Tag Archives: games

Fermenting at Flux: Live and Active Cultures (Part 3)

Presented by Christina Freeman, Flux Factory artist-in-residence and Visiting Assistant Professor, Haverford College

Over the course of my residency at Flux Factory in Long Island City, New York, I am recording a series of studio visits with other artists-in-residence (aka Fluxers), as well as outside artists collaborating with Flux for its various public programs. Through its studio residency program, Flux Factory supports approximately 30 emerging artists each year from a range of creative disciplines and international locations. Flux commissions new work through quarterly exhibitions, and residents produce public events at a prolific pace.

For this interview, Christina invited Caitlin Foley and Misha Rabinovich, faculty at UMASS Lowell, to talk about their ongoing project, Total Jump. Artspace in New Haven, CT commissioned Foley and Rabinovich to present Total Jump for Game On! on view at the Goffe Street Armory, October 15 and 16 from 12-6pm.

CF: Tell me about your project for New Haven City-Wide Open Studios

Misha: We are creating a multiplayer game that facilitates a worldwide coordinated jump. This came out of the idea that we could cause a massive earthquake if we organize everyone to land in unison. The near impossibility of accomplishing a Total Jump and the ease and fun of training for it invites the audience to bridge the gap between a postmodern pluralistic world and the necessity of global coordinated actions in the face of the Anthropocene.

Caitlin: The first version of Total Jump Training was a one to two player game where participants time their jump to land on zero. This was included in A Wicked Problem at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. To help create a playful energetic environment our friends Gold Bikini wrote Jump Up!, which has lyrics about the concept, specifically for Total Jump. For Game On! we are excited to present an eight player, immersive installation of Total Jump where participants stand in a circle facing both the animated projection and each other.

Misha: We also released the first version of the Total Jump Live phone app (available for iOS/Android) to coincide with City-Wide Open Studios, which people are using to practice jumping, and for us to send notifications for global jumps.

CF: I realize that Total Jump functions as a metaphor. Do you joke about how this technology could be applied to larger societal movements?

Misha: For us it started out as a joke, but since then it has been exhibited at EFA Project Space in NYC, and Boston Cyberarts Gallery, among others.  The fact that people actually want to try it means that it is entering into the non-ironic territory.

Caitlin: In some cases we were amazed that people love this as much as they do. It has been really fun and heartwarming to see.

Misha:  There are also instances where this jump has been attempted. MythBusters organized a group jump at the Stewart & Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in 2010 and calculated how much meat would hit the ground, using seismic measurements.

CF: How does this work relate to the rest of your artistic practice and other artists’ work that inspire you?

Caitlin: Total Jump connects to some of the ideas evident in our mobile sauna project. We were thinking about neighborliness and noting that people in our culture often don’t get to know their neighbors unless there is a disaster — whether large or small. We wanted to contribute to creating a culture of neighborliness that is not dependent on calamity. We may be in the midst of the sixth extinction, but people don't necessarily feel the depth of this. This jumping game creates a bonding experience in a fun and playful way that’s accessible and connects these ideas for us.

Misha: The Estonian singing revolution is an historic example. This was a series of events that led to Estonia’s exit from the USSR. People held hands along the Estonian border and sang together, and throughout the country groups would burst out into song to be in solidarity with each other, as a way to remember their heritage. It creatively led them back to independence. Another example is an action by Christoph Schlingensief, the German performance artist & theatre director. He invited people to take part in an anti-chancellor swim in lake Wolfgang, Austria. Four million bathers were organized to enter the water, with the intention of raising the water level and flooding the area. The idea is that the critical mass would overwhelm the conditions, and cause a paradigm shift in some way. Law enforcement prevented the demonstration from taking place.

CF:  A lot of times we talk about future potentiality in a very abstract way. Those historical precedents validate the real possibilities of creative work.  Have you thought about doing any programming along with Total Jump to build on larger ideas of collective action?

