Posted on | July 3, 2012 | 184 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 www.axiomart.org