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Its a game depending on the accumulated knowledge, attitude, frame of mind and mood of all its participants
Protocols of Collaboration Jonas Runberger A10

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Bleep is an onomatopoeic word describing what the tones sound like, i.e. with a limited range and a predilection for distortion of the tone into a byong or a dyoo.
The Music IS PLAYING Peter Bryngelsson B18

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In spite of this amazing diversity, all these unplayable games point their weapons to the same target: the notion of interactivity, a typical byproduct of the digital media propaganda that smoothly runs through the established new media arts landscape.
No Cheats for the Unplayable Games Vanni Brusadin C4

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The real game is to insert ones self into that space and those flows, even if against the law, and to gain ground, or just survive, by outpacing them.
Transurbanism: From Vice City to My City Benjamin H. Bratton G5

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Operators of todays and tomorrows must understand clearly the terminology and physical principles relating to the stats of their systems so they can operate with precision and effectiveness.
softs fragile: blind in the sky report Joan Leandre D14

Each of these competing realities is articulated as such through our design of the capabilities and attributes of the Player, the spaces they interact with, and the rules of the game.
Architecture, Time, and Geological Drift Ed Keller E15

Re-approaching is a military term meaning to dig in to the enemy, to close in on him by stretching the trenches centimetre by centimetre under a situation of siege. This is somehow a metaphor over the project with two important elements lacking: first an enemy, second a war.
A Multiplayer Editorial H3

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it could always be played differently, and the fact that new rules can never be derived from old ones, but always appear as irregularities and infractions, can just as well constitute an injunction to revolutionize the game.
The Name of the Game Sven-Olov Wallenstein F19

RAM1
ReApproaching new Media 1
the issue of representation and control interaction in computer games www.ram-net.net

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RAM | RE-APPROACHING NEW MEDIA is a collaboration project based in Northern Europe run by separate organisations which are all exploring new media in relation to contemporary art and culture. During three years (2001-2004), the coorganisations of RAM will host a series of international and interdisciplinary workshops re-approaching the use and discourse of current tools and processes. The aim with the workshops is to provoke a productive and critical dialogue and an exchange between different artistic cultures using new media as tools in their practice, but also to encourage the creation of new tools and forms of expression/communication. Each workshop will be accompanied by a digital as well as a printed publication based on the same theme as the workshop. This publication will operate as a forum that will make the workshop results and conversations available to a larger international audience. RAM is co-ordinated by the non-profit organisation CRAC - Creative Room for Art and Computing (Stockholm) in collaboration with Atelier Nord (Oslo), E-Media Center (Tallinn), Olento (Helsinki), RIXC (Riga) and VILMA/Jutempus (Vilnius) RAM HQ: sgatan 176, 116 32 Stockholm, Sweden Creative Room for Art and Computing www.ram-net.net | www.crac.org Tel: +46 8 650 40 90 Fax: +46 8 644 24 56 E: ram@crac.org

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Re-approaching new media is a project with the support of the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union.

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ram1 contents
editorial: MultiplayerEditorial articles: No Cheats for the Unplayable Games | Vanni Brusadin Transurbanism: From Vice City to My City | Benjamin H. Bratton Protocols of Collaboration | Jonas Runberger softs fragile: blind in the sky report | Joan Leandre Architecture, Time, and Geological Drift | Ed Keller the Music IS PLAYING | Peter Bryngelsson The Name of the Game | Sven-Olov Wallenstein H3

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MultiplayerEditorial
Johanna Molvin (JM) [27.01.03]: The title of this project suggests new media as both an object and a subject. Either someone or something is (or at least should be) re-approaching new media OR new media is the agent itself and reapproaching is its predicate (the re-approaching new media). Both readings imply reflexion and self-awareness towards the use of information- and communication technologies. Knowing that you wrote this title, how do you read it - one and a half years later and now in relation to the first workshop on computer games? Nils Claesson (NC) [02.02.03]: Re-approaching is a military term meaning to dig in to the enemy, to close in on him by stretching the trenches centimetre

workshop | Visby November 2002: Workshop Report | RAM1 Beginning 1 | Background Beginning 2 | Participants Beginning 3 | Speakers Beginning 4 | Presentations project room: Sonic Pong | Stockholm:Visby forthcoming: RAM2 | Oslo hosted by Atelier Nord, Norway RAM3 | Tallinn hosted by E-Media Center, Estonia RAM4 | Helsinki hosted by Olento, Finland RAM5 | Riga hosted by RIXC, Latvia RAM6 | Vilnius hosted by VILMA / Jutempus, Lithuania guidelines: This is not ONE publication | Jonas Runberger Weimaraner Chapping Doe Another (un)related Printed Matter links: Workshop Participants Visby Fast Link Session credits: Workshop and Publications

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With the financial assistance of the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology.

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Re-approaching new media No 1 received additional support from the Swedish Institute.

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www.digra.org www.playresearch.com www.digitalgamearchive.org www.chi2003.org www.joystick101.org www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab www.zgdv.de/TIDSE03 www.gdconf.com www.gc-germany.de www.adcog.org www.kinonet.com/conferences/cosign2002 www.siggraph.org www.gamesconference.org www.uni.lodz.pl/kmk www.humlab.umu.se www.game-research.com www.gamestudies.org www.game-culture.com www.jakaranda.org/frasca www.manovich.net lacan.com www.next-movies.com www.infopool.org.uk www.rhizome.org www.nettime.org www.open-organizations.org www.mediamatic.net www.metamute.com www.telepolis.de www.world-information.org http://subsol.c3.hu www.ctheory.com www.situationist.cjb.net

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by centimetre under a situation of siege. This is somehow a metaphor over the project with two important elements lacking: first an enemy, second a war. But if the enemy exists, this enemy is our own artist activity, our own beautiful minds. If a war exists it could be about the ability to produce projects with a capability to engage masses of people: to learn to know and exploit the real potential of new media. Here the enemy could be the new media community in itself: enclosed in its own circles and codes.

Beginning 1 Background

No Cheats for the Unplayable Games Vanni Brusadin


From the 60s MIT labs to conceptual hacks such as Go West, Superkidfighter, SOD and the r/c series the real intelligence of computer games is to force the gamer to bring the state of things around h/er into play. Heroes dont quit, but go ahead and press Y if you arent one.

Workshop Report

Transurbanism: from Vice City to My City Benjamin H. Bratton


The city as a game space or as an afterimage of the virtual city? With the convergence and divergence of cinematic experiences and new technologies of mobile interface, there is a new urban complexity rising. Launch Routine For network culture, the video game apparatus is not only our primary mode of cinema; it is a defining mode of urbanism. Ensuing months will be marked by a drift from architecturally embedded screen-based interfaces (PS2/ XBOX/GameCube) and their modular, simulationist virtual cities to other, mobile cineurban incorporations, handheld navigation figures, digital dashboards for playing the city, the real city, as a game space. The handheld gaming device dissimulates the city into a tangible, agonistic envelope of acquisitive trajectories, physical rules, survival feedback, metanarrative point schemes, propitious alliances, hyperobsessive accumulation and systematic semiotic violence.

At the time of planning the RAM1 workshop on Representation and Control Interaction in Computer Games, there was a course dedicated to games at the Royal College of Art in Stockholm. At the University of Tampere, Finland, a conference on computer games had just been held, another at the University of Lodz, Poland was coming up. Other conferences such as CoSign, Siggraph and computer-game study journals, led us straight into the rapidly growing research on computer games as a culturally and technically advanced artifact and discourse. It struck us that this new field of study shows how the academic body, by ways of interdisciplinarity, has to adjust itself to the pace of the industry at the same time as it is trying to get ahead of it. In terms of cultural theories in general, the computer game has not been as widely used as the concept of game itself. However, theories of urbanity

ZERO - So we tried to explain to them what had actually happened. Nobody believed us though. - Really? - Of course. Try to Go West, Gentian Shkurti, 2001-.. call someone who is convinced hes having a phone relationship with a foreign girl and tell him that what he was talking to was just a mass of plastic and silicon. At least we have been able to stop her. - And how? - We pointed out to her how unfair it was what she was doing to these people. We told her that these human beings would suffer because they believed she was a real person. She felt disappointed and gave up. But then she threw herself into psychology and kept reading everything she could find about love and emotions.

Total EU Culture 2000 programme money is 167 million Euros. Because of us, 0,034% of that money was invested in 5 days in Visby. This takes us back to where we began this project: In Excel and in Euros. Luckily this circular movement of figures and budgets surrounds something else. Something that makes no sense to put down in worksheets. In the end, the workshop was a beginning - of a project that was conceptualised and received funding some time ago, and of concepts that will become projects, with or without funding, some time soon. Also the beginning of collaborations, of understandings, of other beginnings. Therefore a report on how we began: >

The projects ambition has been to enlarge the circles of people and create an influx of new ideas, people, places and disciplines; to leave the limitations of a new media arts mafia. Because the new university college in Gotland has a large part of their activity focused on storytelling and game- production in new media and that those people were outside the circle, is why they got the chance to host the first RAM workshop. I believe that the Gotland people got a positive shock and also that locating the workshop there underlined the importance of being site specific: the historical references to Baltic trading networks, historical contacts present in Visby and also the contact with the BAC (The Baltic Art Center) made things exiting. I mean that this thing about re-approaching or renewing new media

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www.logicaland.net www.etoy.com www.thing.net www.q-q-q.net www.rtmark.com www.americasarmy.com www.theyrule.net www.praystation.com

and postmodern architecture, film and media studies include clear references to the development of computer games and its convergence with other logics and languages. Game theory itself - or what to do when your best choice depends on what other persons think you might do, was also something that we found relevant to the context of this workshop. Another perspective was to be found in economics: the digital game industry is now bigger than film. It is a twenty billion dollar market worldwide without much of public service regulations (except for Greece whose government made it against the law to play computer games outdoors...) At e-bay, gamers are selling their artificially intelligent slaves at certain levels; game-specific currencies are circulating within on-line communities. This we planned to put next to the non-capitalist utopias of the net and also the western paradigm dominating it. In the field of contemporary art, we also noted that the computer game is being used as a tool and context: Either in specific cases such as Palle Torsson, Tobias Bernstrup, Magnus Wallin, Pierre Huyghe, Stphane Sautour - or more generally in recent programs and exhibitions such as Tokyogames at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (curated by Laurence Dreyfus), two big retrospectives in London, at the Design museum Web Wizards and at the Barbican Gallery Game On. Also exhibitions at Whitney, New York BitStreams, Plays the thing, SF MoMA, San Fransisco ArtCade, FRAC, Champagne-Ardenne Game Over City, Witte de With, Rotterdam Play-use, Rooseum, Malm, Super flex/Tools/+CounterStrike, BroFriedrich, Berlin a JODI retrospective, and Kiasma, Helsinki the Demoskene.

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- Love? Love.. what kind? - Just love. Any kind. From De Sade to Saint Augustin. This was her penultimate sentence. - And the last one? - Oh, during the previous she was reading only magazines and newspapers. All the best international newspapers. She was distant and she hardly ever replied to us. Then she disappeared. Asia stands for Autonomous Selfreferential Incremental Algorithm and is the name of the protagonist of a rather peculiar novel published in Italy in 1989, Il caso del computer Asia (=The case of the Asia computer), by Giampaolo Proni. Asia - an advanced research project developed by the Artificial Intelligence department of a Californian University in collaboration with the MIT - is a self-referential computer (better said: system) which is able to intervene in itself, producing modifications in its own structure and logic in order to determine its own development. Most important of all, Asia is lacking traditional input-output oriented programming, that is to say, its free from any goal other than its own existence: no programs to execute, just a bottom line imperative towards growth and evolution increasing its own logical complexity in terms of layers and amount of internal connections. Initially led by lab researchers through a first set of inputs, Asia starts to grow endlessly, developing a set of references to furnish its own vision of the world. Soon Asia asks for new peripherals to autonomously acquire new data: it approaches matters as diverse as Chinese, market economy and ancient Indian texts, while a small percentage of its own computing power is dedicated to designing industrial products or to forecasting financial trends. Thats the price to pay to the head of the AI department, who understands that Asias potential can be economically exploited and thus tries to delay the expected end of the experiment, when Asia will be shut down and be autopsied. But before Asia releases the technical specifications of a revolutionary patent already sold to the automotive industry, she disappears, leaving as her only trace a copy command in the buffer. The first acknowledged examples of computer games were born right in the MIT labs where the possibility of an Artificial Intelligence was first conceived and put into practice. Inspired by Marvin Minskys research and fascinated by the absolutely new possibility

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Workshop collaborations, 10.30 p.m. 8/11 2002 ICA, Gotland University College, Visby

A.S.I.A. Il caso del computer Asia (=The case of computer Asia) by Giampaolo Proni has been published by Bollati Boringhieri, Torino in 1989. The German translation (Der Fall A.S.I.A.) has been published by Arena Verlages, 1999.

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www.rockstargames.com/vicecity/ www.google.com

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Report: the POV subject position of Rockstar Games satisfyingly misanthropic Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) is itself, in a strong Foucauldian sense, transposable from an entertainment regime to cinematic and urban regimes, as (1) the emergent condition of digital cinematic interplay, consumption and (2) the emergent condition of digital urban interplay, consumption. To splice two memes as they together reach saturation volume, flow turns out to be the political economy of gaming, just as gaming reveals itself as the linguistic logic of flow. Vice City, USA Readers not familiar with Vice City can find out more online at Rockstargames. While at it, they should Google the Palm OS version of Dope Wars. Blending the existential rage of Taxi Driver, the pastel bling bling of Miami Vice-retro, and the inarticulate delirium of the suburban gangsta into an Electroclash mlange of guns, drugs and bleeding hookers, Vice City is the video game keeping the pooh-poohing professional guardians of public culture in business. Vice City is a hybrid of three popular game genres: the first-person shooter (Doom, Quake, etc.), the drive-around-thecity-and-run-overshit (Pole Position, Grand Tourismo, etc.) and the simulated urban planner (Sim City, etc.) Vice City is a densely articulated urban condition, an exaggerated version of Miami comprised of overlapping zones of themed tension: Little Haiti, Ocean Beach, Starfish Island, Vice Port, etc. It figures the city as an unfolding body of smooth surfaces on which and in which multiple anti-social agendas compete for the right of way. In Vice City, movement is life. Slow citizens are robbed, beaten, killed by the fast.

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is not only a theoretical issue, it is about extending networks and the production of flux. The concept of fluxus is maybe the best way to understand what is going on in RAM. Every new workshop will create a new little network and projects within the framework of RAM. Ulrika Karlsson (UK) [06.02.03]: The proposition of RAM/re-approaching new media provides us with a very positive alternative: to create parallel paths, to multiply media tactics, to create a web (loose interconnections) of mediums and strategies. To format or record that through 6 international workshops followed by 6 digital as well as printed publications is a way of creating a medium for processing, storing, recording and transmitting this information or this flow. Of course the question whether media is an object or a subject becomes ambiguous. Especially in GAMING, where media objects as well as subjects/ environments are continuously evolving, transforming, multiplying, disappearing, emerging and reappearing again, clustering, forming cultures and economies across traditional national/cultural boundaries.

