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Archive of the category 'Interview'

Text and Interview for the Exhibition “An 8-bit Moment in Gameplay,” by Eduardo Navas

Image and text source: gallery@calit2

The following text and interview were written for the exhibition “An 8-bit Moment in Gameplay: [giantJoystick],” featuring a ten-foot scale working model of the Atari Joystick by artist and media theorist, Mary Flanagan. The exhibition takes place from February 4 to March 17, 2008. You can read more about it at http://gallery.calit2.net.

Both, text and interview, focus in part on the concept of gameplay and its relation to the mainstream as well as the fine arts. The texts are worth archiving in Remix Theory because they shed light on video game culture which, as it’s no secret, relies extensively in concepts of appropriation intimately linked to the current practice of remixing (Remix). For instance, video game players, or gamers, are no longer only expected to play games as out of a package, or as released online; gamers are expected to actually contribute to the game infrastructure by customizing it, either for personal play, or for the enjoyment of the larger community, following the tradition of open source. Examples of this activity are numerous (see Wikipedia list).

Video game culture is in large part fueled by the same principles that have made networked culture possible: the possibility to share and remix code as desired, to then re-release it for the community to use and improve upon, again. This tendency follows my proposition about the blogger which encapsulates a consumer/producer model that is proactive in media culture. Some skepticism is healthy here, and it must be acknowledged that romanticizing such model is a real danger for new media and remix culture.

The following texts, then, offer a window to some of the issues that inform gameplay today. The texts can be considered valuable because they reflect upon and extend the opinion of one of today’s gameplay insiders, Mary Flanagan.

TEXT: An 8-bit Moment in Gameplay: [giantJoystick]

gallery@calit2
Atkinson Hall
University of California, San Diego
February 4 to March 17, 2008
Featuring [giantJoystick] by Mary Flanigan

gallery@calit2 proudly presents “An 8-bit Moment in Gameplay: [giantJoystick],” featuring a working, large-scale game-interface-sculpture designed for collaborative play by artist and media theorist Mary Flanagan. [giantJoystick] (2006) takes us back to the early days of video games when they entered the home. It features classic Atari games from the 1980s, including Adventure, Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Circus Atari, Gravitar, Missile Command, Pong, Volleyball, and Yar’s Revenge. The recontextualization of such classics opens a space to reflect on the brief and dense history of video games and the aesthetics of play.

Video game consoles, which offered low-resolution graphics known as 8-bit, were made popular in large part by Atari in 1977. However, video games did not enter the average household in full force until the early 1980s. To many, the years 1979 to 1986 are remembered as the “golden age” of video games – a period when popular culture would also be exposed to digital technology with the introduction of the personal computer. It is, then, not surprising that video games entered the home in this time period. Flanagan’s [giantJoystick] takes us back to this pivotal moment by turning the Atari joystick into a work of art, which carefully combines her interests in art-making as well as gameplay.

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Environmental Activist Questions the Goals of Globalization

VANDANA SHIVA

Image and text source: The News Hour

In the fourth installment in a series of conversations about the impact of globalization, NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman interviews Vandana Shiva, an activist at the forefront of the fight against globalization for nearly three decades.

PAUL SOLMAN: For three decades, physicist Vandana Shiva has been a key activist in the fight against globalization, especially in her native India, where she says it threatens hundreds of millions of peasants still down on the farm.

She’s accused beverage companies of stealing the people’s water in India, this footage by a new documentary by Swedish filmmakers PeA Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian.

Outside the European patent office, Shiva challenged corporate patents of seeds, what she calls the biopiracy of natural resources.

VANDANA SHIVA, Physicist: Our world is not for sale.

Read the entire interview at  The News Hour

Eduardo Navas Interview, by Greg Smith

Image source: galibier design‘s quattro turntable

Text source: Serial Consign

Original post: September 24, 2007

One of my favourite blogs over the last year has been Remix Theory, a writing project quarterbacked by media theorist and artist Eduardo Navas. Eduardo is also the author of Remediative and Reflexive Mashups in Sampling Culture, a fantastic essay that beat-juggles a variety of paradigms that range from remix history through to data mashups. Eduardo and I have been firing questions back and forth over email for a few weeks and he has provided a compelling window into his research.

How did you get started researching the remix as a critical paradigm?

It was more a matter of bringing together activities that I had been exploring throughout my life. At the age of 12, during the early eighties, I became a break-dancer and at the age of 18, or so, I bought my own turntables and sound system. Then I began to DJ in the Los Angeles area, something I would do until 2001 or so. During this time I also played percussion in a couple of Salsa cover bands. I was also very involved in the visual arts since I was a kid, and when I reached my mid-twenties I decided to focus in art as a profession and enrolled in art school in the mid-1990’s.

