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archive: SHIFT-CTRL
Posted on Tuesday, September 21 @ 00:00:00 CEST by rebecca

Exhibitions
Computers, Games and Art
October 17 - December 3, 2000
Curators: : Antoinette LaFarge & Robert Nideffer

http://beallcenter.uci.edu/shift/home.html

BEALL CENTER FOR ART & TECHNOLOGY USA

"SHIFT-CTRL is an examination of games, gaming, and related new technologies as interpreted by a diverse group of artists.

An exhibition that takes place both in the Beall Center for Art and Technology and on the Internet, it looks critically yet playfully at how games are altering social systems and creative practice as they explode from a niche market dominated by a youth demographic to occupy cultural center stage. SHIFT-CTRL includes a mix of installations and networked pieces, putting a unique spin on creative research related to gaming while providing alternative models for appreciating how these initiatives are affecting our culture."

Over the past 75 years, some of the most provocative works produced by artists can be situated as "games" of one kind or another. The artists of SHIFT-CTRL continue this tradition with works that incorporate elements of play, performance, and parody, encouraging--and even demanding--interactive participation among audiences in order to be realized. SHIFT-CTRL gives visitors Òhands-onÓ experience of the many new forms games are taking today, with a special focus on three areas:

Role-Playing Games and Shared Social Spaces: Artists are increasingly creating not just individual pieces but entire systems that are mutually consistent and richly detailed enough to be thought of as "worlds" rather than "works". Many of these spaces are shared, collaborative spaces embodying alternative social forms and attracting thousands of players. What happens to the very idea of social space when it becomes virtual? How does role-playing differ from more familiar forms such as storytelling and performance?

Evolvable/Emergent Systems: Artists are simulating life forms and their environments within the computer, creating elaborate works through mathematics. With these new artificial life forms, has life itself become a game? What changes in art practice are heralded by artworks that can evolve or be bred?

World Hacks--Rewriting Existing Worlds: Many artists create games that transgress established conventions, question common assumptions, or rewrite the rules of existing games. These critiques raise fundamental questions about both art and games: Under what conditions can a work be extended beyond its original boundaries? How is agreement reached on rules? How do rule-based systems maintain themselves?

With the advent of digital technologies, the rules about games themselves are being rewritten. Forget about games as just a way to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon, and hit the SHIFT-CTRL key...




Artists & Works in the Exhibition



Title: THE BUSH SOUL
by: Rebecca Allen
The Bush Soul explores the role of human presence in a world of artificial life. A person's "soul", represented as a sphere of energy, enters a virtual world that is alive and responsive. The world's inhabitants are brought to life through programs that define their behaviors and desires.
Rebecca Allen is director of "Emergence," an Intel-funded research project and Founding Co-director, Center for Digital Arts (CDA).



Title: THE INTRUDER
by: Natalie Bookchin
The Intruder is an experimental adaptation of a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, and represents a new hybrid form of narrative that exists on the border of computer and video arcade games, cinema and literature.
Natalie Bookchin works collaboratively and independently on and off of the Internet. She exhibits, performs and lectures about her work widely in the US and in Europe.



Title: LOL - THE DESKTOP THEATER ARCHIVES
by: Lisa Brenneis & Adriene Jenik
Desktop Theater is a multi-year research project embracing weekly experiments, workshops and public presentations. The Archive contains multimedia documentation of an ephemeral pursuit: building a frontier settlement at the border between actor and spectator.
Lisa Brenneis' wide-ranging production credits in interactive digital media include everything from Nintendo games to museum exhibits.
Adriene Jenik is a cross-platform media artist. Her previous projects include live television, video shorts and 'zine publishing.
A special live performance by Jennik and Brenneis, "A bag full of Cats: interfaces with the parallel universe," took place at the Beall Center at 8 pm on Tuesday, Oct. 17, as part of the exhibition's opening celebrations.



Title: DEAD SOULS
by: Janine Cirincione & Michael Ferraro
The narrative plunges the player into a disorienting landscape. Here a mysterious stranger, a con-man, has been buying individuals' genetic rights and gathering a stable of victims know as "dead souls" whose bodies and spirits have been disintegrated.
Janine Cirincione and Michael Ferraro are New York artists who collaborate on immersive audiovisual installations and projects.



Title: JCJ JUNKMAN
by: Ken Feingold
The large projected image of JCJ Junkman is that of a dilapidated ventriloquist puppet, a worn-out relic with a glazed eye and peeling skin. This head floats in a black void, surrounded by a whirling storm of ever-changing, appearing and disappearing "buttons" or "icons" - debris, more or less, scooped up off the Internet by robot software.
Ken Feingold is an innovator in the field of interactive art whose work includes The Surprising Spiral, JCJ Junkman, Childhood/Hot & Cold Wars, and where i can see my house from here so we are, among many others.



Title: FARADAY'S GHOST
by: Perry Hoberman
"Faraday's Ghost" is a digital analog of an earlier piece entitled "Faraday's Garden". In "Faraday's Garden", participants walked through a landscape of innumerable household and office appliances, triggering power tools, projectors, radios, phonographs, and various other personal comfort devices.
is an installation artist whose work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and worldwide.



Title: HONORIA IN CIBERSPAZIO
by: Worldwide group
Honoria in Ciberspazio is a groundbreaking network collaboration, a cyberopera in the process of being composed by a worldwide group of net denizens that currently numbers over 60 contributors.
Honoria in Ciberspazio, is in the process of being composed by a worldwide group of net denizens that currently numbers over 60 contributors.



