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Good-bye Axiom!

Posted on | July 3, 2012 | 207 Comments

Dear Friends of Axiom,

Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media was originally conceived as a college class project to create an online gallery for artists working at the boundaries of art and technology. While attending the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art, I found myself surrounded by talented, courageous and determined artists who made art that I had never seen in galleries and museums. In fall of 2004, I founded a collective called Axiom who would exhibit this kind of innovative art-work in our large Allston studio space.

We cleared away our couch, plants, desks and studio supplies and mounted our first exhibition, Digital Disclosure. Nearly 200 people attended the opening reception. It was then that I realized the need in Boston not just for a bricks and mortar space, but for a community- an ambitious, welcoming and supportive place that could foster new and experimental media artists.

Spurred by the advice of seasoned local organizers, galvanized by a firm belief in the value of zip-ties, and supported by the Artists Foundation and LEF Foundation, Axiom became a non-profit organization in 2006 and moved from Allston, to Cambridge, and finally settled in 2007 at the Green Street MBTA Station- our home for the past five years. Overall, it has been a profound eight years, watching Axiom grow into a Center for not only the exhibition of visual new and experimental media art, but blossom into a performance and educational venue for experimental and cross-disciplinary approaches to art that include visual arts, sound and music, literature, dance and performance.

Through blood, sweat, tears, and a seemingly endless supply of beer (thanks Harpoon Brewery!) Axiom has organized over 30 major exhibitions and over 100 performances, lectures, artist talks, workshops and other special events. We’ve presented robotic cows controlled by electricity released from rotting beef, edible art, music generated by the passing of subway trains, full body sound experiences, fried egg fractals, and silver plated brain waves. We’ve turned the gallery into a virtual Egyptian Temple, a living, breathing cell controlled by the trains below, a treasure hunt, and a pop-up restaurant. Dancers have controlled video with Wii’s strapped to their arms. There have been bathtub performances, Butoh dancers, electric cellos, whales in the toilet, and interactive film screenings.

Axiom has been voted Best Gallery in Boston several times by the Weekly Dig, the Boston Phoenix and Big Red and Shiny. There have many reviews in these publications, the Boston Globe and Art New England. Artists have traveled from as far away Japan, Mexico, and Canada to as close as “just down the street” to create the vibrant community that is Axiom today. Above all, Axiom has been fueled by its supporters, and with the dedicated efforts of all our interns, volunteers and patrons, we have weathered obstacles and continued to forge new pathways for contemporary new media art.

As Axiom’s Founder, I have looked back on all of this with such pride. I am continually amazed and impressed by the art community in Boston- the dogged dedication, the wealth of new ideas, and the perhaps Puritanical motivation to just keep working harder, are what make this city such a caldron of creativity and innovation. Recently, Mayor Menino renamed my neighborhood, the Fort Point Channel area- home to the oldest artists community in New England, the “Innovation District.” Supposedly, the name arose from the trend for start-up and pharmaceutical businesses to move to the area. I like to think that we all know what the Innovation District really means.

And so, looking back, I have decided that its time for me to refocus my career to pursue my own art. I went to art school to make art, and this is what I need to do. To this end, I will be attending the interdisciplinary MFA Program at the University of California San Diego this fall 2012. After much discussion, we at Axiom have decided that the time has come to close this chapter. It’s been eight years, a fairly long time as far as alternative spaces are concerned, and we want Axiom to close on the highest note possible. Our last show, Collision Collective’s 17th show, CC17:Transformer, showcased 23 awesomely techy artists, the reception was standing room only, and we literally, ran out of beer for the first time.

In September, Boston Cyberarts, our partner these last few years, will be taking over the gallery space as the Boston Cybearts Gallery, and we are certain that only good things are to come in the years ahead!

Please come celebrate everything that has been Axiom – on July 13th we will have our final reception for a show that features an interactive photo time-line of the last eight years of Axiom programming. A special ten-minute documentary film will also be screened at 7:30 pm, along with the presenting of the gallery key to Boston Cyberarts. So come see the photos, write your own description on a post-it and add it to the time-line, and watch the film – you might even spot yourself amongst the shots!

There are too many people to thank in this letter by name, so you’ll have to come to the reception on the 13th to hear those shout outs, but for now: thank you to everyone who has ever helped install a show, organized a show or event, or even mopped the floor! Thanks to everyone who has come through our doors or dropped a dollar in the donation box. And special thanks must go to each and every artist who has showed with and/or contributed to Axiom. Without YOU, this amazing chapter would not have been possible. Thank you all for an extraordinary eight years.

