Saturday, March 22, 2008

Game Off on -empyre-

this month's hosted discussion on -empyre- soft-skinned space (listserv for digital media arts and culture, Sydney, Australia) is called Game Off + addresses Art Games. this discussion is also criss-crossing + interconnecting issues such as Media Art Histories, archiving + preservation in Digital + New Media Art, Open Source formats, etc... below is the announcement + description of the Game Off discussion. another week remains to participate in this conversation by subscribing to empyre.

March 2008 - Game Off
Marguerite Charmante, Daphne Dragona, Margarete Jahrmann, Christian McCrea, Max Moswitzer, Julian Oliver, Melanie Swalwell and David Surman

Melinda Rackham
Christian McCrea

"Video games are the first stage in a plan for machines to help the human race, the only plan that offers a future for intelligence."- Chris Marker, 'Sunless'

Truncated, repetitive, coin-operated nihilism. To a point. The 'insufferable philosophy of our time' is not a single object or symbol, but the array of signs and symbols placed at odds with each other, made to wage a type of war we aren't told how to engage with. We were told that play would desensitise, depoliticise and disconnect us, and now games are presented by the museum as the latest historical and contemporary cultural artefacts. Whether we play or not, whether we live in the moneyed west or not, games occur. Our guests will tease out intertwining threads of play culture, game art, game theory in multi-streamed dialogues – interrogating the frictions and frissons of experiential pleasure, avatar uprisings, the game engine medium, collection and archiving, futility and joy.

---> Marguerite Charmante is a tagged game figure. She reflects ludically on futility as resistance, toys and game fashion. 2005 she and MosMaxHax co-founded the international association LUDIC SOCIETY to provoke a new discipline on play and cultures. The affiliations club-magazine appears regularly in print.
---> Daphne Dragona is a new media arts curator and organiser based in Athens. Recently she has been focusing on game arts and currently she is a co – curator of Homo Ludens Ludens, an exhibition opening in April 08 in Laboral Centro de Arte y Industrial, Gjion Spain.
---> Margarete Jahrmann is professor at the Game Design Department of the University of Arts and Design Zurich and a Ph.D. student of Caiia, School of Computer Sciences and Communications, University of Plymouth. 2003 Jahrmann/Moswitzer received an award of distinction at Prix Ars Electronica and in 2004 at transmediale Berlin.
---> Christian McCrea is a writer and theorist from Melbourne,Australia. His work describes the non-virtual aspects of games under the rubric of materialism, namely nostalgia, euphoria, the proscenium of gaming actions and explosive body aesthetics. He works as Lecturer in Games and Interactivity at Swinburne University of Technology.
---> Max Moswitzer specializes in 3D simulations and artistic server design, Dozent at the Game Design Department of the University of Arts and Design Zurich and the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. Moswitzer co-founded in 1995 and regularly produces interactive applications, online installations, videos and telematic performances
---> Julian Oliver is a New Zealand born artist, free-software developer, teacher and writer based in Madrid, Spain. Julian has given numerous workshops, exhibitions and papers worldwide. In 1998 he established the artistic game-development collective, Select Parks.
---> Melanie Swalwell is currently developing a suite of projects on the history of digital games in New Zealand, with essays published in the Journal of Visual Culture and Vectors, and forthcoming in Ludologica Retro and Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader.
---> David Surman is Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Design at the Newport School of Art, Media and Design in the green hills of Wales. He blogs about technology, sexuality, gaming and popular culture at

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