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By Rhizome

On Tuesday i went to Aachen (Germany) to visit the Artgames. Structural analogies of art and game exhibition at the Ludwig Forum. I wasn't expecting to be so pleasantly surprised. Aachen is a small city and i had never heard about the art centre (which doesn't mean anything). But i was happy to finally get to see pieces i had only read about and to discover new works. Plus, i was allowed to take pictures (now on flickr). And i smiled. A lot. And right from the start, when i saw one of Sylvie Fleury's Dog Toys at the entrance of the show. The one on the picture underneath is "Crazy Bird" but check also her Spider and strange gnome.

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Behind the huge toy, was Fur's Painstation but i stayed clear of it. The moto of the game is "No Pain, No Gane" and its concept is that mistakes while playing result in real pain. I'm too faint-hearted to let my hand become one of the subjects of the Hall of Pain although the new version seems less cruel: interchangeable whips include a pink feather, there are now adjusteable painlevels and one might consider that the flash to temporarily blind the player isn't the most barbarous feature.*

Several walls were covered with "tableaux" by Norbert Bayer, alias Mister Ministeck. MM makes plastic mosaics using Ministeck, a game for children popular over the past decades. By pressing colourful pushpins onto plug-on boards to create a "pixelized" image, he translated icons from the computer world into cheerful plastic pictures.

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For example in the Touchscreens series based on screenshots from C 64 games, the pixel structure of the first home computers in plastic bricks. Nice to discover that MM's work isnt' revolving around the sole computer world, he makes also charming kids' portraits and elegant light and plastic compositions. In Ministeck of course. If you understand german, netzspannung has a series of video of the artist explaining his work.

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Mohair artist Elisabeth Ensenberger's Living in a Perfect World installation (image on the left) was one of my favourite pieces. Searching the web, i found an image of her mohair spacesuit, needless to say i'm very fond of it.

Artgames runs until March 5, Ludwig Forum, in Aachen.

* if you're in Stuttgart from February 11 till April 30, you'll be able to indulge your masochist tendencies as Painstation is part of Pong Mythos, an exhibition of over 30 works that revolve around the computer game Pong.

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