[-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 40, Issue 8

John Haber jhaber at haberarts.com
Mon Mar 10 02:18:20 EST 2008

An interesting thought to reference gaming.  Cultural anthropology has 
long considered art in context of play, but cultural anthropology, too, 
can consider the limitations of that perspective, since it also 
considers art in context of ritual.  (Maybe I could deal with religion 
better myself if it were considered by its practitioners merely as art.) 

Other limits are culturally specific to "gaming" as opposed to play.  
It's rooted in certain specifically western and Asian contexts, but 
especially capitalist, consumerist, and very, very male contexts.  It's 
also rooted in involvement more than detachment, immediacy more than 
understanding of its mediation; in other words, attack.  These are 
exactly the contexts that much leading art of the last generation has 
been concerned with critiquing.  It's striking that one of the first 
artists to incorporate gaming into his work, Cory Arcangel, did so in a 
spirit of significant disruption and a bit of parody. 

Digital artists and scifi/geek culture share one vulnerability.  They're 
both prone to feel something akin to "I have seen the future of art, and 
it is ...."  I like to think that digital artists, though, have other 
inclinations as well. 


More information about the empyre mailing list