As an artist often working with computers, I think about how networked software can be both fluid and ossified, infinitely reproducible but rooted firmly in materiality, ephemeral and enduring, violently oppressive and empowering, a fount of information and of propaganda. It can hide power and it can expose it.
After years of working as an art games curator, I’ve been learning to build my own games as a place to deconstruct notions of software as barrier. Digital games for me are a way to retopologize software (to borrow a 3d modeling term)– to remap, to reskin, to overlay new rules and new meanings onto an otherwise unchanged structure– in order to serve goals other than productivity or compliance.
Games can build space for co-creating meaning (for good or bad), for interacting with others, and for hiding memories (in the tradition of videogame Easter eggs).
Software interactions (even ones with only one human participant) are social actions. Games and software are a way for me to create a process of granting trust and speaking to a person that I often cannot meet, in a world that I do not necessarily trust– a letterlocked note that unfolds with time and attention.
My current practice and research focuses on The Dungeon, The Arcology, and The Frontier as game modes– each with different imagined “game selves”, modes of game world apprehension, and embedded ideologies.
Short, 3rd person:
Long, 1st person: