[-empyre-] On Making (Critical) Decisions from Romania to China to Latin America to the US

Victoria Szabo vszabo at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 03:10:36 EST 2014

Thinking about this question of critical decision making I wonder how/whether the game environment in particular contributes to or reinforces the paradigm we are attempting to critique. Obviously Joyce and I are implicated the choice we have made to pursue the video game platform as a site for exploring these questions. On the one hand the necessarily crude decision making process that happens visibly within gamespace is one that we are highlighting, and paralleling consciously to the ways in which a culture of diagnosis and testing simplifies human experience. I'm thinking as I write this about the recent news reports on the emerging diagnostic of "sluggish cognitive tempo" - a term I'm practically salivating to incorporate into our game environment.  Yet we are ultimately also enthusiastic about this platform as a multimodal expression engine and site for potentially thick and rich descriptions. What does everyone think? Are we claiming freedom but still ultimately completely re-inscribed by the limits of our medium? I don't mind sacrificing purity for complexity, but trying to think through the powerful framework of games and gaming as a world ordering device not only for our artistic practice but also commerce, politics, war, peace, relationships, identity, and everything else.

On Apr 12, 2014, at 11:05 PM, Timothy Conway Murray <tcm1 at CORNELL.EDU> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi, Michael,
> That's so interesting that you've chosen to point our conversation towa
> dss and critical decision making.   This emphasis on criticality seems to
> be the common thread of this week's first posts by our featured guests.
> What's fascinating to me is how our other guests of the week have
> highlighted concrete examples of how critical decision making has shaped
> their critical media interventions.  Calin writes of how his early
> collaborations with cinema ikon "sought to (ironically) dismantle the
> manipulative strategies of the national media."  In her welcome post from
> China, Denisa hails the counter movement of the Shanzhai phone hackers to
> "strengthen the resilience and creativity of the maker movement as a new
> force ignoring common geopolitical divisions and embracing any possibility
> for grassroots innovation." And Victoria and Joyce shape a game that
> critiques "the culture of psychological diagnosis and treatment within the
> context of a highly mediated consumer culture that often produces the ills
> it purports to treat."
> Picking up on Michael's emphasis on critical decision making, I'm
> wondering if everyone else would want to highlight not simply how critique
> functions in their work but how also critique itself might be shaped by
> the critical decision making and dss behind your projects.
> Thanks for sharing such fascinating and edgy projects with our community.
> Although your posts highlight various international efforts, ranging from
> Romania and China to the US, I'm wondering also how your concerns about
> "international" collaboration via Kinema Ikon, hacker groups or HASTAC
> might also flavor your decision making.
> Thanks so much.
> Tim
> On 4/11/14 3:57 PM, "michael simeone" <mpsimeon at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
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