8 Bit : A documentary history of Video Games + Art
As part of ACMI’s current ‘Game On‘ exhibition, ‘8Bit the movie’ hits Melbourne shortly – a decent rummage through the history of the computer game and it’s intersection with the art world, with culture, with the creation of meaning in the world. Aye, this means lots of talking heads and archival footage, but passionate peoples abound, gleefully reminiscing about their early exposure to computer games, and subsequent integration of games into their various art practices, music-making, storytelling and media creation.
History is a construct, but at least this version is colourful, choosing to include early software hackers, and computer game crackers in the computer hall of fame, and then later people like Johan Kotlinkski – the creator of the LSDJ software which enabled live music making on the Nintendo Gameboy, Oliver Wittchow ( who made a similarly seminal piece of software, Nanoloop ), Alex Galloway who created an artwork out of the bugs in the Tony Hawk playstation release, Eddo Stern talking about trying to overcome the novelty factor in machinima ( cinema made using a game engine ), Mary Flanagan discussing the mastery of power, fantasy and control within a computer game, Cory Arcangel who loves to create game-based art ( eg mario brothers minus everything except the clouds ) and facilitate others making their own games, Team Tendo wearing bear suits while performing in Paris, This Spartan Life who conduct talkshow interviews within an online shooter and Ed Halter, author of ‘Sun Tzu to Xbox : War and Videogames’, who points out that games play people as much as people play games – the game player not so much being in control of a game, but only being part of the circuit that completes the algorithim. All up a pretty entertaining and provocative crowd – with a relentlessly upbeat soundtrack, dripping with that distinctive early computer chip sound.
8Bit Afterparty with DJ TR!P, Dot.Ay, 10kfreemen + Maddest Kings Alive
Crazy little pre-Anzac day holiday convergence happening @ Horse Bazaar – a stellar line-up of 8-Bit-hitters : DJ TR!P from Adelaide ( SID Vicious album launch), Dot.Ay from Brisbane, 10kfreemen from Sydney ( http://10kfreemen.com) and Maddest Kings Alive from Perth ( now living in Melb ). Rounding out that crazy line-up is game related panoramic video across 6 screens by myself + Keith Deverell, and two other events on either side – OffBeat DJ residents Lephrenic & Sea from 8-10, and the Make It Up Club DJs continuing after the 8Bitness. “Bring it!”