Electronic art in the disruptive age

file brasilia 2017

FILE BRASILIA 2017 – Electronic art in the disruptive age | CCBB
FILE Electronic Language Internacional Festival
Electronic art in the disruptive age

The Ministry of Culture and Banco do Brasil present:
FILE – Electronic Language International Festival – Electronic Art in the Disruptive Age.
Since it’s first edition in 2000, the Festival has organized collective exhibitions which give the visitor the opportunity to view and experience the full range of electronic art. Since it started in São Paulo, the Festival has shown digital works by artists from 32 countries, reinforcing Brazil’s reputation as an important contributor to international discussions and reflections on electronic and digital art.
The theme ‘Electronic Art in the Disruptive Age’ was chosen specifically for the Festival’s first edition in Brasilia. It presents innovative works which are arranged in four different groups – or aspects – which represent new behaviors in the contemporary world: Experiential Body, Kinetic Body, Virtual Body, and Playful Body.
In presenting these works, Banco do Brasil reinforces its commitment to informing the public about aspects of the visual arts and encouraging access to culture by giving the public opportunities to have a direct experience of the works of artists who reflect on aspects of contemporary society.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
Electronic Art in the Disruptive Age
When we speak of disruptive ages, we are talking about disruptive innovation. The term was coined by Clayton Christensen, inspired by Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of “creative destruction”. Creative destruction is a concept from the field of economics which aims to explain the disruption to a market when a new company introduces a new and innovative technology that it is an overwhelming success, to the extent that it makes competing products completely obsolescent. Disruptive innovations destroy the competition, opening up new markets. They lead to new consumer and user behaviors. Such innovations support the emergence of different behaviors that lead to new forms of society and culture.
An example of this is the smartphone, with its innovative simulations and emulations, such as the fusion of the cellphone with a camera. This digital convergence between the cellphone and the camera led to a massive increase the sharing of personal images on the social media. And something new emerged – the selfie. An example of mass behavior made universal through the social media. Now anyone can take their self-portrait with a selfie.
The camera has an historical role in transforming the world of the arts. When the smartphone camera appeared, it stimulated a search for innovation, for the transformation of the obsolete and the old, in the artistic and cultural vanguards that prevailed as the 19th century became the 20th.
Throughout the 20th century, artistic research and manifestos sought innovative means of expression. From the point of view of artistic production, the interdisciplinary relationship between arts and technology led to achievements which have effectively transformed the creative process and the way in which art is exhibited. Whether it be the relationship between the work and the public or that between the public and the exhibition space.
Today electronic art has a fundamental role in the contemporary world, because it is one of the few art forms that not only addresses technological innovation but also the diversity of new behaviors which are part of contemporary society.
For 18 years, FILE – Electronic Language International Festival – has presented contemporary electronic arts research and works from artists all over the world. It has always sought to incorporate the new behaviors that have emerged during this innovative process in its conceptual approach. This has resulted in a diverse selection of works being shown which have given the public the opportunity to experience artistic works which seek to express the aesthetics of contemporary society and which have, at times, supported the possibility of new behaviors in the exhibition space.
For the exhibitions at the Banco do Brasil’s Cultural Centers in Brasília, Belo Horizonte, and Rio de Janeiro, FILE has chosen the theme “Electronic Art in Disruptive Times”. The exhibition is divided into four themes, each of which represents an aspect of new social behavior: The experiential body; the kinetic body; the virtual body; and the playful body.
Each of the exhibition spaces of the CCBB in Brasilia is dedicated to one of these themes: the Glass Pavilion gives the visitor the chance to immerse themselves in the theme of the Experiential Body, experiencing new sensations and perceptions as they use their own body to interact with the works. Kinetic Body is to be found in Gallery 2, where the visitor can perceive the relationship between real movement and digital movement; between physical movement and moving sound; and physical movement with playful movement. Gallery 1 on the ground floor is the venue for Virtual Body, where the works encourage the visitor to be interactive; digital immersion, selfies, real and virtual emotions. Playful Body is in the Basement, giving the public the chance to play games, immerse themselves, connect and be playful.
