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In Memoriam by Jameson Johnson
George Fifield pictured in front of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, where Boston Cyberarts programs "Art on the Marquee." Photo courtesy of Keaton Fox.
George Fifield, a beloved artist, curator, thinker, and visionary who championed innovations in art and technology, died on November 11, 2022, at the age of seventy-one. Fifield was the founder and director of the Boston Cyberarts Festival and Gallery.
On Saturday, January 14, from 4 to 9 PM, a public reception will be held at Boston Cyberarts Gallery, located at 141 Green Street in Jamaica Plain, for the exhibition entitled “George,” which will feature works that span the genre of new media art, including works by Fifield himself along with objects from his personal collection. The exhibition will be on view through February 12. The gallery reception will be preceded by a memorial service for Fifield from 2 to 4 PM at the First Church in Jamaica Plain, located at 6 Eliot Street.
Fifield approached life with an unparalleled sense of curiosity. That curiosity fueled his lifelong pursuit of new ideas that pushed at the boundaries where fine art met science, technology, and experimentation. He did this with a kind of benevolent generosity that was uniquely his own—questioning norms and offering solutions with a spirit of playful openness.
Fifield’s impact on the course of Boston’s art scene is significant. In 1999, he launched the biannual Boston Cyberarts Festival, which brought innovations in art and technology to the public sphere through installations, symposia, exhibitions, and performances that were held across several locations. In many ways, the festival solidified Boston as a locale for artists working with new or analog technologies. Fifield had a magnetic way of gathering people from near and far (before the widespread use of the internet) and showed audiences that technology could be considered art. By 2011, the festival found a permanent home in the Boston Cyberarts Gallery, located adjacent to the Green Street T station, just a few blocks away from his and his wife Lynne Adams’s house in Jamaica Plain. Here, Fifield continued to foster the work of emerging and established artists, giving a more permanent site to projects and exhibitions that, at the time, might not have been seen in commercial galleries or museums. Experiments with lasers, film, projections, computer programs, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality could always find an eager audience in Fifield.
Fifield was a true Renaissance man of the twenty-first century. He was a fastidious scholar, an archivist and collector of curiosities, a teacher to many, and a friend to all who knew him.
The community is invited to share written memories of Fifield.
To read more about the life and legacy of George Fifield, please see an announcement and obituary shared by the Boston Cyberarts Board of Directors.
Jameson Johnson is editor in chief at Boston Art Review.