Issue 2/2005
5.Jg. / Nr. 35 - ISSN 1617-6901
earlier newsletter

ed. by Roberto Simanowski (Editorial)

Art Games as Genre | Interview Mealye | Interview Legrady | Database and Mapping Art | Interview Young-Hae-Chang Heavy IIndustries | Clauss' Art if I want | Writing on Complex Surfaces | Cayley's RiverIsland | Games and Narratives | Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia | Moulthrop's Hegirascope 2 | Reading the Hyperlink

Art Games as Genre. An Introduction [English]

The computer game industry is thriving. It is making more money than the movie industry, and games are showing up in more and more contexts. Kids are increasingly learning through games. Games are everywhere and it is believed that they will move into even more places in the future. However, as a small subcategory of computer games you find Art Games. They are made by artists as pieces of art. Some have ulterior motives, mainly political, others are merely a playful piece of interaction with the user. What makes them art and not just games? Kristine Ploug gives some answers in her introduction to art games.

Generating Art from a Computer Game. An Interview with Alison Mealey [English]

Many artists use various types of processes, events, social patterns etc. as controlling or contributing factors in the creation of artworks. Alison Mealey has chosen to base her art on the computer game "Unreal Tournament". She lets a number of virtual players play the game for approximately 30 minutes at a time and uses the data from the games to produce complex drawings. Thomas Petersen asked Alison about the details.

The Art of Mapping Statistics. Interview with George Legrady [English]

Mapping has become a new genre of art visualizing date (mostly hidden) in a different, interesting (mostly beautified) form. What distinguishes mapping art from a sociological study or information architecture? What is the intent of mapping art? How poetic should the interface be to count as art? How does the negotiation between artist and engineer work? Roberto Simanowski talked with George Legrady about his project "Making Visible the Invisible" visualizing the circulation of books and media at the Seattle Public Library.

Reconsidering Database Form: Input, Structure, Mapping [English]

In this essay, Matthew LeMay argues against Lev Manovich's theorization of the database, and resultant critiques of mapping art. Suggesting that database form necessarily involves intricate interrelations of data in a rigid, predetermined structure, LeMay propose that the general divide between content and form proposed by Manovich is at least an oversimplification, and at most erroneous. He takes issue with Manovich's designation of mapping art as "anti-sublime," suggesting that it is instead the inputting of data into a database that can be considered "anti-sublime" in Manovich's terms.


The works of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES are expected to function as an intercultural medium with double meanings, on the one hand they activate the unknown subject of digital literature in South Korea, on the other they help to an understanding the strange motives in Europe. Hyun-Joo Yoo talked with the artist duo from South Korea and USA about netart, teamwork, concret poetry, literaure as movie, life and speed, the lack of interactivity and multimnediality and about Sex in Korea

Nicolas Clauss' artistic-cultural project Art if I want [English]

The origin of Nicolas Clauss' "Art if I want" is an experiment that the artist carried out accompanied by 8 teenagers with whom he discussed the work of several modern artist such as Arman, Spoerri, Basquiat, Cattelan and Chapman, the Dinos brothers, Munch, Duchamp and Bacon. Laura Borràs Castanyer's paper describes this discussion about art and analyses its result as its own work of art.

Writing on Complex Surfaces [English]

John Cayley's essay sets out from one important statement on the complexity of writing surfaces and then pursues three examples of writing on/within/amongst such surfaces, connecting engaged poetic practices with literal art work in cinematic and programmable media. The film titling of Saul Bass is discussed; followed by the author's series of pieces overboard and translation. Finally, there are remarks on the author's work-in-progress for Brown University's four-wall VR Cave, within which the surface of writing is literally, graphically complex. The surface of writing is and always has been complex. It is a liminal symbolically interpenetrated membrane, a fractal coast- or borderline, a chaotic and complex structure with depth and history.

Experiencing John Cayley's RiverIsland [English]

Maria Engberg investigates the emergence of new writing and reading practices under the impact of digital media. Examining Cayley's poetic work riverIsland , she focuses on what the poet himself calls "literal morphing." These transformations of letters constitute an important shift in poetic writing whose importance for literary analysis must be acknowledged. Engberg concludes that poetic works in programmable media lead to a rethinking of concepts of surface and depth in relation to writing.

Computer Games and Narratives [German]

The debate on narrative sequences in digital games is often focused on interactivity vs. spectatorship, which is falsely related to passiveness by some authors. Karin Wenz holds that narrative sequences too require a certain degree of commitment from the player and therefore the interactive and dynamic process of interpretation. She argues with Klaus Walter against Markku Eskelinen that narrative sequences and gameplay can be interrelated and that cut scenes are an integrative part of a digital game and not just some additional gift-wrapping.

Talan Memmott's "Lexia to Perplexia" [English]

Thomas Dreher discusses the combination of dynamic screen presentations with integrations of visual and textual ciphers in Talan Memmott´s work "Lexia to Perplexia". In the ten chapters of the piece users are exposed to a combination of icons, codes, punctuation marks, and neologisms via DHTML and Javascript. The article explains connections between the internal parts of the project and proposes some clues for the interpretation of (relations between) ciphers in the hope to facilitate reading and deciphering.

Reading Stuart Moulthrop's Hegirascope 2 [English]

Shuen-shing Lee suggests that, to grasp "Hegirascope's" structure, the first step is to stop it from running automatically. Once the temporal pull comes to a halt, one is able to sort through the content space for narrative threads and non-narrative units. His paper illustrates the distinctive use of hyperlinks and color tricks, instances that exhibit the fluidity of digital materiality. This maneuvering of links and colors reveals Stuart Moulthrop's meticulous organization, which further posits that order is buried in the disorder of the apparent "narrative confetti."

Reading the Hyperlink [German]

In 2001 scholars of new media and journalists of the old media had announced the death of hypertext and the triumph of multimedia. Everyone seemed to agree on the banality of hypertext and its foremost praised element hyperlink. This was exactly the time when hypertext had in fact just established itself among the masses of electronic network users as a communication standard. They would have needed more support on how to live with hypertext. But since hypertext was now a standard for the masses it seemed no longer of interest to the academic community, which prior to this shift was heavily involved in researching literary hypertexts and related digital literature. Beat Suter puts on "Proustian glasses" to recall what had been established by the scholars so far and point out what others don't see anymore - the "important locations in a text", the topoi, the underlined passages, alas: the hyperlinks.

Archive: 2005: 34 | 2004: 33, 32, 31 | 2003: 30, 29, 28, 27 | 2002: 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21 | 2001: 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15 | 2000: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 | 1999: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1