Ricardo Barreto e Paula Perissinotto
Conception and Organization of FILE
Bego Santiago – Little Boxes – Spain
“Little Boxes” is a Kinect driven projection mapping (video mapping) art installation where tiny people projected onto wooden boxes are terrified of your presence. Even though they are all individuals who can move around on their own, they behave with a united mindset, always following the crowd. An added element is the interaction between the artwork and the viewer. When someone approaches the little boxes, the projected people stare up timidly; as the viewer walks past, the people start screaming and running away, deathly afraid of anything outside their comfort zone. The interactive narrative has five different “responses” that the mini crowds could have towards the giant spectator. These include hanging out when no one’s around, moving into a ”fear area” when someone comes close, starting to run, hiding from a new “attack”, and escaping in groups.
Bohyun Yoon – To Reverse Yourself – Korea
“To Reverse Yourself” is a freestanding mirror that creates an interaction between two viewers. It is the embodiment of my quest to understand the relationship between the self and others. The mirrored panel, with its cut out made for a participant’s face to fill, reflects a hybrid image that combines the viewer’s body and the participant’s face. Inspired by “To Reverse One’s Eyes” by Giuseppe Penone’s mirror contact lens, I, too, want to reverse viewer’s perspectives but instead, my work speaks about illusional experience as a whole.
Carla Gannis – The Garden of Emoji Delights – The United States
“The Garden of Earthly Delights”, Hieronymus Bosch’s most ambitious work, is filled with a strange and unique iconography that has intrigued viewers for hundreds of years. One intention of my transcription of his work was to mash up popular historic and contemporary sign systems, and to diversify and expand the Emoji lexicon through this process.
Celina Portella – Vídeo-Boleba – Brazil
The “Vídeo-Boleba” installation is composed by a TV set and a mechanism that shoots marbles. In the video, two boys take turns playing the marbles, which appear at the side of the screen when they leave the frame, scattering in the space close to the public, and giving continuity to the scene in the material world.
While the video seeks a faithful representation of reality, its unfolding outside the screen seeks to replicate the image. The device created by the artist swindles the spectator’s eye, confusing its perception, creating interfaces with “new spaces”, and articulating material
reality and the virtual world.
This project was developed through Edital de Apoio à Pesquisa e Criação Artística 2011 from Secretaria de Estado de Cultura of Rio de Janeiro.
Christin Marczinzik & Thi Binh Minh Nguyen – Swing – Germany
Swings have always held a special fascination for us. As children, we used to play with them. Today we like to reminisce about the enjoyment which we felt while swinging. We felt disconnected from reality, weightless and free.
“Swing” brings these feelings back and makes a dream come true: the dream of flying. Thus, the swing becomes a physical component of an interactive installation. The use of 3D oculus enhances the swinging experience with virtual reality, creating a unique immersive adventure and sending you to a crafted watercolor world.
While swinging you leave the drab monotony of everyday life behind, find a place to ease your mind and regain your strength. You rise smoothly into the virtual world. The flight level depends on how long and how high you actually swing.
The starting point in the digital world is the same as in the physical world: the ground. Here everything is pale and dull. When you have the courage to swing more intensively, you will fly higher and the vibrancy of colors will increase. The climax is in space. Upon reaching it the world reaches its maximum in color intensity. If you want to go down, you have to stop swinging, but the colors around you will stay vivid and bright.
Frederik Duerinck – Be Boy Be Girl – Netherlands
“Be Boy Be Girl” is a multi-sensory experiment that engages sight, hearing, touch, and smell. In the experience, our bodies become more than just our eyes and ears. They are the vehicles to experience and challenge reality.
In the installation, we create an illusion by activating all senses by a combination of smell, touch (through infrared light and a fan), image (with 360 degree 3D film glasses) and omni sound.
The shooting of the 360 degree 3D film material took place on Hawaii and was filmed with 16 cameras on a self build rig. This camera-rig was placed on top of the head of several man and woman to recreate the same perspective as our audience will have in the installation. The omni audio which changes perspective while the viewer turns his head was specially created for the installation.
