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25 Aug 2010

NIMk presents Space Invaders - Art in the Computer Game Environment

Cao Fei, Cosplayers (2004)

Space Invaders: Art in the Computer Game Environment
Netherlands Media Art Institute


28 August – 6 November 2010 Exhibition hours: Tue. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm Sat. and 1st Sun. of the month, 1 - 6 pm

Marieke Istha
+31 (0)20 6237101
+31 (0)6244423

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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Art in the Computer Game Environment:
Exploring the increasingly blurred boundaries between video-game space and real space

Opening: Friday, 27 August 17 hrs with DNK DJ UNIT (Masterfader & The Snail) and Live Visuals by Riley Harmon

Jeremy Bailey, Aram Bartholl, Mark Essen, Cao Fei, Anita Fontaine, Riley Harmon, JODI, Michael Johansson, Ben Jones, Yuichiro Katsumoto, Walter Langelaar, Ludic Society, Julian Oliver,

In 'Space Invaders: Art in the Computer Game Environment' the Netherlands Media Art Institute brings art and games culture together. In an artistic, playful yet serious manner, 'Space Invaders' reveals the influence of games on art and society. This group exhibition with Dutch and international media artists examines the increasing blurring of the boundaries between game worlds and reality. In 'Space Invaders' media art works illuminate the migration of the physical world into gaming systems. Conversely, gaming elements are more and more finding their way into physical space. By infiltrating both game environments and real spaces, the artworks clarify the nature and influence of the computer game environments, and provide greater insight into the role that computer games play in contemporary culture.

On the one hand the exhibition looks at the most fundamental environment of the computer game: inside the computer. What sort of connections do the games and artworks make between physical and virtual space in the computer world? For instance, while in early text games an imaginary space was evoked by means of text (Colossal Cave Adventure), there are now the detailed cities of 'Grand Theft Auto', and recently the development of 'augmented reality' games has come into vogue, games that mix computer images with reality in a plausible manner (LevelHead – Julian Oliver, and new work by Anita Fontaine and Mike Pelletier).

On the other hand the exhibition presents the introduction of game elements into the physical world: from the performance of video games in 'real life' (COSplayer – Cao Fei), and the reduction of the urban game 'Parcours' to a virtual and digital level (Ready Played – Ludic Society), to works that remove the game data from the screen (What Is It Without the Hand that Wields It – Riley Harmon, First Person Shooter – Aram Bartholl).

Walter Langelaar presents a new installation which was made especially for the exhibition. In it he mixes the physical exhibition space and virtual gaming space by means of a gaming engine over which the visitor can exert influence. The visitor has to relate physically to the dizzying mixture of physical and virtual space. Finally, the duo JODI present their performance-installation sk8Monkey, in which unreadable texts are uploaded to a twitter account by means of 'skating' on an keyboard, and a connection is made with the skateboard games by Tony Hawk.

In short, 'Space Invaders' shows the increasing blurring of the boundaries between the real world and the game world. In this exhibition gaming is more than sitting in front of a screen and playing a game; the relation with the real world is never far away.

Produced and curated in partnership with FACT, Liverpool.
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With thanks to the VSBfonds
The educational program is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts

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