An Axiom can be defined as a foundation for belief and action.

We believed, and we acted.

We hope to see you on July 13th!

So we don’t run out of beer, (only half-kidding!) please take a minute to RSVP for the free July 13th event

The show, We Believed, And We Acted, will be up for gallery hours from 2-5 pm on Saturday, July 14th, and Sunday, July 15th, from 11am-4pm, as part of the Car-Free Corridor between Franklin Park and Jamaica Pond day sponsored by the Circle The City program.


What: We Believed, And We Acted

When: Opening Reception: Friday, July 13th, 6-9 pm

Exhibition Dates: July 13, 2012 – July 15th, 2012

Cost: FREE and Open to the Public, Please RSVP !
Where: Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media – 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Located in the Green Street T Station on the Orange Line

For more information, please call 617-676-5904 or visit

We Believed, And We Acted

Posted on | July 3, 2012 | 10 Comments

We Believed, And We Acted will be Axiom’s final exhibition! The show will feature a photo timeline of eight years of Axiom programming. Visitors will be asked to write on post-it notes and add their descriptions of the works in the photos, their memories and their thoughts, and add the post-it notes to the timeline. A special 10-minute documentary film of Axiom’s history will also be screened at 7:30 pm, which afterwards will be a passing of the key ceremony to give the gallery space over to Boston Cyberarts, who will take over the space as Boston Cyberarts Gallery starting in September.

Read a letter from Heidi Kayser, Axiom’s Founder, saying Good-bye Axiom!

Come celebrate eight years of boundary pushing new and experimental media art! Please take a minute to RSVP (so we don’t run out of beer!)

COLLISION17:transformer opens Friday, March 2

Posted on | February 26, 2012 | 213 Comments

COLLISION17:transformer assembles a wide range of new work from 6 countries to explore the notion of transformation. Power, signal, material and meaning are altered, recast and impedance-matched to underscore and harmonize with the ceaseless change of our lives. Curated by COLLISIONcollective members William Tremblay and Georgina Lewis, COLLISION17:transformer is the seventeenth COLLISIONcollective show and the sixth held at Axiom. The 26 works that comprise the show span sculpture, photography, video, surveillance, interactivity and research, making this the most comprehensive and far-reaching COLLISIONcollective show to date.

A transformer is a device that changes one form of energy to a different form, then changes it back to an altered version of the original. In COLLISION17:transformer we present the artist as transformer of experience though metaphor, translator of ideas between language modes, and transmuter of physical phenomena into forms optimized for human perception.

Included in the show is work by Natalie Andrew, Ryan Boatright, W. Benjamin Bray, Sophia Brueckner, Alicia Eggert, Juan Escudero, Joseph Farbrook, Antony Flackett, Ben K. Foley, Dave Gordon, Rob Gonsalves, Lori Hepner, Wei-Ming Ho, Faith Holland, Annette Isham, Arnold Koroshegyi, Victor Liu, Andrew Neumann, Bob Kephart, Jean-Michel Rolland, Mark Stock, Wayne Strattman and Topp & Dubio.

Opening Reception: March 2nd from 6-9 pm.
Show dates: March 3rd – April 7th.
Gallery hours: Weds and Thurs: 6-9pm, Fri and Sat: 2-5pm

Eygptian Oracle

Posted on | January 30, 2012 | 19 Comments

February 16th | 6pm

Axiom is pleased to host a performance and discussion of the Egyptian Oracle, produced by PublicVR and Puppet Showplace Theater. It is a mixed-reality reenactment of an authentic public ceremony from ancient Egypt’s Late Period. The interactive Virtual Egyptian Temple is projected onto the wall at life scale, extending the physical theater into an virtual space. The high priest (on the right in the image) is an avatar controlled by a live human puppeteer, Brad Shur. The supporting actress (Brenda Huggins) stands in front of the screen, in costume, mediating the experience. Audience members represent the Egyptian populace acting out brief roles in the drama. In the drama, the will of the temple god moves the sacred boat to render judgments, bestow blessings, and make predictions. This 90-second video is better than any explanation:

This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and continues to develop, as we seek to broaden the interaction, deepen the narrative, and improve the artwork. The full report and the open source code are available at:

The performance is about 40 minutes long and will begin at 6:00pm. There will be a brief discussion afterward about the show in particular, especially for questions around the Egyptology, the puppetry, and how other cyber artists might employ the open source for the Egyptian Oracle.

