is half of the artist collaborative Harvey Loves Harvey, who are currently represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston and have exhibited in numerous venues since 1992.

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