Caitlin: For me there is still enough openness in the piece that it can be ironic while it is also sincere. In one of the animations for Total Jump characters surround the world, jump and then the world breaks. Joint action can be a powerful and positive tool, however, one of the reasons we are experiencing climate change is mass action. For example, there are an immense number of people driving cars and contributing to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There is a dual interpretation: the jump can symbolize coming together for the greater good and also the impact we as a species are having on the earth.

Misha: The anthropocene has come, but we don’t really know what that is. Intellectually we can know it, but we don’t feel the power of that collective agency. It reminds me of Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut. It takes place in a techno-dystopia, inspired by his work at GE. At the end there is a cataclysm. Everyone destroys the technology and then out of this total revolt, people are bored. One of the characters starts to fiddle around with broken pieces of technology and makes a little automated thing for entertainment, and everyone is really into it, starting the cycle again. In our animation the earth cracks and then another earth comes out of it. We wanted to stage a poetic interpretation of the anthropocene, and ask where our cultural power is leading us.

CF: Earlier this summer we talked about the debate between Claire Bishop and Grant Kester regarding antagonism. For a work to be successful does it need to be shocking or aggressive?

Misha: Well everyone jumping at once and causing an earthquake could be pretty catastrophic. The geologists we have spoken with say it is unlikely, unless we lined everyone up at the San Andreas and other fault lines. From the Grant Kester point of view, maybe it could lead to advocating for other actions that bring us all together. Any infrastructure that builds synchronicity, like the one enabled via our app, could easily be instrumentalized for different goals, however. We are open to that though, and people should get in touch if they want to schedule a global jump to coincide with their needs, for example during an event, and hopefully get a worldwide audience.

CF: Technology can have a way of over-inflating how important we feel socially, and yet we still might not believe that we can affect anything within a political spectrum. The proposed image of people lining up on a fault line is really powerful. It reminds me of the Francis Alÿs piece, When Faith Move Mountains. It’s exciting to think that something very physical could result from the otherwise intangible experience of engaging with tech.

Caitlin: The phone app offers the possibility for people to jump no matter where they are. People around the world can jump simultaneously.  Potentially they can jump across the room from each other and see each other in the real world, therefore forming a bond. We are interested in the complex social issues within this intersection of physical and technological experience. Even during an installation of the training game, one of the gallery assistants was a little nervous about jumping and seemed to feel ridiculous. People have reservations about how they appear taking an action. The way people use the app could be really interesting. If you get a notification when you are walking down the street, would you stop and jump?

CF: I think this brings up the public/private dichotomy. We live so much of our lives online- we might feel comfortable engaging politically in the online realm, but hesitate to go out and protest in the street. The two actions feel really different, but one can affect the other. There is still a certain power and presence to the physical world.

Caitlin: What’s exciting in the phone app is the possibility of existing in both spaces simultaneously.

BIO
Caitlin Foley and Misha Rabinovich work collaboratively as artists and curators to create works which engage ideas and practices involving sharing communities, livable ecologies, and the transmutation of waste. Among other things they create interactive games, installations, and happenings where audience participation is a key component of the work and its message. Projects such as their DS Institute Sweat Battery actively creates/engages a sharing community through the collection of sweat from participants using our mobile sauna, presents an alternative ecology for energy production, and transforms sweat “waste” into power to charge cell phones and symbolize collective energy. Their work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, and Europe at such venues as EFA Project Space (NYC), Flux Factory (NYC), the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival (NYC), Marymount California University (LA), the Torrance Art Museum in (LA), the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY), SIGGRAPH (LA), High Desert Test Sites HQ (Joshua Tree), Prague Biennale (Czech Republic), KCHUNG Radio (LA) and the Arts Center of the Capital Region (Troy, NY). Misha is an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Caitlin is part-time faculty in the Art and Design Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Extended CFP “Video Game Art Reader” Inaugural Issue, Deadline: January 23, 2017

Video Game Art Reader Call for Papers Extension, Issue #1:

To accommodate the demands of the holiday season, the Video Game Art Reader (VGAR) has extended its deadline for paper submissions for its inaugural issue in the summer of 2017 to allow interested authors time to proof and polish their submissions. All paper submissions are now due by 11:50pm on January 23rd, 2017.
Late submissions will be accepted purely at the discretion of the Editor in Chief, Dr. Tiffany Funk.

