Minggu, 15 Oktober 2006

Aram Bartholl is playing with your life





Aram Bartholl
, First Person Shooter


Pretty self-explanatory. Among Bartholl's projects there are several ones playing with the idea of an "online" gaming world. It is all light-hearted, smart material. Taking oneself just seriously enough, but for heavens' sake, not too seriously! See, for example, this charming film from the WoW project:









(if nothing appears, see here)
Notice that the first work shown here seems to be created by someone protesting against the violence in video games. But discovering the artist's portfolio makes us realize he is rather someone who has been working (among others) on the crossing between real life and the gaming reality. This hides a very interesting and delicate issue: the spectator usually expects the artist to have some sort of an agenda, a declared ideology that he would be pursuing (here, it could be pacifism). Instead, artists often work on a vocabulary, a particular language, rather than an idea(l). Matter forms itself in a certain way and the artist, like the first spectator, discovers its dynamics and its possible readings. Especially in the world of theater (though not only), this makes a lot of people uncomfortable. The idea of an artist as someone entirely in control, like some mad scientist who knows what he is inventing (!) makes it difficult for many artists to assume: this is what I discovered, I'm not sure what it is, but I like it, and I hope we can all find out more about the potential vectors of this...thing. As Goat Island puts it, "we have discovered a performance by making it".

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