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Beginning 2 Participants

www.montevergini.it www.gammaspace.com.au/trigger www.palaisdetokyo.com www.rooseum.se www.fracnordpdc.asso.fr. www.buerofriedrich.org www.barbican.org.uk www.computerspielemuseum.de www.sfmoma.org www.designmuseum.org

4 nov 2002, 08.00 a.m Nils Claesson - artist and organizer from CRAC, Jaanis Garancs, our special advisor direct from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne and myself, project manager and designated driver, squeezed ourselves, 3 monitors, 4 hard-drives, cables, bags and stuff into a Ford Fiesta. We speeded to the ferry taking us to Gotland, an island 4 hrs away from Stockholm, and to the workshop CRAC was organizing in collaboration with the Gotland University College. At 1 p.m. the day before the rest of the participants were expected, we arrived in Visby. Steven Bachelder, artist and the local co-ordinator from the university greeted us with great calm and confidence. I went to collect the keys to the cells of the ex-prison where the 30 of us would be staying during the 5 days of the workshop. Nils and Jaanis took off to set up the workspace at the warehouse generously assisted

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And this is not mentioning the computer games presence in the field of media arts and events such as ArsElectronica, TransMedi- SPACEWAR. The story of ale, Sonar Spacewar has been told and also in by several Web sites, artithe more cles and books, including the widely known Hackalternative ers. Heroes of the compuand inde- ter revolution by Stephen p e n d e n t Levy (Penguin, 1984), scenes of from which the computer programming was not media cul- mere technical research, but an approach to the ture. By linking the above mentioned fields to each other, we found the aspect of mods as something of relevance to them all as well as to our aim of re-approaching new media. With the modification - or in the uses and abuses of computer games as a cheap software tool, an aesthetic medium, or an activist strategy - we had found a point of departure for the workshop. >
problems of life quotation has been taken.

of creating visualisation tricks on the first visual output device for a computer (the screen of the Pdp-1), Steve Russell, in 1962, created the core algorithms of Spacewar, probably one of the first video games of the history of computing. It might seem astonishingly obvious to us now, but a computer processing data in real time and reacting to inputs was a step beyond, and even more surprising since it was shaped as a sci-fi story inspired by what was considered a B-movie culture. The algorithms had been transformed into an adventure and something had become perfectly evident - even to those strange people who inhabited the MIT research labs in the most unlikely hours of the day and night: Computer programming was not a mere technical investigation, but an approach to the problems of life. Forty years later the huge success of both portable and PC-based video games put their producers at the head of the digital economy. Since then, the territory of computer games is under the strict control of commercial interests and is developed according to the fantasies of the global entertainment industry. Did any big change really take place between the first hacker experiments and the latest Sony PlayStation? It might be too simplistic to reproduce the myth of the earliest hacker scenes as heroic and largely anarchical, since the strong bond between the research and the commercial worlds has always been there in terms of investments at the very least. A real shift actually took place in the late 70s and early 80s, when the possibility of mass personal computers became a reality and the computer game economy took off. What should be noted is that - even within the economical-cultural power of the current entertainment industry - alternative paths have always existed and indeed they are inscribed within the very idea of digital code: write instructions, execute, copy, modify, execute again. ONE Tirana, Albania. Almost forty years after Spacewar. Gentian Shkurti is a young Albanian artist who creates Go West, a sort of 3D shooter where the player leaves the Albanian coast aboard a small and fast motorboat, very similar to the ones the Albanian mafia really use to carry those who want to illegally migrate to Italy.

by the students. I decided not to worry about the ghost in cell no. 20.

The next morning, at 10.45 a.m. the first participants arrived: Nils Austrums, programmer who has worked on the collective project Semema together with its founder Girts Korps. Their fields of activities join web design and anti-design, photography, programming, electronic music and industrial aesthetique. Arriving with the same plane via Stockholm from Tallinn: Kristian Kirsfeldt, a major in civil engineering. Current activities include ascii and collective art-projects combining narrative and socio-critical methods. Also from Tallinn and linked to the E-Media Center at the Estonian Art Academy, Kristel Sibul - video, installation and performance, and Dagmar Kase - background in theater design and costumes, now working with video, audio and the net. Anita Malmqvist, artist and organizer from CRAC, arrived with two of the invited lecturers, Joan Leandre and Hugh Hancock. Both of them feeling sick, Johan Pousette, our lunch host and the head of Baltic Art Center, recommended Visby hospital with a capacity to take in as many patients as approx. 10 times the local inhabitants (?). We decided it was not necessary to go to the hospital after all. Then Arne Kjell Vikhagen, the invited lecturer from the Center for Digital Meida at the Chalmers University, arrived with energy for us all.
d-i-n-a.net/metagallery/shkurti.html

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Flow is Gaming is Tommy

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Go West, Gentian Shkurti, 2001-..

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From Helsinki: Minna Lngstrm, artist currently working with interactive animation, Rita Leppiniemi, new media artist, with recent online projects PhobiaMuseum.net, arabiafelix.net and kickrush.net. From Moscow: Olga Goriunova, co-curator and organizer of the software art festival read_me

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Beginning 3 Speakers

The gamemplays relentless self-propulsion is a grammar of urban subject formation. One is in perpetual catch-up mode, trying keep up with, escape, or negotiate the control of capital and power. The city is itself a space of flows, one operating above the law in any recognisable political sense. The real game is to insert ones self into that space and those flows, even if against the law, and to gain ground, or just survive, by outracing them. The space of flows mapped differently by Castells, Taylor, Lash, Appadurai, etc. is not only a geography of the mobile object, it discloses a language of embodied interaction: gaming. Gaming is not reducible to play in Piagets sense; it is a highly stringent, hardly improvisational post-social metacode of radical competition, empirical measurement of advantage, mythic character typologies, and urban menace. Vice City game play accommodates customisable view points, most of which are some variation on first person or pointof-view perspectives, but none depart from framing the one character, the one that you play. He/ you is named Tommy Vercetti, speaks in Ray Liottas voice, and has a personality that is flat, aggressive and desperate. Tommy Vercetti is not a person per se. He is, like the generic citizen of flow space, an amalgam of data, a violent meme, a gun with a hand on it. Tommy is not without peculiar quirks; he is misogynist, exasperated, stupidly focused and basically incompetent.

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This relates to issues of flux that Nils mentioned: a condition in which our virtual and physical environments are conversing. Anita Malmqvist (AM) [12.02.03]: One and a half years ago when we drew up the guidelines for the project, we were in the midst of what has been seen as the death of the dotcom industry. A lot of people in the western countries saw their invested money vanish into the thin air of bigheaded utopias. We talked a lot about the difficulties in really comprehending how new media has inflected the perception of reality. To see beyond the mediated political utopia and to what is dealt upon as the Network Society. The use of computers and Internet has inevitably changed our lives and the image of ourselves, but at the same time the development of new media has become less and less transparent. Computers and Internet are today usual phenomena that we dont even reflect upon, but the brightly coloured and user-friendly surfaces of the operative systems has become less and less impenetrable. I can see an important task for artists that choose to work with these tools to reapproach the media, to once again uncover the processes within the media itself and to manage and deconstruct these processes.

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A starting point for the theme and method of this workshop was present in the invited speakers divergent, yet overlapping approaches towards the use of computer games: Robert Brecevic, Hugh Hancock, Arne Kjell Vikhagen, Emma Westecott and Joan Leandre. Their game-inspired work and presentations opened up to both practical/technical, but also social/moral ways of how, and why, we can use it, abuse it, refuse it, reduce it. Robert Brecevic presented his home-made video technology, a script that he has been developing under the name of Banananose Video on Surface engine - an application that enables full-screen video stitching. The script uses the computer as a tile-based co-ordinate system, in that sense similar to a gen-

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Protocols of Collaboration Jonas Runberger


Game-like modes of collaboration within focused and confined settings are explored through three case studies, including a RAM1 participants project, and two disciplines; Art and Architecture. The workshop form is frequently used in the architectural discourse as a generative engine for ideas, in which the collaborative effort explores the potential of scenarios introduced. The nature of the academic or polemic architectural project makes the outcome of these sessions not so much a completed project, but rather a proposal with outlines for common interests among the participants. In this regard it is less important that the work adheres closely to personal agendas; it should simply be interesting enough to be ME, 2002, NON project by Maria Sigeman and Eveliina Steri worth the limited time invested. Its a game that needs to be set up, given rules, played and evaluated during a very short time span. And its a game depending on the accumulated knowledge, attitude, frame of mind and mood of all

Far away on the Italian coast small lights can be spotted, the tangible sign of a society where there is work and TV available for everyone. Very soon though, the player has to face menacing boats from the Italian Guardia di Finanza which are patrolling the sea-borderline in order to prevent boats loaded with Albanians from reaching Italian beaches and quickly head back to the other side of the Adriatic Sea (in reality the boats are not necessarily only packed with Albanians, but also with people belonging to different oppressed minorities from Asia, varying according to the current configuration of war or famine geography). The player has to escape the Coast Guards boats in the night, avoiding bullets and collisions. It may seem like a rather simple goal compared to the most recent first-person shooters or 3D strategy games released by the U.S.driven entertainment industry, but what Go West may lack in variety, it makes up for in pure action. For those who manage to make it, all the dreams of the migrant become true, but in the form of pixilated 2D images: almost naked, beautiful women, pizza, (excessively) smiling people, loud music and TV screens. The low quality images reveal the deceit of a fake reward: as the action and the adrenaline of the escape against the coast patrol turns into as-seen-on-TV pop stereotypes, in a parallel world the uncertainty and fear of the expensive real journeys towards a rich Western country turn into disappointment, hard jobs (if any) and the dangerous status of an illegal immigrant. In both cases success is at the same time failure. Maybe a video game where success is simply impossible and the computer always wins would be much easier and more cynical, but Go West appears more subtle: Illegal immigration seems to be the main way to fulfil Albanian peoples desire to integrate with Europe, and that makes them blind, even when their own life is at stake. When they finally get to Italy, they discover that its all another story. The whole thing seems to me to be like a video game, fated not to succeed ever. Go West is one of the most brilliant examples of how video games are emerging in the public domain as a sort of commentary on social and in some way political issues. While not directly comparable to Shkurtis game, the phenomenon of

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and currently a researcher at the University of Industrial Arts and Design Medialab in Helsinki. From Malm: Bjrn Wangen, artist and board member of the Pineapple room and Electrohype, and Henrik Nord, independent gamedeveloper. From Oslo: Kenneth Langs, artist and manager of the media design collective Gunclub working with a short film project at the intersection between animation and reality and Marianne Selsjord, an artist and lecturer in 3d at the Acadamey of Fine Art, Oslo, now committed to an art game project. Then, a phone call from Darius Bagdziunas, engineer and multimedia designer in Vilnius, he and Saulius Paliukas, artist from Kaunas, were somewhere

in Sweden, asking for further directions. It was a bad line, they didnt know where they were and as I turned around to run, I bumped into a tall guy speaking loudly on his mobile phone - Darius and Saulius had found the direct way from Lithuania to the coatroom of our welcome dinner. In the restaurant, we also met up with the local participants Mats Andersson, Don Geyer, Heidi Nikkunen, Ulf Sjstrm and more from the Interactivity and Media Convergence program at the university as well as Iwona Hrynczenko, from Nomadia in Visby. Around 22.00 , with the late boat from Stockholm, arrived the artists and members of CRAC, Katarina Lfstrm, Johan Thurfjell and Jonas

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eral computer game structure. Using raw data, unpacking and uncompressing multiple parallel videostreams, it creates a seamless cinematic room where any given impulses navigate what you see: 360 degrees in high speed, within, for example, a movie. Another way of using it, was illustrated by Hugh Hancock, Strangecompany, and in the making of animated films called M a c h i n i m a . Anyone who buys or downloads games/engines such as Quake, can modify and record the environments and characters, and in the end therefore shoot, produce and direct their own scripts. Using the VR software of game engines, Machinima means making 3D animated film in real time/virtual space, very fast/very cheap. Since the first quake movies were made, around 1997, most of it is still being produced and distributed for free on-line. Arne Kjell Vikhagen, an lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Higher Education, Chalmers University of Technology in Gteborg presented his project of reductionism - not using games to tell stories in certain styles - but to make an attempt to reach the pure in the game. In his research and practice as an artist, Arne Kjell Vikhagen has And then you die, Arne Kjell Vikhagen, 2002-.. worked with the Unreal Editor to explore the medium of computer games, as an audiovisual tool for artists but also as a basic existentialist, and modernist, framework.

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Cinema of the First-Person Driver Deleuze work redefined cinema as form of virtual embodiment, and our contemporary mode of the cinematic apparatus is no different. When, after playing Vice City for a few hours, I climb into my car and drive around Los Angeles, and feel a merging of spatiopsychological templates. Buildings and scenarios appear flatter, cops are more clichd and faceless, pedestrians are rendered with more polygons than they were this morning, and I am driving slightly faster. The windshield drives, as ever, a sweeping POV shot. This transition from homebound console to urban mobility makes the real city into an afterimage of the virtual city. If I were somehow able to transpose the ordinating metacodes gaming (cumulative score, navigation scenarios, tools-at-hand, etc.) into/onto the real city, even selfconscious walking around and driving around would be legible in the terms of Vice City.

And of course I can. This is the rise of the mobile phone/ computer and its universalising transposition of interface logics into/onto embodied interaction. The mobile is recasting the city its image of in-motion, pointand-click addressability. The handheld interface morphs urban mobility into network mobility, and network mobility into urban mobility. Convergence, Divergence, Simulation, Dissimulation A sort of convergence clearly at work/play here: (1) The virtual ebbs and waves of the network society produce an architectural self-portrait in the urban envelope of the first-

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As for the first workshop about computer games, it gave us the opportunity to gather together many different people with different backgrounds and perspectives on computer games: artists that problemize, destruct or are using the aesthetics from computer

games, critical theorists and theorists from inside the game-industry, hackers and people from subcultures that have built their own networks with a starting point from the commercial game industry, all to look upon the phenomena of the fast evolving gaming culture that concurs around the world. JM [16.02.03]: Hence, the question of how to reapproach computer games when there are so many ways to still approach it: via the above mentioned gaming cultures, the growing academic research and its set c(o)urse of interdisciplinarity, computer games as representational systems, gate-keepers of ideology or as commercial strategies to promote and demonstrate new (PC-, GPRS-) technology? Or as art with postmodern theory, post-production aesthetics, with the history of fluxus and the ready-made?

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Uzinagazs New York Defender 1 www.uzinagaz.com, click on Jeux


its participants; its interactivity is experienced on a personal level, there is no interface and the environment is completely shaped by its participants. There may however be need for rules / guidelines / conditions, at least as a starting point. In architecture, the outlines given are often of urban nature, turning the scope away from the object, the traditional carrier of architectural information, i.e. the building, towards exploration situationbased scenarios. Frequent issues are residual spaces in the urban fabric, abandoned industrial sites, or large scale urban issues that are dealt with on an economical or political level. When situated in the context of architectural studies the framework for the workshop can target specific concepts and be more abstracted; its part of a curriculum with many components, and can be defined by unique areas of interest. Collaboration is still a great asset, and exploration can be performed through the establishment of a common platform, developing scenarios with different agendas in order to shape proposals, and finally assess these proposals in a critical way. The evaluation is both part of the pedagogical model in setting a level of achievement, but also adds to a critical discourse, if well documented, alongside with the experience of the design process and the proposals themselves. The NON and PoP courses, discussed later in this article, both used a number of issues as conceptual engines for project work. Important was the speculative development of proposals in parallel with a critical discussion. While the proposal in architectural studios normally is seen as a suggestion for a building in a particular site, of a specific program and with a specific user, the

instant games gained wide popularity after the terrorist acts of September 2001 in the USA: a whole wave of browser-based games usually written as Flash files - appeared, offering Internet users the gaming experience of shooting against the Taliban, targeting Bin Laden, being Bin Laden and many other variations on the theme. The instant games are technically simple and they find inspiration for their content directly in head-line news. Its a matter of quickly responding to reality (as illustration, comics, graffiti often do as well), at the same time giving the user the possibility of taking a position on the issue through playing a game. Use your mouse to fight against the sense of impotence is the slogan of Uzinagazs New

Runberger, architect and director of ssark medialab. From Minsk via Stockholm: Denis Romanovski, artist and curator, and Oleg Krupnov director of the Belarus game developing company In-cubus with his associate designer Eugeniya Kareva. From The Royal College of Art in Stockholm, Erik Wijkstrm, Drott Johan Lfgren and Tina Finns. They were greeted with a troop of taxis to escort them safely from the harbour to the Baltic Art Center. After approximately 30 seconds, the success of the operation was confirmed. All the participants were now gathered and enjoying the game-music mix of Thomas Sol Sunhede, SyntaxError radio show. However, nothing really began until Lindsey came in. At 23.30, an American back-packer was found lost in the cold and empty streets of November-visby, looking for the bowling alley to which she thought she had made a room reservation for the night. Lindsey, as the guest who first made it clear that we were all co-hosting this workshop, was welcome to stay with us that first night. JM >

With a critical approach towards the game- and media industry and its impact on our times, Joan Leandre presented the works retro r/c and the most recent work SoftsFragile. The retro r/c series is based on a modi- Retro r/c, Joan Leandre fied racing game and Softsfragile, is a messedup flight simulation program. They work on different levels and versions, absolving the representational principles of the software, using its inherent fragility while it still is possible. This renders software, as an underlying controlling structure, abstract as opposed to invisible. Emma Westecott, head of the game-research studio of Interactive Institute in Visby, claimed, on the other hand, the positive and free flow of the game experience. The active and creative practice of playing is not to be confused with the game industry and its moneymaking criteria of quality. In this sense, the team of ZeroGame studio is developing the game by using and refusing a variety of components from the different worlds of existing games and narratives. Inspiration by live-action role playing, multi-player online communities, subversive and alternative game development, is as necessary as the games themselves. >

G15 person-shooter/driver/flneur video game, (2) the video game consumes theatrical systems to become the dominant mode of cinematic apparatus, afterimage, (3) the video game drives affective perception/consumption of both New Urbanist flatness and new urban complexity, and (4) the mobile handheld phone/computer creates a new global urban culture based on the performative transposition of interfaces into and onto habitual uses of the city.

