Report on Boston Cyberart Festival 2009 News Release

Tenth anniversary Festival features
increased focus on art in cyberspace

Boston, 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

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:

* 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.

* Second Life: Boston Cyberarts is planning an array of projects in the virtual environment of Second Life. At least one of these exhibitions, organized by Lily & Honglei, will also be on view in the gallery at U. Mass Dartmouth.

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

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“Land of Illusion – folklore in digital media”

presentation @ Upgrade! Boston

Upgrade! Boston Presentation

Upgrade! Boston Presentation

Curated by

Location: Studio for Interrelated Media, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Schedule: May 19th, 2009

Event: artists talk by Lily & Honglei

note: Upgrade! Boston is a monthly gathering of artists, curators and the public that fosters dialogue and creates opportunities for collaboration within the new media community. Hosted by the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, each meeting consists of one or two hour-long presentations interspersed with questions and comments from the audience. Theme-based panel discussions are organized once or twice a year. The events are informal, free, and open to all. Founded by in January 2005, Upgrade! Boston continues to grow as a local node within the global Upgrade! International (UI) network.

Exhibition: Virtual Art @ NYC Broadway Gallery
 Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

Exhibition Location:

NY Arts Broadway Gallery, 473 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013 (212) 274-8993

gallery websites:,

Exhibition Dates: February 15 – 28, 2009, Tues – Sat 10: – 6:00 pm.

Opening Reception: Thursday 6-8PM, February 19th, 2009

Exhibition Description: the exhibition explores virtual world art as a form of assessment of globalization, a venue to explore Internet-based virtual world as a Modernist techno-libertarian utopia, a political utopia, and “reality” of the dream world. The exhibition also serves as part of initiative of a new platform promoting net-art by presenting work in this field not only on Internet but in galleries in both New York City and Beijing.

Land of Illusion team: Scott Grant, Kristy Lee, Bill H. Li, Honglei Li, Ry Daniel Shanks, Bill Weaver, Lily Xiying Yang

lily, Patrick, Will & Craig discussing NY Arts Net-art initiative in VF clinic

lily, Patrick, Will & Craig discussing NY Arts Net-art initiative (first meeting in VF clinic)

Networked Performance: Hundred Schools of Thought

Dec.18, 9-10PM EST, 6-7PM SLT

Teleport to Land of Illusion now

Hundred Schools of Thought - performance in "Land of Illusion"

Hundred Schools of Thought – performance in “Land of Illusion”

Performance Description: By reflecting on the cultural phenomenon in Chinese history, “Land of Illusion” team’s new performance in Second Life, Hundred Schools of thought aims to making critical social and cultural commentaries in Cyberspace.

From Spring and Autumn to Warring States Period, during nearly 500 years in China, thought was freed, learning was unrestricted. Scholars without official responsibilities, were able to develop their views freely; heterodoxies thus could widely prevail. Men of profound thought and far vision inevitably were moved to make critical inquires into the causes and influences of these great changes, and quite naturally voiced opposition or offered constructive proposal.

In this performance in Second Life, six major philosophers reside in the Grand View Garden, presenting or advocating their thoughts and strategies freely. While the characters are identifiable by appearances and activities through historical accounts, performers, six artists and educators from China, Australia and America, have been encouraged to interpret the profound cultural message with their own reading when retaining their personal virtual identities as certain degree. Exploring “multifaceted identities” is the focus of this social-cultural reinterpretations through symbolic approaches.

Viewers are invited to log in Second Life for an immersive experience of this performance reflecting on not only Chinese history and philosophy, but legend and personality.

more information at, and

“Wall & City “- collaboration of Lily & Honglei, Ry Daniel Shanks

Exhibition @ Monash University, Australia

Wall & City

Poster: Wall & City exhibition @ monash university

Exhibition Description: The exhibition is sponsored by Chinese Studies Program at Monash University Australia. Exhibits include Lily & Honglei’s experimental videos: The Fourth Cry of the Monkey, A Dream of Red Chambers, Forbidden City; paintings composing animation “The Fourth Cry”; digital images extracted from new performance/machinima Wall & City.