Hakan Libdo – The Flooor – Sweden
The patterns printed on the carpet invite people to explore different combinations. 6 groups with different instruments, 6 zones in each group. By standing or dancing on different combinations of the 6 zones, 64 different loops can be triggered. Total 384 loops, all synchronized so that they all sound good in every possible combination. If no-one stands on any zone for more than 2 seconds, the loops in each group is randomly re-arranged. The whole floor can produce possible combinations.
Music is a part of the very human construction. Music is an expression on gravity on earth and of our bodily proportions. Listening to and creating music together is also a very important social glue. In times where individual and passive consumption of music is taking over, a collaborative, physical music instrument like “The Flooor” can be of importance.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski – Simulacra – Germany
“SIMULACRA” is an optophysical experimental arrangement. At its heart are four LCD monitor panels, which are assembled in the form of a hollow square, and installed at eye level in the middle of the room. The ensemble appears internally gutted, overgrown and embraced. A tangle of cables and control devices pours out of the middle of the square. All around it several magnifying lenses dangle from chains. The imageless glaring ray of the monitors looks as if the images had fallen out of them. What remains is the essence of the medium: Light.
But the images are still in the screens. It requires only a small visual aid to recognize them. LCD-Monitors require several polarizing films in front and behind the pixel layers to produce visible images.
These polarizing films filter the certain vibration directions of the emitting light. One of them is located on the surface of the monitor and can easily be scraped off using solvent and a glass scraper. The stripped monitor doesn’t display any more pictures, but shines with an intense white light.
If you hold a polarizing film, as in “SIMULACRA” in a magnifying glass version, before the monitor, then the function is restored. It is an impressive, wondrous experience when images suddenly appear from the pure white by the mere glance through a seemingly transparent film. But if you turn the lens in front of your eyes, the polarizing structure of the film creates wild color shifts or even complementary negative images.
In the design of video images that run across the screens, Karina Smigla-Bobinski worked skillfully with the effect of an opaque glistening body of light: – hands, feet, long black hair pressed against the inside surface of the screens, making them only visible within through the lenses, before disappearing into the white nothingness.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski – ADA – Germany
ADA – analogue interactive kinetic sculpture.
Similar to Tinguely’s “Méta-Matics”, “ADA” is an artwork with a soul. It acts itself. At Tinguely’s it is sufficient to be an unawarely struggling mechanical being. He took it wryly: the machine produces nothing but its industrial self-destruction. Whereas “ADA”, by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, is a post-industrial “creature”, visitor-animated, creatively acting artist-sculpture, self-forming artwork, resembling a molecular hybrid, such as a one from nanobiotechnology. It develops the same rotating silicon-carbon-hybrids, midget tools, miniature machines able to generate simple structures.
“ADA” is much larger, esthetically much more complex, an interactive art-making machine. Filled up with helium, floating freely in the room, a transparent, membrane-like globe, spiked with charcoals that leave marks on the walls, ceilings and floors. Marks which “ADA” produces quite autonomously, although moved by a visitor. The globe obtains an aura of liveliness and its black coal traces, the appearance of a drawing. The globe put in action fabricates a composition of lines and points, which remains incalculable in their intensity, expression, form, however hard the visitor tries to control “ADA”, to drive her, to domesticate her. Whatever he tries out, he will notice very soon that “ADA” is an independent performer, studding the originally white walls with drawings and signs. More and more complicated fabric structures arise. It is a movement experienced visually, which, like a computer, makes an unforeseeable output after entering a command.
Not in vain, “ADA” reminds of Ada Lovelace, who in the 19th century, together with Charles Babbage, developed the very first prototype of a computer. Babbage provided the preliminary computing machine, Lovelace the first software. A symbiosis of mathematics with the romantic legacy of her father, Lord Byron, emerged there. Ada Lovelace intended to create a machine that would be able to create works of art, such as poetry, music, or pictures, like an artist does. “ADA” by Karina Smigla-Bobinski stands in this very tradition, as well as in the one of Vannevar Bush, who built a Memex Machine (Memory Index) in 1930 (“We wanted the memex to behave like the intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain”), or the Jacquard’s loom, that in order to weave flowers and leaves needed a punch card; or the “analytic machine” of Babbage, which extracted algorithmic patterns. “ADA” uprose in nowadays spirit of biotechnology. She is a vital performance machine, and her patterns of lines and points get more and more complex as the number of the audience playing-in increases. Leaving traces which neither the artist nor the visitors are able to decipher, not to mention “ADA” herself. And still, “ADA’s” work is unmistakably potentially humane, because the only available decoding method for these signs and drawings is the association which our brain corresponds at the most when it sleeps: the truculent jazziness of our dreams.