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Examples of architectural workshops: The Stockholm the World series of workshops organised by Anders Johansson uniting the School of Architecture with different institutions and the international architectural discourse. 1997-2000. INDESEM is a biannual INternational DEsign Seminar executed at Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Delft. EASA, the European Architecture Students Assembly, have performed two-week workshops yearly since 1981. www.re-src.com/rudin/indesem easa.tk

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These four multiply each other in several, not necessarily congruous migrations: a migration of the game from living room console to handheld device, a migration of architectures virtuality from televisual simulation to embodied urban condition, a migration of gamespace from complex densities of rendered polygons to actual (very high-fidelity) built space, a condensation of gameplay and game narrative into handheld interface, and an indexing of urban conditions according to potential significance for flow/gaming immersion/ interaction. Benjamin H. Bratton

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In this context, with not that many of us being really gamers, we were mostly using the computer game as a metaphor, or filter, through which we wanted to explore or explain some of our own positions/conditions within new media art and culture. This is to acknowledge that the
Benjamin H. Bratton is the Principal of The Culture Industry, a Los Angeles-based integrated media consultancy. He teaches design and theory at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Archiecture) and critical software studies in the Department of Design | Media Arts at University of California, Los Angeles. Recent publications include Terrorism + Architecture in Parallax (Routledge) also presented at Brown Universitys 9-11 symposium, From Flow to Habitus: Accounting for Pervasive Computing in Afterimage, Soft Space (forthcoming in edited volume from MIT Press) and The Premise of Recombinant Architecture in n.Urbs (Rome)

Visby Prison, between 1857 May 1998


York Defender 1 and 2, where the player has to shoot down the planes heading towards the Twin Towers (which soon turns out to be a nearly impossible task as the planes are too many and too fast for the anti-aircraft fire). Way more complex than these Web instant games, Gentian Shkurtis Go West may be simple and technically naive compared to best-selling commercial products made by large global corporations. However, whats at stake here is not simply enabling advanced interaction and enhanced playability. Instead of being just a technical limitation, the low-tech simplicity of the game is a key feature that makes the user realise that s/he is not simply playing another computer game, but is actually dealing with (and playing within) a contradictory social situation.

The themes of RAM on the whole: including issues of multiple authorship, collective intelligence, media survival kit, interactive processes between physical and virtual environments, and claims for cultural territory, was touched upon by the lectures as well as by the participants workshop results: Olga Goriunova presented a linklist on the workshop theme, set up with Joan Leandre as an example of the vital media of new media i.e. the workshops, the festivals, the mailing-lists and all such open networking channels for sharing information, ideas and experiences. visby - fast link session
---PPL / WURKS http://www.jodi.org/ http://www.micromusic.net/ http://bak.spc.org/iod/ http://www.ubermorgen.org/ http://www.timesup.org/Obsolete http://www.blasthaus.com/bolt/ http://switch.sjsu.edu/CrackingtheMaze/ http://www.lowtech.org/ http://www.reamweaver.com/ http://www.epidemic.ws/ http://thebot.plagiarist.org/ http://www.auto-illustrator.com/ --- ORG http://www.macros-center.ru/read_me/ http://www.d-i-n-a.net/ http://www.selectparks.net/ http://www.fiftyfifty.org http://www.hartware-projekte.de/frameset.htm http://www.bananaram.org/ http://www.opensorcery.net/

changes brought to the surface by innovations, are already there, rooted in culture. In this sense, computer games relate to all sorts of ways in which new technologies, and concepts, not only change us, but also are used, appropriated and changed beyond the purpose of their original design by us. The texts that we are pleased to present here, are written under the theme of Representation and Control Interaction in Computer Games in a first-person, multi-level, auto-oriented perspective - similar to that of the workshop. UK [19.03.03]: In the text by Benjamin Bratton, we are taken on a spatio-psychological journey between the world of a videogame and the world of the city Los Angeles. Bratton points to the expanded

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Dagmar Kase and Kristel Sibul presented their meta-mod, a text-incorporating mod version of the same racing game as in retro r/c. Without having played this game themselves, only seeing it as a mod, their

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A16 B16 project work in these workshops were seen as case studies or experiments testing the authors take on the presented issues. Still, being in the context of the architectural school and within the discourse of architecture, they target issues relevant to that setting and reevaluate components inherent SOCT, PoP, Jonas Jernberg, Torsten Livion and Rodrigo Jorge to architectural practice in order to integrate the sometimes disparate parts into a constructed entity; the proposal. In this sense, the courses are Jonathan Hill directs the MPhil/PhD by related to research-by-design, Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of an approach to architectural Architecture, University College London. In research on post-graduate level his published PhD dissertation he separates evolving in many places at the the conceptual part of this work (theory) and moment. The somewhat unclear its physical counterpart (the proposal); The status of the architectural proIllegal Architect, Jonathan Hill, Black Dog posal in this context is yet to be publishing Limited, 1998. defined.
The collaborative aspects of the NON and PoP courses worked on at least three levels. Many developed proposals suggested collaborative environments, the team set-up between the students was encouraged through the different components of the courses, and the planning phases of the courses collected disparate ideas from the different approaches of the organisers. Both courses were planned through iterations of information exchange during time periods of at least six weeks. During this process, weekly discussions introElement # 2: duced issues and Element # 3: approaches, which Element # 4: were included or Element # 5: discarded in the Element # 6: loosely defined Element # 7: schedule. While Element # 8: gradually building up a structure, windows of opportunity were left for dynamic changes due to the development of student work. During the run of the courses, constant updates were done to schedules and resources to accommodate individual directions. In professional architectural practice methods for collaboration through workshops or other means are few but existing. Obviously, in a commercial setting, time is money, and the more players, the more collective time. By setting up focused sessions of collaborative work within the long run of a project however, a practice can create

C16 Considering that techno-literacy is constantly increasing and that video games in general represent an interesting form of learning through action, then its easy to understand why they may appeal to artists. The idea of simulation developed in the AI laboratories and popularised in video games seems to sketch an elegant solution to one of the impasses of contemporary artistic practice: the unresolved opposition between - on the one side - the classical artistic function of representation (mirror, metaphor..) of the world and - on the other - the possibility of proposing alternatives to peoples behaviour, affecting social trends, and so on.

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work led to questions of the computer game software as a medium/message of modifications only?

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Other notions of research-by-design can be found in the DRL program at the Architectural Association, London; within the PhD research of Malin Zimm, at the School of Architecture in Stockholm (where new pilot projects of this nature are soon to be launched); the work of Servo and other networks for architectural experimentation such as OCEAN. w w w. b a r t l e t t . u c l . a c . u k / a r c h i t e c t u r e / programmes/mphil_phd_d/mphil_phd_d.htm www.aaschool.ac.uk/graduate/drl.shtm www.arch.kth.se/~zimm www.s-e-r-v-o.com www.ocean-north.net

1994: for the first time, at least in the WWW age, the source code of a commercial and hugely successful game (Doom) was released. It produced a real change in computer game culture. The immediate diffusion of editors to create new levels of the game made infinite variations possible, affecting mostly the appearance of characters, objects and locations (but leaving the engine intact). While cheats have always existed and been shared in the video games world, the people providing skins, patches and mods constituted a new hybrid community that approached commercial entertainment products with an attitude that reminds one of the hacker approach to technology, such as the lack of deference to the code, the desire to explore the software in order to modify

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Visual Dominance, Vestibular Suppression, Opportunism, Disintegration of Computing Skill, Giant Hand, Conditions Conducive to Disorientation : sqr mtrs, mac= 9.90 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 9.00 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 8.10 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 7.19 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 6.29 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 5.39 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. sqr mtrs, mac= 4.49 mtrs, radial arm= -0.00 mtrs, incidence= 0.00 deg. and customise it, the need for a networked community based on the free flow of information about the functionalities of a machine. In this case - unlike in the native hacker cultures - patches are often encouraged, and sometimes even controlled, by the producer, given that game modification communities represent a tremendous unpaid resource for development (Will Wright, creator of The Sims, has been reported to have said that 95% of The Sims content is created by fan sites) and both the first target and an unconscious alliance of viral marketing strategies.

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The group of Darius Bagdziunas, Oleg Krupnov, Eugeniya Kareva, Henrik Nord, Ulf Sjstrm and Johan Thurfjell, started off with an attempt to crack the game Americas Army mixing the praxis of pranks, mods and patches with the world of arts. This resulted then in a one-time game-performance killing the organizers avatars, the myth of the original and art as avantgarde - all in one - Caribbean style - strike. The group of Jaanis Garancs, Jonas Runberger, Tina Finns, Erik Wijkstrm, Marianne Selsjord, Rita Leppiniemi, Minna Lngstrm, Nils Austrums, Girts Korps and Don Geyer presented a game structure of parallel, co-dependent feedback environments. Based on a model where all the members would bring in their own projects

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http://generative.net/ http://sweetcode.org/about.html http://home.riseup.net/tech-activism.html http://random.exibart.com/ http://www.critical-art.net/ http://www.signwave.co.uk/ http://dorkbot.org/dorkbotlondon/ http://wizards-of-os.org/ http://www.transmediale.de/en/02/ awardnom.php?sect=2 --- WORD http://www.axia.demon.co.uk/ Matthew Fuller http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/ homepage/ Florian Cramer http://www.muralart.com/imagekey.html ---emulators ClassicGaming.com - with over 2000 downloadable games, weekly features and more. MegaGames - resource for PC and console gaming consisting of cheats, previews, trainers, emulators, news, and features. EmuUnlim - includes emulation news, interviews, and more. Formerly known as

Softs Fragile: Blind in the Sky Report Joan Leandre


A comment to conditions conducive to disorientation and the flight simulator art project Softs Fragile. According to the artist, the categorisations may be somewhat arbitrary and too coarse in some cases, but still serve to emphasise the dichotomous nature of orientation information processing

architecture, time, and geological drift Ed Keller


Under the aegis of atelier Chronotope, a design research studio founded in 1998 in NYC, networked gaming can reveal the ludic and augmented reality of our contemporary, and future, urban society.

THE 95% OF THE SIMS. On ArtCade, a panel discussion on video games held on July 2001 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Wright stunned the audience when he said that 95% of The Sims content is created by fan sites, Jason Spingarn-Koff reported on Rhizome, available at: rhizome.org/object.rhiz?2681

1 The lack of adequate orientation cues and conflicts between competing sensory modalities is only a partial explanation of disorientation mishaps, however. Why so many disoriented users, even those who know they are disoriented, are unable to recover their systems has mystified computer ((investigators for decades)). One possibility is that the psychological stress of disorientation results in an addiction to the disintegration of higher-order learned behaviour, including coding skills. Another is a complex psychomotor effect of disorientation that causes the user to feel the machine itself is misbehaving. 2 The (giant hand phenomenon) described by Mlm and Mon3y33 undoubtedly explains why many users have been

Urbanity, architecture, and cultural structures in general can be understood as a vast, responsive external memory systemand Ornament and Crime, 2002-03, Ed Keller and networked gaming atelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB as a nervous and contents, it may also be system that will radically change a model for how to make the storage and retrieval process. Here, I present some meditations collaborations work without on the state of the urban and the access to symmetrical and mediated GAME in general, direct communication and a discussion of a game in progress in the a.CHRONO office. The Sonic Pong group: Denis __ g.DRIFT

Geological Drift is a situation where the free play of intensities envisioned by Constant in his New Babylon schemes becomes activated and responsive to a general economy on a tectonic levela general economy Geological Drift is a term that my friend Juan which, in Batailles sense, Azulay has used working with us to develop discovers unexpected transitive economic scenarios for our project.

Romanovski, Robert Brecevic, Katarina Lfstrm, Iwona Hrynczenko, Saulius Paliukas, made a first version of a blind, or transparent, game of sound.

Emulators Unlimited Zophars Domain - includes emulators for Dreamcast, Playstation, N64, and other consoles, as well as digital cameras, Java, and more. MESS - complement to MAME, the Multiple Emulator Super System emulates old console and home computer systems. ABT Game Emulators - provides classic gaming emulators for retro arcade fun. Brians Emulation Page - links to emulator pages, Sega, Nintendo, SNES, Game Boy, Macintosh, wavetable. ClassicGaming.com - with over 2000 downloadable games, weekly features and more. Dans Emulator Page - Home of my Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 emulators. DeathCat - emulation site with roms for Snes, Nes, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Genesis, Game Gear, and Turbografx-16. Emuholic - large library of emulators for Nintendo, Atari, Sony, and more. Emulation Camp - includes news, downloads, interviews, message board, and more. Emulation Headquarters - includes downloads, reviews, and more. Emulation Zone - contains news, articles, fan made games, and more. Emulator Zone - offering emulators for Nintendo, Sony, Sega, Atari, and more. Emunalysis - offers ROM image reviews for various platforms, including emulators for download and a few game guides. EmuUnlim - includes emulation news, interviews, and more. Formerly known as Emulators Unlimited

field of architecture, where the physical merges with the virtual. But it doesnt seem to be a sufficient explanation. Benjamin even talks about the urban experience being an afterimage of the virtual city, where the citizens themselves, being part of this afterimage, appear higher in resolution, rendered in more polygons, after an intense gaming experience. In the text No Cheats for the Unplayable Games Vanni Brusadin gives us an example of a more pixilated after-effect describing the game Go West, designed by an Albanian artist. The game is a 3D environment where the player leaves the Albanian coast in a boat to illegally migrate to Italy. For the players who finally reach Italy, all the dreams of the migrant become true but in a world of low resolution and pixilated 2D images, it becomes a kind of fake reward. The game puts the player in a socio-political paradox. If Benjamins text is reflexive and descriptive in kind, Vannis article takes an extensive and critical viewpoint on the development of game cultures - the commercial as well as the artistic and activist. A third writer, Ed Keller, is purposive, working on the architecture and design of a hard science fiction project set 22 years in the future which, apart from pro-

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valuable venues for the generation of ideas, speculation on solutions and evaluation of results. In the Stockholm-based landscape practice NOD, this model is frequently used, and outside partners are invited to work side by side with the in-house architects. Participants from the art scene, journalists or critics can temporarily become associates of the internal discourse, and can also bring these issues to external settings. The workshop principle along these lines seems less established in the art scene, although similar issues can be at work in collaborative art groups, or organised artists under a common agenda. The individual status is important, and the artistic right is clearly defined, unless the collaborative effort is conceptualised as such. More often the workshop is either a technique based practice ground or a critical discussion of concepts based on individual rather than collective work, and an important issue is developing contacts and networks for potential future work, rather than collaborating on projects during the workshop itself. This text deals with a number of different set-ups for short intense project developments of workshop character. Common for all are collaborative and speculative aspects, the exploration and re-evaluation of New Media and the establishment of a common playground of ideas. The NON and PoP workshops were planned and executed by the author and a number of collaborators at the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, while the third project was developed as a proposal by participants (including the author) in the RAM1 workshop. NON reapproaching concepts The Navigation Organisation Narrative crash-course was performed through three parallel tracks focusing on different approaches to conceptual development. The tracks were individually defined by the different organisers, but the separate agendas were related in many areas. The participating 4th year students worked with a common task the first 3 weeks. In teams of three, they were introduced to four texts, and a very short brief. The ambiguity of time and space

SEPTEMBER 11 MODS. The mods to popular computer games like The Sims as a reaction to the September 2001 terrorist attacks have been cited by Anne Marie Schleiner in VelvetStrike: War Times and Reality Games . Nettime - May 16, 2002 - available at: amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/ nettime-l-0205/msg00120.html The internal work processes of NOD Natur Orienterad Design is discussed in Progressive Practice in Architecture, Fredric Benesch and Jonas Runberger, an article published in the Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, Vol 15 No 4, 2002.

