As a part of Rhizome’s Seven on Seven, Ryan Trecartin and David Karp created riverofthe.net, a collection of 10 seconds or less community submitted videos. Trecartin, probably today’s most important video artist, and David Karp, creator of tumblr, were brought together, along with several other artists and technologists, by Rhizome back in 2010. Anyone can easily submit, and the more videos the better, because one of the only negative aspects is seeing videos you’ve already viewed before. It’s an incredibly simple and effective idea, which showcases videos that are typically more interesting than most video art out there.
Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.
Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something. BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game. I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.
Animator Michael Langan completed the short film Doxology for his thesis in the RISD animation program. The film combines a plethora of unusual animation techniques to create “an experimental comedy about tennis, dancing cars, and God.” Click here to watch it.