Is the computer game a perfect way for artists to infiltrate pop culture? In this presentation I will look at the blurred line between computer game and interactive artwork and the problems artists face when trying to produce games. For example conservatism in the industry itself or draconian games classifications such as the ones being now implemented in Australia. Can gameplay produce meaning and culture? Is pleasure an important part of the art experience? Anticipating the action that will result from your touch, click, turn of the track ball or flick of the joystick creates moments of intensity which may empower or may manipulate the user. Is it the artist’s role to do one or the other or both. In games we can play with ideas of subjectivity through body options, weapon options, various forms of representation and the interaction with imaginary spaces. Gameplay especially on the Internet is enabling us to indulge in multiple personalities and explore strange shifts in our own subjectivity. In the rush to leave the meat behind, the disembodied self is relishing its new found flexibly and freedom. But the desire for and obsession with information seems to be reaching fetishistic proportions. We are constantly handing over information about ourselves to the point were it reinforces our identity to do so. I am digitised, therefore I am. I will explore these ideas through discussion and presentation of various interactive artwork/game/vapourware projects I am currently involved with such as “Fuzzy Love” and the “User Unfriendly Interface” produced in collaboration with Leon Cmielewski, VNS Matrix virtual theme parks and “Bad Code” a computer game being produced in collaboration with VNS Matrix artist collective.
- Josephine Starrs, Australia