After an intermission, Dr. Jacobson, Director of PublicVR, will speak on how we can use technology to extend the psychological space (virtual reality and mixed reality). He will survey the basic methods and approaches and describe the current state-of-the-art. He will introduce methods and tools that the cyber arts community can make immediate use of.

PublicVR is a Boston-area nonprofit dedicated to research in virtual reality for education and the arts. Dr. Jacobson has been involved in virtual reality for 20 years, especially in the area of display design and cultural heritage. For more information see

Update Opens December 2nd

Posted on | November 28, 2011 | 6 Comments

Axiom presents Update, a solo exhibition by artist John Slepian, opening on December 2nd, 2011. Update is an earnest exploration of the past, the present, and our aspirations for art. 
The show introduces humor into some of the most serious work of 20th Century, exploring ideas about the sublime, artistic truth, and Modernism in the context of our ubiquitously self-centered, “interactive” and ironic present. Each of the pieces in this exhibition is a humorous take on a painting by a well known Mid-Century Modernist. 
Two pieces are interactive animated versions of a famous painting projected onto a canvas and controlled by custom software and a Microsoft Xbox Kinect game controller. Another is a piece of software for a vintage Commodore 64 “personal computer” that generates over 32,000 variations on the form of Josef Albers’ famous “Homage to the Square” series. 
The exhibition also includes digitally printed miniature versions of classic Mark Rothko paintings, and four mock museum posters, one for each of the artists’ work included in the exhibition, featuring a thumbnail image downloaded from the Internet. Stay tuned for more on this fun, engaging and interactive exhibition!  For additional information about John Slepian’s work, please visit

Opening Reception: December 2nd from 6-9 pm. 
Show dates: December 2nd – January 28th.

Kaleidoscope Music opens October 6

Posted on | September 19, 2011 | 11 Comments

Axiom is pleased to present a new exhibition by sound artist Ben Houge, featuring his real-time, six-channel, algorithmic sound installation Kaleidoscope Music, on display from October 6 through November 6. An opening reception for the show will take place on Thursday, October 6, from 6-9 pm.

Kaleidoscope Music takes its inspiration from the idea of a kaleidoscope, a device that refocuses attention on our everyday surroundings, transforming them into something unexpected and beautiful. This real-time, computer-based sound installation manipulates ambient sound from around the Green Street subway stop, layering it and running it through a bank of filters to extract harmonic tones in an ever-changing array of chords and rhythmic patterns. The algorithmic nature of the piece ensures that it never repeats itself; rather it is designed to ebb and flow, evoking the rhythm of natural processes like rainfall and tides. The piece runs continuously, with no beginning or end; visitors are welcome to stay for as long as they like. For more information on the piece, visit Ben’s successful Kickstarter page.

In addition to Kaleidoscope Music, the exhibition will feature digital prints from Ben’s series 29 Giraffes, algorithmic reconfigurations of neon lights from Shanghai’s famous East Nanjing Road.

Ben Houge is a recent transplant to Boston, where he has quickly become embedded in the local new media art community, with presentations of his work at the Boston Cyberarts Festival, MIT, Boston Post-Mortem, Opensound, Outpost 186, and Whitehaus Family Record. Prior to moving to Boston, Ben lived in Shanghai for the past six years, where he was active in the experimental sound and art community, performing and exhibiting widely. Previously, in Seattle, Ben founded the Sound Currents concert series and contributed to the award-winning Seattle School composers’ collective from its inception. Ben currently teaches video game music at the Berklee College of Music and Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts, and this fall he is an Artist in Residence at MIT, working on sonification of real-time sensor data. For more information, visit

You Are My Sunshine Opens August 19

Posted on | August 12, 2011 | 168 Comments

Five artists from the Axiom Group spent five days wilderness camping on Bumpkin Island in Boston Harbor as part of the Bumpkin Island Art Encampment Residency, where they collaboratively worked on individual cross-disciplinary projects. The product of extreme limitations – artists could bring only the materials which they could carry, including five days of camping supplies, food and water – the works ranged from performance to installation to solar sculpture. Works include a border control/processing station for alien invaders to the island, the absurd use of solar power, an installation made of 75 rolls of film shot on the island, text installations integrated into the landscape, and the unsuccessful construction of a winged costume made of burnt campfire wood.

