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Author Topic: Games as rock and roll?  (Read 8486 times)
Michaël Samyn

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« on: February 21, 2010, 11:29:16 AM »

I posted some extrapolations of Frank Lantz's claim that Doom does not belong in a museum because it is rock and roll. Please let me know if any of this is helpful at all.
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Jeroen D. Stout

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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 03:42:48 PM »

I very much liked this post. I think the comparison is quite excellent - this morning I put Björk on and wondered what exactly made me see Björk as 'elevated' compared to some of the pop music when it uses the same technology. But yes, I am listening to Nick Cave, who adds more to the medium - makes it harder to listen to, as well. A friend endlessly complains she thinks 'he has a horrible voice' and Metamorphosis by Philip Glass is 'just the same two tones all over again'. I like (require) my music to pose some challenge, she goes more by initial value. I think that holds for a lot of art - and we can put games in that model with it.

But games have two 'skills'; the capability and the intellectual. I think I sound like you when I pose the 'problem'; you want to listen to Nick Cave and then the CD asks you to dance well enough otherwise track 2 is inaccessible to you. You are willing to make the intellectual commitment to Siouxsie but not the menial physical capacity?

Thank you, also, for expanding my to play list!
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Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 06:47:40 PM »

Great read, it's funny that analogies with music always makes so much sense. Maybe that's how this whole project should be explained to "the public"...
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 11:26:35 PM »

But games have two 'skills'; the capability and the intellectual. I think I sound like you when I pose the 'problem'; you want to listen to Nick Cave and then the CD asks you to dance well enough otherwise track 2 is inaccessible to you. You are willing to make the intellectual commitment to Siouxsie but not the menial physical capacity?

Good point.
There's two problems: 1. I lack the physical talent to do the work and 2. It doesn't make sense to me to "dance to Nick Cave" (which results in unwillingness to learn the skill). I find it much easier to dance to Abba. Smiley
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 11:37:14 PM »

Great read, it's funny that analogies with music always makes so much sense.

I really understood the difference when visiting the ARCO art fair in Madrid last week. We were talking with our friends media artists. They all have galleries who represent them. And they were in fact encouraging us to do the same (some galleries even showed an interest in our work). But since we make software, it simply makes a lot more sense to us to just make an unlimited amount of copies and distribute them to as wide a public as possible. Commerce becomes a distribution medium. And this way of thinking is a lot closer to that of rock musicians than fine artists, I think.

Also, I actually feel a lot more comfortable thinking of Tale of Tales as a rock band than as some weird artists collective. Maybe it's because I used to play in bands. Or maybe it's because I just think too highly of Rembrandt and Bernini to dare to live in their space. I feel more comfortable making good low art than making bad high art. Smiley
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Jeroen D. Stout

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 01:00:29 PM »

I feel more comfortable making good low art than making bad high art. Smiley

Many paintings are more historically significant rather than special in their own right... surely an author like Hemmingway is high art as well?

The fear of making high art sounds, if I may make a personal observation, just like a fear of doing things 'for real'. No. If you go out there you should make the best you can. No 'but I am only a small artist'; you can play with 'the big boys', the only rule is that you must take critique like one?.. I mean a big boy like big artists, not big companies.

I am melodramatic, of course. But I would urge you to stand tall. You said before you want to inspire others. Then be a father to the art industry, not a man behind the curtains. The smaller developers need to stop this weird 'in the shades' thing. One day our work must stand up to Rembrandt, Mozart and Hemmingway. If the industry is too busy making flash-bang-bang and we are too busy saying we are not big enough then I personally  have no clue who will make highbrow games. We will need the confidence to require people to judge our work as high art. Proper artists need to reclaim the title art and be brave enough to use it as their flag.

Smiley
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 07:44:25 PM »

Thanks for the pep-talk. Wink

I'm afraid I don't believe that art still exists. Art is dead.
And I'm fine with that. Because the masters of the past have created enough work to inspire us for several life times. If I can have Bach, I really don't need anything else.

That being said, when we're talking about things that pertain specifically to our times and our contemporary world, I believe that so-called lowbrow artists are far more important that the lazy bums who spend their time in galleries and museums. Give me a Nick Cave song over a Damien Hirst sculpture any day! And I don't mean that as an anti-intellectualist remark. I think the high art world is running after its own tail and hasn't produced anything valuable for, say 50 years, maybe more (given the odd exception here and there).

But when you look at cinema and music, the picture is very different!
I'm starting to think that the old tale of the invention of photography leading to a liberation of the fine arts is a fallacy. Maybe what really happened is that painting and sculpture simply died and that photography and cinema took over.
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Jeroen D. Stout

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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 10:21:12 PM »

Art is dead, long live art? A new group may pick up the flag. Though the man who wields the dagger never becomes king Wink

I personally cannot be satisfied with having Bach. I for one am happy to have The Path as well; not that you are on the same level as Bach. But The Path is important to me on a different level. And I imagine in some decades someone will make what I can only describe as 'life-inspiring' in the field of games.

I personally resent the existence of Hirst. A friend of mine kept saying that I should not speak out on modern art so spitefully unless I looked at it properly - but whereas a single Turner can speak to me the entire Tate Modern was one large hive of idiocracy. I noted carefully that I looked at the pretty room guards more than at the red painting splashed against walls and the oversized tables. And the Turner exhibition at the Tate Britain was wonderful and portrayed life and dynamics. Hirst is not intellectualism. It is contrived, in my opinion. A dandy such as Wilde is intellectual. Knowing much, being witty and smart is intellectual. You have all the knowledge and know how to combine it. Hirst makes statements and surprises people with something new. On me that has the same effect as people showing YouTube clips from comedy shows. After 100 minutes there is just nothing funny left because the jokes contain nothing.

I still very much appreciate a man such as Ruskin and his statements about art. I think artistic films and games resemble his ideas on art a lot more than modern art. Not that Ruskin (who for his wise words was a stock-up slightly paedophilic prude) is the all-knowing. But the concept of art as a medium of communicating observation rendered more concrete through the mind of a closely studying artist is what I see art as. I am tired of tv-shows playing on my emotions and of red paint on walls making me angry. Turner's painting did not have a sad violin playing next to them. I will decide what to see in Turner. Modern art supposedly is all about interpretation but... having a sweet girl give you a courteous smile is fun to interpret because it can mean any number of pleasantries. Having her say "you are always like that" without divulging is modern art.

EDIT: Some said The Path was too modern and purposefully too vague. But although it was vague it left me satisfied with enough to think about. Wondering what it meant was more like being with a friend in a museum and noticing a satir in the shrubs and smiling to one-another going; "I wonder what that signifies?.."

(I have not spoken with someone who resents modern art for so long, I think I just ranted a little of my annoyance of it)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:24:16 PM by Jeroen D. Stout » Logged
Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 11:51:21 PM »

Thanks for sharing.  Smiley
I'm also glad you call contemporary art "modern". Because I think that's the big recent failure of modern art: to take up the challenge posed by post-modernism. They're just regurgitating the modern idiom over and over again. And each time they do, it becomes more hollow and empty. I'm actually quite upset about this because I don't think that it is a coincidence that at the same time, our societies are developing all sorts of ghostly ideologies and horrible behaviours. Art is not doing its job of pointing out what's wrong with the world (or what's beautiful in it, for that matter) and inspiring new ideas. It feels like the artists simply gave up.
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