I eventually got a BFA from Otis College of Art, followed by a residency at Skowhegan School of Art, and then I received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. It was during my Graduate studies at Cal Arts when I became heavily invested in New Media. While at Cal Arts, I also played percussion with the Cal Arts Latin Jazz Band, and I also developed various music projects with another visual artist, Justin Peloian. Obviously, being part of a visual arts program meant that I would make “art” and so I was also heavily invested in studio based art. I was very influenced by Conceptualism. I simply loved (and still love) ideas, and I embraced my time at Cal Arts because the school has very good critical thinkers teaching.

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DJ Spooky: How a Tiny Caribbean Island Birthed the Mashup, by Scott Thill

Image and text source: Wired

July 12, 2007

Paul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, has been producing beat-heavy electronic music for more than a decade. From his early solo trip-hop efforts to his more recent collaborations with jazz giants, Spooky has always approached music from multiple angles at once. He has the chops of a musician, the genre-blending ear of a disc jockey and the conceptual vision of a performance artist.

It was therefore no surprise when Trojan Records, a reggae label entering its 40th year, asked DJ Spooky to put together a mix showcasing tracks from its massive archives. When assembling >In Fine Style: DJ Spooky Presents 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records, one of several mixes commissioned to mark the Trojan birthday, Miller found countless parallels between the Jamaican reggae scene of the 1960s and ’70s and the digital mashup ecosystem of today. (See Upgrading Jamaica’s Cultural Shareware: Trojan Records at 40.)

Read the entire article at Wired

Web 2.0: What Is A Mash Up? Marshall Kirkpatrick Video Interview, by Robin Good


Photo credit: (cc) Beth Kanter

Image and text source: Robin Good

Originally published on October 17, 2006

Web 2.0 has unleashed an era of online participation, personalization and interoperability set to change the way we network, do business and interact with the media that engulf us.

One of the most exciting developments in recent times is that of the Mash Up. The term Mash-Up can seem initially confusing, especially as it has more than one meaning. As Wikipedia points out a Mash Up can refer to:

  1. A Musical Mash Up that works on the basis of cutting often mismatched samples together to create new and interesting hybrids in dgital music. One of most famous musical Mash Ups of recent times is the now banned DJ Danger Mouse album ‘The Grey Album’ – created from the fusion of The Beatles White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album.
  2. A Video Mash Up in which video and audio from different sources is cut together into a new Mashed Up union. One of the best video Mash Ups of recent times has to be the Bush/Blair Gay Bar video.
  3. A Mash-Up “Web Application hybrid“, which seamlessly combines tools or data from one or more online sources into a new, integrated whole. Examples of this latter type of Mash Up, the focus of our Marshall Kirkpatrick interview, can be found in abundance at Programmable Web.

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Entrevista a Eduardo Navas // artista, historiador y crítico especializado en nuevos medios, por: yto.cl

Online Project:
Chloë
(Six year old professional model)

February 2001

Note: This interview was originally published by Yto (Isabel Aranda) in the Magazine Escaner Cultural, August 2007, based in Santiago de Chile. It is currently only available in Spanish.

Image source: navasse.net/cloeyStart/

Text source: revista.escaner.cl/node/279

Eduardo Navas es artista, historiador y crítico especializado en nuevos medios; su obra y teorías han sido presentadas en varios lugares en Estados Unidos, Latino América y Europa. Ha sido jurado para ” Turbulence.org” en 2004, también fue jurado para las comisiones de “Rhizome.org” de 2006-07, en Nueva York.

Navas es fundador y editor contribuyente de “Net Art Review” (2003-2005), y co-fundador de “newmediaFIX” (desde 2005). Actualmente, Navas es docente de práctica de multimedia en la Universidad del Estado en San Diego (SDSU), y es candidato al doctorado en letras en el Departamento de Historia de Arte y Medios de Comunicación, Teoría y Crítica, en el programa de Bellas Artes en la Universidad de San Diego California (UCSD).

Cuéntame un poco sobre tu infancia, por favor…

Nací en 1969 en El Salvador, Centro América, y emigré a Los Estados Unidos en 1980, en donde he crecido como ciudadano naturalizado.

¿Cuándo descubriste que tu camino era el arte?

Siempre lo supe. Mis modelos fueron mis hermanos Max y Ricardo, quienes dibujaban mucho. Ellos coleccionaban paquines (historietas cómicas en forma de revista). Maximiliano, mi hermano mayor, había tenido un curso por correo para aprender a dibujar caricaturas. El nunca lo terminó, pero guardó todas las lecciones, las cuales yo terminé usando. Yo practicaba a dibujar los ejemplos en cada lección y después con los años comencé a copiar dibujos cómicos, más que todos de paquines de súper héroes. Mis favoritos eran del Hombre Araña, y los Cuatro Fantásticos. Pero en El Salvador más que todo se encontraban paquines de Superman y otros personajes de la compañía DC Comics. Así que cuando encontraba un paquin del Hombre Araña, publicado por Marvel, era prácticamente de oro para mí. Al llegar a los Estado Unidos me volví loco comprando paquines del Hombre Araña, Los Cuatro Fantásticos, entre otros. Era como un sueño poder ir a una tienda especializada de paquines y ver tantos de ellos ahí. Pero llegó un momento en el cual pude dibujar con facilidad y me pregunté que más se podría hacer con el arte, una vez que uno llega a dibujar más o menos bien. Creo que fue ahí donde mi interés en la práctica crítica comenzó.

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Democrats Face Voter Questions in New Format

Text and image source: The News Hour

Note: We are definitely entering a new stage of mass opinion.  The fact that Youtube is playing a role in the next U.S. elections demonstrates the ease incorporation of web 2.0 in mainstream culture: the individual can apparently express opinions and be heard like never before, but how effective is this, really?  The analysts interviewed in the feature below express the outcome to be more or less business as usual as most candidates got to promote their own agendas, while immersing in new media culture.   

Democratic presidential hopefuls fielded questions directly from the voters Monday in a debate sponsored by CNN and the video sharing Web site YouTube. A reporter and political analyst discuss the candidates’ answers and new debate format.

GWEN IFILL: It was yet another candidates’ forum, but last night, the questions came from Internet-savvy Democrats.

REMY MUNASIFI, McLean, Virginia: My taxes put some kids through college, I can’t afford to send myself. Now, tell me, if you were elected president, what would you do to help?

GWEN IFILL: YouTube, the wildly successful Internet video-sharing service, joined with CNN to host the debate at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. CNN screened 3,000 submissions. The ones that aired ranged from serious and emotional…

Read the entire feature at  The News Hour

Charlie Rose – Shakespeare in Literature and Film (Remix) [reblog from Google Video]

Image and video source: Google Video

Note: Though the term “Remix” may be over-extended in this particular video interview with Harold Bloom by Charlie Rose, one is more than likely to learn a few things about important literary texts and their current interpretations.

Watch the entire video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?
docid=-3586098824214298816

Rival Manufacturers Chasing the iPhone, By Martin Fackler

Image and text source: NY Times

July 2, 2007

SEOUL, South Korea, June 29 — While Americans have been blitzed with news about the iPhone’s debut, many in South Korea’s and Japan’s technology industries initially greeted Apple’s flashy new handset with yawns.

Pantech’s design center in Seoul, South Korea. An executive at the company says that riding on Apple’s coattails may turn out to be the best business strategy.

Cellphones in these technology-saturated countries can already play digital songs and video games and receive satellite television. But now that analysts and industry executives are getting their first good look at the iPhone, many here are concerned that Asian manufacturers may have underestimated the Apple threat.

Read the entire article at NY Times

Deleuze/Guattari: Remix Culture, Paul D. Miller Interviews Carlo Simula

Image source: Dusty Groove

Text source: Nettime.org and Djspooky.com

November 20, 2005
The following is an interview with Carlo Simula for his book
MILLESUONI. OMAGGIO A DELEUZE E GUATTARI (Cronopio Edizioni)

Contributions will include Guy-Marc Hinant (Sub Rosa), Philippe Franck (transcultures, le maubege), Bernhard Lang, Tim Murphy, Achim Szepanski – and many others. I think it’s an update on some issues that have been percolating.

Smell the brew.
Paul,
Tunis, Tunisia 11/20/05

1) You’ve often referred in your interviews to how much contemporary philosophy has influenced your work. Foucault said “Un jour, peut-être, le siècle sera deleuzien”, how much and in which way Deleuze and Guattari influenced you? And what you feel is interesting in their work?

The idea of the “remix” is pretty trendy these days – as usual people tend to “script” over the multi-cultural links: the economics of “re-purposing,” “outsourcing” and above all, of living in an “experience economy” – these are things that fuel African American culture, and it’s active dissemination in all of the diaspora of Afro-Modernity. My take on Deleuze and Guattari is to apply a “logic of the particular” to the concept of contemporary art. Basically it’s to say that software has undermined all of the categories of previous production models, and in turn, molded the “computational models” of how “cultural capital,” as Pierre Bourdieu coined it, mirrors various kinds of production models in a world where “sampling” (mathematical and musical), has become the global language of urban youth culture. Eduoard Glissant, the Afro-Caribbean philosopher/linguist liked to call this “creolization” – I like to call it “the remix.” Philosophy is basically a reflective activity. It always requires a surface to bounce off of. We don’t exist in a cultural vacuum.

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