Monday, April 25, 2005

hot pink American quarantine

Saturday afternoon I gave an artist's talk about performance and gameplay at the New Langton Arts Gallery. My powerpoint slides were hot pink, the audience small and intimate, and my comments improvised and heavily flavored with introspective confession. It was one of the most pleasurable and productive talks I've given in ages. I was especially pleased to be able to riff about Twister Cage Match, one of the San Francisco Art Institute games developed in the game design as art practice class I taught last fall. Kiyash was a brilliant partner-in-crime for some live demonstrations of performance gameplay mods, including trash-talking RPS.

A few hours and a cocktail reception later, the New Langton Art gallery was sold out for the evening performance/playtest of Organum. The playtest featured truly l33t g4m3r skills demonstrated by a beatboxer, a Tuvan throat singer and an experimental feminist improvisational opera singer collaboratively playing Organum together. Their collective sound was variously frenzied, sexy, playful, funny, alive and organic. Amazing.


After the Organum fest, Kiyash and I stayed out late in the city to go dancing at the DNA Lounge. It was an Orkut party... in other words, an online social network manifesting itself in real physical space. Yay! But of my 57 Orkut friends, mostly SF/Bay Area locals, I only saw one at the party, and he barely recognized me at first. Hmm. This clearly demonstrates something interesting about social network apps, and I am going to have danah boyd write an epic poem further explicating this point. On the other hand I saw two of my Orkut friends at the Organum event, which was really more work than social. Which clearly demonstrates some other really interesting thing about social network apps, and I am going to have ian bogost design a persuasive game to thoroughly elaborate this point.

Despite a lack of social context (Kiyash isn't even on Orkut!), I let my newly blond(ish) hair down (literally) and we found our footing pretty easily during the hip hop set... Outkast, Usher, J. Lo, 50 Cent and Notorious B.I.G... I kept waiting for the 80s set, but alas it was not meant to be.


At the Sunday Albatross Pub quiz night, Kiyash and I knew 16 fewer things than we did last Sunday. Alas. (Kiyash improved his Connect Four score, though-- the final tally was Kiyash 9, Jane 3). On our way to a pretty bad score of 28, we discovered that we really do not know much about 1) sports trivia 2) leading ladies of the '30s, '40s, and '50s or 3) so-called general knowledge that is really just more sports trivia in disguise. (Boo) Fortunately, we apparently still know much about 1) early American quarantines 2) music and 3) centrifugal devices. We named our team-of-two "Minimum Score 44" in an optimistic effort to best last week's score of 43. Again: alas.


Anonymous said...

I can't ever do well at those trivia games. I find the interest to read more books, or an Encylopedia after I the game is over. Sounds like y'all had a good time out there. Oh, and congrats on the Organum Presentation! Glad to hear it went well. I'm new to the avantgame site/blog, but I'm interested in seeing the progress of all the interesting projects :)

z said...

instead you get a haiku:

physical networks
and articulated ones
shall never combine

The Dancing Kids said...

i long to come to this "quiz night" with you. Please add it to the list of things we will do together in SF.

end transmission