Lawrence Malstaf – Shrink – Belgium
Two large, transparent plastic sheets and a device that gradually sucks the air out from between them leave a body vacuum-packed and vertically suspended. The transparent tube inserted between the two surfaces allows the person inside the installation to regulate the flow of air. As a result of the increasing pressure between the plastic sheets, the surface of the packed body gradually freezes into multiple micro-folds. For the duration of the performance, the person inside moves slowly and changes positions, which vary from an almost embryonic position to one resembling a crucified body.
Mac Cauley – Night Cafe – The United States
“The Night Cafe” is an immersive VR environment that allows you to explore the world of Vincent van Gogh first hand. Take a moment to enjoy his iconic sunflowers in 3 dimensions or walk around the chair he painted in his bedroom to see it from another angle. Step into the vivid colors straight from his palette.
Monica Rikic – BuildaSound – Spain
“Buildasound” is a sound building blocks game. It consists in creating shapes at the same time that you generate new sounds: there is no single objective (winning or losing), but instead the entertainment involved in playing for playing’s sake, the opportunity to discover new melodies and constructions, and constant creation based on the different positions of the cubes.
Oculus Story Studio – Dear Angelica – The United States
A journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. Entirely painted by hand inside of VR, “Dear Angelica” plays out in a series of memories that unfold around you.
One Life Remains: André Berlemont, Kevin Lesur, Brice Roy & Franck Weber – Les Disciplines Du Rectangle – France
“Les disciplines du rectangle” is an interactive art installation made of 7 steles set up in a 200 m² space. Each stele is made of one webcam, one screen and one speaker. When a player stands in front of a stele, his body is detected and a virtual rectangle is drawn around him. The rectangle starts to move and to change of shape. The goal is to stay inside the rectangle without touching its borders. The game stops when there is a contact between the rectangle and the player’s body.
For the audience, nothing is visible except the player’s performance. It is the player’s body who creates the show based on the contrast between what is displayed on the screen and the emptiness of the “real” space. Each stele provides a specific choreography, based on the behavior of its rectangle.
Petros Vrellis – Starry Night – Greece
This is an interactive installation based on Van Gogh’s masterpiece “Starry Night”. The iconic flows of original painting come to life, as an animation. Furthermore, the visitor can interact with the painting, altering the flows by touching. Any influence is temporary and the animation gradually returns to its original state. The background music also responds to the flow. The installation provides an immersive interpretation of the original masterpiece that can be used for “re-discovering” classical art and serve educational purposes.
plaplax (CHIKAMORI Motoshi, KUNOH Kyoko, KAKEHI Yasuaki, OHARA Ai) – Kage – Japan
Since old times, the shadow proved the existence (for a ghost has no shadow). However, like the image projected on the TV monitor (which is “virtual” in this sense) the shadow itself doesn’t have substance. And at the same time, as we can see in the shadow picture, the shadow or silhouette stands as the basis of the image. In “KAGE-table”, we took the notice of this shadow-substance characteristic and by using cone-shaped object I created its shadow with computer graphics.
The computerized shadows projected down toward the table stay still, like all shadows do, but as the time passes, some of them begin to tremble. By touching directly some objects which are placed on the table, various kinds of patterns appear on computerized shadow images. While these things are happening, the viewer is illuminated by the projector coming from the ceiling. So, the shadow of the viewer himself is also projected on the table as well as computerized shadows. When the false shadow created by computer graphics and the true shadow of his own are both projected on the same plane picture, one would recognize his shadow and his existence once again.
Plastic Studios – Bound – Poland
Control an unnamed princess and ballet dancer as she makes her way through surreal, dreamlike environments. The game takes place inside the mind of a woman who is revisiting her childhood memories, confronting her relationship with her mother and her own motherhood.
