CHI-AMARE

 

CHI-AMARE

di Rossella Ferrero e Andrea Roccioletti

10 settembre, ore 17.30, Villa Groppallo, Vado Ligure

nell’ambito di DIFFUSA – SACS

La parte lirica interpretata da Rossella Ferrero racconta di una ricerca disperata, quella di una spilla perduta. L’azione è totalmente demandata al canto: è la voce che cerca l’oggetto. Così come è la voce, il dare un nome alle cose, a crearle: nominandole, le definiamo, diamo loro una forma, uno scopo, le chiamiamo a noi. Tuttavia, ci sono cose che non rispondono al nostro richiamo: diamo nome a qualcosa di perduto, indefinito, simbolico, cerchiamo di dare una sostanza a quella mancanza, a quell’inquietudine, a quella nostalgia che sentiamo dentro di noi. La spilla è anche una metafora, quindi: un piccolo oggetto, che tuttavia possiede un’aura: evoca un dono, uno status da mostrare, un ricordo passato.

Allo stesso tempo, così come l’essere umano crea gli oggetti, gli oggetti creano l’essere umano: il loro uso modifica i nostri processi mentali, li porta a compimento in modo più o meno efficace, ci obbliga a correggere la rotta, cambia le nostre abitudini: nel caso del canto della performance, la voce si infrange contro gli oggetti stessi che vengono posti di fronte alla bocca della performer, si infrange su di loro, rimbalza e torna indietro modificata dall’oggetto stesso. Raccontando di come ogni messaggio, ogni nostra voce, sia fatta di noi, dei nostri desideri, dell’oggetto dei nostri desideri, e non possa esistere senza uno di questi elementi.

Annunci

E’ MOLTO DIFFICILE INCONTRARSI – Trenoff Fringe Festival

 

E’ MOLTO DIFFICILE INCONTRARSI

Videoinstallazione site-specific

Trenoff Treno Fringe Festival, 8 settembre, ore 19.00,  Bologna

Lo spazio tra la propria abitazione e la strada dove scorre il traffico è il luogo dell’incontro; la zona franca tra le azioni private e quelle del proprio “fare” pubblico: andare al lavoro, fare la spesa, portare i figli a scuola. La videoinstallazione abita questa zona di confine: racconta del luogo dove si incontrano gli altri, e ci si incontra, e delle difficoltà di questo appuntamento spesso mancato, a causa delle dicotomie apparenti o reali della nostra epoca: il luogo psichico e quello fisico, lo spazio virtuale e quello reale, lo stare fermi aspettando che le cose arrivino oppure il muoversi andandole a cercare, la vita immaginata e quella delle cose materiali, i confini sfumati tra il pubblico e il privato, e l’infinito gioco di specchi che tutto questo produce, in noi e negli altri. L’architettura non è cornice di questa ricerca, ma “oggetto di scena” che continuamente manipoliamo, e dal quale siamo manipolati.

https://www.facebook.com/events/168179133728695

 

Digital death – un dialogo con Pippin Barr

Lui si chiama Pippin Barr, e semplificando moltissimo si occupa di videogiochi, arte e questioni digitali. Ha collaborato con Marina Abramovic, e porta avanti diversi progetti interessanti. Da tempo dialoghiamo su vari temi, e questa è una selezione di quello che ci siamo scritti a proposito di morte, digitale e games. Vi invito a seguirlo da vicino sul suo sito http://www.pippinbarr.com


Ok Pippin,

we could start from that:

In videogames… you will never die, but you will die many times.

Death in videogames is an experiential fact: our avatar made of pixels ceases to exist at a given point of the narrative line, and reappears at the beginning of it. For every death of the avatars, comes a greater learning how proceeding.

The gamemakers, especially at the dawn of the first videogames, had to choose how to represent this death of the avatar,
harmonizing technical requirements, usability, cultural, pushing hard the hardware not yet able to produce lifelike reality thus creating new symbols.

The heart to represent the vital energy, the shield to become invincible…
in some cases the metaphoric image was at hand, in the archetypes;
in other cases, it had to be assembled from scratch, with a few pixels available, in and by symbols that were immediately understandable, simple but clear, perhaps to represent events never happened before in human history, as dying but rebirthing, and the returning to the beginning of the path.

In the eighties platform games, the avatars all die “with a jump.” Hit by a bullet, fell into a ditch, to the expiry of the available time or coming into contact with an opponent (this was very unfair, that the contact kill my avatar, and not, at the same time, my enemy); for a moment the avatar does something “not controlled” by the player: jumps, leaves the screen, game over, continue?