Title: THE FREUD-LISSITZKY NAVIGATOR
by: Lev Manovich & Norman Klein
The Freud-Lissitzky Navigator takes the visitor on a journey through an architectural simulation of Freud's theories.
Lev Manovich is an artist, a theorist and a critic of new media. He has published more than thirty articles, which have been translated into many languages and reprinted in eighteen countries.
Norman Klein is the author of numerous books and essays on mass culture, media and urban studies, most notably, "The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory," and "Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon."



Title: THE SIMS
by: MAXIS
The Sims, released in early 2000, is a game that lets players create an entire neighborhood of simulated people (the "Sims") and then control and guide their destinies from day to day.
Maxis is a subsidiary of Electronic Arts, is a pioneering computer game company whose products include some of the most popular and widely praised games of the last decade, including SimCity, SimLife, SimEarth, and SimTower.



Title: BLACKLASH
by: MONGREL
BlackLash is the game the streets have been waiting for! Choose between four black stereotype fighting characters, then slay your way to freedom through swarms of insectoid cops and nazis.
Mongrel is a mixed bunch of people and machines working to celebrate the methods of an "ignorant" and "filthy" London street culture.



Title: SQUANT
by: NEGATIVLAND
Squant is a newly discovered 4th primary color, never seen in human history before.
Negativland is an experimental-music and art collective that has been recording music/audio/collage works since 1979, producing a weekly 3 hour radio show (Over The Edge) since 1981, hosting a World Wide Web site since 1995, and performing live on occasional tours throughout America and Europe.



Title: ULTIMA ONLINE
by: ORIGIN
Ultima Online is a multiplayer online role-playing game that takes place in the mystical, medieval world of Britannia.
Origin, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts, is a developer of computer games established in 1983.



Title: SOD
by: Dirk Paesmans & Joan Heemskerk
SOD #define ENDSTR1 "Heroes don't quit, but go ahead and press Y if you aren't one."
Dirk Paesmans and Joan Heemskerk work together in the Net under the common name of JODI.



Title: NOODLE
by: Josh Portway
The Noodle [I] program allows musicians to write interactive music as a set of "sound shapes" which the player can control. The sound shapes are programmed with a simple form of artificial intelligence that allows them to decide whether to play a fill when told to transition from one riff to another, for example.
Josh Portway is one of the foremost creators of interactive multimedia content today, and an expert on content authoring tools.



Title: TECHNOSPHERE
by: JANE PROPHET, GORDON SELLEY & MARK HURRY
TechnoSphere is a 3D simulation of an environment populated by virtual creatures that are either carnivores or herbivores.
Jane Prophet is a British artist working with video and digital media. The TechnoSphere project, done in collaboration with Mark Hurry and Gordon Selley, is a unique 3D model world inhabited by artificial lifeforms created by web users, who can then track their creature's subsequent life within its simulated world.
Gordon Selley is a computer graphics programmer who has developed software for flight simulation, film special effects, PC computer games and now the Internet.
Mark Hurry is the Managing Director of Digital Workshop Limited (DWL), a small real-time 3D graphics software development company based in London which he co-founded in 1993.



Title: ®TMark
by: ®TMark
®TMark is a brokerage that benefits from "limited liability" just like any other corporation; using this principle, ®TMark supports the sabotage (informative alteration) of corporate products, from dolls and children's learning tools to electronic action games, by channeling funds from investors to workers for specific projects grouped into "mutual funds."
®TMark is a group of net artists who aim to encourage the intelligent sabotage of mass-produced items as a form of what has been called "creative subversion".



Title: LIFE SPACIES II
by: Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau
Life Spacies II is an interactive artificial life environment where users can create artificial creatures by typing text messages.
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau are French and Austrian digital artists whose installations and net-works feature uniquely "lifelike" systems based on evolutionary software.



Title: BIO-TEK KITCHEN: LEON CMIELEWSKI and JOSEPHINE STARRS
by: Leon Cmielewski & Josephine Starrs
Bio-Tek Kitchen is a Marathon Infinity game patch. In Bio-Tek, the player cleans up the kitchen laboratory of a home biotech enthusiast using weapons such as dish cloths and egg flippers.
Leon Cmielewski and Josephine Starrs' interest in new technology is fueled by a mixture of skepticism (who is excluded from technotopia and why would anyone want to live there anyway?) and enthusiasm for the playful possibilities of new media.



Title: SUMMONS TO SURRENDER
by: Eddo Stern
Summons to Surrender consists of: Live 24 hour video surveillance of Ultima Online, EverQuest and Asherons Call...
Eddo Stern was born in Tel-Aviv and reared under the maelstrom of Middle Eastern ideological combat. He works with electronic warfare, video games, science fiction, foodstuffs and other forms of soft and hard propaganda.



Title: SiSSYFiGHT 2000: WORD.COM and ERIC ZIMMERMAN
by: WORD.com & ERIC ZIMMERMAN
SiSSYFiGHT 2000 is, like, an intense war between a bunch of girls who are all out to ruin each other's popularity and self-esteem.
WORD.com: "A kind of hip, lo-fi New Yorker magazine for a new generation," according to the New York Times.
Eric Zimmerman can't seem to stop making games. He is an accomplished game designer, artist, and academic exploring the emerging field of game design."


 
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