Polymorf: Marcel Van Brakel & Frederik Duerinck – Hardwired – Netherlands
“Hardwired” consists of around 18,000 LED-lights that symbolize the transfer of knowledge. Individual luminous pixels connect and then disappear. In a process of constant transformation, new patterns, interrelations and complexities emerge.
The installation was developed by POLYMORF with alumni from the Department of Communication Media Design at the Avans University of Applied Science in Breda.
Lead designer: Marcel van Brakel (POLYMORF), Frederik Duerinck (POLYMORF)
Coding: Dominggus Salampessy, Peter Schmidt
Rejane Cantoni & Leonardo Crescenti – Tunel – Brazil
“Tunnel” is a kinetic, immersive and interactive sculpture, composed of 92 porticos that become disordered in function of the position and body mass of the interactor. Numerous users can simultaneously enter and interact with the machine. Interactors agency the machine via their position and weight. An example of interaction is: you go into the “Tunnel” and stand by one of the side walls. In this case, the relative position and the gravitational force of your body provoke variations of floor height. The floor inclines up to 5º, the associated porticos progressively rotate in the corresponding direction and angle, and this propagates undulatory movements throughout the entire installation. For the outside observer, the internal movement or your displacement in relation to the installation produces kinetic optic effects.
Rejane Cantoni & Leonardo Crescenti – Piso – Brazil
“Floor” is an interactive interface designed to transfer strength and movement data in the human-human relation and the human-space- time relation. The action of stepping on one of the two ends of the machine produces a wave that is displaced in the direction equivalent to the action. For the other users (not interactors), it is worth noting that the wave in movement lifts the steel plate and the assemblage lifts who or what is on it.
Teun Vonk – The Physical Mind – Netherlands
During a residency in Shanghai, Teun Vonk discovered that applying pressure to his stressed body eased his body and mind. In contrast to what one may expect, one does not register sensory input better in a heightened state of sensitivity, such as stress. As such states serve the evolutionary purpose to either fight or flight, they filter out any information that is irrelevant to preparing ourselves for either one of these responses. When experiencing such states, applying deep pressure to the body eases the body and allows the system that filters our perceptual stimuli to recuperate. This physical stimulation relieves the body from stress, after which it starts to perceive all information again.
“The Physical Mind” is Vonk’s attempt to let participants experience the relation between their physical and mental states by applying physical pressure to the body. The installation consists of two inflatable objects in-between which a participant lays down to subsequently get lifted up and be gently squeezed between the curves of the two objects. While the lifting creates an unstable feeling, this stressful sensation is soon thereafter contrasted with the secure feeling of being gently squeezed between two soft objects. Besides this experience for participants, the installation also evokes feelings of empathy amongst bystanders who witness participants undergo the experience.
This project is realized as part of the Summer Sessions network in a co-production of Chronus Art Center and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media, with support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.
1 . Adrián Regnier – Y. – Mexico
2 . Adrian Dexter, Birk Von Brockdorff, Arnold Bagasha, Mikkel Vedel, Jody Ghani & Drude Mangaard – Vaesen – Denmark
