Through October 4, the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach is presenting “WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon”, an exhibition that considers the fantasy environment of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft and its broader cultural impact. It includes works by gaming-conscious artists like Tale of Tales and Radical Software Group as well as pieces produced by staff at the company that develops WoW, Blizzard Entertainment. Curator Grace Kook Anderson answered a few questions about the show.
What aspects of World of Warcraft as an emergent media phenomenon do you find most interesting as a curator?
WoW has been a rich subject. What I find compelling in this game is that the narrative lineage passing through J.R.R. Tolkien and Dungeons and Dragons sets the framework of the game, but the players add that extra narrative layer. Another aspect that is remarkable is the democratic nature of cultural production that a game like WoW stimulates, such as the enormous volume of fan art and machinima to artists working in different media. And as an MMORPG, WoW is also a network and a community for so many people. It is amazing how game culture and reality interact.
Could you discuss a few of the artworks you selected and how they expand on these aspects of gaming in general and massively multiplayer gaming in particular?
In the case of quite a few of the artists, WoW imagery or content is used to point to greater issues, such as questioning the idea of networking and community or looking at the implications of globalization and the threat of terrorism. Aram Bartholl led a workshop and performance takes an aspect from the ...!--more-->
Lost & Found at the New Museum
Wednesday 9 September 2009
Doors open 6.30PM, start program 7PM
New Museum Sky Room (7th Floor)
New York, NY 10002
Admission is free, to attend please RSVP to found[at]lost.nl
Lost & Found is a night of stray images and sounds. The program consists of audio visual presentations by artists, writers, poets and musicians and is compiled from received and selected material by Constant Dullaart and Julia van Mourik. On show is, amongst others, an artist's purse and its contents, produced via the da Vinci Surgical System, the terminator 1 & 2 subtitles, a lake in the Swiss Alps with an almost mirror-like surface explored with Google Earth, a poser, and an artist coming down the Congo river with a neon sign that reads: Enjoy Poverty.
Lost & Found was initiated in Amsterdam in 1997. The idea arose from an urge to show material by artists, writers, poets and musicians which doesn’t fit comfortably in the gallery; work which demands more concentration than the usual walk-by, or seems out of place anywhere.
Lost & Found will be held in the New Museum Sky Room and is co-sponsored by Rhizome. Thanks to Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Gemeente Amsterdam, New Museum and Fantastic Man.
Experience the censored Chinese internet at home!
The Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet users outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies). It's open source, free and easy.
Add-Art is a free FireFox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images. The art shows are updated every two weeks and feature contemporary artists and curators.
Tumbarumba is a frolic of intrusions—a conceptual artwork in the form of a Firefox extension. Tumbarumba hides stories—twelve new stories by outstanding authors—where you least expect to find them, turning your everyday web browsing into a strange journey.
With recent mistakes by companies and organizations not knowing how to properly censor online documents, its easy to see why people believe the text they can’t see can’t be read. And with computer illiterate people like Rush Limbaugh, it is easy to befuddle them with the apperance of censored text on the web pages they commonly visit.
A playful experiment in “censoring” a web page by hiding text and images behind blocks.
Technically, the work is executed as an add-on for the Web browser Firefox (v. 2.0.0.*); its execution involves the use of a number of Internet or computer technologies. I myself have executed the program in its entirety, which I emphasize because I consider the idea of the work and the execution of it as an indivisible whole that emerged over a period of development in which these two aspects were constantly interacting....
The image of any give Web page (or the visible part of the Web page if it is bigger than the computer screen) is understood as a matrix that reproduces itself. The size, height, and width of the reproduction are transformed depending on the matrix. The reproduction is placed in a selected section of the matrix and becomes part of it. The process repeats several times. The result is an unrepeatable visual structure that is based on manipulations of the particular Web page.
This Firefox Add-on uses the syntax of any webpage, and changes it into a beautiful Web 1.0 amateur page. This is my tribute to all the pioneers of the web.
Random Distribution of 40,000 Squares using the Odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory (1960) - Francois Morellet
With Random Distribution, the purpose of my system was to cause a reaction between two colours of equal intensity. I drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 40,000 squares. Then my wife or my sons would read out the numbers from the phone book (except the first repetitive digits), and I would mark each square for an even number while leaving the odd ones blank. The crossed squares were painted blue and the blank ones red. For the 1963 Paris Biennale I made a 3-D version of it that was shown among the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel installations (and re-created it again on different occasions). I wanted to create a dazzling fight between two colours that shared the same luminosity. This balance of colour intensity was hard to adjust because daylight enhances the blue and artificial light boosts the red. I wanted the visitors to have a disturbing experience when they walked into this room - to almost hurt their eyes with the pulsating, flickering balance of two colours. I like that kind of aggression.