Video Games and Computer Holding Power by Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle’s original publication of her book The Second Self was an influence to the new media scene. The excerpt entitled Video Games and Computer Holding Power went beyond the consequence and influence video games have on children and adults. She explores the nature of the game and the immersed connection a person has when heavily involved in the matrix of a particular playing field and beyond that its computer software. Generations are physically seeing the expansion of design and detail within the games. Those who were at the prime age when Space Invaders came out share the same conceptual simulation as children do now with Halo, however since technology has advanced to such a degree “it seems to threaten a new kind of generation gap that feels deeps and difficult to bridge.” As we examine the conceptual idea of a video game we must consider its computer-programmed basis. “The video games reflect the computer within-in their animated graphics, in the rhythm they impose, in the kind of strategic thinking that they require.” If we compare the Pinball machine to Pacman we see that the pinball game doesn’t act as a transparent medium by any means, “it rusts, its slanted on the floor, etc.” With the Pacman video game, the “real world” allows more of a freedom for imagination. “It is a space where the physical machine and the physical player do not exist. You become the player within the game, you are the mouth.” She argues, “At the heart of the culture is the idea of constructed “rule-governed worlds.” Within a game, for example Turkle uses Dungeons and Dragons to draw upon this idea that as a culture we strive for a basis of rules that invokes us into a neverending challenge to conform and attempt to beat them. Her audience is not to children, though the consumer age most associated with video games is the youth we see her use collective insight from David, the lawyer in his midthirties and Marty the 29-year-old economist. I feel that her audience is to users of this medium for whatever purpose of use whether it is used as a confidence booster in temporarily changing persona, a way of Zen from daily trifles, or a general way of relaxation or hobby.

I would have to agree with Turkle’s insight into video games. Though I must admit I have not grown up playing them everyday nor do I really care for them, I have plenty of indirect experience in their usage. I would like to share a story with everyone that I feel pertains to this. I had a friend who waited aimlessly for the release of the original Kerby video game. Upon receiving it he began to devote all his time into the game so much so that he quit attending school for a period of time, broke up with his girlfriend, and cut off contact to the outside world. This may seem a little extreme but I want to relate it back to this idea of “losing oneself in a simulated world.” Turkle’s even states, “Involvement with simulated worlds affects relationships with the real one.” Video games are becoming full on activities. If you read a friends facebook, you might find them list video games under “hobbies/interests.” After all video games are an official part of our culture.

Field trip to ArtScience Museum Future World

It was my first time visiting Art Science Museum since I stayed here in Singapore, even though I have beem to a lot of other art galleries and museums before. It was actually the “Insta-worthiness” that blocked me from visiting there. But the experience I had there last month as a field trip was something that could change my mind.

(Above is the cat-fish I drawed)

First of all, I came to think that the interactive art had it’s true value by making audience, regardless of their age, to be involved with itself. <Sketch Aquarium>, which allowed audiences to create their own marine lives and transmit them to the screen aquarium, was the actually made for children but I think many of our classmates, including me, enjoyed it too. Through the intuitive appreciation, the artworks in this exibition were letting everyone participated easily.

(Video of me actually touching the screen while the Chinese character indicating “moon” is showing up.)

Besides that, the artwork called <Story of the Time when Gods were Everywhere> was one of my favorite part. I was impressed by the way how it developed the narratives related to Chinese characters as hieroglyphs responding to the audiences. I thought it was a good piece of work that could come out when typography and interactive art met.

It was a good opportunity to break my stereotype about interactive art. It allowed me to appreciate the work from a wider perspective.

Research : INTER—MISSION

INTER—MISSION is an art collective dedicated to discourses of technology in art initiated in 2016 by Urich LAU and TEOW Yue Han. Focusing on interdisciplinary and collaborative works in video art, audiovisual, performance, installation and interactive art. The collective aims to inhabit the gap between technologically engaged artworks, artists and audiences.

INTER—MISSION builds transnational networks to promote sustained dialogue and engagement with media practices. It creates a space that encourages collaboration, reflection and participation in our ever-changing technological environment through interactive performances, installation, video screenings, international and interdisciplinary dialogues, and knowledge sharing.

They also organize regular artist residency program and various kinds of exhibition which includes interactive media based artworks.

 

Reflection

The first thing I felt about Singapore’s culture and art field after I have stayed here as an exchange student from January is that, to puy it nicely, the industry is still a Blue Ocean, and to be frankly, there is nothing had been done yet. So getting to know and research about INTER-MISSION through this module was a real first thing to me. First of all, this group aims to “inhabit the gap between technologically engaged artworks, artists and audiences”, and I could see that they are really acheiving their goal through their active works and various kinds of activities.

For example, I watched the video of the previous interactive preformance <connectivity> on their instagram and I could see it contained the process of interaction between the performer and audiences with finely constructed typography.
This was also the first time to see an art or culture group that has a refined and fashionable graphic identity in Singapore.

Interactive Media 1, Inspiring Example of Interactive Art

 

Vakki is an artist who explores various media including graphic design, kinetic installation, video, and interactive media. She geometrically interprets the process of moving and creating objects in a given orbit, and questions the cycle of existence through kinetic work with graphics and motility. she has been working on crossing the boundaries of diverse fields with the artist’s delightful visual language. Currently, she works in Hague and Seoul. She operates the Vavava Tamgooso, a creative studio.

We Face Every Day – Vakki (KR)

We Face Every Day, 2017, Interactive Media, Variable size

We Face Every Day is an interactive media work based on motion sensors and face recognition algorithms. The viewer confronts his or her face and makes physical movements that are transformed into patterns generated from the main body joints. The audience become a part of the work themselves. Through the extension of the pattern, this work suggests that although the human body will disappear someday, the power of creating remains while it is moving. The work also mixes with the cartoon composition and texts in the background video, and makes the audience experience the immersive play.

 

I had been to the actual exibition, <Typojanchi : Mohm>, back in 2017 in South Korea, where this interesting media art was showed. While many of the art works there were mostly rather static and usually constructed with printed matters, this was the most eye catching work since it could attract attention with the sound and moving image. When entering the room where this work was installed alone, I first heard the music that stands out with a fun rhythm. Then the camera reads the viewer’s face and transfer it to the screen. If the transmitted face is compounded with the so called “circle body”, everyone began to dance even though there was no such instruction or guide to make them dance. I also experienced this. The environment of the exhibition hall where the user can feel comfortable, the rhythm of the music, and the ridiculous alternative body make people can not stand without dancing.
I went to Typojanchi because I love graphic works and printed matters, but it was a very interesting and new experience to be introduced with this kind of interactive media work.

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