3. Amber Xu – Luscious – China
4. Ana Mouyis – Pussy! – The United States
5. Anabela Costa – In Motion – Portugal
6. Andrea Cristini – Obsolescence – Canada
7. Anna Leterq – Corbillard – France
8. Anna Leterq – Metronome – France
9. Anne Beal – Balance and Swing – The United States
10. Ash Thorp – None – The United States
11. Ava I-Wen Huang – Betsy Blue – The United States
12. Burcu & Geoffrey – Nurapaten – France
13. claRa apaRicio yoldi – Efficient Story – United Kingdom
14. Clemens Wirth – Kinsetsu – Austria
15. Cornelius Joksch – Adultland – Germany
16. Damien Deschamps, Vincent Gallut & Lucie Prigent – 70’s Venice Beach – France
17. Daniel Sousa – The Windmill – Portugal
18. Dianne Bellino – The Itching – The United States
19. Eran Hilleli – Inside Out – Israel
20. Faiyaz Jafri – Cyclone forever – Netherlands
21. Faiyaz Jafri – Hello Bambi – Netherlands
22. Faiyaz Jafri – Natural Plastic – Netherlands
23. Faiyaz Jafri – POPone – Netherlands
24. Gerhard Human – Last Train Home – South Africa
25. Gervais Merryweather – Mall 84 – Great Britain
26. Giant Animation – Geist – Ireland
27. Grace Mi – TPJ – The United States
28. Helmut Breineder – Porter des Choses – Germany
29. Helmut Breineder – Pheromone – Germany
30. Henning M. Lederer – Sisyphus Machines – Germany
31. Hyunmin Lee – Diversion – South Korea.
32. Ibrido Studio – Water Hunters – Italy
33. Ivan Dixon – Adult Swim. Player Hater – Australia
34. Jake Fried – Mind Frame – The United States
35. Julien Regnard – Somewhere Down the Line – Ireland
36. Juliette Viger – Untamed – France
37. Julius Horsthuis – Fractalicious (serie) – The Netherlands
38. Lucas Durkheim – Grounded – France
39. Lori Malépart-Traversy – Nocturia – Canada
40. Liu Sha – It Is My Fault – China
41. LUNOHOD – Wings and Oars – Latvia
42. LUNOHOD – Issa – Latvia
43. ManvsMachine Studio – Versus – United Kingdom
44. Marcin Gizycki – STO[NE]S – Poland
45. Markus Magnusson – KickFlip Grampa – Sweden
46. Markus Magnusson – Floppy Disk – Sweden
47. Martina Scarpelli – Cosmoetico – Italy
48. Masahiko Sato & EUPHRATES – Ballet Rotoscope – Japan
49. Mehdi Aouichaoui, Claire Dejoie, François Heysen, Pauline Lebris & Quentin Pointillart – Rose Bleue – France
50. Michael Marczewski – Bad Vibes – United Kingdom
51. Michael Marczewski – Vicious Cycle – United Kingdom
52. Pedro Ivo Carvalho – Vagabond – Brazil
53. Pierre-Jean Le Moël & Eva Jiahui Gao – OURO: How my eyes became Red – France
54. Ramiro AMK Fernandez – Cubic Circles – Argentina
55. Raquel Piantino – Duplo – Brazil
56. Rune Spaans – Red Rainbow – Norway
57. Sandrine Deumier – ExterPark – France
58. Shirin Abedinirad – Babel Tower – Iran
59. Silvia de Gennaro – Travel Notebooks: Beijing, China – Italy
60. Sofie Kampmark – Tsunami – Denmark
61. Studio Smack – Paradise – The Netherlands
62. Susanne Wiegner – Future in the Past – Germany
63. The Line Animation – Ciclope – United Kingdom
64. Vincenzo Lodigiani – Split – The United States
65. Yali Herbet & Lee Drot – Mirrors – Israel
66. Zombie Studio – Dream – Brazil
67. Kazuhiro Goshima – Phenakistoscope 2016 – Japan
68. Karsten Hoof & Frederik Salling Troels-Smith – The Great Harlot and the Beast – Germany
Musical Videos
1. Bo Mathorne – Of the Wand & the Moon: We Are Dust – Denmark
2. Christian Larrave – Gap Yr Boiz – The United States
3. Dropbear (aka Jonathan Chong) – Magnetic – Australia
4. Hugo Ramirez – The Chase in the Ghost Train – France
5. Karni & Saul – Perfect World – United Kingdom
6. Moritz Reichartz – Space Diaspora – Germany
7. Nicolas Fong – Those Visions Have No End – Belgium
8. Owl House Studios – Routine – United Kingdom
9. Robert Wallace – Michael Nau. Love Survive – United Kingdom
10. Miao Jing – Hills Beyond a River – China
Special for Children
1. Andrew Wilson & Michael Trikosko – Invisible – The United States
2. Ben Ozeri & Corentin Monnier – Grandmas Hero – Denmark
3. Burcu & Geoffrey – Casse-Croûte – France
4. Daniel Sousa – Feral – Portugal
5. Dina Velikovskaya – My Strange Grandfather – Russia
6. Guilherme Marcondes – The Unlikely Hero – Brazil
7. Gunner – Mesh – The United States
8. Hornet Studio, Emmanuelle & Julien – Cadillac Fairview – The United States
9. Mads Weidner – Parrot Away – Denmark
10. Monica Manalo – For the Lost – The United States
11. Simon Scheiber – The Lighthouse – Austria
12. Daphné Durocher, Constance Joliff & Fanny Lhotellier – Blue Honey – France
13. Dianne Bellino – The Itching – The United States
14. Eran Hilleli – Inside Out – Israel
Voluntary Discontrol
The curatorial concept behind FILE Games 2017 considers the experiences which motivate players, reflecting on their interaction with the games and exploring their aesthetic impact, seeking to discover meaning in the tension between voluntarily handing over control and the primitive urge for response.
