Playlist. Playing Games, Music, Art

Friday, December 18, 2009 17:40

Playlist, an exhibition on the relation between videogames, music and art kicks off this afternoon at LABoral, Centro de Arte y Creaciòn Industrial in Asturias, Spain. The exhibition will run through to May 17 2009.

Images from PLAYLIST courtesy LABoral

Playlist traces a paths through the works of those creators that, during the 90s, worked with obsolete technology – such as vinyl records, old and outdated computers and game paltforms – to create new musical instruments or visualization tools.

The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to listen to music, wander around the unique atmosphere of the 8bit music event and touch with their own hands the devices designed by the artists themselves for creating music and the visuals that accompany their sessions, devices that are often works of art in themselves. The exhibition creates a context for this kind of experimentation, putting on display some early examples of how obsolete media have been reinvented, as well as some from the more recent exploration in to the potential of outdated videogames form the visual arts.

Part of the exhibition is dedicated to to visual art produced by members of the 8bit community – musicians or vjs – when they are on stage.

Playlist. Playing Games, Music, Art

Domenico Quaranta

Alexel Shulgin, Images courtesy LABoral

Along the Twentieth Century, music has often been the driving force behind crucial innovations in visual arts, and the starting point for many artists. Without forgetting the role played by music in the
development of abstract art, it was mainly during the Sixties that music provided a fertile ground for new approaches, new theories, new art forms, new aesthetics. John Cage was a musician working with artists and engineers. The very first performance (the Untitled Event at Black Mountain College in 1952) was a musical event, such as many Fluxus events during the Sixties.

Furthermore, Fluxus adopted music notation for its peculiar “scores”. It was thinking to music that Umberto Eco first introduced the concept of “opera aperta”. And at the very beginning of Video Art lies the manipulation of the electronic signal, first experimented by Nam June Paik in music.

Playlist is an exhibition that wants to explore the role played by music in the adoption and manipulation, since the mid Nineties, of obsolete, digital as well as analogue, technologies: vinyls, old computers, game platforms and alikes. It’s our feeling, on the one hand, that electronic music culture has been of great importance for the development of low-tech, home-based media art; and, on the other hand, that – such as for the early Video Art – the manipulation of the digital stream is mainly grounded in musical research.

The core of Playlist will be the exploration of the “8bit movement”, spread out from the manipulation of obsolete game technologies in order to create new instruments to play music. The show will demonstrate that the retrogaming phenomenon in visual arts can be considered an outfit of a pretty musical phenomenon, that in a bunch of years spread out all over the world through festivals and clubs, occasionally influencing mainstream musicians; and that visual and musical research progressed on parallel paths, in the quest for lo-res sounds and aesthetics, synthetic colors and notes. For the first time, retro-gaming will be explored through the lens of musical production and distribution, displaying not only tracks, but instruments, tools, softwares and hardwares, skins and graphics, but also discographies, platforms and communities.

Thus, Playlist will serve as a starting point for an archive / collection of materials produced by artists and musicians, and as a relational context where visitors can practice with tools produced by artists, and take part in workshops, lectures, improvised performances.

Furthermore, Playlist will try to provide a context for this kind of research, not necessarily game related, selecting seminal projects and artists that helped forging the conceptual frame in which retro-gaming took place.

CURATOR: Domenico Quaranta
DATES: 18.12.2009 – 17.05.2010
VENUE: Mediateca Expandida de LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación
Industrial (Los Prados, 121, 33394 Gijón – Asturias)

Paul B. Davis (UK), Jeff Donaldson / NoteNdo (DE), Dragan Espenschied
(DE), Gino Esposto / (CH), Gijs Gieskes (NL), André
Gonçalves (PT), Mike Johnston / Mike in Mono (UK), Joey Mariano /
Animal Style (US), Raquel Meyers (SP), Mikro Orchestra (PL), Don
Miller / No-carrier (US), Jeremiah Johnson / Nullsleep (US), Tristan
Perich (US), Rabato (SP), Gebhard Sengmüller (AT), Alexei Shulgin
(RU), Paul Slocum (USA), Tonylight (IT), VjVISUALOOP (IT).

Texts by Matteo Bittanti, Kevin Driscoll and Joshua Diaz, Ed Halter,
Domenico Quaranta. Music CD included.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Playlist. Playing Games, Music, Art”

  1. firescience says:

    December 18th, 2009 at %I:%M %p

    Cluster | City – Design – Innovation: development of abstract art, it was mainly during the Sixties that music ..

  2. firescience says:

    December 19th, 2009 at %I:%M %p

    Cluster | City – Design – Innovation: development of abstract art, it was mainly during the Sixties that music ..

Leave a Reply