[-empyre-] art games pre computers

Margarete Jahrmann margarete.jahrmann at zhdk.ch
Wed Mar 19 03:43:28 EST 2008

"each chess player is an artist, whereas not each artist is a chess player.
.. for most of them it would be better to play (chess) anyway."
M. Duchamp

yes, pre computerized art games in Dada, fluxus, siuationisme,
Rose Sélavy and the role of alter egos - in Zurich Dada.
I suggested recently also to consider Rokoko and Baroque as a source-
especially taking into account the role of the masquerade.
E. Strouhal did write on it, he has a submission on CHESS in arts
history also in the Ludic society magazine issue2.

..that's an amusing description of a chess play between the grandmaster
Francois le Lionnais, also OULIPO member and Duchamp.

In arts namely the Chess systems of Duchamp did get well known. also his
performances at the Passadena arts museum in the 60ties together with
Eva Babitz.
Then the coalition Chess of the 12tone-music pioneer Arnold Schoenberg.
it very interestingly changes the rules of play -- even of Chess --
towards a coalition game.
Alice Becker Hoe, a long term partner of Guy Debord developed a
situationist piece chess together with Debord.
Yoko Ono did work on a completely white chess - dissolving the black vs.
white vs black order..

white to play and win
grete ludologica

Jason Nelson schrieb:
> this might have already been covered in this conversation, and I am sure
> there are ample materials already available, but it might be useful to discuss
> art games created prior to computer based games.
> my reasoning: I'm curious if the majority of 'art games' or whatever you want
> to call them, were created post computing era. certainly there are examples
> of pre computing era "games created by artists as artworks", and there are
> many created now without any code involved.  but is there a connection between
> the increase in "games created by artists" and the wide spread use of computers?
> if so, why might this be the case?
> is it a distribution issue?  meaning did many artists adjust board games in the 40s,
> but then not have the capital to reproduce them?  and the net has simply opened
> the availability?   or is there something in computer games that has sparked artists?
> what is that?
> if this is common knowledge to everyone else or already covered here....then simple
> references would help....
> cheers, Jason
> Jim Andrews <jim at vispo.com> wrote:
> Here's a book of essays edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell called
> Videogames and Art:
> http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/226001.ctl
> Among other essays, this includes "Videogames as Literary Devices" by me.
> Which looks at
> The Intruder, Natalie Bookchin
> Viewing Axolotls, Regina Celia Pinto
> Pac Mondrian, Neil Hennessey & friends
> Arteroids, Jim Andrews
> The essay looks at the various degrees of subordination of game to art in
> these four pieces.
> Here are links to these online games:
> Arteroids: http://vispo.com/arteroids
> Pac Mondrian: http://pbfb.ca/pac-mondrian
> Viewing Axolotls: http://arteonline.arq.br/viewing_axolotls
> The Intruder: http://bookchin.net/intruder
> Jason Nelson raises the issue of "games as art or art as game". The Intruder
> and Viewing Axolotls strongly subordinate game to art, whereas Pac Mondrian
> and Arteroids don't subordinate game to art that way. Yet all four pieces
> are most interesting not as computer games but in their artistic dimensions.
> A 'literary device' is a little engine of literary perception. Metaphors,
> figure of speech, similes, plot reversals, and so on, are what are
> traditionally associated with the term 'literary device'. In digital
> literary art, games also can be 'literary devices'.
> William Carlos Williams, in the late fifties or early sixties, said "A poem
> is a machine made out of words." The energy and meaning goes around and
> around through literary devices of one sort or another. Poems are playful,
> at least in that sense.
> ja
> http://vispo.com
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