Joe McKay is an artist who makes work with and about digital culture.

McKay grew up in Ontario, Canada and went to school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. In 2001 McKay participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program and in 2007 completed a Graduate degree from UC Berkeley.
Joe had two solo shows at VertexList in Williamsburg, New York. He has shown his work in the Berkshire museum, the National Gallery of Canada, the ICA (San Jose), the Pacific Film Archive, Postmasters Gallery, La Casa Encendida in (Madrid), The MoMA Studio, Pari Nadimi Gallery and the New Museum.

Joe is currently assistant professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase.
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SLOW MOVES: Toward a Gaming Aesthetics of Inactivity

Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:00 - Sat Feb 12, 2011

CAA Panel - open to
the public.
Hunter College MFA Studio Building
450 W. 42st street (2nd floor).
12 - 2pm Saturday the 12th
Paolo Pedercini
Joe McKay
Brody Condon

Moderated by Melissa Ragona, Associate Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

Informed by cybernetics and information technology, most contemporary game
theorists, players, and programmers think of the video game as an action-based
Action defines the “moves,” the various “plays” that occur across engines,
users, and audiences. Grammars of action have replaced fictions of
interactivity as the prevailing aesthetic muscle of gaming drive and structure.
In contrast to the roller derby aesthetics of such games, many artists are
reconfiguring fields of action as sites of relaxation, contemplation and
affect. Works like Sweetpads (2004) by France Cadet, Massage Me (2007-08) by
Hannah Perner-Wilson and Mika Satomi and Steve Lambert’s Simmer Down Sprinter

are games that reward slow, even nonchalant responses. The goal is to chill.
Tense up and one’s player runs backward. Turn aggressive and one loses control
of one’s avatar.   This panel explores how ideas of player
user-positions, and interface performativity are being transformed by critical
moves toward “slowness,” “inactivity,” “tenderness,” and “relaxation.” Other
possible questions presenters could address include: How are earlier MOD-based
game aesthetics, i.e. the work of Brody Condon [modifications of source code
with generative qualities] informing more recent projects on rethinking
“action,” “player,” and “gaming atmosphere?” How do newer forms of “offline
passivity,” i.e. Machinima projects comment back on players and playing? How
are contemporary artists using game situations to rethink sites of radical
play? What kinds of inversions are occurring in terms of gamic performance?


Rhizome 2009 Commissions: Announced!

Is the "oppressive and ruthless regime" the Bush administration or Chinese government?
I like the idea of a counter-show, however, I don't see how denying the Chinese people the opportunity to see western media art solves any problems.
Would you boycott a show of Chinese artists in America because it needed state sponsorship to be seen? Or would you be interested in hearing the voices of those individual artists? More art seen by more people is better than silencing voices to make a political point. I see the Olympics as a Trojan horse that has allowed strong and interesting work into a Country that would not otherwise have opportunity to be exposed to it.


When you go surfclubbin', don't forget your hat.

1. Do you know who Marcel Duchamp is?*

2. Do you know who Roland Barthes is?

3. Do either of them have any bearing on art practice?

4. Does an artist who uses a computer have to be able to "program" it?

5. Is a blog a multiple choice format?

6. Does a blog limit artistic expression?

7. Is "finding" enough or must one also "make?"
finding not necessarily enough, but making not always the answer.

8. Which is more interesting, the network or the content on the network?
neither is necessarily intrinsically interesting at all

9. Is a scan of a photo of a painting on a blog "net art"?
could be

10. Which is better, blog pages that change every day or static, fixed pages?

11. Which is better, pages where new content is at the top or pages where you have to hunt for the content?
at top (usually)
12. Is speed a virtue on the Internet or is slowness a valid experience?

13. Broken links: cool or uncool?
uncool, but I'm one to talk.
14. Which is the best way to communicate--email ListServs or blog comments?

15. Is the design of a page more important or the content on the page?
16. Are default templates unartistic?
17. Are computers good and are they helping us to be a better species?
not yet
18. Should every artwork question its own means of implementation?

19. Is an artwork an individual statement in space and time or could it be cumulative?
can be both (or neither)

20. When a group of artists agree on a set of conventions is that significant or insignificant?
significant (at least to the group of artists)


Net 2.0 and new stuff

Thanks for the Processing shout-out!

For me the painting analogy breaks down because the computer has such an invasive role in our society, something painting never had / has. We use computers to communicate, to be entertained, to tell time, to drive our cars, to have sex (okay, paintings do that too), etc. This diversity makes me leery of saying that there's a better way to approach making art with the computer. One way would be to become a programmer and get under the hood, but other approaches are just as valid.


Net 2.0 and new stuff

Painters have traditionally had different approaches to "mastering" the tools of the trade. Pollack's understanding of paint was not the same as Cezanne's or Warhol's. To say that a computer artist's effectiveness depends on her technical skills seems like an over-simplification of how we use computers today.
I'll agree that, as an artist, knowing more is generally better than knowing less but I don't think that translates into needing to know c++ to be an effective computer artist. Or needing to work alone for that matter.