One of the big surprises of the conference was to see all the energetic discussion about public space and political ideology in the sessions on “Game-Art Interface.” Instead of focusing on aesthetic or technical issues, panelists and audience members were consumed with questions about the divide between public and private culture in game play and the moral universe that these interfaces create. Brogan Bunt discussed how “oblique reflections” constitute a genre in computer generated architecture that is given political meaning and foregrounded the work of Mark Napier, who addressed political iconology in "Net Flag" and other works.
Gaye Swinn talked about how the Creative Commons allowed for certain forms of database art from publicly shared photographic assets, particularly in the work of Gilles Tran.
Mark Cypher was using the work of Bruno Latour with actor-network theory to argue that machines were capable of behaving like social actors, and that information is literal and part of our lived experience (and using collective intelligence as a reinterpretation of distributed intelligence).
By distinguishing between "game art" and "art games," Laetitia Wilson tried to work with both serious games and traditional games that were disrupted by activists to give an overview of expressions of peace activism around September 11th and the
Tim Boykett continued with the theme of the “public individual” in his work on the Hyperfitness Studio and the Sensory Circus. (I liked the beer bot who replicates the sociality of a bar and drink-caging behavior.) His Timesup gives details about past and upcoming public events and how he sees himself as presenting alternatives to "art jails," spectaculars, or didactic or vacuous theme parks.
Session organizer Andrew Hutchison argues that perhaps one day we will stop calling these phenomena “games.”
Athough I missed his paper yesterday, I also learned that Eric Fassbender has designed a memory palace for corporate speakers at www.VirSchool.com and saw his demo, so apparently classical rhetoric is alive and well in virtual environments. The Memory Palace also gets time in Negroponte's Being Digital, which I just finished, so it is interesting to see the persistance of the trope.