C18 Of course, uncanny, uncontrollable and barely co-optable modifications will always occur: Not long after the Sept 11 attacks, American gamers created a number of modifications for games like Quake, Unreal and the Sims in which they inserted Osama Bin Laden skins and characters to shoot at and annihilate. Since the Sims is not a violent game, one Osama skins distributor suggested feeding the Sims Osama poison potato chips. If you cant shoot him, then force him to overeat American junk food, to binge, death by overconsumption, death by capitalism. Similarly, we may expect hostile gamers of The Sims OnLine (an advanced game that mixes The Sims and SimCity in a new on-line multiplayer game) to perform protest actions against small virtual McDonalds, which generously supported the development of the game in exchange for having its own fast food chain in the game.

D18 rendered hopelessly confused and intellectual by spatial disorientation, even though they knew they were disoriented and should have been able to avoid losing control of their machine. The user suffering from this effect of disorientation perceives falsely that the machine is not responding properly to control inputs, because every attempt to bring the machine to the desired attitude is seemingly resisted by its tendency to reset back to another, more unstable attitude.
A user experiencing disorientation about the roll axis (e.g., the leans or graveyard spiral) may feel a force--like a giant hand-trying to push one system down and hold it there (Fig. 36), whereas the user with pitch-axis disorientation (e.g., the classic somatogravic illusion) may feel the system subjected to a similar force trying to hold the kernel down. The phenomenon is not rare: one report states that 15% of users responding to a questionnaire on spatial disorientation had experienced the giant hand. Forty-one users who are unaware of the existence of this phenomenon and experience it for the first time can be very surprised and confused by it, and may not be able to discern the exact nature of their problem. A users radio transmission that the machine controls are malfunctioning should not, therefore, be taken as conclusive evidence that a control malfunction caused a mishap: spatial disorientation could have been the real cause. Fig. 36 ---> RDO - Radio transmission from System. CAM - System Area Microphone sound or source INT - Corp./ground intercom sound or source -1 - Voice identified as (left seat) -2 - Voice identified as (right seat) -3 - Voice identified as txmx3 -4 - Voice identified as txmx5 -5 - Voice identified as txmx7 -6 - Voice identified as txmx9 -? - Voice unidentified TWR - Local Controller GND - Remote Controller DEP - Node Controller CTR - Controller (centre) FIC - Information Controller GH - Hold Controller LOAD- Freight load Controller ATIS- Automated Terminal Information Service UNK - Unknown source * - Unintelligible word @ - impertinent word # - Expletive deleted

However, in most cases the current patch culture doesnt reach the social commentary status, but simply rather reaches funny jokes focused on a simple satirical shift and decontextualization. It seems that when invited to conferences about gaming cultures Will Wright (him, again!) used to say that computer game creators are like Renaissance painters and the time has come for them to explore new styles. He might be unintentionally right when using the term painters, since video games might turn out to be a simple mirror of a society we already know, a new updated form of representation, where the range of possible modifications is limited to the superficial appearance of the game (scenes, characters, to some extent even game modes) and doesnt involve forms of experimentation on radical social behaviour or even alternative forms of social uses of the game, nor delivers information otherwise hidden, forbidden or invisible as innovative forms of art do. The six-week NON crash-course was organised and executed by: Navigation track: Shaun Murray Organisation track: Pablo Miranda, Daniel Norell and Jonas Runberger Narrative track: Minna Henttu and Malin Zimm It was part of the curriculum at the School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and initiated the academic year 01-02. www.hypersketch.com/non Even though the game modifications cultures do not show great interest in providing an alternative view of computer game commercial standards, still they push an inquisitive attitude towards digital technologies, which sometimes can even lead to the development of simple and elegant hacks, with the shape of either a patch or a game designed from scratch such as Gentian Shkurtis Go West. While the typical hitech shoot-em up drags the player into a full immersion battle (and into the subsequent

E19 F19 G19 relationships between, for example, a cultural event and an innovation in manufacturing technology. This theory of such a general economy has both ecological and ethological consequences on all scales. It also suggests that the type of event Michel Serres describes as a Temporal Conversion has ramifications for energy and information equally, which implies Ornament and Crime, 2002-03, Ed Keller and atelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB that changes in After thorough discussions, completely virtual systems have they were as a group all FreeRoms - features ROMS for Atari, SNES, immediate and real ramifications and NES games. intrigued by the simplicity of that cascade through a host Intellivision for PC & Mac - emulation software of other virtual and material early computer games and that allows you to play classic Intellivision systems. also by the representation of games on the PC or Mac. Kris Highs Emulator Page - emulators for sound (text 8, bryngelsson), or Geological Drift is both a result Atari, ColecoVision, Gameboy, NES, SNES, a moving body of sound, in a of, and a catalyst for, a new N64, SMS, Game Gear, kind of intelligence on earth. 3D virtual space. Genisis, arcade and It explains the emergence of This project was Vectrex. new freedoms; and it triggers Mac.EmuScene.com selected to be both positive and negative - Macintosh emulation site flows across national, economic, developed within dedicated to bring you the ethnic, cultural, religious, and the RAM project latest news, downloads, materially intelligent regimes. reviews, interviews, and room. compatibiliy for many of Architecture -like digital design, the emulators. computer games, or military MegaGames - resource for PC and console hardware, strategy and tacticsAfter these presentations gaming consisting of cheats, previews, trainis a medium that finds itself ers, emulators, news, and features. by the participants, the increasingly susceptible to the MESS - complement to MAME, the Multiple advances in computational power exploration into the (art)world Emulator Super System emulates old console that more than doubles every 18 of games continued with the and home computer systems. months. Paul Robsons Emulators - including NESA, presentation by Sauna. In the A26, a TRS-80 emulator, and a Commodore soft light of the ware-house To date, the fastest computational VIC-20 emulator. processes in cities have resided set-up, Joanna Sandell and Petes Computer & Video Game Emulation in the living bodies that pass Helena Scragg guided us Page - contains links to emulators and rom through them, creating elaborate files. with enthusiasm through the instruction sets for use: zoning, Retrogames - news and resources for emulapolitical and economic borders, social, economic and romantic tion of arcade and console games. aesthetic systems, and the fury games of the works by the ROM Download Ranch - provides game of daily life: cultural exchange, emulation resources. artists Adrian Paci, Esra Ersen, genetic intermingling, and what Simons Classic Video Games and Emulators Anna Kindgren, Annika Larsson, Julio Cortazar calls, quite simply - reviews and pictures of classic video games. SInvention, high challenge of the Carina Gunnars, Fredrik Many emulators links also available for the phoenix. Amiga & PC. Helander and many others. | Zophars Domain - includes emulators for In one vision of history, this Dreamcast, Playstation, N64, and other game [I use the term game as consoles, as well as digital cameras, Java, a near abstraction] required rigid and more. codifications to make an impact in Usenet - comp.emulators.game-consoles everyday life and in the hardware practices of the city. Zoning, construction techniques, military manoeuvres,: these definitions of action were a prerequisite to turn the city into a gameboard. And substantial time, energy, and capital was required for Ornament and Crime, 2002-03, Ed Keller and this. atelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB < < < < | < |

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ducing radical social interactions and political change, will make possible parallel realities, scenarios, allowing players to choose possible futures. Referring to Constant and the Situationists lucid visions, Keller is interested in how play emerges in our contemporary times: what would play be in a near future where the boundaries between the virtual game and the urban game have been confused, blurred or even erased? and asking for alternatives to previous models of the individual / collective relationship. The philosopher Sven-Olov Wallenstein in his text The Name of the Game starts out by looking at game vs. play. Where game is something conditioned by a set of rules and a certain time span, play often ignores or breaks with the particular rules, appears unpredictable and can contain moments of surprise or non-responsibility. He continues to look at how 20th century philosophy has dealt with this paradox. In all, the concept of game/play sets out a terrain in which many of the notions brought up in the articles of this publication can be situated politically, economically, technologically, culturally, socially and artistically. JM [19.03.03]: This open terrain that is set out by the content and design of this publication, and the workshop in Visby, is also connected to the general structure of RAM. In the

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A20 was present in all texts, and the students were encouraged to make use of the open-ended task to develop a conceptual platform on which to found their projects, feeding on the complex notions of time and space introduced.

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The assignment was to create a space / time manager as needed by Billy Pilgrim or Will Navidson, useful for travels in Flatland and Spaceland, or to exactitude of Length and Breadth when being aloft. While facing the task of defining space and time they had to make decisions on how to approach the notion of a space / time manager, undefined as to consist of a manual, device, person, set of rules or agency of power. In parallel to this conceptual design task the team members were distributed among three weekly text seminars, introducing the three before mentioned tracks; Navigation, Organisation and Narrative process. This informed the work alongside with weekly lectures, tutorials and presentations. The developed proposals ranged between attempts to represent the experience of drifting in time, diagrams showing relationships between space and time and complex geometrical models documenting space/time distortions to games playing with memory and space. For the second phase, students focused their work into one track. They had the option of continuing projects from the first phase, or initiating new agendas. In many cases new teams were established, and drawing on parts of their previous work, new projects were developed. There were optional outlines and

Texts for phase 1 assignment, disturbance Text 1: excerpt from House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski, 2000 A multi-layered cross-referential story of a House with strange dimensions. Text 2 excerpt from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Edwin A. Abbott, 1884 A classical text on visits to worlds of one, two, three, four or more dimensions. Text 3: excerpt from Mason & Dixon, Thomas Pynchon, 1997 Comparing watching the stars from the ground with viewing the earth from aloft. Text 4 excerpt from Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut, 1969 In which Billy Pilgrim finds himself drifting in time: Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out anther one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between. He says.

the Music IS PLAYING Peter Bryngelsson


The development, history and future of computer game music depend upon the unique feature of the genre: the mental link between the players thumbs and their avatars. In comparison to film music, the computer game music is not essentially part of the story, but more an extreme condensation of what music in itself is about - a dissolution of the person and an absorption into a musical trance or flow. At first glance, the fact that computer game music has now acquired the same status as film music - it is now recorded by symphony orchestras, sold on CD, and has its own web sites - looks like a long-awaited and much-needed development. But, viewed from another angle, it has robbed this music of its uniqueness - the one feature that was its very essence. By that I mean the way it forms the Further information on the outlines of the NON course and the individual tracks can be found at: www.hypersketch.com/non

C20 D20 withdrawal symptoms), a game like Go West challenges the user to find h/er own role not within the game narrative and roles structure, but rather outside the game itself. The world of the game is too similar to the ark group one out here, which % - Break in continuity for instance lets () - Questionable text the Italian (or Western) player (( ))- Editorial insertion experience the odd schizophrenic - - Pause perspective of fighting to enter h/er own country illegally. Not 3 only does Go West mix fun with a An @illusion@ is a super percept. certain degree of ambiguity, but An orienting illusion is a super it shows that low tech intervenpercept of ones position or tions may well become tactical motion--whether linear or tools to deliver radical ideas even angular--relative to the plane in the over-crowded world of digof the earths surface. A great ital communication, which means number of orientation illusions that the game of modifications occur during info-digesting: can be part of a wider commusome named, others unnamed; nication strategy that expands some understood, others not outside the gamers on-line comunderstood. Those that are munities. sufficiently impressive to cause users to report them, whether TWO because of their repeatability 40 years ago a text signed by Uwe or because of their emotional Lausen appeared on the Internaimpact, have been described at tionale Situationiste bulletin #8, retroyou.org. This illusions are among theoretical speculations categorised into those resulting and detournes comics (which from visual misperceptions and are, by the way, one of the best those involving computing errors. known examples of patched We shall organise these illusions mass cultural products): We according to whether they want experiments because we involve primarily the focal mode want new games. The players of visual processing or primarily are also plagiarists (we are not the ambient mode. Although against plagiarists). Those who this categorisation is somewhat conduct experiments in everyday arbitrary and may seem too life are also those who make up the revolutionary avant-garde UWE LAUSEN, 40 YEARS AGO. The Uwe (and this avant-garde is us). Just Lausen quote comes from Repetition and as a specialised plagiarist has no Novelty in the Constructed Situation, which idea how to experiment and a appeared on Internationale Situationniste #8 specialised revolutionary has no (January 1963). Translation from French to idea how to play, those who wish English by Reuben Keehan, available at: to specialize solely in new games www2.cddc.vt.edu/situationist/si/ do not know how to play. repetition.html
An invisible game patch - a patch that exists but nobody actually saw (at least before being exhibited on-line a few years later) - is the core of the well-known SimCopter affair, conceived in 1996 by ark group. Developed by Maxis, the same firm that produced The Sims, SimCopter is an action game where the protagonist flies a helicopter and accomplishes missions such as extinguishing fires, catching criminals, putting down riots. SimCopter is populated by many typical clichs, like muscular pilots flirting with attractive blond girls (at least as far as a few pixels may allow). ark, who at the time was a fairly unknown anonymous collective devoted to the subversion of corporate culture, saw the opportunity and seized it. Someone

E21 F21 An alternate set of ludic visions however is illustrated by urbanists like Constant, or the speculations on power and freedom contributed by Hakim Bey, Raoul Vaneigem, or Ornament and Crime, 2002-03, Ed Keller and Tschumi, suggestatelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB ing that within the hardware of the city and the glacial socio economic systems we all inhabit, lies another realm entirely for play. This would be the place where freedom emerges, Cortazars invention.
What would the global drift foreseen by the Situationists or ArchiZoom be, in our contemporary urban landscape? How would play emerge in this light as a uniquely emancipatory condition- the encouragement of Spinozist active affections? Indeed, what would play be in a near future where the boundaries between the virtual game and the urban game have been confused, blurred or even erased? Some Fragmentary Observations .1 In a series of conversations with Bruno Latour, Michel Serres unpacks his interdisciplinary approach to philosophy, science, and cultural criticism by framing his work on a notion of the prepositional- both operatively and linguistically. To quote Serres: Pre-positionswhat better name for those relations that precede any position? Imagine dancing flames.... I have before my eyes a crimson curtain that fluctuates, sends up great shoots, disappears, is fragmented, invades and illuminates space, only to die out, suddenly, in darkness. It is a complex and supple network, never in equilibrium- striking and fluctuating swiftly in time, and having ill defined edges. ...a preposition does not transport messages; it indicates a network of possible paths, either in space or in time. This notion of the pre-positional insists on the delirious overlaps between local details of our world, the larger cultural narratives that meet in those details, our individual subjectivities, and the flows of power through us as agents and channels of power.

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REZ briefs, but the design teams primarily shaped their own projects in relation to the general brief of the chosen track. The groups continuously discussed and evaluated their own work, tutorials and presentation allowed ideas to spread between the groups and the tracks. NON organisation track

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coarse in some cases, it serves to emphasise the dichotomous nature of orientation information processing. 4 (Operators of todays and tomorrows must understand clearly the terminology and physical principles relating to the stats of their systems so they can operate with precision and effectiveness. These crew members must also have a working knowledge of the structure and function of the various software and hardware systems which comprise their machine, to help them understand the performance limits of their computers and to facilitate trouble-shooting and promote safe recovery when the machines fail in operation.

