On material constraints and performativity in playable art

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2015

Conference

TitleInternational Society for Intermedia Studies Conference 2015: Play/Perform/Participate
PlaceNetherlands
Cityutrecht
Period16 - 18 April 2015

Abstract

This paper critically interrogates the 'romantic' ideas of free play (e.g. Fink, Caillois, Hendricks: play as self-realisation, creative exploration, etc) in descriptions of activities involving computer games in order to explore the possibilities for free play within the computer game phenomenon and on its fringes such as 'art games' and performances with game-like or 'ludic' qualities. The paper contextualises contemporary computer games and playable interactive artworks on a trajectory begining in participatory and performance art (e.g. from Kaprow to E.A.T.) following Dinkla (1996) and Wilson (2005). Making use of a post-phenomenological (Ihde 1990, Verbeek, 2005) perspective, the paper focuses on the artifactual nature of computer games and playable artworks and seeks to establish how, by way of the affordances in their technological materialities, these works can constrain the nature of the performances they facilitate. The paper argues that due to their constrained nature, the modes of 'play'-performance afforded by mainstream computer games can be described as significantly different from the 'romantic' ideas of free play (e.g. play as self-realisation, creative exploration, etc): while these works promise 'free play', fulfilment of this promise always remains behind the horizon. Considering computer game play as 'free' would appear as self-deceptive, if not even a form of Sartrean 'bad faith'. In this light, the more 'open' forms of technologically facilitated play, which call for a focus on 'this,' rather than 'that' side of screen (such as computer games designed to be 'performed' in front of audience) appear as novel and worthy of description.

Citation Format(s)

On material constraints and performativity in playable art. / LEINO, Olli Tapio.

2015. Paper presented at International Society for Intermedia Studies Conference 2015: Play/Perform/Participate, utrecht, Netherlands.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review