Work Description: Wall & City is a machinima directed and edited by Lily & Honglei, performed by Ry Daniel Shanks and Lily Yang. The film contains three main scenes, Grand View Garden in eastern section where Yu Huan played her famous “drunk dance”, Great Wall in western section where Bao Si was entertained by the ultimate chaos in the history of China, and Underwater City that swallowed Xi Shi’s youth and beauty and left her lonely soul wandering around in the submerged city. “Fundamentally, the film reflects the concept of the directional symbolism, namely, related architectural structures are built upon ancient Chinese correlative cosmology, which teaches that the movement of the universe follows the ceaseless transformation of yin and yang forces and the five phases (wood, fire, metal, water and earth): life starts from the east (which corresponds to the element of wood, spring, rising yang, etc.) and ends in the west which corresponds to the element of metal, autumn, rising yin, etc. [1]“ Lily states, “and this theory, for me, is not about belief, but seeking for order from chaos, eternity from confusion, or the antipathy of certian existing social structures …”

Works on View:

Legend of Xi Shi - work on view in Exhibition @ Monash Univ.

Legend of Xi Shi - work on view in Exhibition Wall & City

View Video

Story of Bao Si

Story of Bao Si - work on view in Exhibition Wall & City

View Video

Story of Yu Huan Yang - work on view in Exhibition @ Monash Univ.

Story of Yu Huan Yang - work on view in Exhibition @ Monash Univ.

View Video

SL machinima excerpt:

Online Exhibition Location: Exhibition Hall at Chinese College, Monash University (SL)

Schedule: Friday, Nov.14 (USA/UK), Saturday, Nov. 15 (AU), 2008, 4-5PST (or Second Life Time)

play fire-cracker for opening at Monash Univ.

play fire-cracker for opening at Monash Univ.

visitors at Wall & City exhibition

visitors at Wall & City exhibition

Virtual Installation “Land of Illusion” @ American Library Association

Presentation Poster

Presentation Poster

Exhibition on view: Oct.3rd – 20th, 2008,

Location: China Cafe (American Library Association), Info Island International, Second Life

Opening: 9PM, Oct. 3rd. 2008

Description: The Cyberspace exhibition features Lily & Honglei’s digital artworks, including animations, machinima, paintings and 3D environment developed to illustrate and reflect on Chinese Folklore traditions and its social impact. Audience will have a unique reading experience in learning Chinese folktales and classical literature in an immersive virtual space.

About China Cafe: The project is funded by ALA and implemented in Second Life. It serves as a bridge to link China and the World, or, according to the founders, “a window for China to see more about the world and the world to know more of China.” The China Cafe offers weekly lectures and special events.

"Land of Illusion" Installation on view

"Land of Illusion" Installation on view

Audience at "Land of Illusion" installation, SL China Cafe (ALA funded project)

Audience at "Land of Illusion" installation, SL China Cafe (ALA funded project)

* Watch Video

* Discussion at Boston Cyberarts

“Land of Illusion” Event Gallery


自2006年底以来,我们在“太虚幻境“中结合了装置,表演和互动音响,动画,录像等数码多媒体作为传达手段,特别是将这些表现因素安置在网络基础 上的“虚拟环境”中 (Second Life),目标是在创造新的文化空间与艺术形式的同时,进行开放性的全球范畴的对话与交流。我们期待多方面的参与以及广泛的合作 — 达到更高层面的知识界的沟通与对于民间文化深远影响的理解是这个论坛的意义所在。

Originally, the Web-based art project “Land of Illusion” is dedicated to the study of Chinese folklore’s influences and implications in the globalized world as well as within the Internet culture. In contrast to the existing research and presentation solutions, artistic approaches, especially those involving digital multimedia and Web-applications, have been used to disseminate messages. With this collaborative art experiment, we aim to enhance the understanding of the relation of cultural heritage and contemporary societies.