Text and talks.
Sverige har ett markant identitetsproblem, där nya ekonomiska mönster likt fyrkanten försökts pressas ner i gamla, runda hål. ”Nya” Sverige bedriver idag en politik som gör det mycket enkelt att försvara negativa beteenden kring företagande, vilket tar sig form i exempelvis svartarbete och ovilja att starta företag, särskilt bland de som inte har en tidigare koppling till företagande. Politiken idag ger varken mig—eller många andra—rimliga möjligheter till ekonomisk trygghet, mat på bordet eller incitament överhuvudtaget att fortsätta driva företag utifrån det större samhällsperspektivet: företagandet blir en dyr hobby.
A talk delivered to students at University of California, Santa Cruz. Considers the evolution of interfaces in digital gaming and how art and contemporary philosophy, such as object-oriented ontology, can provide new, speculative ways forward.
My primary goal is to develop a small theoretical groundwork for where art may be situated within human life, and especially an art-making that actively engages with the possibility of certain actions being acted out. The object is perhaps like a spawning pool for imaginary events (in the first, ideal stage) that may unfold, many of which may not be available to simple representation through another medium such as voice or text. I see this type of art as being an activator of both conceptual levels of thought, association and so forth, as well as being practically or ”possibly” used. ”Possibly” may for example be likened with that certain level of balance that one encounters in humor: that something is quite plausible yet one is hyper-aware of one's involvement in the present situation, so as not to become the joke oneself. That is an example I think makes sense for dissolving the simple duality of use object or art object.
In most digital games one travels—a lot, and often on one's own. I look into how travel, survival and the idea of mortality and bare necessities in games stack up against narratives surrounding colonialism (such as the conquest of America) and Hobbesian philosophy.
Ideological objects are being produced at a rate which far exceeds that of other times, and they are created with an elegance and discipline that is truly new. In a time where “mental disciplines” such as psychology, psychiatry, neuro-sciences, cognitive sciences et cetera are all gaining history and perspective respectively, and their knowledge-domains are put to task in the making of ideological objects, it makes sense to be cautious of their collaboration with capitalism. It should not necessitate remark, but there is most often no real exercise of force in an object. What it does instead is relate a psychological space in which some actions may be undesirable/impossible and others are deemed as the “right” ones. At root this is not a new issue, but my argument is that it is fast becoming the center- piece in contemporary society's proliferation of high-technology and devices, in short, interfaced technologies. Their methodologies of becoming (creation, design, production) is valid also in perceiving classical forms of art-making.
I've given this talk many times, in many contexts. The talk tries to set straight how games are actually not mature as a form yet and how the term "fun" needs to be removed as a prerequisite for games. By critically looking at how genre conventions, tropes and gameplay has stood still for the better part of four decades, I give constructive examples of what instead could be understood as actual, meaningful developments within the medium.
The spaces in-between zones of conflict, those areas that never truly form into ad hoc battlefields in their own right, empty voids containing debris, shipping containers, crop fields or just plain barren ground, are there to connect the consensual, approved and demarcated areas. Moving by foot over these areas takes time, rendering one helpless to the scopes of the enemy.
Playing with realit[y/ies]: Can alternative spatio-physical gameplay systems break norms and conventions in avatar-centric games?
The games we play are dependent on an interface being used by the player. Using these controllers, players understand interactions and affordances in the games as temporally, spatially and physically mapped onto buttons on their current interface device. While the controllers (as pure hardware) have been constantly redeveloped and tested, games have included a wild variety of different interaction possibilities and representatory loops for players to become involved in but few have ventured into creating controllers that are simultaneously invisible, reprogrammable and specially developed for a certain type of game. The problem is defined as both one of interface and one of content, but most of all, through the combined issues these free- standing factors create. Further, the complex issues regarding avatarism, ethics and conduct are given a basic framework to live inside – these issues will be the focal point for the development of any proposed system model that places physicality in the center. My claim is that rethinking interface design and implementation will help in this task, based in a notion of games as normative media. A physically interfaced but digitally-mediated game-space may provide the best qualities of traditional theater and the near- infinite expandability of digital space. Using the ideas of both game theorists as well as interaction designers, I present a conceptual model for how this may be made possible.