So, this is my first question for you.

What is your way to mean art?
How did you come to it? And why?
What do you think about the fact that the concept of art is changing nowadays?

———–

Hi Andrea,

Hmm! I’m a little concerned those questions are too big! Perhaps we ought to at least begin with some specifics about this idea of death in games that we both seem to have been interested in?(And if we find out way out to other things we go along with it?)

Ok Pippin, we could start from that: in videogames… you will never die, but you will die many times. Death in videogames is an experiential fact: our avatar made of pixels ceases to exist at a given point of the narrative line, and reappears at the beginning of it. For every death of the avatars, comes a greater learning how proceeding.

The gamemakers, especially at the dawn of the first videogames, had to choose how to represent this death of the avatar, harmonizing technical requirements, usability, cultural, pushing hard thenhardware not yet able to produce lifelike reality thus creating new symbols. The heart to represent the vital energy, the shield to become invincible… in some cases the metaphoric image was at hand, in the archetypes; in other cases, it had to be assembled from scratch, with a few pixels available, in and by symbols that were immediately understandable, simple but clear, perhaps to represent events never happened before in human history, as dying but rebirthing, and the returning to the beginning of the path.

In the eighties platform games, the avatars all die “with a jump.” Hit by a bullet, fell into a ditch, to the expiry of the available time or coming into contact with an opponent (this was very unfair, that the contact kill my avatar, and not, at the same time, my enemy); for a moment the avatar does something “not controlled” by the player: jumps, leaves the screen, game over, continue?

———–

Hello Andrea,

It’s interesting to draw attention to the “death jump” fearly videogames, that weird last moment of vitality. It reminds me of the contemporary game Braid’s use of this idea, where when the player dies they jump and fall, but not quite off the screen – instead they freeze and we are given the chance to rewind time explicitly in order to try again.

In fact in that game there is no finality of death, no real moment of “being dead”, just a suspended animation waiting for us to scrub back and erase the mistake. The visual and audio manifestations of death in games seem like they must be revealing about the game as a whole and its philosophical position. In Pitfall you sink slowly into a pit, only to fall from the sky in a kind of continuation of that descent, now alive again. In The Graveyard your avatarslumps over, dropping her cane on the ground and, importantly, she stays dead the next time you open the game to play. Even then, though, a “New game” button appear. In the end, most avatars only play dead, after all…

The player-avatar identification leading to those sorts of I-statements is a strange element of playing videogames, it’s true – it’s one of the real pleasures of play, I think, that we get to use language in that kind of way… “I died”, “I killed them”, “I’m invincible”.

As you say, though, what of the enemies? Staying with Wolfenstein 3D, I was always struck by how the SS soldiers would shout “Mein Leben” as they died. I suppose in the context of that game it was meant to represent a clichéd German thing to say, as much something that “sounds German” as anything else. But right now it seems very sad to me, quite vulnerable and humanising… Which brings me to the process of making videos of videogame deaths, as we’ve both been doing. I wonder if removing agency from the equation might humanise the avatar too. If we focus in on Mario’s death, and find ourselves powerless to prevent it, does he paradoxically become more of a living, breathing being in retrospect?

Hello Pippin,

Very interesting observations, thank you. Don’t you find very curious that video games make players scream “I’m dead!”; in the end, it is a phrase that no one can pronounce without lying, in some way, especially from a point of view of reality. No one can say “I’m dead”. But death in video games is curious 🙂 Another example: what about the enemies? Those who die and just disappear, those that leave a shape, a sort of simulacrum, for all the same? ground showed the same side when you turned around them…

Well, after reading your considerations, that’s my proposal: why don’t we try to imagine a game that you can play just one time? A game that does not provide a “continue” after the death of the avatar? And we have 2 possibilities:

1 – does not provide a continue in the *strict sense*: the avatar die, the game will not start

2 – does not provide a continue in a *broad sense*: the avatar die, the game could be played again, but not with the same avatar and the story will be somewhat different. Choosing option 1 means having to face problems of permanence, recognizable and interface with the user, and thinking about the commercial (or not) aspect of this game…

Hello Andrea,

Hmm, interesting thought! To be honest I’d be more happy just continuing our back and forth of death+games+our own work in this area a few more times to make up the conversation for your website/magazine? Thinking through an actual game design is probably a bit more involved than I
can reasonably spare the time for right now (the semester just started at my university, so I’m back to teaching!). What do you think?

