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

Paul Brown paul at paul-brown.com
Wed Mar 12 09:41:48 EST 2008

Jon (all)

The lack of good material on the history of the "new media" arts is a  
major problem with people reinventing the wheel every 10 years or so.

The first person I remember experimenting with computational art +  
games in the UK was Stephen Bell when he was a student of the  
Experimental and Computing Dept at the Slade School of Art in the  
mid-70's.  Stephen is now at the UK's National Centre for Computer  
Animation in Bournemouth and he was the person who posted the  
announcement of the death of Gary Gygax to the CAS (Computer Arts  
Society) elist that I forwarded to empyre.  Back in the 70's Stephen  
was an early player of networked D&D using the early Joint Academic  
Network (JANET) in the UK (using "dumb" terminals networked to an  
Oxford Uni mainframe in downtime - 2 till 4 am) and developed some  
artworks, based on Space Wars for his postgrad show at the Slade in 79.

Even earlier was the ECOGame by George Mallen et al exhibited at  
Computer 70 and then the First World Economic Forum in Davos (in  
71?).  Google "ecogame mallen" for links.  An early focus for the CAS  
were games and interaction though sadly a lot of the documentation  
has been lost.

Maybe I can do a little promotion for the history?  The Digital ArtS  
Histories e-list was set up a few years ago, is pretty quiet but I'd  
like to see it used more, and it's moderated so there's no spam or  
irrelevant posts.  To join:

http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk - create an account
join list DASH - Digital ArtS Histories
also list CAS  - Computer Arts Society (2008 is the 40th anniversary  
of CAS)

Also pdf copies of PAGE (the CAS bulletin) going back to 1969 can be  
downloaded via links from here:



On 12 Mar 2008, at 07:21, jonCates wrote:

> On Mar 9, 2008, at 10:18 AM, John Haber wrote:
>> 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.
> Cory Arcangel's work is of course an important point of reference  
> but he is certainly not "one of the first artists to incorporate  
> gaming into his work". as we weave these histories of Art Games in/ 
> to Media Art Histories it is crucial to keep the context of the  
> last 40 years of experimental Media Art in the forefront of memory.  
> a narrative of Art World gaming can be + is told that frames DADA,  
> Surrealism, Situationism + FLUXUS as important playful predecessors  
> to contemporary Digital, New Media Art + Art Games. for me, again  
> in the nearby pasts, i particularly appreciate"Play it by Trust" by  
> Yoko Ono from 1966 (in terms of gallery-based work) + "Prisoners'  
> Dilemma" by Richard Serra from 1974 (in terms of experimental Media  
> Art) as important/inspirational points of reference + critical  
> engagements.
> // jonCates
> # Assistant Professor - Film, Video & New Media
> # The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
> # http://saic.edu/~jcates
> # Game As Art, Art as Game
> # http://artgames.ning.com
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Paul Brown - based in OZ Dec 07 - Apr 08
mailto:paul at paul-brown.com == http://www.paul-brown.com
OZ Landline +61 (0)7 5443 3491 == USA fax +1 309 216 9900
OZ Mobile +61 (0)419 72 74 85 == Skype paul-g-brown
Visiting Professor - Sussex University

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