Digital games have the potential to not only express representations as a collection of images, text, and sounds, but as a dynamic behavioral system which evolves and transforms organically.
These transformations, which are both caused and experienced by the player as they communicate mechanically, on account of the digital nature of the communication – with a virtual system, in fact, establish a second and deeper layer of dialog between the expressions of the author, who is the conductor who unifies and directs systems and rules that emerge as latent experiences for the player; and the user interacting with their avatar in the system which becomes both a reflection of the expression of the player and part of the channel which maintains a dialog with the immaterial voice of the implicit author of the game.
The feeling of control given to the player, which is sometimes sophisticatedly false, is carefully maintained by the voluntary suspension of disbelief which sustains this fantasy world, where this ephemeral and mutating dialog is rebuilt and slips away at every decision the player makes as part of their game-playing. This pulse between domination and uncertainly is, perhaps, the artistic culmination of a gaming system as an aesthetic element.
This interaction is fueled by the intentional imbalance between the satisfaction derived from power of choice and the conflict caused by abstaining from control. This inconstancy facilitates the dialog that is at the heart of the gaming experience. The communication goes beyond the immediate representation of the impulses emanating from the interface, as introspective meanings are unfolded with the discovery of meanings which are assumed to be uniquely belonging to the author. The player becomes empowered not by controlling the exchange, but by their ability to perceive the creative intentions of the author. The expressive intent behind the game now belongs to the player.
This inversion of responsibilities is an epiphany in “Inside”, which discusses the relationship involved in control, drawing parallels with the young protagonist chased by a sinister dystopian state. This same boy exercises telepathic control over other human beings; and, perhaps, acts as a meta-player, challenging the assumption of user interaction.
In “Old man’s Journey”, the player moves mountains to help the protagonist on his journey of reconciliation, while revealing the loving and painful narrative of his past. The journey through the landscapes is a meditative process shared between the protagonist and the player, and exposes the weakness of both, by opposing the power to remake the world to the inevitable passage through life.
“Everything” is a contemplative game which explores the sense of “being” in a multiplicity of forms and scales. The player takes control of creatures, objects, quantum particles, heavenly bodies or of the cosmos, in a casually philosophical exercise of reflection and curiosity. Participation in the game demands the recognition of a certain interconnectivity between all the beings that make up the universe while, at the same time, dissolving the notion of the individual as the player “jumps” between entities.
Daniel Moori
FILE GAMES 2017 Curator
1. Bed Time Digital Games – Back to Bed – Denmark
2. Broken Rules – Old Man’s Journey – Austria
3. David O’Reilly – Everything – The United States
4. Dinosaur Polo Club – Mini Metro – New Zealand
5. Geert Nellen – Metrico+ – Netherlands
6. Playdead – Inside – Denmark
7. Plastic Studios – Bound – Poland
8. Agustin Abreu, Pablo Bounous & Ignacio Platas – Kid Nano – Uruguay
9. XXIIVV – Oquonie – Canada
FILE Brasília 2017
October 12 to December 09
Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm
Free entrance
No age restrictions
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil / Brasilia
SCES, Trecho 02, lote 22, Brasília (DF)
Informações: (61) 3108-7600
Press information about the exhibition:
Agência Galo: SP 11 – 3253-3227
Tales Rocha –
Thiago Rebouças –