June 6, 2005

aarseth on art, joyce on collaboration

by Mary Flanagan · , 4:20 am

At the ICT summer school in Stockholm, Espen Aarseth noted in his talk “How to Analyze Games: A Metamodel” (Sunday 5 June) that there are as many ways to study games as there are reasons to study them, and that, for example, game players would want very different things from game analysis than, for example, an academic studying games; thus, methods must take these vast differences into account.

Aarseth offered tentative, broad approaches to creating methods which could be used to study games, spending a good deal of time asking overarching questions about art (are games art?); he emphasized that art is modelled on a “king of the hill” style competition where an artist’s job is to claim the superior position. Several artists in the audience disagreed with Aarseth.

Aarseth also noted that communities (from academic fields to online groups) are formed by exclusion. Overall, the tone of competition proffered in games themselves seems to have infused the discussion. of the field.

Michael Joyce began his talk at the ICT summer school in Stockholm by distinguishing his talk “Red Shelves and texts held in confidence: Networked Collaboration as Medium and Artefact” from yesterday’s talk by Espen Aarseth.

A distinctly different approach was offered by Joyce, who noted that artwork is modelled on intramediation. Artists work to reference conventions produced by a body of artefacts andreferences, and in particular, collaboration; all of these aspects, to Joyce, reflect our relevance to each other.

Joyce discussed his work with Alexandra Grant and the kinetic sculpture, including the work “Nimbus.” Grant weaves large structures from the writing, creating word objects and connections with wire and draws as well as presenting the objects (some of which are kinetic) The reading, now, having become quite ‘else’, is to Joyce offering the ability to see oneself outside language and moving language into space and time; he conveyed his surprise in seeing Grant’s work, taking language as something akin to the breath, not the page, filled with words.
Discussing the work “The Ladder Quartet”, we see Joyce in collaboration with Grant in large scale drawings and paintings. He also discussed Cixous’ notion of exile and displacement in relation to his new collaboration with Linda Marie Walker. The theme which emerged from Joyce’s description of this collaboration was the idea of ‘presence from a distance.’
Networked art captures closeness and distance, surface and interior, capturing everyday, banal things on both sides of a dichotomy: disrepair, repair…

Here are some impressions of collaboration Joyce presents which I find inspirational:
collaboration is:
Work which comes together (each person in their own voice), not work which works together…collaborations are thus two (or more) mismatched voices in conversation…disharmony and corruption… drifting away and together… surface to surface.
Uncertain collaborations, remote control, disollution and resolution…celebration of loss….it is all that we have.