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Label: pippin bar

Wednesday 20th May 2015More Video Game Art Intersections

We've recently discussed the debate over whether or not it's reasonable to treat video games as art, admittedly with vary degrees of conviction. While it's hard to label games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty 'art', their complex storytelling and visual flair sometimes verge on the cinematic – and few people would quibble over whether or not cinema can be considered art. Once you've accepted the fact that traditional barriers mean less and less as technology advances and the focus can once again move back to the impact of a certain object, arguments against the idea grow weaker and weaker.

The important thing is to not get too set in your perception of what a video game is. As we said, GTA and CoD are not really attempting to be artistic, but they're only one possible interpretation of art. Nobody would disagree that an Ingmar Bergman film is art, but nobody would argue that Jaws is anywhere on the same plane. In other words, the format doesn't define the perception of art/not art, but rather the content, intent and impact of what is done with the format. Following that premise, we dive into the artistic video games of Pippin Barr, the New Zealand–born video game designer now based on the island of Malta.

“The world of video games is so often so hostile to contemporary art and its ideas, and if not hostile often just utterly indifferent,” Barr said, speaking to digital culture magazine Vulture. “Games are a very interesting platform from which to explore ideas about art and to allow or encourage game players to think about those ideas.”

He's created a variety of different games which intersect with the art world, and he's had a few intersections with the art world himself. Famous performance artist Marina Abramovic, whose piece 'The Artist is Present' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City both fascinated and frustrated viewers as they waited in line for hours for a chance to sit opposite the artist, collaborated with Barr on a digital version that mimics the experience virtually – right down to the museum's hours of operation. This is, of course, just one of the games that he's created, and he's constantly working on more, often in collaboration with the Marina Abramovic Institute, so swing by his website to check out what he's been up to lately – as long as you don't mind a possible wait!

 

Posted on May 20th 2015 on 03:21pm
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