– 3 pm: Curator talk – Bernhard Serexhe (Chief Curator, ZKM), Stephan Schwingeler (Researcher, ZKM)
– 5 pm: Opening Reception
Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
For twenty years, various forms of artistic, experimental, media-reflective as well as ‘serious’ types of computer games have been developed. New strategies in gaming are based on artistic research in the growing fields of audio-visual media. Computer games reflect and analyze the function and structure of our societies.
The exhibition New Gameplay is comprised of six sections, presenting works of game art ranging from art that has computer games as its subject to computer games designed by artists. Classic media art and video games will also be a part of this engaging dialogue.
The section ‘Homage à Nam June Paik’ reflects on specific works and strategies created by the Korean father of Video Art and analyze them in juxtaposition with works of JODI, the artist couple who presents non-object games by transferring violent ego-shooter into abstract forms.
The ‘Media Art in the Context of Games’ section includes The Night Journey by media artist Bill Viola who translates video aesthetics into the interactive form of a computer game. Chinese artist Feng Mengbo is represented by his work Long March: Restart, a sixteen-meter long satirizing jump and run of the heroic myth of the Long March of the Communist Party of China’s Red Army. Media art pioneer Jeffrey Shaw’s The Legible City also demonstrates the utilization of gaming formats in the field of art. The ‘Hacking/Modifying Technology’ section reflects on Paik’s role as a forerunner of interactive art.
One area of focus is dedicated to independent and serious games, which have distinguished themselves by their particularly innovative game ideas, interesting experimental claims, and unique consciousness of their own means and forms of expression. Categorized as ‘Society and Games’, these works aim to enhance and train the users’ awareness of political structures and processes in their daily lives.
The ‘Urban Play’ section demonstrates the virtualization of the urban landscape that uses latest developments in 3D-modelling and high-resolution immersive environments. The ‘Games and Apps’ section presents fun mobile games for young visitors.
JODI (Joan Heemskerk *1968 and Dirk Paesmans *1965), Untitled Game: CTRL-Space, 1998 – 2001, Computer game modification based on Quake (id Software, 1996), PC
Photo: courtesy of Jodi
JODI (Joan Heemskerk *1968 and Dirk Paesmans *1965), Untitled Game: Arena, 1998 – 2001, Computer game modification based on Quake (id Software, 1996), PC
Photo: courtesy of Jodi
The Dutch-Belgian artist duo JODI’s series Untitled Game consists of various levels for the first-person shooter Quake. The levels presented are CTRL-Space and Arena. The players are confronted with just a white surface, which is framed by image elements. Arena represents the transformation of a game into an entirely unplayable one, and is the most radical intervention in the structures of the gameplay. The degree of abstraction goes as far as the complete eradication of representational images. The artistic strategy of deletion used evokes associations with monochrome images in art history. In Zen for Film (1963) Nam June Paik let an unexposed, ‘empty’ roll of film run through a projector.
Nam June Paik *1932 – 2006, Zen for Film, 1964, Film projector, reenacted by Nam June Paik Art Center
Zen for Film is an art historically significant film by the Korean composer and video artist Nam June Paik. The original version ran for 20 or sometimes 30 minutes. The film is simply a transparent blank film, which accumulates dust and scratches as it passes through the projector over time with each successive screening. This idea or an “undetermined” piece stems from Paik’s approach to music composition influenced by John Cage’s 4’ 33” (1952), a score which is based on imperfections found in paper.
Feng Mengbo *1966, Long March: Restart, 2008, Video game, PC
Photo: courtesy of Feng Mengbo
Since the 1990s, we have seen artists turning their attention to video games. The Chinese artist Feng Mengbo is one of the pioneers of this new artistic focus on digital games. The spectacular work Long March: Restart leans aesthetically toward the two-dimensional video games of the 16-bit era. In Feng Mengbo’s video game, the world of symbols of communist propaganda mixes with set pieces of the Western consumer world and Asian stereotypes in video games such as Street Fighter II.
Jeffrey Shaw *1944, The Legible City, 1989 – 1991, version 2013, Computer graphic installation
Collection of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Photo: courtesy of Jeffrey Shaw
A stationary bicycle is operated by a user in a darkened space to simulate a bicycle ride through the streets of Manhattan, Amsterdam, and Karlsruhe. The visitor is actively integrated into the installation by using the bicycle, which is positioned in front of a screen onto which three-dimensional street views of the different cities are projected. The city views are composed of computer-generated three-dimensional letters that form the buildings along the sides of the streets and at the same time make up words and sentences that have literary or historical references to the depicted location. (Text by Chiara Marchini)
Bill Viola and USC Game Innovation Lab, The Night Journey, Work in progress, Video game, PC
Photo: courtesy of USC Game Innovation Lab
Players move within a three-dimensional environment, which they experience from the first-person perspective. The surroundings constantly adapt in a subtle way to how the player treats the environment, how they explore it, and how they get to know it. Audio-visually, The Night Journey is comparable to Viola’s other video works. The graphic artists participating in the project have modeled the computer graphics on the image lines of video and translated the grainy, almost blurred appearance of Viola’s video images. The game utilizes the entire range of video aesthetics and places them in an interactive form of computer graphics.
