From the Archives

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Video of "Spacewar"

Ready or not, computers are coming to the people.

That's good news, maybe the best since psychedelics. It's way off the track of the "Computers - Threat or menace? school of liberal criticism but surprisingly in line with the romantic fantasies of the forefathers of the science such as Norbert Wiener, Warren McCulloch, J.C.R. Licklider, John von Neumann and Vannevar Bush.

The trend owes its health to an odd array of influences: The youthful fervor and firm dis-Establishmentarianism of the freaks who design computer science; an astonishingly enlightened research program from the very top of the Defense Department; an unexpected market-Banking movement by the manufacturers of small calculating machines, and an irrepressible midnight phenomenon known as Spacewar.

Reliably, at any nighttime moment (i.e. non-business hours) in North America hundreds of computer technicians are effectively out of their bodies, locked in life-or-Death space combat computer-projected onto cathode ray tube display screens, for hours at a time, ruining their eyes, numbing their fingers in frenzied mashing of control buttons, joyously slaying their friend and wasting their employers' valuable computer time. Something basic is going on.

Rudimentary Spacewar consists of two humans, two sets of control buttons or joysticks, one TV-like display and one computer. Two spaceships are displayed in motion on the screen, controllable for thrust, yaw, pitch and the firing of torpedoes. Whenever a spaceship and torpedo meet, they disappear in an attractive explosion. That's the original version invented in 1962 at MIT by Steve Russell. (More on him in a moment.)

October, 1972, 8 PM, at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory, moonlit and remote in the foothills above Palo Alto, California. Two dozen of us are jammed in a semi-dark console room just off the main hall containing AI's PDP-10 ...

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The Sky Is Falling (A Day in the Life...) (2010) - Michael Demers

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Captured PlayStation3 video from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, edited to reflect the seamless passing of game time and “real” time. One minute of “real” time equals approximately 30 minutes of game time. The resulting 48 minute video records the passing of one game day.

References to playable characters, AI characters, and accompanying sound effects have been edited from the video in an effort to focus on the notion of a virtual space with the possibility of non-virtual habitation, defined in part by the passing of game time during the observers "real" time. The health meter, magic meter, stamina meter, weapon and magic selections and the game compass have been unedited as a digital referent in the hyperreal environment of the game engine.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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A Slow Year (2010) - Ian Bogost

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A Slow Year is a collection of four games, one for each season, about the experience of observing things. These games are neither action nor strategy: each of them requires a different kind of sedate observation and methodical input.

The game attempts to embrace maximum expressive constraint and representational condensation. I want to call them game poems. The set comprises a little collection, a kind of videogame chapbook.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Interview with Olga Goriunova, Curator of Fun with Software

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Humor, fun and nonsense often figure greatly in the current modes of communication on the web, whereby memes and sardonic blog comments are commonplace -- if not expected. Such trappings have found their way into media art practices from Cory Arcangel’s cover of Arnold Schoenberg’s op.11 Drie Klavierstucke using cat videos on YouTube to F.A.T. Lab’s Kanye West Interrupt bookmarklet. The question that these works and others like it raises is this: does humor appear to be a synergistic outgrowth of technology (and how does it relate to its development)?

In the latest exhibition "Fun with Software" at Bristol’s Arnolfini, curator Olga Goriunova seeks to document and explore how humorous approaches to software lead to innovation. Working with early net and media artists from JODI to Graham Harwood, the exhibition is a retrospective of peculiar approaches to computation. I sat down with Goriunova to talk about the show’s premise and how that premise contextualizes and contrasts the current era of humor and technology.

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Interview with Artist and Filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson, Laureate of the d.velop Digital Art Award 2010 (from VernissageTV)

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In this clip, Wolf Lieser, Director of the Digital Art Museum [DAM] and initiator of the d.velop Digital Art Award, interviews artist Lynn Hershman Leeson about her life and work. This year, Leeson won the 4th develop digital art award [ddaa] for lifetime achievement in the field of new media art.

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All Over the Map: Conflux 2010

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The 7th edition of the annual New York psychogeographic festival Conflux kicks off on Friday and will run through the weekend. This year's program is eclectic, expansive and diverse - ranging from cinema accessible by scanning dispersed qcode stickers on web-enabled camera phones (Barcode Cinema by Kristin Lucas and Lee Montgomery) to a panel on public space art and Foursquare with Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley to a bike ride exploring the geology of Manhattan to hidden transducer speakers throughout the East Village. If you want to explore how artists and technologists are currently integrating public space into their work, look no further than Conflux. See the full schedule here.

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Long Exposure Photos of Video War Games (2001-2002) - Rosemarie Fiore

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Tempest 1, 2001

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Gyruss Bonus Round, 2001

These photographs are long exposures taken while playing video war games of the 80's created by Atari, Centuri and Taito. The photographs were shot from video game screens while I played the games. By recording each second of an entire game on one frame of film, I captured complex patterns not normally seen by the eye.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT



Originally via Valentina Tanni

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Videos from Art History of Games Symposium

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From video game writer and critic Ian Bogost's blog come two videos from last Spring's Art History of Games conference at Georgia Tech. Bogost co-organized this interdisciplinary symposium that explored games as an art form. In the first clip, Frank Lantz champions the unique aesthetics of games and their defiance of other artistic categories in his talk "Doorknobs and Butterflies: Games After Art." In the second, Brenda Brathwaite discusses her use of game mechanics in elaborating tragedy and her newest work One Falls for Each of Us. All of the talks from the event are now currently online.



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Ghosting (2006) - Riley Harmon

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In pop culture, “ghosting” is:

n. the appearance of one or more false images on a television screen.
v. when players that have been killed in a video game watch other players.

As viewers look through the gas mask, a video self-portrait is super-imposed onto the action figures via the pepper’s ghost theatrical illusion.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM ARTIST STATEMENT

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Glitches (2010) - Robert Overweg

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[The Facade, Half-Life 2]

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[Lights in Mid-Air Glitch, Grand Theft Auto 4]

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[The Facade 2, Left 4 Dead 2]


via creativeapplications.net

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