————

Hello Pippin,

happy to read you again. Yep, you’re right… about continue our dialogue… But I’m not pretending to create a *real* videogame, just to imagine how it could be with the particularities I told before: layable just one time, in a strictly way. You – as a gamer – probably will never buy it… or not? And if it’s for free? Maybe the gamer will feel another kind of participation to the game, if he knows he has only one live. Another idea of discussion. The point of view. Ok, we have the basic difference between fps and third person games, but… there is something more, about the question of the digital body? And its qualities?

————

Hi again Andrea

Well I mean there have been some games that were kind of permanent in that way I suppose. Not always with the specifics of a single playing, but variations on it. In fact I made a game myself, Trolley Problem, that was intended to be played one time (to place an emphasis on ethical decision making). One Chance is another example of a game leveraging a single playing to add emotional weight to your agency. And then there are other games with ideas of ‘permanence’. Lose Lose by Zach Gage is a good example – in playing you are deleting files from your computer which cannot be recovered. If you played long enough you could potentially delete the game itself I suppose.

Or GlitchHiker, a game that slowly died over multiple playings until it ceased working altogether. Or turning to boardgames, we’re seeing an interest in games like Risk Legacy, with permanent changes being physically made to the board itself… Permanence is generally so unheard of in videogames especially because we’re used to the idea of a kind of infinity of resources afforded by the virtual setting…

Hello Pippin,

I found very interesting your references, and I have taken my time to reflect on what you have written. Therefore, there were already games “playable” only-once… I would now like to investigate with you what we might call “real consequences” of the virtual action. Having said
that I think that the dichotomy between real and virtual is all to understand, before moving to easy conclusions, and that “everything is considered true, is true in the consequences,” it would be interesting to imagine a games that have an effect on the physical world, real (of course every game has one, if we consider the experience that builds up in our minds, or psycho-physical reactions that we have during the game, etc). For example: if playing at a game… somewhere a mechanical arm realize a sculpture? Or, if our interaction with the machine would cause consequences somewhere? At this point we should consider

a) if the player is aware of this, or only later discovers that his actions have shaped something in the “real world”

b) if the game has a direct connection to the realization in the real world, or the game is disconnected from what is happening (by theme, meaning and so on)

c) if somehow the player has the opportunity to address these consequences in the real world or not. It’s clear that there are already interfaces to “do something at a distance”, but in this case it would be a game, and therefore with a certain diffusion playful and not tied to the concept of real production. If the player was only partially aware, it would be even more nteresting… or not? Also, would you talk about your current projects?

See you soon!

————

Hi again Andrea,

The idea of real consequences is something that has been explored to some extent at this point, though it doesn’t seem like it necessarily catches on in its more extreme forms. Zach Gage’s Lose/Lose is a good example of a game with “physical” consequences in that it really deletes files from your computer as you play – a physical act in that those files are represented on chips or magnetic disks and then cease to be represented there. More literally there is PainStation, a game of Pong played on a special cabinet that injures players when they perform poorly by electrocuting them, burning them, and whipping them via the machine. It’s quite intense to play (and genuinely painful).

I like the idea, though, of action over a distance through game play – that’s not something I’ve run into before I don’t think. It would almost be nice to explore this sort of element without actually telling the players –creating a kind of “byproduct” of play, a physical manifestation of it. With 3D printing and so forth it seems entirely plausible to make something along those lines. (Funnily enough I was talking with a student just last night about the idea of physical representations of the “space” we take up online as a way of grounding the digital in physical reality.) As for current projects – it feels like I have too many for my own good as I don’t multitask especially well. The game I’m working on right now is about being a writer, with the idea being that the player kind of “performs” that identity in the game, typing up their master work and also avoiding work by sitting in an armchair or perhaps reading a book or looking out the window.

I want to create a context around writing as well as the act of writing itself. I made a full version at the Global Game Jam last weekend, but now need to strip it back down and make it more in line with the “big ideas” I think it can address. Alongside that I’m involved in curating an arcade at my university called ARCADE 11. My work there is mostly selecting games that I think will show well to a public not necessarily immersed in the world of games, to show them that there’s a lot of diversity beyond shooting and car racing and so on. And then I’m also working on a non-game work for an exhibition in Malta around the ideas of food and migration. That’s very much in flux, but I’m taking it as an opportunity to explore what I’m thinking of called “disaffective computing” – a kind of speculative design idea that computers in the future may be disinterested in us and simply carry on on their own rather than serve our needs. How about yourself?