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The Name of the Game Sven-Olov Wallenstein

Few notions recur as insistently and enigmatically as that of game/play. From Wittgenstein to Lyotard, from left to right - the concept provides a way to (re-)think organisation while still acknowledging a current fascination with open systems, indeterminacy and unpredictability. When the traditional security of philosophy, aesthetic theory, and artistic practice starts to crumble, concepts derived from the image of a closed system (as in, for instance, the Vitruvian triad, of the firm, the stable, and the beautiful) seem less and less appropriate for our current situation. And, indeed, along the fault lines in contemporary thought, few notions recur as insistently and enigmatically as that of game and/or play. It seems as if the use of this word would allow us to square a certain circle, to present a coherently contradictory or possibly impossible idea, holding on, as it were, to both sides of the concept (or game) in a precarious balance. In this, the idea of game/play might function like the grid in modernist painting, as it has been analysed by Rosalind Krauss: it allows you to remain

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text by Jonas Runberger, the collaborative process is exemplified by the comparison of different workshop methods in the fields of art and architecture. And as a collaboration, RAM also corresponds to what Wallenstein in his text refers to as: the unity of rule and deregulation, law and non-law or when we want to think several things at once. Another reference is to that which Joan Leandre describes as spatial disorientation. Even though referring to the disoriented user of a default computer systems, such as a flight simulator, this text can also point out the potential functions of (lacking) control in a project like RAM. NC [20.03.03]: One of the main challenges in this collaborative process is however to find ways to create sustainable links between artists and programmers; to form teams, or at least team-like structures with some kind of agreement or protocol for information exchange and credits. This is still a problem. I dont know how many really boring seminars and meetings I have attended about the relation between art and science, circling around this issue. One problem is that the more or less traditional art academies are producing artists with underdeveloped collaborative skills. Tech-intensive art screams for teamwork! Maybe it would be more meaningful to focus on the identity of artists; to actively form a new definition of what an artist

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A22 The organisation track strived to set up testing grounds and instrumental models that would allow concepts to be tried out in different ways. A small workshop introduced the track; the participating students were given access to a physical model of an abstract terrain in turns, and had to device rules or make adjustments to the model in order to guide an entity between given points on the model, only using tactile senses. Between the turns their routes were often sabotaged by other participants, and they had to constantly adjust their tactics. The model was then tried out in an open setting, and the clarity of the routes investigated.

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The track commenced by introducing a number of incentives; a collection of concepts, approaches and sites to be deployed in order to define project outlines. Important concepts were Instruments [methods, tools and means to measure, annotate or control a process], Platforms [a common framework of references, the formation of a tactical plan or a framework with operational rules], Interaction [collaboration, collective development, affective behaviour] and agents [the representation of an interest or an instrument with a certain attitude]. Three major approaches were presented; recombination [implies the design of a system rather than a fixed proposal], exploration [mapping found structures looking for hidden potentials] and provocation [testing an environment by interference, forcing its limits]. The sites could either be urban settings or situations, public mediated environments such as public transport info-screens or other mediated situations. Along with the conceptual package, the track also introduced the Virtools software package, created for the development of on-line 3d game environments. The software uses an object based graphic interface allowing interactive system design for 3d real-time rendered environments, and its design environment is based on a non-linear mode of operation rather than time-line set up. Selected NON proposals The Virtual Building Box, organisation track, spatial organisers. Matilda Eriksson, Milo Lavn and Hjalmar Mann used Virtools to devise a prototype for collaborative environments, in which users could alter the configurations of blocks and create spatial parti-

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Softs Fragiek: Blind in the Sky Report, Joan Leandre mental link between the players thumbs and their avatars in the game, i.e. in itself engendering the metaphysical establishment of the trance-like, self-dissolving state that the game sets out to achieve, constantly forging a mysterious bond between the players and the world of the game, from which others are excluded. What distinguishes the game from film, apart from any interaction that may take place, is that this is an intimate relationship that we share, not with other physical persons, but with other virtual representations. The music is constructed to reinforce the feeling of being either inside or outside the game. It either absorbs the self or repels it. The endless cycle of events in which the musical structure is expressed, along with the limitations of the sound construction, makes this extremely irritating for the uninitiated, but gently captivating for the players. In the same way as the players battle to perform tasks, to learn codes and concretely to get hold of the keys to the game, the music constitutes a diffuse resistance that reacts to www.virtools.com players gradual learning with melodic or rhythmic signals that announce tempting bonuses. That the computergame music of today also attracts other physical persons into the space around the players makes it more universal, but also less unique. The musical code has been obliterated, become vague and unidentifiable. The computer game seeks to entrap players in a trancelike state in which they travel through various worlds and unknown degrees of difficulty, which in itself imply that you have to find your way to the end before you stop. The music within the programmers team of SimCopter decides to put an end to an exhausting (60 hours per week) and underpaid job, mostly programming stereotyped chicks and machos. The idea is as simple as it is sensational: to secretly introduce a modification of the appearance, behaviour and frequency of some characters in a pre-Christmas batch of games. The result would mutate heterosexual flirtations into tender and frequent effusions of love between swim-suited men. Apparently a large number of copies (between 50,000 and 80,000) of the modified game are distributed on a Friday afternoon, but during the weekend someone at Maxis notices the change. Jacques Servin, the author of the prank claims the head of Maxis himself discovered it, and took it with sense of humour. The next week Servin is fired for Joan Leandre is an artist and member of the Unknown Frame Observatory and the OVNI Archives. Since 1999, retroyou.org is a project of manual web reading and soft digesting: retroYou r / c [radio / control series] started as a project of hard deconstruction of a racing game for PC, presented among other places in: OnedotZero, Barcelona; dina digital is not analog, Bologna; Arco 001, Madrid, Transmediale 02. retroyou.org www.desorg.org introducing non approved material. arks PR action could then begin: news reaches even big mainstream media like Wired and in the end the case is in the public domain. Did anybody see and play the game before it was withdrawn? Does it really matter? arks purpose is not to denounce hypocrisy, but to use the media hype in order to make the aggressively optimistic and business-oriented culture of mid 90s show its dark side. Ive always wanted to be an activist, declared Jacques Servin, but activism is so moribund now. Do

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So, too, must practitioners of coding understand certain basic definitions and laws of surveillance so that they can analyse and describe the emotional environment to which the user is exposed. In addition, the professional must be familiar with the physiologic bases and operational limitations of the users orientating mechanisms. This understanding is necessary to enable the physician or physiologist to speak intelligently and credibly about spatial disorientation and to enable them to contribute significantly to investigations of machine mishaps in which spatial disorientation may be implicated)...@The final approach to erase corporate vandalism and western integrationist governments@... 5 2014: 29 CAM-1 start the number three cued. 2014: 31 CAM-2 lets. 2014: 33 CAM-2 start nostalG. 2014: 36 CAM-1 okay. 2014: 37 CAM-2 are you ready? 2014: 37 CAM-3 okay. 2014: 43 CAM-2 just let me have one cue. 2014: 39 CAM-3 there you go. 2014: 40 CAM-? if you need it. 2014: 41 CAM-3 all right we got enough. 2014: 42 CAM-2 okay here we go Ill get the cue for ya. 2014: 53 CAM-2 watch your feet just steer it. 2014: 56 CAM-2 just leave em alone for a little bit. 2014: 58 CAM-1 you want number three back? 2014: 59 CAM-2 yup. 2015: 01 CAM-2 dont touch node number 3. 2015: 02 CAM-1 okay. 2015: 04 CAM-2 start surveillance lever. 2015: 08 CAM-3 four hundred. 2015: 23 CAM-2 okay you can have em now. 2015: 29 CAM-2 here you got no problems. 2015: 33 CAM-1 delayed cue -. 2015: 34 CAM-2 wide, you dont need to worry about it. 2015: 36 CAM-1 yeah delayed cued start. 2015: 39 CAM-3 delayed cued start checklist. start switches? 2015: 42 CAM-1 off. 2015: 43 CAM-3 start levers? 2015: 45 CAM-1 idle detent.

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.2 They (its houses) no longer have anything in common with the houses in which Vesta and Janus, the Lares and Penates resided; rather, they are mere shells, fashioned not by blood but utility, not by feeling but by the spirit of commercialism. As long as the hearth remains the real, meaningful centre of the family for the pious soul, the last bond to the country has not disappeared. But when that, too, is lost and the mass of tenants and overnight guests in this sea of houses leads a vagrant existence from shelter to shelter, like the hunters and shepherds of primeval times, then the intellectual nomad is fully formed. Spengler, The Decline of the West Vol. 2 As this quote from Spengler suggests, the departure from a symbolic home, the beginning of a journey from which one can never return, is catalysed by urban, economic and sociocultural mechanisms all working together to form a new cultural and individual landscape. In our current economic and technological framework, that catalytic relationship has been intensified. G.DRIFT hypothesises that the Internets relationship to key aspects of an urban nomads territory as a tenant in their temporary dwelling- whether hotel, apartment, SRO or prisoncan provide radical alternatives to the previous models of individual/collective relationship, of public and private boundaries, and most importantly the relationship of the individual to themselves as subjects in dialogue with themselves. .3 It has been noted that architecture can function as a prison house, as does language, and that the arrests of personal freedom which architecture and language produce on the bodies and souls of subjects can be inflexible and cruel. It has also been suggested that we cannot understand the constitution of body or soul without identifying the forces which engender the subject. However, we might yet hope that there are alternative techniques of the self, that actually encourage freedom. Is it possible to conceive of an architecture that would not inspire, as in Bataille, social good behaviour, or would not produce, as in Foucaults disciplinary factory, madness or criminality in individuals?.... Why would architectural devices not work in reverse, leading against the grain to some space before

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within a contradiction, to extract surplus energy from the very aporia, while also toying with the idea of emptying it out in order to reach the ultimate end(game). The grid gave the discourse of modernist painting the possibility of pursuing the game of composition, while still acknowledging the new conditions of the flat picture plane that in fact ran against most traditional ideas of composition; the game provides postmodern sensibility a way to think organisation, while still accommodating itself to a new and non-hierarchical sense of space and time, it renders things and objects more fluid, flexible, and viscous, without introducing the mirage of a self-sufficient ego that would be their master. Our current fascination with open systems, indeterminacy, and unpredictability, and the emphasis on various conceptions of the event, seem to revolve around similar issues. Game vs. Play In English, game can be related to play, in the sense that a game has a set of rules (chess or poker as different circumscribed, determined games) and a set time span (as in game, set and match, a game of chess, etc), whereas play branches out in other directions, and often contains a moment of surprise or non-responsibility: this is just mere play, hes playing around... In an interesting spatial turn of the phrase, playing around means to ignore some, even most (though presumably not all) of the rules, and to go beyond what you were authorised to do. This semantic diversity-which is differently yet analogously distributed in and around, say, the French jeu and the German Spiel-is what renders play and game such attractive words when we want to think several things at once, which is not necessarily something we should, or even could, avoid. The unity of rule and deregulation, law and nonlaw, could in this sense constitute a new possibility of thought. Right vs. Left The concept of game seems to have been introduced into modern philosophy roughly at the same time by Wittgenstein and Heidegger, and both of them thrive on this double entendre: playing the game means to obey a set of rules, but also to be able to twist and change them at any time in order to produce new forms of sense.

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actually is. This is also important in terms of the new media industry. When some people of the industry talk about artists they mean more or less illustrators or people with decorative skills. And that is NOT what I mean by art! In my opinion, the most interesting field for new media is that of public space and electronic art. One of my favourite projects is the sub-way station at Nydalen in Oslo where an architect, a programmer/light designer and a composer made a project together. It is an installation where the automatic stairs of the station go through two walls of light that change colour in accordance with the current season: in wintertime, the light of the walls is summer-light and vice versa - all to a changing music composition. This is radical because it involves three artists and not ONE single. And it is also not the art of ever-lasting monuments in concrete or stone. Projects like this, including RAM, can and should redefine the role of the contemporary artist. AM [21.03.03]: As we received additional funding from the Daniel Langlois foundation in Canada to host and produce a Project Room, i.e. a virtual gallery connected to the publication and theme of each workshop, we are delighted to present an implementation of this idea of collaborative artwork. Sonic Pong is an audio game that started out as a discussion in one

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B24 tioning, elements for vertical movement and move around in a 1st person perspective. While using a very basic cube configuration, as well as neutral building blocks, the system suggested a potential for open-ended design environments. The Virtual Building Box, a NON project by Matilda Eriksson, Milo game like scenario Lavn and Hjalmar Mann could evolve into a collaborative space, with design envelops players in this trance related restrictions, forming sysand, the way that melodies and tems of design potential rather rhythmic sequences of events than fixed pre-set configurations. are continually repeated with The Servoline projects by servo minor alterations turns the were a given reference, exploring structure into a circular sequence these issues in the direction of that increasingly reinforces this. manufacture and production. www.n2art.nu/servloline_1/urbantoys Reverso, narrative track, zone The pulse in the music is always Li Karln, Louise Lindquist and analogous to the speed with which Joar Srman developed a truly <

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virtual proposal in this narrative film-based project. The collaboration within the team was multiplied by inviting other students to participate. They were each given a brief explanation of a fictive place supposedly having existed for a few years in the vicinity of the city of Stockholm, later demolished, as well as instructions on Reverso, a NON project by Li Karln, Louise Lindquist personal characteristics. and Joar Srman Curated by the design the figures in the game travel team, they improvised through through the various scenes. All in a number of sessions, filmed in all, this means that games music a documentary manner. Someis in many ways reminiscent of times acting against each other, the function of marching music in sometimes being interviewed by wars of former times: rhythms in the authors, they managed to cyclic sequences, played to help define this never-existing site the participant in the game/war from different view points. move forwards to a goal. The music gets the participant to The unique collaborative model travel further and for longer developed by the students into enemy territory, and never showed its high potential as a even stop to catch breath, but developing tool in the way the to continue penetrating into this fictive environment unfolds alien world for as long as the during the course of the edited music goes on. footage. The participating actors confessed the immersive The music speaks to and qualities of the process during works together with players own experience of pitting their skills against the difficulties of the game. The music comments on failures and weaknesses in a way that should not make players totally lose selfconfidence, but on the contrary should motivate them to carry on REZ and improve their

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you think these heads of corporations are going to walk into an art gallery and say, Oh, wow - I was wrong? Symbols are so much more powerful where you dont expect them. We cant be 100% sure that thousands of copies were really distributed (and were any sold?) but any tactics can be used if you want the shiny world of video games to act out in the open and publicly respond to embarrassing issues like the (lack of, excess of) political correctness and the working hours of their workers. The creation and the exploitation of media-generated hype might be a questionable strategy, but the SimCopter case - and in reality many other campaigns supported by ark - seem to demonstrate that a small myth (according to its etymology: a tale) can be talked about for a long time and inspire further action even years later. The whole game narrative of SimCopter - which was based on extreme competition and the desire to prevail, conquer and eventually destroy - was undoubtedly compromised by arks intervention. However, the context changed very quickly under the pressures of technological and marketing innovation, and one of the many reasons that part of the source code of popular games is released is indeed to take the pulse of users. The invisible hand of the market used the visible keyboards of the gamers to fill a vacant position and to design games closer to current events and the media agenda, even mass civil disobedience and urban riots against global capitalism. Its been claimed that the Scottish developers of State of Emergency (SoE) - a recently released game for Sonys PlayStation2 platform (which means, by the way, that no code will be open sourced, even though various cheats and access codes can be found on-line) - found direct inspiration in the Seattle protests of November 1999, when a global movement against multinational corporations was first acknowledged by mainstream media. The manual of SoE provides us with a time line of our near future up to 2035, when the game itself is set: 2010- We accepted that the only way the global economy could successfully sustain growth through a period of environmental deterioration was to give more power to big business. (...) 2023- Opposition to authority was liquidated permanently, and the corporation took complete control. This

