A mod quite unlike any other …

To the exposition "games. Computer games of artists"

Last year, the Barbican Center in London showed Game On. The History of Videogames An extensive exhibition over computer games, in Graz related the project Selfware. Politics of Identity Computer Games as a program focus with one, the Institute of Contemporary Art and "radioqualia" In Cape Town showed in October 2003 under the title Re: Play "Critical Games by Artists", In Tubingen is in the Volklinger Hutte from November 2003 under the title "Game Art" Also shown a rough exhibition on computer games and art. The Hardware project Games. Computer Games of Artists, curated by Tilman Baumgartel. to 30. To see November 2003 in the former reserve part of the Phonix plant in Dortmund, thus illustrates an overall growing interest in computer games as a dominant medium of present culture, not just youth culture. And this interest is articulated about the topicization of the varied artistic strategies of the appropriation of commercial games.

A Mod Quite Unlike Any Other ..

Computer games are still subject to the verdict to wear tens of thousands of young people in social neglect, so to speak the mief of the nursery is liable to them. Also medially bashed forcalls like that in Erfurt last year, as a schoolman shot several co-schoolers and quickly the game "Counter-Strike" was at hand, contributing to the fact that computer games are not perceived as the important element of an ensemble of themselves are perceived, but remain deported as an educational and consumer problem on the instances of school and parents’ home deported.

Games and players get under prere because games begin to influence the collective design of perception and experience in the lifeworld. Padagogical impact is the importance of games as an increasing knowledge and experience of popular contemporary culture. But just as this form of a collective pop cultural idea, computer games have become an object of interest in recent years. This occupies a rising number of publications, which, however, sometimes shrugged the history of the Arcade Games up to the consoles, which then carried a kind of autobiography of socialization through computer games in parallel.

Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann (D), Shooter (2000 – 2001)

Exceptions are Astrid Deuber-Mankowskys from a Gender Studies Perspective Developed Essay1 over Lara Croft as phanomena of a mediatization of femininity, and Claus Pias’ "Computer game worlds"2, based on Kittler – the computer game reconstructed in terms of technical and cultural knowledge, creating various scientific developments that produce the condition of the possibility of electronic and later digital games at all (as far as a remarkable parallel to the starting point of Harun Farockis new movie "Recognize and pursue"To).

So there is a rough range of cultural discourses that range from the (already mentioned) padagogy to radio wave theory, from microelectronics to feminism studies and ethics – not to mention the repeatedly difficult limit to the so-called "Creative Industries" or the art context. To at least, these varied accesses to computer games testify that they – at least off the "Yellow Press" – increasingly "medium" In which numerous cultural conflicts, breaks and interfaces have enrolled (if often the emphasis of conflicts prevails).

Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann (D), Shooter (2000 – 2001)

Before this quite diffuse background of the increasing topicization of computer games as a cultural factor, Tilman Baumgartel has conceived and realized an exhibition together with Hartware, which tries to squeeze a field by (quite divergent) artistic positions, in which computer games as a cultural phanomena tangible, reprint animal and criticizable become: as specific techniques of visualization, as well as specifically developed commercial patterns, the dramatization of technical environments, the static redefinition of interactivity and finally as a novel form of social groups (Game Clans). Computer games engage in the emergence of social skills, they offer novel forms of action rooms and realisms – but they also accelerate a perception of reality, which will make them largely formable and seem to be released: each time revidable, editable (mods – Game modifications) and under the Freevering the user access.

A Mod Quite Unlike Any Other ..

Fox Eckermann (A / GB), Fluid – Arena of Identities, 2003

Anyway, social space scenarios related to playing, where cultural knowledge is acquired, negotiated and communicated. As such cutting amount of cultural practices are computer games – after the net hype of recent years – so to speak "alternative" Media discourse on the technologicalization of culture, which is due to its definition by the entertainment industry at the same time a more technological and pop) cultural.

Due to this manifold of the accesses and thematisations, there is no thematic focus in the Dortmund exhibition, is the interest in a kind "Mapping" of the subject area itself, which does not afford the other caught exhibitions in this form (the Volklinger project engages in areas of media art, which by contributions from U. a. Bill Viola, Pierre Huyghe or Paul Garrin is illustrated, which also shows that in this concept of art concept plays an important role).

A Mod Quite Unlike Any Other ..

Anne-Marie Schleiner / Brody Condon / Joan Leandre U.a., Velvet Strike, 2001

But what can be sketched as a background of the projects shown in the exhibition, is a kind of analytical approach that attempts to attempt "Dispositive" Select computer game to formulate access from there: Be it through interventions in software components or game parameters (Joan Leanderre, Cory Arcangel, Olaf Vals, Jodi), by isolation of certain functional or asthetic elements (Tom Betts, Lars Zumbansen, Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann), the ironic / critical new production of games (Fox Eckermann, whose game "Fluid – Arena of Identities as commissioned work for the project Self-goods, Lucien Alma and Lauren hard) to interventions in the public space (SF Invader).

The artists formulate their positions as installations, projections or in classical image forms, making a differentiated "Reading" from computer games as evil "Leading medium" mimic. In the Barbican Center, it was possible to play a variety of games, even those whose consoles have long disappeared from the market, but offered the exhibition no cultural "Framing" Phanyomet’s computer games. In Dortmund, in turn, can be bounded by it that only part of the projects shown, so to speak "playable" is. On the other hand, when entering the exhibition, it is already moving to the exhibition, so to speak from the first moment "in the" Computer game itself, which is thought as a cultural field of action. If you see the concentrated player faces (a LAN party) in the projection of Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, then the coupling of technological gadget and subject becomes increasing; but also becomes indication that this coupling marks the computer game as a cultural text that represents the film for the projection and formulation of a cultural desire.

Arcangel Constantini (Mex), Atari-Noise, 2000

Working like those of Aurelia Taller, which show protagonists in a frosted fighting action, aim at the demands of normative and ideologated cultural "Regulations" in the sphare of the game: competition, highest performance, efficiency, control and generally the (playful) submission under set rules. And if finally, how Huizinga suggests, can be described and analyzed every epoch based on your games, then the exhibition is "games" In Dortmund such a room of description and analysis of contemporary – postindustrial? posthumous? – Culture as she writes in the structures of computer games.

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