Context:
The VGAR seeks a variety of art historical analyses and works of art criticism pertaining to all levels of video game production; from art game experiments, to significant developments in indie and small studio games, to high-profile mass-audience titles. Objects of analysis can reside on any video game platform including consoles, personal computers, mobile devices, alternative and custom hardware, virtual reality platforms, and other emerging technologies. Each submission should be framed within its historical and cultural context in order to help generate and add to a growing overlap between art history and video games as an inviting and rich field of inquiry.

Mission Statement:
The VGA Reader is a peer-reviewed journal for video game audiences and video game practitioners interested in the history, theory, and criticism of video games, explored through the lens of art history and visual culture. Its primary aim is to facilitate exploration and conversation of video game art, documenting and disseminating discourse about the far- reaching influence of video games on history, society, and culture.

Submitting:
All submissions and questions should be sent to: Editor in Chief, Dr. Tiffany Funk tfunk@vgagallery.org
Date: January 23rd, 2017

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
● Analysis of video game genres and platforms, both emerging and historical
● Analysis and documentation of significant experiments in avant-garde video games
● Analysis of issues pertaining to representations, gender performance, sexuality, class, and race in video games
● Analysis and critique of gaming culture(s), of gaming and consumer habits as a whole, or of a specific franchise or trend
● The public exhibition of video games in museums, galleries, festivals, conventions, and arcade bars
● Investigations and descriptions of video game development, design, and authorship
● Analysis of existing video game criticism, reviews, advertising, and marketing
● Gamification and how it functions in both the humanities and sciences
● Analysis of the function of video games in culture and society
● The formation of new communities, institutions, and contexts for video games
● Analysis of the development of virtual and physical communities in video games, gaming culture, and the politics of video game spaces

For more information and formatting guidelines, visit:
http://www.videogameartgallery.com/education-1/
http://www.videogameartgallery.com/s/VGAReaderSUBMISSIONGUIDELINES-6z5x.pdf

Please direct any questions to: reader@vgagallery.org

Amanda Coleman
The VGA Editorial Team

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Founded in 2013 in the lively game community of Chicago, Video Game Art (VGA) Gallery seeks to increase cultural appreciation and education about one of the most important mediums of the 21st century -- video games --through exhibition, study, and sale. VGA Gallery is an Illinois 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

Lecturer or Professor of Practice, Writing for Games at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Post: One Year Full-time, Non Tenure-Track Position in Writing for Games

Deadline information: Screening of applicants will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled.

The Program in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY invites applications for a one-year faculty position as Lecturer or Professor of Practice in Writing for Games. We seek a writer with a creative practice in storytelling through games and a passion for teaching the next generation of game designers. The successful candidate will bring expertise in writing and design for games, including digital or analog games; mainstream, serious or indie games; or closely related forms of interactive fiction and narrative. The appointment is full time, non tenure-track, as Lecturer or Professor of Practice in the Department of Communication and Media with primary teaching responsibilities in beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in game writing and narrative design.

For appointment as Lecturer, candidates must have a terminal degree (MFA, PhD, or foreign equivalent) in a relevant discipline and evidence of successful teaching ability at the college level. For appointment as Professor of Practice, candidates must have a Terminal degree (MFA, PhD, or foreign equivalent) in a relevant discipline or comparable professional qualification in a senior role with at least 10 years of experience, and evidence of successful college-level teaching ability or mentorship.