Cheers,
Pippin

 

 

Hello Pippin,

sorry for my silence, I’m just returned from an art residency in France. It was very interesting, and exchanging ideas with artists of another country is always a good way to feed the mind and add fuel to the creativity. One of the most discussed part about art is the one about digital and art. It seems that there is a great range of possibilities, from the artists who decide to remain on the more traditional ways to those who dedicate themselves only to digital art, and all intermediate positions. In any case, it seems impossible not to take a position, either positive or negative, toward digital.

To reconnect to the speech we were doing, I think it is the time to abandon the idea that digital is immaterial. It has real consequences on reality, and on ourselves, on our perception of information, also produces real consequences on our physical, intellectual and emotional level. Now, my question to carry on our reflection is: since no reasoning only with the mind, but with the whole body, is it not clear that we are evolving ad ifferent form of intelligence even fifteen years ago? Considering that we use information in a different way,in relationship with the others and with the idea of ourselves…

A hug, hope you have a good day

————

Hi Andrea,

Nice to hear from you again – your French residency sounds like it was lovely. Where in France were you based? I miss going to Paris now that I no longer live in Europe, it was a big part of life… his “seriousness” of VR is an interesting thing – it reminds me a bit of that classic sci-fi movie trope in which someone will always say “if you die in VR, you die in real life”. Juxtaposing that with the generally heavily market-oriented language we hear about VR’s latest resurgence is pretty funny. I wonder when the first VR-related death will occur and what it will be? More likely to be tripping over a cable, I suppose, than being shot by a virtual gun and taking it too literally… But yes, presumably our brains are changing – or rather the way we use them. Information technology has been a pretty remarkable swing in terms of the pace of information and its accessibility. I’m still on the fence about how revolutionary VR will turn out to be – it stills feels more at the gimmicky end of the spectrum right now, more like an extension of standard videogame tropes, which doesn’t seem especially fascinating from a design perspective? It’s a summer storm here at the moment, which is rather nice after a couple of hot days…

Pippin

————

Hello Pippin,

I really appreciate our dialogue … slow, but steady.

I hope you are well and your plans proceed for the best.

The issue of virtual reality is of course very interesting. However I believe that it is, somehow, overcome … let me explain.

Consider the augmented reality. We (who? not only the creatives, ma also the big companies for commercial interest) are doing an important and totally innovative step, and we do not know exactly where it will lead. It will change – is already changing – the way we see reality. Concepts such as identity, possession, sharing, “material” or “immaterial” are already changing.

I give you a simple example: think of the new generations: they spend money “real” to buy “intangible” content. 50 years ago, it would have seemed a strange… stupid thing. You have to buy “tangible” things, not… bites. Also, talking to a neuroscientist, I started preparing some projects which will put together art and neuroscience, sensing the electrical activity of the brain, etc during the creative act, and the public observation. I’ll tell you.

Well, listen… when we decide to go public this conversation, as if it were an article for Europe Art Magazine? I would say that we talked about interesting content 😉

————

Hi Andrea,

Nice to see an email from you again. I’m quite happy for what we’ve done so far to be “it” really… I think your final message there of a little bit of futurism about the possibilities of AR/VR is a good place for it to wind up? From death to hope?

Cheers,
Pippin

Hello again Pippin,

here Andrea from Italy. How are you?

Some news:

1 – I just read in the autobiography of Marina Abramovic that you did some work for her… an animation, it’s right? Wow!

2 – I want to suggest you this: http://eterni.me/ I discuss a lot with my friends and artists about this idea… what do you thing?

3 – It’s ok for you if I try to transform our conversation in something that I can publish on https://europartmagazine.wordpress.com/

Naturally, I will show you the final version to have your approval…

4 – Do you want to take a look at some of my performances and works?

Hope to have news from you soon, have a nice day

————

Hey Andrea, nice to hear from you again!

Things are good here in Montreal. Just about to start teaching again next week, so focused on getting everything in line for that mostly.

1/ Yeah, I made a bunch of things in collaboration with Marina and MAI – all of them small videogames. Was an interesting and strange experience…

2/ With today’s technology etc. this sounds like it’s probably nonsense, but I’m sure projects like this will become more and more popular (and commercial of course). There’s that Black Mirror episode pretty much on this exact concept, and there have been projects to do this sort of things with Twitter, too, for example. In terms of just paying archival attention to people’s digital footprint I’m sure this stuff is attainable (though making it searchable/accessible will be hard). In terms of AI versions of people… seems a long, long way off to me?