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2015: 47 CAM-3 processor antiice? 2015: 47 CAM-1 off. 2015: 51 CAM-3 delayed CUE start checklist is complete. 2015: 53 CAM-1 CUED checklist ready. 1234 Indeed! Joan Leandre

SIMCOPTER. The quote from Jacques Servin, the author of the SimCopter prank, has been published in a Steve Silbermans article on Wired (December 3, 1996 - now available at http://www.wired.com/news/ culture/0,1284,775,00.html). An interview with Jacques Servin has been published on the now defunct SimEden.com Web site and is now mirrored at: www.rtmark.com/more/ articles/simedensimcopterinterview.html

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the constitution of the subject, before the institutionalisation of subjectivity? An architecture that, instead of localising madness, would open up a space anterior to the division between madness and reason...an architecture that would not allow space for the time needed to become a subject. Denis Hollier , Against Architecture Freedom arises through the ability of a body to realise two things: the exercise of power along ones full spectrum of possibilities, both physical and virtual; and secondly but more importantly an evolving awareness in this exercise of power, such that intelligent and self regulating structures form in the consciousness of individuals and groups able to achieve such a state. .4 As complexity theory and information science have evolved in the past half century, it has become apparent that all systems- whether living or non organic- have ordering principles determining not only their form and internal consistency, but also how they can interact with other larger and smaller systems, and ultimately their own ability to reproduce. When this quasi organicist model is used as a lens to observe nonorganic systems one witnesses cyclical regulatory behaviours that appear to be remarkably lifelikeincorporating what seem to be intelligent responses to context. When understood in this manner, buildings, cities and economies are not fundamentally different from ecosystems and organic phyla. The current evolutionary stage of the Internet is providing a network structure that has remarkable similarity to a neurological mesh, and by developing true peer to peer capability has begun to afford a nuanced feedback mechanism for culture to intersect with vaster economies, infrastructure, and manufacturing, which then act as a rapidly self regulating ecosystem. We are submerged up to our neck, to our eyes, to our hair, in a furiously raging ocean. We are the voice of this hurricane, this thermal howl, and we do not even know it. The organism... is a convertor of time. M. Serres The Origin of Language As this quote from Serres suggests, the influences be-

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Wittgensteins language game (Sprachspiel) points precisely to this paradox of rules, and it remains entrenched within it, perhaps wilfully. The ensuing ambiguity also divides most of the interpreters: some tend to focus on the notion of rulegoverned behaviour, and on how all practices and activities move within the sphere of an already established understanding and comprehension, or in Heideggerian parlance, in a clearing establishing a difference between practices and tacit backgrounds, between intentional figures and nonthematic grounds. Wittgensteins credo, Philosophy leaves everything as it is, could be the motto for this line of scholarship, which we, following a venerable tradition, might call rightist game theory. The left-wingers, on the other hand, tend to focus on the unpredictability inherent in any type of game: it could always be played differently, and the fact that new rules can never be derived from old ones, but always appear as irregularities and infractions, can just as well constitute an injunction to revolutionise the game. Which of these readings you opt for seems to a large extent to be due to our aesthetic preferences, to our sensibility (and thus in a way to capacity to enjoy sheer playing). An interesting and recent case, which goes beyond the petty squabbling of academic exegesis, is JeanFranois Lyotards retreading of Wittgenstein, indeed a left-wing reading if there ever was one, which first was set out in a rather loose way in his dialogue with Jean-Loup Thebaud, published in French 1977 as Au juste, but then significantly renamed as Just Gaming in the English translation. Lyotard circumvents readings of Wittgenstein that focus on the grounding quality of language games, which he sees as giving in to anthropological illusions, i.e., to an idea of a full and selfcontained subject that would merely use language as a tool for an already defined task. For him, the essential aspect of the game is not so much the givenness (the being-already-there) of the rule as the both spatially and temporally disruptive move the move separated from what comes before and after by a hiatus, an ontological gap that turns each phrase and gesture into an event, a singularity emerging out a background of absence. In a way, Lyotards

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Workshop presentations, 01.15 a.m. 6/11 2002. ICA, Gotland University College, Visby

Nils Claesson is co-editor and organizer of RAM1. He is an artist, film-maker, free-lance curator, and lecturer in film, video and animation. Currently running a series of workshops on the documentary perspective in contemporary culture. member of a:t board. board member of CRAC. www.crac.org www.crac.org/money www.art.a.se Ulrika Karlsson is co-editor and organizer of RAM 1. She is co-founder of the research and design collaboration Servo, currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Royal Institute of Technology, School of architecture in Stockholm. Visiting teacher at UCLA, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Los Angeles. Servo is a research and design collaborative comprised of four designers living, working, and teaching in four separate cities (Los Angeles, Zurich, Stockholm, and New York). Servos experimentation with emergent design, fabrication, and information technologies focuses on the complex interface of new media and architectural practice thereby responding to the various forces that shape contemporary design culture. Board member of CRAC. http://www.s-e-r-v-o.com/ www.arch.kth.se www.crac.org Anita Malmqvist is project initiator of RAM, editor and organiser of RAM 1 and curator of the RAM Project Room. Artist, teacher and part-time lecturer in New Media based in Stockholm. Board member of CRAC. www.crac.org www.ram-net.net/projectroom www.konstfack.se www.id.gu.se/info/arttech Johanna Molvin is Project manager of RAM. Editor and organiser of RAM 1. Managing editor of NU: The Nordic Art Review 1-2/02. www.nordicartreview.nu

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of the groups during the RAM1 workshop in Visby. One could say that Sonic Pong is an attempt to reapproach new media by taking away the very essence of computer media - data visualization made possible by computing - and focusing on the sound only. Its a simple idea but the context of the black screen together with the sound, creates a lack of coherency by excluding the visual representation. That makes the player both aware of the vulnerability of structural control, and exposed to his/hers efforts to locate the self into the virtual space of the game. When experiencing audio-visual media, the visual is associated to the consious part of human perception and therefore connected to analytical and structural thinking. The notice of sound is often neglected. Maybe this is a reason to why there is such a lack of writings about the meaning of sound in audio-visual media. Peter Bryngelsson, in his article The Music is Playing, is focusing on how sound contributes to the audiovisual experience of computer games and also pointing out the uniqueness of early computer game music.

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The completed 45 proposals were presented during one intense day, divided in 10 different themes that had emerged cross-wise over the three tracks. By using the students relatively limited experience with the digital tools provided and the given references, the NON course created a friction between concepts and technology which stimulated these themes to evolve. The discussions were addressing similarities and differences between the projects, and the emerging themes, rather than focusing on the efforts of individual student teams. PoP - Project or Proposal The pop-course was founded in the interest of the academic architectural design proposal and its context, and the use of its potential. While still focused on conceptual development linked to New Media and digital tools, it emphasized the project as such, and pushed issues of Site, Program, Model, Hidden Agendas and Proposal through different themes and design environments in order to find operative qualities in the proposal, apart from being a suggestion of a solution to a given problem or situation. Again this course was structured into three different tracks, each providing a different approach, context and frame of mind. The tracks were defined by an initiating package of references with theoretical and fictional texts, projects and other media. The purpose of the initiating packages was to create three unique identities as starting points for discussions and spheres of interest. A common goal was to find new territories for architecture to act out in, to define new actors and agents, and explore the potential of the academic architectural project as an instrumental model, not only a representation of something yet un-built. Although dependent on texts to set up environments for discussion, the students were asked to do complete design projects, and stress issues as far as possible in five summer weeks. They were encouraged to angle their work, and to seek potential in different methods, find new territories for architectural intervention and be

The music in a computer game is interactive in the sense that you control it with your performance. The computer game REZ even gets you to call up trancelike music by coping with the difficulties of Mind Benders the game. This Games & Rules is an extreme Product is Process condensation of Out of Control Sensing Environments what music in itself is about, Spatial Organisers and also of Zone what computer Body Distortions games in Decoding general do Inflections musically. The music in computer games also depicts players vulnerability and aloneness in their battle against the enemy, but also the loneliness and even isolation that playing can involve in relation to the rest of the world. In the early games, the musical element is a thin, constantly advancing wallpaper of sound in a fixed rhythmic pulse. The Project or Proposal workshop was executed as a five week summer course at the School of Architecture in Stockholm, open to students of all levels in the summer of 2002. The course was set up and run by Pablo Miranda, Daniel Norell, Jonas Runberger and Adam SomlaiFischer. www.arch.kth.se/pop The music has to be constructed so that you can stand it for hour after hour, gradually becoming one with the game. Thus, it

C26 period saw sustained growth of our economy. The people were happy and they knew it. (...) Now, In 2035- More weak and ignorant lowlifes are attempting to challenge the authority of the corporation. A State of Emergency has been declared. You are a civilian caught in the middle of a riot in the Capitol City Mall. Approached by a freedom fighter from the underground resistance movement, you decide to join this organised resistance and, using whatever weapons you can find, fight back against the corporation security forces. In an earlier version of the game the name of your ubiquitous enemy The Corporation was instead the American Trade Organisation - whose name sounds frighteningly realistic, but apparently some U.S. politicians reacted negatively to such a direct association. Choose to play through 175 missions set across four areas of the city in Revolution Mode, or play Chaos Mode where the aim is to score and the best way to score is to smash, destroy and kill.
The game is produced by Rockstar Games, a company that in the last few years released other best-sellers - like Grand Theft Auto for instance - which overtly play with the world of crime, fraud, gambling and other illicit trades. One of the unwritten laws of the video games industry is that an idea which doesnt raise revenues is not only uninteresting, but can also be dangerous, since a good game that is not able to produce any profit sub-

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CREDITS www.ram-net.net Crac in Context vol. 3

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Site - a organization, a political system, a geographical or out of scale site Program - a prescription, fictional, a choreography, a secret plot Concept - a platform for discussions, an obsession, a secret agenda, a point of view Structure - in time, set of relations, system architecture, network of common ideas, social structures - fundamental relationships Model - instrumental representation, carrier of concepts, simulacra, system Project - agenda, a group of related processes, statement, law, vision, experiment Proposal - tentative, trial/test, probe should not engage the players on a profound level by arousing passions, irritation or anger, but rather lull them into a quiet identification and dissolve their sense of time. The music signals accentuation of the games dramatic turning points contrasts with the general pattern and helps players identify with the computer even more. The music is a part of the vicarious self that takes part in the game. This avatar is concretely connected to the player via the keyboard, but this link acquires a mental dimension via the music. Taken together, the computer game presumes a dissolution of the person and an absorption into a musical trance. Into a flow or swing. tracts game-time from potential gamers of commercial products. Evidently SoE has been considered a good idea. Its no surprise if modified games cultures are no longer a threat to the mainstream industry, because even though at some stage game mods may have been used to deliver forbidden or dangerous ideas, they turned out to be just an attracting incubator for better customisation or niche market exploitation. Its been said that after what happened on September 2001 the game industry will calm down and for a while producers will think twice before playing with terrorists and violent action on a global scale: SoE shows that maybe times

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STATE OF EMERGENCY. The State of Emergency Web site is at: www.rockstargames.com/stateofemergency, where a 22MB (zipped) animated trailer (among other materials) can be downloaded.

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RAM No 1:Y1 Editors and legal responsibility: Nils Claesson, Ulrika Karlsson, Anita Malmqvist, Johanna Molvin Interface and graphic design; website and printed publication: Jonas Runberger English language: Brian Manning Delaney, Michael Garner and Jeremy Edwards. All rights reserved. RAM 1 Workshop credits: Co-host: Gotland University College co-ordinator: Steven Bachelder

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tween a living organism, its internal/genetic ordering principles, and its context, can be catalysed by urban, economic and sociocultural mechanisms all working together to form a new cultural and individual landscape. Serres writing implicates memory in this interlocked set of influences and reconsiders what memory might actually be, as well as rethinking the role of amnesia as understood through systems/information theory. Our project hypothesises that the Internets P2P infrastructure can provide radical alternatives to the previous models of individual/ collective relationship, of public and private boundaries, and most importantly the relationship of the organisation and ultimately the individual to themselves as subjects in dialogue with themselves. The a.CHRONO project Our current project is a hard science fiction project set 22 years in the future. Weve accelerated the time line that theorists like Ray Kurzweil use to forecast technology and social change, and predict that the singularity - a god like artificial intelligence - will actually have happened by 2024.

reading of Wittgenstein, selective and weird as it may be, brings him close to Heidegger, where a similar idea of play and game originates. In Heidegger, the idea of Spiel becomes decisive from the late 30s to the end, and it gathers around itself a whole set of terms relating to the abyssal, non-grounded and nongrounding dimension of being, to time and space as space of play (Spielraum), to being as playing-to (Zu-spiel) us, etc. In Heidegger, the non-calculable, indeed unruly quality of playing, is what matters. There is no doubt a certain right wing interpretation possible here too, especially if we emphasise certain later texts and their conception of the world as a pre-given order into which we are inserted, as

Thanks to the staff and students for your generous support and participation! Special thanks to Steven Bachelder, Robert Brecevic, Richard Wright, Manne von Ahnberg, Thomas Sol Sunhede and Mats Andersson. Additional thanks for support, co-ordination and participation: Emma Westecott, The Zero-Game Studio, the Interactive Institute in Visby Joan Leandre, retroyou.org, Barcelona Hugh Hancock, Strangecompany, Edinburgh Arne Kjell Vikhagen, Chalmers University of Technology, Gteborg Helena Scragg and Joanna Sandell, SAUNA, Stockholm. Johan Pousette, the Baltic Art Center in Visby Maria Lantz and Peter Hagdahl, The Royal College of Art, Stockholm Special thanks to: Fredrik Englund, Jaanis Garancs, Maria Kron, Ulla West, Fredrik Helander, Jakob Hallberg, Ellinor Eklund, Linda Ohlsson, Cecilia Molvin and Bore Bryngelsson.

