[-empyre-] Week 2 on empyre: Soraya Murray and Joseph DeLappe

Soraya Murray semurray at ucsc.edu
Sun Mar 10 09:08:24 EST 2013

Hi Claudia and All,

Regarding the library, we do have a smallish library of games here in our science library. It seems to generally follow the format of a media checkout lab with both games and consoles that are available for borrowing. 

Game play in a classroom situation can take place in sections, where smaller groups are able to engage with the consoles firsthand. As my course is qualified as an introduction to a specific area, it presumes no pre-existing knowledge, and so it does not assume students have consoles or access to them.  My class does not have sections (not my choice) so I  show walkthroughs for the benefit of those who have not had firsthand experience.  I have tried game play in the large lecture format, and generally it isn't very successful as students themselves cannot have their hands on the controllers. So, for most, it ends up being a kind of walkthrough anyway...

The students who take my class are all interested in games, but have varying levels of exposure to them. Some do not play, some are gamers, and some are computer science students interested in making games themselves. There are, increasingly, students also interested in being game critics or art direction creatives who aren't overly interested in becoming coders, but are deeply invested in aesthetics, audio, and story in games.

Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Film and Digital Media Department
1156 High Street
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

On Mar 9, 2013, at 1:39 PM, Claudia Pederson wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM, Claudia Pederson <ccp9 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> Thank you Soraya for speaking about your experiences teaching your course on videogames. Yes, I do remember the Grand Theft Auto controversy then. I played for a bit and then got bored of wondering around in the city. It is interesting that you mention the relationship between games and production, I think that Games of Empire tried to grapple with that question though in the end the focus was not at all on intervention and on the role of artists in this process. Frankly I found it a bit alarmist given that those same forces also provided ways for contestation, if even unknowingly. I am interested in that dynamic in interest of expanding the idea that art and production reflect similar conditions.     
> As an aside, a few years ago, I tried to inquire about the possibility of beginning a library of videogames at Cornell which turned out to be a bit of a project as I was informed, given that there are no models as to using the medium in academia, expect for dedicated production classes. I know that some professors opt for teaching the literature leaving game play to the prerogative of students. How does this work at UC Santa Cruz? is there any relationship between production classes and your own? what kind of students are interested in taking your course?     
> Also, I know that Joseph was part of a documentary effort "Returning Fire" (2011), which I showed to a class with great success. (http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=152). Perhaps Joseph you could speak about this experience in so far as it suggests that your interventions are constructed to focus attention to the gaming world in a broad context, just as your work with the Yesmen? I know that your work draws on conceptual art, how do the gaming projects fit in?         
> On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM, Renate Ferro <rtf9 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks to all who participated in Week one in March.  Claudia and I
> would like to introduce the second week of guests.  we look forward to
> hearing from Soraya Murray who is friend from Cornell who currently
> teaches at Santa Cruz and Joseph DeLappe who has been a former guest
> on empyre.  Looking forward to it.
> Soraya Murray
> Soraya Murray holds a Ph.D. in art history from Cornell University. An
> Assistant Professor in Film and Digital Media at the University of
> California, Santa Cruz, she is also faculty in the Digital Arts and
> New Media MFA Program. Murray is an interdisciplinary scholar who
> focuses on contemporary visual culture, with particular interest in
> new media, cultural studies and globalization in the arts.  Her
> writings have been published in Art Journal, Nka: Journal of
> Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, Third Text  and PAJ: A
> Journal of Performance and Art. Murray inaugurated a course on UCSC's
> campus entitled "Video Games as Visual Culture" which promotes the
> study of games for their cultural meanings, visual analysis, as well
> as social and theoretical contexts.
> --
> Joseph DeLappe
> Joseph DeLappe is a Professor of the Department of Art at the
> University of Nevada where he directs the Digital Media program.
> Working with electronic and new media since 1983, his work in online
> gaming performance and electromechanical installation have been shown
> throughout the United States and abroad - including exhibitions and
> performances in Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Spain,
> Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada. In 2006 he began a project
> dead-in-iraq , to type consecutively, all names of America's military
> casualties from the war in Iraq into the America's Army first person
> shooter online recruiting game. He also directs the iraqimemorial.org
> project, an ongoing web based exhibition and open call for proposed
> memorials to the many thousand of civilian casualties from the war in
> Iraq. He has lectured throughout the world regarding his work,
> including most recently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
> He has been interviewed on CNN, NPR, CBC, the Australian Broadcasting
> Corporation and on The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America Radio. His
> works have been featured in The New York Times, The Australian Morning
> Herald, Artweek, Art in America and in the 2010 book from Routledge
> entitled Joystick Soldiers The Politics of Play in Military Video
> Game.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
> Cornell University
> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office #420
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
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> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net
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