While it has been unofficial knowledge for a while now, George Fifield has officially confirmed his departure from the DeCordova Museum. Fifield told Big RED & Shiny that the museum has closed the curator of new media position, effectively laying him off. The departure, though, is amicable, and he has not ruled out working with the DeCordova in the future.
Cory Cronin, The DeCordova's Director of Marketing and Public Relations, told Big RED:
The Museum has a long standing commitment to new media art, including an extensive video archive collection and new media art work in our permanent collection. DeCordova continues to be committed to this art form but it was felt that we could not continue to devote as many resources to that program as we have in the past. So, rather than having a staff position, as the need arises, we will contract for those services. George Fifield is part of the DeCordova community and we look forward to working with him in the future; in fact, he has been co-curating the upcoming exhibition New Comics: Contemporary Art for Graphic Novels and the Web (working title), which will be on view during the fall of 2008.
In an interview last year with Charles Giuliano, Fifield gave his history with the DeCordova: "[I]n 1993 Nick Capasso, a curator from the DeCordova, came to The Space and liked what he saw. I worked with him to curate a survey of the best of the past year at The Space which was a summer show at the DeCordova in 1993. I went through various titles but I am currently the Curator of New Media at the DeCordova."
No one expects Fifield to remain idle, though. Just this past month he was a key figure in the SIGGRAPH 2006 event, and spring of 2007 kicks off the fifth Boston CyberArts Festival, of which he is the director. He is also adjunct faculty in the Digital Media graduate department at RISD, and currently planning some independent curatorial opportunities. In an interview with Meg Rotzel, Fifield made the following statement, which shows how vital his work and energy are to making Boston a great place for artists:
When I started the Cyberarts, in 1997 and 1998, I applied for the Mass Cultural Council Grant for the first Cultural Economic Development grant. It was the first CED they ever did, and we got it. It was a considerable amount of money for two years to plan and implement the Festival.
But even then, though I had the model in my head of us being, essentially, an umbrella organization. I asked all these other organizations to participate within their own mission. Even then I thought it would be a very successful Festival if 20 organizations joined in, and that first Festival we had 60. It was clearly a conversation whose time had come, and everybody needed a context in which to have it.
All images are courtesy of the artist and insert venue name.