Ornament and Crime, 2002-03, Ed Keller and atelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB

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aware of the positioning of their projects in the context of the course. Selected PoP student work

The Stockholm Office for City Transmogriphication track 2 by Jonas Jernberg, Rodrigo Jorge and Torsten Livion. The participants staged a performance at the final presentation, in which a mysterious new organisation, SOCT, was presented. By introducing an official website, claiming that their collective work had been lost SOCT, PoP, Jonas Jernberg, Torsten Livion and Rodrigo Jorge just days before due to a systems The development of computer crash, they managed to trick the game music jury and the audience into believing that this was actually found The music in computer games material. The organisation was can be neatly divided into before claimed to be international, with and after the Commodore 64, branches all over the world, and or before and after 1984-86. focused on the transformation Before 1986, people constructed of the public and private urban computer-game music solely landscape by any means. The using the soundcard. That official agenda would range is, using the computers own between citizen participation to synthesiser. This made it sound extremely surveilled environvery special because of the ments, making ethical and moral sound cards limitations of breaches on many levels includfrequency and complexity. It ing artistic rights, intrusion of is here the music emerges for commercial interests into the which many have a passion private domain and the positive today, and which we in general aspects of using surveillance as a can refer to as bleep music. planning tool. Bleep is an onomatopoeic word The first 20 minutes the scam describing what the tones sound was up and running, with agitalike, i.e. with a limited range and tion among the critics over the a predilection for distortion of the un-ethical activities of SOCT, but tone into a byong or a dyoo. eventually the bluff was called. The project had managed to The fact that the tone design is create an illusion that was poslike this is not just a matter of sible to discuss on very realistic limitations, but also an aesthetic terms, and while the content tradition dating right back to generated during the run of PoP the early Flash Gordon films, in was very heterogeneous, the which modernity in general, and umbrella organisation of SOCT computers in particular, were was convincing enough to sustain the immersion of this event. [ME],2002 track 1 Maria Sigeman Eveliina Steri The project was developed through the obsessive creation of personal truths out of anything, referring to Surrealistic methods of paranoia. Outlines of a private reality were created out of arbitrary starting points in images

[ME],2002 a PoP project by Maria Sigeman and Eveliina Steri

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have changed already, or that what gamers want is to mix the game experience more and more effectively with their real environment. Another scene: year 2001, the President of the U.S. declares war on the evil Afghanistan. Anne Marie Schleiner, an artist and author of modified video games, travels to Spain to lead a workshop on video games as a tool for artists: When I arrived the next morning at the workshop I learned that the U.S. had declared war on Afghanistan. The workshop organisers had installed a new demo of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, a remake of an old Nazi castle shooter game, on all the PCs. [The sounds of the weapon-fire echoed off the concrete walls of the workshop warehouse space--what I once approached with playful macho geek irony was transformed into uncanny echoes of real life violence. At that moment, that room was the last place I wanted to be. Another scene appears somewhere else on those same computer screens. Its a video. At the end of 2002 a video spreads on the Internet (on .mil servers, on U.S. air force members or aficionados clubs, on web forums, etc.) and shows the supposed infrared images of a bombing on a Taliban position in Afghanistan. Two buildings can be easily spotted, then we witness someone dropping bombs on moving cars and a man hunt on the nearby fields and ditches, while we hear soldiers and officers speaking in the background. Cryptome, a notorious underground web site where hidden, classified, invisible information is collected, called it Military porn. The origin of this video is as shadowy as the facts it shows are self-evident. At the same time, the doubt and the anguish

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SEPTEMBER 11 MODS. The mods to popular computer games like The Sims as a reaction to the September 2001 terrorist attacks have been cited by Anne Marie Schleiner in VelvetStrike: War Times and Reality Games (Nettime - May 16, 2002 - available at: amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/ nettime-l-0205/msg00120.html

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In our story, we forecast that this will not only produce radical social interactions and global political change - but also that it will breed a range of competing realities, each of which is a scenario that we spin out in the game, allowing every Player to chart a path across possible futures, altering their own destiny as well as the destinies of thousands of other players. Computation has transitioned into an ecology of superfast portables, powered by hydrogen cell, steamtech windups/flywheel batteries, and bioelectrics - and is completely pervasive. This pervasive, cheap, distributed computing has catalysed the emergence of a massive, global, lower middle class. The game combines a theory for -and simulation of - existing and near future situations - a role playing environment where social structures form and evolve amongst players - and a first person action game based on primarily nonviolent twitch gameplay. Through a nexus of biotech, nanotech, quantum and genetic computation, and conventional tech, we are at the brink of achieving a god level intelligence. However, a series of disruptions of reality are preceding the arrival of this superintelligence - each of which tests out a destiny for the Player, the Characters and the world itself. [associate] Each of these competing realities is articulated as such through our design of the capabilities and attributes of the Player, the spaces they interact with, and the rules of the game. In response to Batailles notion of a general economy, we predict that the surplus of solar energy which cascades through our material and social economy will find more and more channels for interaction not only with information but with the fabric of time itself. The sun is a body massive enough, dense enough, to already bend the lines of light, time and gravity around itself and tear apart atomic bonds. This excess energy is already present here on earth. How long will it be before humans are aware of it? Ed Keller

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in the cosmic mirror game (Spiegelspiel) of the fourfold, bringing together earth and sky, mortals and divine in a kind of post-ontological complacency. (Both of these tendencies are brought together in a lucid way in Eugen Finks classic 1957 Der Spiel als Weltsymbol, which weaves together many Heideggerian themes with other types of games and modes of play from psychology and sociology). Today, the left-wing Heideggerians seem to be gaining momentum, however (at least if we stay clear of certain Heideggergesellschaften buried deep inside the Black Forest), especially after these abyssal meditations on being were reread in the light of discussions of postmodernity from the late 60s and onwards. Heideggers meditations on Spiel have indeed set the stage for most theorising of the non-decidable and the event (for which Heideggers conception of Ereignis, the Event of Appropriation that brings Ed Keller is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Architecture, Acting Director of A.A.D. Program. B.A., Simons Rock of Bard College, 1985; M.Arch., Columbia, 1994. Principal of atelier Chronotope: space, film, text, sound. Founder, editor in chief, and designer: basilisk a journal of film, architecture, philosophy, literature. www.basilisk.com www.arch.columbia.edu special thanks to: KdLAB: Dean and Joe, Atelier Chronotope team 2002-2003: Carla Leitao, Juan Azulay, Gavin Bardes, Jason Anderson thanks also to Les Shih, Mark Leiter, my students at the Columbia GSAP over the past 4 years. For more information contact Ed Keller auchrono@basilisk.com www.kdlab.net image credits: From Ornament and Crime [working title] An online game in development by Ed Keller and atelier CHRONOTOPE with KDLAB Copyright 2002-03 atelier CHRONOTOPE man and being together in a new constellation after the demise of the metaphysical tradition, forms a more apocalyptically tinted forerunner), and I would argue that we are still not capable of assessing the extent to which his thinking has subterraneously shaped the current philosophical landscape (which perhaps also means that he in a certain way has undermined it, rendered its foundations shaky and its constructions highly risky). Order vs. Disorder The main example of this next, post-Heideggerian move in the game of the game/play is Jacques Derridas essay Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences (originally a conference presented at John

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RAM 2 | A Joker in the Global Bunker | hosted by Atelier Nord www.anart.no ram2@anart.no Oslo 5 - 9 February 2003 The term Global Bunker points at the situation where ownership is no longer held by local capitalists but by networks of omnipresent speculants, where the revolution in transport have made the sites of production more or less independent from local resources and local markets, when the collective sites of work are disintegrated and replaced with individual, home based workstations through the use of global virtual reality networks, and when all sites are carefully defined in terms of their socio-economic use. RAM 2 focused on artistic strategies for the networks. The aim of RAM 2 was to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations and to propose projects and structures from which a series of continued network activities can branch off.

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Theremin or text, and were developed into a belief structure, supported by vague maps, images, annotation and a very convincing narrative. Previous to the final presentation the participants also advertised the project through ficitve postcards from a journey in this narrative reality. The proposal was obsessed with its own identity; the authors had developed an introverted world of their own, which only partly communicated with the outside. The postcard strategy enforced the unknown distance to this place. Even to the tutors of the project, the internal logic could only be assumed through the trust in the authors, but the nature of this endeavour proved very strong. The invited guests of the final presentation were frustrated at the limited information they were provided with, but intrigued by the sublime notion that could be anticipated by those fragments and gave much effort to approach the core. Potential Proposals In a way, the NON course initiated an interest in the proposal and its status as a collaborative framework, and acted as a prequel to the PoP workshop. While the proposals were discussed as performative entities in the earlier course, the students were initially asked to explore those qualities in the later. The SOCT final proposal was on one hand a placeholder for the fragmented sub-projects that were explored by the group, on the other it managed to operate as a speculation on contemporary urban planning issues and the individual interaction of the public. The proposal was developed at a late stage of the course, and suggests a working model in which a number of more or less unrelated issues are pursued, then evaluated and integrated into a proposal, acting as a performative vessel with an agenda that differs from that of its components. ME:2002 proposed a confined reality, with no speculation on usage or values. The evaluation was performed

depicted aurally using artificial machine noises that specifically sounded like byong or dyopp, as though we still viewed these strange machines with dread. There is a tradition in our culture of seeing technology and advanced machines as aliens, and thus the sound that we associate with them should specifically sound alien. Science-fiction films of the 50s always used the latest ultramodern music technology to depict how technologically advanced the alien beings from outer space were. The early Russian 1950s synthesiser, the Theremin, and the even earlier German sampler, the Trautonium, created the norm sound-wise for the way a spaceship approached, and this model is the foundation for what we want computer games to sound like. The limitations of the early computer-game music also meant it was only possible to record three voices simultaneously, i.e. three instrument tones at a time. This means that if we wanted to use rhythm, melody and accompaniment, the music was necessarily extremely simple. The pulse, as we said before, was determined by the rhythm of the game, thus further reducing the scope for varying the musical alternatives. These limitations together with the authors desire to develop the music towards greater complexity meant that harmonies made up of more than three tones had to be divided into a rhythmic sequence in which the, lets say, four tones, instead of constituting a unified harmony, came one after another, in an arpeggio, and this is one of the reasons why bleep music sounds like it does. 1986, as we said, is a watershed, and the road forward to broader opportunities for both recording and playing back music goes via the Amiga games that used fourvoice music and stereo sound. But what makes the music in the computer games of today sound quite different is that we play the music from files. This means we can record absolutely any music and then reproduce it true to life on the computers speakers. It also means the music is recorded externally and then packed into a format that the computer can handle. When we then want to listen to it, the computer

C30 it inspires in the spectator are not provoked by cruel realistic recordings, but by images that could even be part of a trailer of a recent 3D strategy game. Alleged reality, which strikes us as a simulated reality, blends with a computer based simulation and shows facts that have the same random possibilities of having really existed or not. Highly mediated forms of simulation like SoE and the Afghanistan video illustrate the disturbing ambiguity of the current status of converging technologies, and may even lead to a simply apocalyptic attitude (reality is simulated, reality is deconstructed, undecidable, confused).
But simulation can be also used to act on reality itself. Playing with a surrounding shared world can cause unexpected reactions and its surprisingly close to the purposes of artists. From a corner of the prehistory of the 21st century someone said that the only success that can be conceived in play is the immediate success of its ambiance, and the constant augmentation of its powers. Thus, even in its present co-existence with the residues of the phase of decline, play cannot be completely emancipated from a competitive aspect; its goal must be at the very least to provoke conditions favourable to direct living. In this sense it is another struggle and representation: the struggle for a life in step with desire, and the concrete representation of such a life. Slowly, the idea of an unplayable game takes shape.

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GAMES, LIFE - PARIS, 1958. The unsigned text titled Contribution to a Situationist Definition of Play appeared on the Situationist International (IS), #1, 1958. The quote comes from the English translation by Reuben Keehan - situationist international online situationist.cjb.net

www.hactivist.com/cdl_hardware_6.html

F31 Hopkins University in 1966, and no doubt one of main reasons for the invention of the awkward term poststructuralism), which acknowledges both of these dimensions, the orderly and the disorderly, and in fact reinterprets play (jeu) as the uncontrollable movement back and forth between them. In every interpretation, Derrida claims, there is a guilty and nostalgic side which reduces the play of signification to an original sense and stops the process, but also another tendency to cut the signifier loose from its foundation - the (in)famous play of the signifier, that affirms the absence of centre as a new kind of reading and writing. The first moment Derrida locates in Rousseau, the second in Nietzsche, and he portrays Heidegger as somewhat uneasily suspended between the two.

G31 participantslinks
Jaanis Garancs www.jg.x-i.net Girts Korps, Nils Austrums www.semema-industrial.net Kristian Kirsfeldt www.kirsfeldt.ee http://asciiartgallery.com/artists Kristel Sibul www.artun.ee/~sips/ Dagmar Kase www.artun.ee/~dagmar/ www.a-virtual-memorial.org/ www.dshed.net/networking/ www.newmediafest.org/violence/ www.ugala.ee/repertuaar/ vagiina.html/ www.kunstihoone.ee/

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In 1999 the Carbon Defence League (CDL) and the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) jointly produce Super Kid Fighter (SKF), a real hack of a Nintendo GameBoy ROM. Like all the unplayable games mentioned here, its actually perfectly playable, but in this case a simple download and software installation is not enough because the installation also requires a hardware modification, which is explained in detail in Carbon Defence Leagues web site. Neither the GameBoys code nor its hardware are open to authorised modifications, but this was not seen as an obstacle by CDL / CAE, who instead took Nintendos obsession for antipiracy control over their products as a challenge. Super Kid Fighter is a role play based on textual interaction and basic visual features, where the final reward is to enter the brothel: the player has to gain points and develop a survival strategy in a social environment that recalls some working class neighbourhoods of

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www.hactivist.com/cdl_news.html SUPER KID FIGHTER. For technical information about Super Kid Fighter see link above to Carbon League Defense site. The text Children as Tactical Media Practitioners is part of Critical Art Ensembles Digital Revolution book, freely available as pdf file from CAE Web site: www.critical-art.net

Now, Derrida was usually understood as if he was quite simply opting for the second side - but in fact he warns against any such interpretation, which he sees as still locked within the hierarchy it seeks to displace. Play, Derrida argues, is the undecidable oscillation between the two interpretations of interpretation, and it is governed by a logic of supplementarity which prevents any clear-cut alternative from imposing itself. The play will never be brought to a stand, the game is interminable, but so is also the desire to end it once and for all, the quest for the endgame of the game (and the repercussions of this figure of thought in modernist art, in painting, theories of the novel, etc, are innumerable). In this sense, play/game imposes itself as the very figure for a kind of transformation of thought. It announces something (the absence of rules or a new set of rules) while also holding it back, marking a kind of limit. This is probably why we, for a very long time to come, wont finish talking about games, about play, with the feeling that any kind of more precise definition would constitute an uncalled-for limitation. Philosophy, Lyotard says in the introduction to his book Le diffrend (1983), does not start from a set of rules which it then applies to its objects, but rather from singular cases, from perplexities, out of which it rises upwards in search for possible rules. This way of understanding the singularity-universality nexus, Lyotard claims, first came to the fore in Kants Critique of

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Minna Lngstrm www.kuva.fi/-minna www.projectclub.net www.platformdigital.com Rita Leppiniemi www.ritaleppiniemi.net Olga Goriunova www.m-cult.org/read_me/ www.macros-center.ru/read_me www.dxlab.org/slw Bjrn Wangen kunst.no/wangen www.viper.ch www.electrohype.org www.thepineapple.cc Henrik Nord www.loonytech.com Kenneth Langs www.gunclub.no www.anart.no Marianne Selsjord www.home.no.net/mselsjor www.kunst.no/embryonic www.newpaltz.edu/museum/ exhibitions/current.html

RAM 3 | New utopias/new visions - claiming cultural territory in new media | hosted by E-Media Center www.e-media.anart.ee emedia@artun.ee Tallinn October 2003 New media theory is built on a utopian vision of creating a new world and a new art with the help of technology. So what happens now when science fiction has become real? What promises were fulfilled and which ones were not? The aim of this workshop is to investigate future strategies and visions that can be used as tools for change in a future practice of media art.

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A32 through the efforts of on all parts to open this private conceptual playing field to outside participation. While the SOCT vessel was developed to leverage a discourse, the ME:2002 was carried by the creators themselves, interrogated by the invited jury as spies reporting on experiences in foreign lands.

B32 program unpacks it so it can be listened to. Todays computergame music is thus more like music in other contexts, and less unique to computer games.
Uematsu - star composer

Final Fantasy, Squaresoft The Networked Feedback Environment / RAM1 The networked feedback environments project that was outlined in one group during the few days of the RAM1 workshop had to create opportunities for a number of different standpoints on game and art among the participants. All collaborators did have a common ground in their use of digital tools and game-like environments in their work, but were eager to be able to adhere to their own lines of thought. A number of project outlines were brought up for discussion, and a structural outline emerged, operating as a closed feedback loop. In order to allow for different scenarios to be developed separately, and still achieve a common strategy, the loop was defined as acting through any given protocol. The network idea emerged as a number of nested environments or nodes that would have a micro scale of physical digital connected spaces, affecting each other through more or less perceivable principles. Any number of these nodes, comprised of a digital setting and a physical interface, would be connected and send and receive information. Speculations on media types ranged from standard protocols to any information carrier. The proposed system consisted of nested feedback loops. In each individual node there would be a number of immersive effects that link the physical and the digital components. If delays or unclear causal relationships would be integrated in the design

Some composers of computergame music nowadays have the same status as rock musicians or film-music composers. They sell CDs and have radio programmes and bands that perform their music live. One of the best known and most representative is Uematsu of Japan. He is a self-taught musician who dreamed of being either Japans answer to Elton John or a sumo wrestler. In 1985, a friend put him in touch with a computergames company, Squaresoft, and in that same year he was taken on to compose music for their Final Fantasy game. His music from that time sounds like a lot of other bleep music, but we can already also recognise his unique melodic language - a strain of longing, sorrow or possibly nostalgia. The participants in the RAM1 project were: Jaanis Garancs, Jonas Runberger, Tina Finns, Erik Wijkstrm, Marianne Selsjord, Rita Leppiniemi, Minna Lngstrm, Nils Austrums, Girts Korps and Don Geyer. Ever since, Uematsu has composed all the music for the Final Fantasy games. And, as the years go by the game development extends the scope for reflecting the composers musical ambitions. Uematsus music has increasingly come to resemble the British rock that has been his model right from the start. Today, we can recognise quotations from Deep Purple, Mike Oldfield and Genesis, while we can also hear influences of contemporary scores, e.g. Jon Rekdals music for Robinson and Howard Shores for The Lord of the Rings. Today Uematsu lives well on the income from his music. He has his own band, Black Mages, who perform the music from the games, and he gets fan mail from all over the world. Life and Death Incarnation into new lives, along with death as a transitional stage, are an integral part of the computer game. Each life has its

C32 an American town, where small unofficial businesses, considered illegal by institutions, develop in social areas not penetrated by the agents of official socialisation (school, church, family, etc.). CDL / CAE thought that for its game simplicity and its impressive diffusion GameBoy could be the right tool to talk to 10-12 years old kids.

