Game junction exhibition of art video games explores the visual, conceptual and physical embodiment of a video game as an exhibition object.
It is impossible to deny that video games have taken a special place in modern culture. With each passing day, the interaction of video games and other cultural forms is becoming more diverse, and games can no longer be defined solely as entertainment and a waste of time.
Studying artistic video games through the exhibition, we did not question the value of the game as a form of contemporary art, but sought to explore the significance of the visual, conceptual and physical embodiment of the video game as an exhibition object.
The exhibition featured works by both Russian and foreign authors, including Elena Vlasova, Victoria Volokitina and Leonid Gremyachikh, Yulia Kozhemyako, Anna Rotaenko, Gael Buris, Jordi Vinstra, Carson Lynn and others. The proximity of games with interactive installations and tactile objects opened up opportunities for rethinking the connection between cultural and digital environments, on the border of which video games exist.
The concept of "art game" or "artistic game" was introduced in 2002 by artist Tiffany Holmes. It means a video game created or exhibited as a work of art and expressing an artistic intent. The first art games were created in the 1980s, but the new wave of popularity of video games, which originated in the 1990s and is still gaining ground in our time, has created ideal conditions for the development, research and exhibition of art games. Since the early 2010s, thanks to widely publicized scientific discussions and retrospective exhibitions, video games have become the subject of museum collectibles.
Video games have multi-component performativity and complex immersiveness, which allows the viewer to share authorship with the developer and the artist. Thanks to the freedom of action, each new passage and immersion in the digital space makes it possible to open new boundaries of cognition and feeling in the game universe. The interaction with the game at the exhibition took place not only through the speculative cognition of the game as a digital object, but also through tactile communication with the space and the works of art presented.
The main goal of the project was to show the genre of art games rarely demonstrated in the walls of galleries. We tried to find an answer to the question, what kind of art is it and how to show it so that the viewer can find his own way of pairing with it?
In order to achieve this goal, we have completed the following tasks:
– selected authors with different experiences, demonstrating both well-known artists and game enthusiasts;
– we have thought out for each work of the installative solutions, with the help of which the viewer will be immersed in the game completely or with the awareness of the "fourth wall";
– we have created a spectator scenario that takes into account the display features in the public space: the possibility of an individual display, watching the game of another, the desire to pass only part or reach the end of the game;
– created an environment that takes into account the fundamental non-contemplation of games (they do not exist until a viewer appears ready to play them), the repeatability of the "machinima" genre and the immobility of in-game photography;
– we conducted a public program and included in the exhibition theoretical materials created as part of a preliminary curatorial study that took more than a year.