Featuring work by Meghann Hickson, Heidi Kayser, Georgina Lewis, Alex Reben, Sarah Rushford, and Evan Smith. A limited edition print by Evan Smith will also be given away as part of his piece.

Axiom also says BON VOYAGE to three of our artist members as they go to graduate school and a teaching appointment: a huge thanks and good luck to Nick Marmor, Meghann Hickson and Wayne Madsen! Come celebrate with us at the opening for You Are My Sunshine.


Posted on | June 19, 2011 | 5 Comments

Amber VisteinAxiom Center for New and Experimental Media is pleased to announce its annual student show, Pattern Recognition. The show features undergraduate, graduate, and recently graduated students working in new media.

Artists were selected from local programs and schools, including the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, MIT, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and UMass Boston and Dartmouth. Exploring a variety of media, themes and strategies, Pattern Recognition showcases the next generation of new media artists in Boston.

How is new media defined for emerging artists who have spent much of their lives in the new millennium, immersed in the web and technologically literate? The artists represented here interpret and alter the massive amounts of raw data they encounter every day, creating meaning from the chaos of contemporary life. Artworks range from digitally glitched photographs to microscopic poetry, appropriated pop songs to musical scores based on bird flight.

Opening reception: June 24, 2011, from 6 – 9pm.

Show dates: June 24-July 16, 2011.

Featuring work by Kevin Benisvy, Ashley Bell Clark, Keegan Grandbois, Aimee Harrison, Zuzana Husarova, Fatima Hussain, Dyllan Nguyen, Victoria Shen, Kyle Thiboutot, Matej Vakula & Matt Kushan, and Amber Vistein.

Move Me Opens April 28th

Posted on | April 6, 2011 | 3 Comments

Tom Haney: Dreamtime

Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk:

Thursday, April 28, 2011 | 6-8 pm | Informal Artist’s Talk  starts at 7 pm

Move Me, curated by Heidi Kayser, presents the sculpture of Chris Fitch, Arthur Ganson, Tom Haney, Steve Hollinger and Erica von Schilgen. The works explore the intimate, poetic drama created as electricity, clockworks or human interaction physically “moves” kinetic sculpture but also emotionally “moves” an observer. Ranging from the clandestine use of mechanics and electronics to the intentionally obvious revelation of the inner workings, the show explores the relationship created between artwork and viewer when moving sculpture’s narratives unfold in real time.

April 28 – May 28, 2011

Artists + Researchers Redux: Radical Reference Librarians

Posted on | March 11, 2011 | 19 Comments

Artists + Researchers Redux: Radical Reference Librarians Offer Research Assistance in Jamaica Plain

Sketchbook 7th February to 12th March 201046

Friday, March 18, 7:30 pm: meet and greet and snacks; 8 p.m., presentation followed by discussion

Co-presented by Artists in Context and Boston Radical Reference Collective

Calling all artists, activists and other engaged practitioners. Overwhelmed by the amount of information on the internet? Unable to find the data you know is out there? Confused about the ethics of research? Boston Radical Reference Collective (BRRC) can help! Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. They provide professional research support, education and access to information. Join us for our second Researchers+Artists conversation and walk away ready to find and use the wealth of information available.

BRRC members Alana Kumbier and Heather McCann will discuss freely-available online research resources and ways the BRRC can provide local assistance. After the presentation, we will open up the conversation for questions and discussion of ongoing (or potential) projects.

For artists: This event will be especially relevant to artists those whose work and creative practice engages specific social issues, is in some way community- or locally-oriented, or just requires access to information, data, or research resources beyond one’s area of expertise.

For researchers: You don’t have to be a librarian, or a member of Radical Reference, to participate! We’re hoping to create a space in which all kinds of researchers — librarians, data and GIS specialists, journalists, government document sleuths, grad students and intellectually-curious intrepid investigators — can meet local artists, and each other, and instigate collaborations.

Free and open to the public

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    During exhibitions

    Wed 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Thurs 6:00 - 9:00 pm
    Sat 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    and by appointment


    AXIOM is located at the corner of Green and Armory Streets in Jamaica Plain, MA. The gallery is on the ground floor level of the Green Street train stop on the Orange line. 141 Green St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    AXIOM and ATNE are programs of Boston Cyberarts.