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GAMES, PLAY AND CONNECTIVITY by MARC GARRETT AND RUTH CATLOW

The particular skills that we evolve with different kinds of play help to construct and shape who we are, how we view our world and what we become capable of as individuals and societies. Among other things play informs our ideas about agency, social relations and the technologies that we develop. The works in the Game/Play exhibition subvert and extend the logic of everyday play and games. They invite audience members (individually and collectively) to take the role of players and contributors to their meaning. When interacting with these pieces in physical space or across digital networks, audiences/players generate alternative, active ‘social spaces’ through their experience of the work and dialogues with each other. The aesthetic experience is primarily “based on the dynamics of communicated consciousness rather than visual criteria” (Larner, C. et al. 1995).1

Samorost2 by Jakub Dvorský


http://www.samorost2.net/

“She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom and her eyes immediately met those of a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top, with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else ...” Lewis Carroll: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.

The Endless Forest by Tale of Tales (2005)


Download the Endless Forest 'social screensaver'

The Endless Forest by Tale of Tales is a game about beauty, wonder, calm and peace. There are no stealth missions, no guns to swap, no armour or enemies. Taking on the role of a somewhat dreamy deer who wanders through an endless forest imbued with magical powers that seem as unpredictable as mesmerising, players of The Endless Forest are invited to hang out and roam amidst beautiful trees,old mysterious ruins, an idyllic pond and happy flower beds. Without a goal of any sorts, they soon find that there’s more to the forest than just mere eye candy. There are other players in this forest, all of them male deer with different, human-like Hayao Miyazaki styled faces, majestic antlers and their own distinctive fur patterns, and that’s where the fun starts.

VisitorsStudio by Furtherfield.org (2006)


http://www.visitorsstudio.org

When placing Furtherfield.org's VisitorsStudio in the context of a 'work' (sic) in the traditional sense, one might have a problem with definitions. For example, VS, an interesting acronym upon reflection, is formally a 'stone soup' model. That is, VS acts as a container, connector, and root node for artists and performers wishing to virtually get together and 'jam' online. This is a brilliant metaphor for an artspace informed by elements of rave culture, where in many cases, the participants network, do their own performances, like fire-dancing, trade 'props', and share one another's presence. In many ways, it almost creates a networked 'Temporary Autonomous Zone'1 in which the participants freely trade media, perform, and chat under the loose rules of behaviour established upon entering the VS.

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