March on -empyre-
"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. For the moment, the insufferable
philosophy of our time is contained in the Pac-Man. I didn't know, when I was
sacrificing all my coins to him, that he was going to conquer the world. Perhaps because
he is the most graphic metaphor of Man's Fate. He puts into true perspective the
balance of power between the individual and the environment, and he tells us soberly that
though there may be honor in carrying out the greatest number of victorious attacks, it
always comes a cropper." - 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
This month on -empyre- brings us the Game. Whether we play or not, whether we live in the
moneyed west or not, games occur. Using the rubric of 'game off', our stellar
guests will tease out and map intertwined threads of play culture, game art, game theory –
interrogating the frictions and fissions of experiential pleasure, avatar uprisings, the
game engine medium, collection and archiving, futility and joy.
Join Marguerite Charmante, Daphne Dragona, Margarete Jahrmann, Max Moswitzer, Julian
Oliver, Melanie Swalwell, David Surman (and maybe Helen Stuckey) in multi-streamed
dialogues moderated by Christian McCrea and Melinda Rackham.
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. http://www.ludic-society.net
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 Konsum.net
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.
Melinda Rackham is Director of ANAT, Australia's leading cultural organisation
generating new creativities which bridge science, research, art, industry and culture. She
dabbled extensively in multi-user online environments and has an abiding interest in
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 http://www.gaygamer.net
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