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s oldest technological university. With approximately 5,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students from across the country and around the world, the university offers more than 145 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Rensselaer is located in Troy, NY, the heart of the "Tech Valley" region of the Hudson River Valley. The university’s Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) offers scholars and students opportunities for creative interdisciplinary research in the arts, performance technologies, science, and engineering. Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences is an interdisciplinary program housed in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, with faculty and courses from multiple departments including Arts, Cognitive Science Communication and Media, Computer Science, and Science and Technology Studies. Launched in 2008, it has been regularly ranked as one of the top 20 games programs in the North America, with one of the only game writing concentrations in the world.

The Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer is an internationally recognized center for interdisciplinary education and research. Our graduate and undergraduate programs prepare students to understand traditional and emerging communication technologies from a variety of perspectives, including rhetorical studies, media studies, human-computer interaction, game studies, technical communication, professional and creative writing, cross-cultural communication, and graphic design. Students learn to use words and images to communicate powerfully with a critical understanding of how media operate across global cultures.

Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences is an interdisciplinary program housed in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, with faculty and courses from multiple departments including Arts, Cognitive Science Communication and Media, Computer Science, and Science and Technology Studies. Launched in 2008, it has been regularly ranked as one of the top 20 games programs in the North America, with one of the only game writing concentrations in the world.

Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, please submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, up to three (3) portfolio samples and three (3) letters of reference at: http://rpijobs.rpi.edu/postings/3785. Applicants with more than three portfolio samples are encouraged to use their letters of interest to advise the reader that more samples are available upon request.
We welcome candidates who will bring diverse intellectual, geographical, gender and ethnic perspectives to Rensselaer’s work and campus communities. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Games++

games++ is a free 12-hour game development event where participants build games from scratch over 10 hours, then put down their mice and pencils so the public can play their creations. Individuals and teams of all ages and experience are welcome - last year we had over 120 participants and hope you will join us!

Designed as a collaborative, communal making experience, games++ incrementally adds to the pool of amazing, experimental, unique, one-off games in the world.

http://gamesplusplus.org/

 

Call for Panel Participation – CAA Washington, DC 2016

The New Media Caucus invites artists, scholars, and theoreticians to submit proposals for a panel discussion titled Procedural Art: Game Platforms for Creative Expression. We welcome presentations focused on the design, aesthetics, and affordances of game platforms for new media art, as well as in critical approaches to this emerging genre. We are especially interested in sharing projects that demonstrate the creative use of game platforms in fine art contexts, and in highlighting the full range of possibilities this new medium offers.

Each participant will present a 10-15 presentation, and then participate in a discussion on the genre in relation to the larger art world.

Submission must include:

  • 3-page CV, submitted as PDF 

  • 300 – 600 word abstract that describes the artistic or scholarly work.
  • Documentation of art, if appropriate.

Publishing Requirement:Media-N Journal of the New Media Caucus will publish a conference edition after the CAA conference, showcasing conference proceedings sponsored by the NMC. To this end, Individuals are required to submit materials for the journal edition. Media-N offers flexibility regarding how to achieve the publishing requirement. Once invitations are accepted, the Editor-in-Chief of Media-N will contact the chair(s) to further discuss and plan for the publishing requirement. All materials for publication must be completed by mid-April after the conference.

NOTES:

  • This panel is for a 2-hour New Media Caucus sponsored panel session in the College Art Association Media Lounge.
  • Panelists must be New Media Caucus members. 
There are no membership fees. JOIN NMC
  • Panelists do not need to be CAA members. 

  • NMC does not fund conference fees, transportation, or hotels for panelists. 

  • Presenting during a 1.5 hour session does not disqualify you from chairing a panel or serving as a panelist in 2.5 hour session at CAA.

TIMELINE: 
Peer review will occur shortly after the deadline. 
Notification of acceptance will be late September. 


DEADLINE: 
Email submissions by August 31, 2015 to Victoria Szabo