Alan Kwan *1990, Bad Trip, 2012, Video game, PC
Photo: courtesy of Alan Kwan
Since November 2011, the artist Alan Kwan from Hong Kong has been recording every step he takes with a camera that is attached to his glasses. Every evening, the artist uploads the video material to the video game Bad Trip, which Kwan designed and programmed himself. The players can then experience the images as memory fragments in the 3D environment of the game, and metaphorically navigate the memories of the artist. Bad Trip foregrounds the highly topical themes associated with life-logging and the Quantified Self Movement.
Everyware, Memoirs, 2010, Polaroid camera, brown tube TV, computer
Photo: courtesy of Everyware
Memoirs is a memoir of the humanity’s struggle for inventing home appliances in pursuit of happiness. Its antique outlook stimulates a sensibility of nostalgia for old-fashioned home electric appliances. As you come close to the piece, a custom made Polaroid camera automatically recognizes your face and takes a picture of you. Like bringing films to the photo printing office, taking a card with printed web address (http://everyware.kr/memoirs) from a stack gives you a recess to reminisce the good old days. With photos stacking up on the web server, we collectively build and share one’s memoirs through the piece.
Nam June Paik *1932 – 2006, Nixon TV, 1965 (2002), Two 20” TVs with 2 Abe made magnetic coils driven by Macintosh tube amplifier, video device with Nixon video, switcher, with audio, dimensions variable
Nixon TV is composed of a pair of monitors on which the broadcast image of the former American president Richard Nixon is distorted every eight minutes when electricity is sent through the magnet coil. Nam June Paik has referred to this effect by stating, “TV picture is ‘disturbed’ by the strong demagnetizer’s place and rhythm.” Nixon failed in his presidential campaign because of his unsuccessful use of the media in the TV debate with John F. Kennedy. This made Paik pay attention to the influence of media, inspiring him to create Nixon TV.
Marc Lee, 10,000 Moving Cities, version 2015, In collaboration with e-Installation (e-installation.org), a project of the Intelligent Sensor-Actuator-Systems Laboratory (ISAS) and the ZAK | Centre for Cultural and General Studies at the Karslruhe Institute for Technology (KIT)
Photo: courtesy of Marc Lee
10,000 Moving Cities is an interactive net and telepresence-based installation that deals with globalized cities. Visitors can select any city of the world using data goggles as digital interface in a virtual reality system. User-generated content linked to the selected city such as recent news, tweets, images, videos, and posts from social networks, is searched and retrieved in real time and displayed as a multiple moving collage onto the façades of an abstract urban environment.
Jens M. Stober *1986, 1378 (km), 2010, Video game modification based on Half-Life 2 (2004), PC
Photo: courtesy of Jens M. Stober
In the serious game 1378 (km), the player is transported to different sections of the border between East and West Germany. The year is 1976. Players can assume the role of either an East German border guard or an East German refugee. In detailed reproduced scenarios of sections of the inner German border, the situation there can be experienced in the form of a first-person shooter. It is only possible to win the game if one does not shoot. If one shoots a refugee in the role of a border guard, the players find themselves in a court room. In a trial they are held accountable for their actions. 1378 (km) was created as a student art project with an educational character at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) in the GameLab. It was planned to release 1378 (km) on German Unity Day 2010. The art project caused a scandal, which was particularly orchestrated by the negative reviews of BILD newspaper, which described the game as “disgusting.” Some of the relatives of victims killed at the inner German border felt offended, which led to a complaint being file charged against the author Jens M. Stober for “incitement of popular hatred.” The charges against the student were dropped, and the German press council condemned the reviews published by BILD newspaper.
Gold Extra, Frontiers, 2006 – 2012, Video game, PC
Photo: courtesy of Gold Extra
Frontiers has a serious political background: The subject of the first-person shooter faces a refugee situation at Europe’s borders. The game shows the focal points of a refugee route, which leads from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe: The players experience four different border situations and a nightmarish room with documentary materials, which the artists have assembled during their on-site researches. The players can choose from various perspectives: they can choose between the role of a refugee, or that of a border guard.
Lucas Pope, Papers, Please, 2013, Video game, PC
Photo: courtesy of Lucas Pope
Papers, Please is set in the fictional state of “Arstroztka” during the 1980s, in the historical background of the Cold War. The gameplay of Papers, Please focuses on the work life of an immigration inspector at a border checkpoint. The player inspects arrivals’ documents and uses an array of tools to determine whether the papers are in order for the purpose of keeping undesirable individuals such as terrorists, wanted criminals, or smugglers out of the country.
Kiyoshi Furukawa & Masaki Fujihata & Wolfgang Münch, Small Fish, 1999, 2014, Video game, iOS Collection of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
In 1999, Small Fish was created at ZKM in the course of the series ‘Digital_Arts_Edition’. It is a cooperation between the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics and the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media, and is now also available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The elements which can be used to change the score and thus influence the music are widespread abstract forms, circles, points, lines, or moving colored patterns. In the 15 different graphic scores, the player can arrange the multiple parts to affect the music immediately.
Student: 2,000 won
25% discount for inhabitants of Gyeonggi Province and 50% discount for groups of 20 or more adults.
* Last admission is one hour before closing.
* Closed every Monday of the month, January 1st, Lunar New Year’s Day, and Chuseok (Thanksgiving Day)