3/ Sure thing!

4/ Would be intrigued to see some of your work…

Cheers,
Pippin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Una persona di un certo peso

Perché mi faccio male
– una risposta collettiva –

L’ultima performance in questione che ha scatenato una raffica di domande è stata questa.

“Perché ti fai del male?” Spesso, in occasione di alcune mie performance, ricevo questa domanda da chi mi segue.Innanzitutto, non è detto che “mi faccia sempre del male”: dipende dalle situazioni. Il gesto performativo comporta ogni volta una certa dose di rischio. Scendere dalle scale comporta una dose di rischio, così come guidare un’automobile, fare il bagno con il mare agitato, prendere il sole senza protezione solare, e via dicendo. L’arte non è un gioco di prestigio, quindi il rischio di ferirsi c’è, sempre. Alle volte è calcolato, alle volte meno, alle volte è alto, altre minimo.

In ogni caso, si è sempre… “toccati” da quello che si fa. In un mondo che vive la connessione a distanza e il virtuale (credendo, erroneamente, che questo preservi, tenga lontano, non tocchi) il lavoro sul proprio corpo può essere perturbante, così come perturbanti sono le conseguenze delle proprie azioni sugli altri: per quanto ci si possa credere non-responsabili di quello che avviene attorno a noi, ogni nostro gesto, in qualche modo – anche l’indifferenza – produce conseguenze. Il lavoro sul corpo significa (anche) affermare: ogni cosa è, in qualche modo, interconnessa in profondità, e non ci si può tirare fuori da questo, mai.

Anni di cattiva informazione in merito al concetto di performance hanno creato falsi miti. Falsi miti molto virali, però: quello dell’artista masochista, ad esempio, che per attirare attenzione si fa del male, quello dell’artista che non ha rispetto del proprio corpo, e via dicendo. Certo, esistono casi come questi, ma c’è anche altro. Semplicemente, il mondo della Rete rende più appetibili le notizie di un certo tipo, piuttosto che altre. Il messaggio breve e incisivo, piuttosto che la spiegazione estesa e profonda. L’immagine, piuttosto che il testo. Il commento, sempre e comunque, invece che la riflessione personale (che ha bisogno dei suoi tempi, della sua sedimentazione).

Lavorare, in modo performativo, sul proprio corpo, può anche essere una ricerca del limite. Gli atleti lo fanno quotidianamente. Anche chi lavora ad un progetto puramente “intellettuale”, seduto alla propria scrivania, fino allo sfinimento, in qualche modo cerca il limite. Alcune conseguenze di questo superamento del limite sono immediatamente visibili (uno stiramento per chi corre i cento metri), altre invece a distanza di anni (problemi alla schiena o alla vista in chi sta sempre seduto davanti ad uno schermo). Per non parlare dei prezzi economici, di tempo, di energie, morali… Non ci sarebbe evoluzione, scoperta, progresso, assolutamente niente di tutto questo. Ogni cosa ha un prezzo da pagare. Che cosa sei disposto a perdere per raggiungere quello che desideri?

Nel 2016 si sono registrati 783.000 incidenti domestici. Eppure, continuiamo a restare a casa, perché quello è il luogo dove vogliamo stare. Perché fumiamo, se sappiamo che ci fa male? Perché mangiamo cose che sappiamo ci faranno male? Perché perseveriamo con comportamenti che non ci fanno stare bene? Allora, forse, il distinguo sta nel fatto che questi comportamenti restino nella sfera privata oppure vengano portati nella sfera pubblica, alla luce del sole. Che siano socialmente e culturalmente accettati, oppure no. Che restino nascosti, oppure che qualcuno li affronti, li metta sulla strada così che ci si debba confrontare, oppure scavalcarli facendo finta di niente.

Lungi da me avere la presunzione di poter dare, infine, una risposta “valida sempre” per il gesto performativo che mette a rischio, in qualche modo, l’incolumità dell’artista. Mille altre variabili potrebbero essere prese in considerazione: quelle psichiche, quelle artistiche, e via dicendo. Considerate questi qui sopra… pensieri sparsi e senza molta mediazione. Aperto al dialogo, aspetto i vostri commenti.

 

Ringrazio l’amico artista Michele Di Erre per avermi trascinato, e per essersi lasciato trascinare, in questa performance.