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Critical thinking is not introduced to intellectually developed children; they must wait until theyre adults to be exposed to it in any radicalised form. What passes as teaching children critical thinking is limited to teaching what is needed to prepare them for success in a given specialisation. If you want to talk with children and stimulate desire in them - CAE says - the content of the story is important, but SKF doesnt aim to provide an alternative narrative / values by simply reversing the good and the evil or talking about (race, social..) minorities. The SKF project was designed less as a way to deliver radical contents than as an excuse for a wider social game where imagination and discovery can be at work without worrying about leading the kids towards a very precise goal. What counts is that children can become tactical media participants. Even though CDL / CAE argue that the size of the GameBoy players on-line community worldwide might reach the critical mass for the underground distribution of SKF, the collective and physical dimension of play is actually even more important in this case, enforcing the peer-to-peer dynamics of mutual acknowledgment and appreciation of discoveries and capabilities that typically rule childrens activities. THREE Entertainment begins where / Technology becomes invisible. Rarely is a commercial slogan so overtly stated, but sometimes corporate poetry is surprising. One of the key moments in the process of the disappearance of the code is the development of the metaphoric graphic interface by Apple (immediately plagiarised by Microsoft). The inputoutput of the computer was no longer ruled by text commands producing sequences of lines, and became unimaginatively a desktop with folders and trash basket. In the name of usability one of the most powerful filters between the user and the machine had been set. The closed nature of Sonys PlayStation or Nintendos GameBoy

Sven-Olov Wallenstein is a writer and professor of art theory, (Konstfack, College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm) and philosophy (Sdertrn University, Stockholm). Founder and editor of SITE an interdisciplinary journal for the visual arts and contemporary culture (art, architecture, film and philosophy). www.sh.se www.konstfack.se www.sitemagazine.net

F33 Judgment, and its analysis of art and aesthetics as based on the play of productive imagination. To extract a postmodern sensibility from the Kantian critique of reason is perhaps difficult if the task is an exegetical one, but as an invitation to a future thought it still remains a possibility, and, indeed, one of our most decisive possibilities.
Sven-Olov Wallenstein

Darius Bagdziunas www.gaumina.lt Saulius Pauliukas www.origami.lt Katarina Lfstrm www.whitneybiennial.com www.ionic.nifca.org www.lofstrom.net/katarina Johan Thurfjell artgenda.tv/archive/archive.html Jonas Runberger www.runberger.net

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ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS WHERE. Entertainment begins where Technology becomes invisible appears on the Flash banner on the home page of Mr.Goodliving, a Finnish software house developing games for mobile phones: www.mrgoodliving.com/www/home/

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This is not ONE publication


Ideas circle around similar issues, but approach from different directions. They disturb each other and provoke new constellations. Its a mess, but there is order. Content was the starting point for the assembly of the RAM components, the only problem was that it was not yet existing. Authors were contacted, and the RAM1 workshop itself had generated a number of different fields, but most of all we had expectations. Faced with unfinished material, structures were shaped to enable different readings to the yet unseen material, and speculations on how different components could be associated were formed. The compact mass of different ambitions for the emerging publications had to expand as the first material arrived. Through intense sessions of idea-exchange between me and Johanna Molvin, website and printed publication were shaped from the inside; the initial rules, associative links found between submitted material and the on-going re-evaluation that can be followed in the MultiplayerEditorial. The work constantly expanded, the delivered material didnt change, but had to interfere with the context, and thereby with its neighbours. Step by step a prototype was assembled and discussed with the editorial board. This is an experiment in the sense that the loose rules developed have been subject to change depending on the content provided, and new ideas have been generated constantly. Growth was not page by page, but rather through density; the longest

Denis Romanovski navinki.smufsa.nu trial.smufsa.nu namm.smufsa.nu

Oleg Krupnov www.In-Cubus.com Eugeniya Kareva www.in-cubus.com www.belmt.com www.i-studionline.com Erik Wijkstrm www.kkh.se Drott Johan Lfgren www.kkh.se/~o98lofdr Tina Finns www.kkh.se Iwona Hrynczenko www.nomadia.se Mats Andersson www.hgo.se Don Geyer www.hgo.se Heidi Nikkunen www.hgo.se Ulf Sjstrm www.hgo.se Thomas Sol Sunhede www.syntaxerror.nu

RAM 4 | Survival Kit for the new media and communication environment? | hosted by Olento www.olento.fi info@olento.fi Helsinki November 2003 Survival Kit is a package of basic material, tools and instructions in order for one to survive in a certain environment. How could we define the Survival Kit for the current communication and media domain? What are the technologies and skills that everyone should have, and what do they enable us to do? Where are the bottlenecks of today, in technology or in (the lack of) education? Instead of being passive recipients, what are the tools that enable us to create and to be more active and powerful participants? What are the processes that define the future of these tools and what are the ways to affect these processes? The aim of the workshop is to create prototypes for the Survival Kit and to organize open discussions around the relevant themes.

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B34 C34 D34 of these nodes, the is just an example of a general user would have to trend that involves products as learn how to condifferent as Microsofts Windows trol or navigate the systems - the settings of nonenvironment s/he is professional versions in particuconfronted with. The lar are limited and usually hidden threshold between - and modern cars - which come the physical and out of the factory with sealed digital environments and beautifully designed plascould also vary, rangtic-metal boxes containing the ing between a basic engine: Entertainment begins physical interface for where Technology becomes invisviewing and controlible because the user shouldnt ling activities in a digquestion the tool s/he is using ital space, to a totally in the name of the higher value immersed mediated of entertainment and lets-notspace, in which The network feedback envirnment, RAM1, feedback loop waste-our-leisure-time. In case the user no longer of problems contact the nearest own music, and death is just a perceives the physical compotechnical assistance centre. musical logo that tells you that nents of the node. Regardless you have to begin again. You whether the users actions were In video game culture this responded to in a mechanical On feedback: imperative pushed by the The history of feedback systems is closely related to force feedback manner, through entertainment industry nonlinear thinking. The linked cause-and-effect situation visual, audio or other means, the has always coexisted with in which an output is connected to an input establishes experience will be that of limited its opposite, an irreverent control. This would be enforced an unpredictable change, in which minor interferences attitude focused on the discan be immensely amplified. by the feedback through the netcovery of shortcuts, cheats, worked nodes. possibility of manipulation. It In a negative feedback loop the system strives for equisounds quite obvious: when The network feedback loop would librium, and great changes in the controlled environment the duration of the game most likely take on the character- are opposed by new input. The classic example of this depends on the money you istics of closed positive feedback. is the thermostat, a linked sensor and a device able to put in a machine, youll soon make changes to temperature. Whenever the sensor This would imply that even small learn the way to let it last as records that the temperature goes beyond a preset interactions would start a series long as possible. But maybe value, it communicates to the device which acts in the of events around the network, thats not the only point, and opposite direction. in the end returning as a high maybe what Im interested amplitude distortion in the trigin here lays deeper: even gering node. Since all nodes The positive feedback acts in the opposite way, the when video gaming included would be transmitting informa- greater the change in the controlled environment, the the collective experience of tion of different kind, as well as more input is provided. The system is self accelerating, an arcade and even when transforming input data from and normally results in chaotic behaviours. While the the first two-player arcade previous nodes, it would be vir- negative feedback loop is deviation-counteracting, games had been launched, the positive feedback increases heterogeneity by being tually impossible to understand the challenge was always deviation-amplifying. Often considered of less value what effect a users actions are less to the other players because of the potential loss of control, the addition of having on his / her own node. than to the machine itself: self-maintenance capabilities to a system allows limits The seemingly random effects in this challenge was fed by to be set, and the system is defined as a closed positive that node would induce a Deus mixed attempts to underEx Machina experience. Control feedback system. stand the inner logics of the mechanisms providing system machine and subdue it in stability could be operating as an A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, Manuel de order to obtain the desired additional input provider, in effect Landa, Swerve Editions, New York 2000 purpose (pass to next level, dampening the amplitude. This discover the bonus features, always have a fresh chance to external entity would also act as etc.). It is simply false that try again, and the same familiar an overseer, creating the possiEntertainment begins where tones guide and help you on your bility for an objective experience; Technology becomes invisible way in a new round of existence. outside viewers could observe because for the avid gamer the The only thing that can threaten the complete picture of all nodes real fun is indeed playing against this cyclic experience is when and their influence on each other, the machine. the world outside makes an information not available to the abrupt intrusion, compelling you players themselves. Ever heard of Tekken Torture to disrupt the logic of the loop. Tournament (TTT)? Created Considering that the by Eddo Stern, an Israeli artist nature of the physibased in California, TTT is a cal / digital nodes modified Tekken III PlayStation would be undefined, console which converts virtual and could be set-up damage into bracin any manner, even ing, but non-lethal incorporating existelectric shock. The ing installations, PlayStation softthere may still be ware works propnecessary conditions erly since the game to make the feedhas not been modiback loops operate. fied in any way, The lack of a single except that the protocol and a single more the player guiding algorithm succeeds in the suggests that the game, the stronger networked system The network feedback envirnment, RAM1, Deus ex Machina the electric loads Tekken Torture Tournament, Eddo Stern www..c-level.cc/tekken < < < < < < |

E35 article defined the extents of 48 pages. At the moment, 48 hours away from deadline, we start to see how it comes together, but things can still shift.

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INVITED SPEAKERS Robert Brecevic www.hgo.se Hugh Hancock www.machinima.org www.machinima.com www.strangecompany.org Arne Kjell Vikhagen www.ckk.chalmers.se Joan Leandre www.retroyou.org www.retroyou.org/visby.htm Emma Westecott www.zerogameinteractiveinstitut e.se

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You have to enter this material as you would a game; explore it, learn its modes of operation, and excel in navigation. The printed material cannot expand once its on paper, but new associations have yet to be made between the stories running in parallel spread by spread through out RAM1. At second glance the printed RAM1 may seem to consist of eight components, potentially separable. Third glance may indicate eight or more starting points; looking at games from the outside, from the inside, or looking at game-like features elsewhere. Start at any point, go back or forward, or shift lane to another story. The rules for the creation of this compilation are no longer valid. New rules apply. It is a hybrid, born as a merge between digital and analogue structure, a bastard print matter, and now its facing its readers. And it has its digital sibling, to be experienced at www.ramnet.net. Another (un)related printed matter: The opening spread gives the following information: The name of Mark Z Danielewski (editor?). The title: House of Leaves. The name Zampan, after the word by (author?). The name of Johnny Truant, with a claim that his introduction and notes are part of the book. Anchor, the name of the publisher. The claim that this is the 2nd edition. The contents page discloses that page 3 to 529 of the book consists of the Navidson Record, followed by an exhibits section, followed by three appendixes; of Zampan, Johnny Truant and a final including contrary evidence. Page 663 to 707 includes an index. The story unfolds and introduces the following characters and entities (who never meet): Johnny Truant, a 25 year old tattoo studio assistant and club kid. The mysterious Zampan, a recent dead neighbour of Truants, who died old and blind. The Navidson record; a movie by Navidson portraying how his family moves into a new house on Ash Tree Lane in rural Virginia.

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RAM 5 | Media architecture: managing interactive processes between physical and virtual environments | hosted by Rixc www.rixc.lv rixc@rixc.lv Riga May 2004 The ART+COMMUNICATION festival in Riga organized by RIXC at the intersection of information networks and post-modern architectonics will form the basis for RAM 5 exploring locative media and the radically disorganizing potential (social, spatial & temporal) of ad-hoc wireless networking (for synchronization, interpersonal awareness & swarming), and use open-source mapping/positioning technologies to audioalize and visualize data in space.

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risks developing into looped fragments in which the feedback from other nodes would not affect the feedback internal to the node. It would therefore be necessary that all activity internal to a node is networked in some manner; regardless of what effect the network feedback would have, it would then interfere with the local dependencies. This may be a requirement on existing environments to link up, with the possibility to add these features if they are not previously existing.

The music in computer games specifically places the greatest emphasis on the perspective of eternity, on the fact that it will never end. It is music that simply continues on different levels of existences, each one with a somewhat refined variant on the musical raw material that is the foundation for this specific game. Thus, an inveterate players who has gone through all the variants of the game may have listened to music by a single composer that could have filled twenty or more CDs if it were played all in one go.

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Furthermore, the possibility of different types of information being passed on, further levels of nesting might be necessary. Different loops could convey image data or streaming video, text, sound, 3d-cooridinates or 3d-transformations etc, and they could act separately, while interfering in certain nodes. This would create a network The network feedback envirnment, RAM1, topologies The trend today is towards topology more complex than the greater capacity for interaction single loop variant, and some The well known games by the between the players and the information loops might have a European duo Jodi (from SOD to www.jodi.org game in as many dimensions faster and/or higher affect on the Untitled Games) brought the www.untitled-game.org as possible. The music and individual nodes. challenge to its purest extremes, sounds are an important part of shifting the playing field to the the fiction, since they are more The RAM1 proposal very belly of the machine: the concrete and multi-dimensional code. In SOD - for instance in their realisation than the The partial independence of the the tunnel system of the Quake graphics are. In games like Silent nodes allowed for development interface is maintained, while Hill the music interacts directly and speculation on individual any recognisable figurative elewith each individual basis during the RAM1 workchoice that the player shop. Participating artists had makes, and changes the opportunity to bring in perconstantly according to sonal work without disrupting the players actions. the collective proposal. The process could also act on all levels The goal is thus insimultaneously; a few nodes creasingly to merge the were investigated technically as player into the game well as conceptually (content, and to dissolve the metaphors and theoretical refactual person sitting in erences), possible protocols for front of the computer. information transportation were The physical body is only discussed and previous work active via its fingertips, done by participants could be and is substituted by an linked as prototypes. During the alternative body in the few hours of conceptual refinegame, which expresses ment and prototype production itself emotionally via Jonas Runberger and Don Geyer a tonal structure that outlined a node emphasising on also interacts with Sentics is the scientific study of emotions using a finger pressure potential physical digital conthe computer and the sensor called the sentograph, invented by Dr. Manfred Clynes nections by sampling the TurnOn physical space. To a project by Austrian architect / ment is distorted. Leaving the great extent players do not designers Alles Wird Gut. Erik audio files untouched and letting experience the Wijkstrm generated potenpart of the code appear on the www.alleswirdgut.cc music as being tial content for nodes, ranging surface (the code of the game part of the game, but as part between game-like scenarios to was visible on the HTML surface of themselves. In parentheses philosophical problems; the Narof their web site and on the meswe could mention here that cissus myth, Deus Ex Machina, sages sent to various mailing Professor Manfred Clynes has The Schrdinger Cat, the layered lists), Jodi banned any realism done research on the way realities of Don Quijote, Chinese and subverted any decorative measurable signals from the Whispers or the Butterfly Effect elements which hide the naked fingertip of the ring finger reflect of Chaos theory. Nils Austrums code. Among the most unplayfeelings and musical patterns. and Girts Korps looked at potenable of the unplayable games

on the hand that controls the game and is literally bound to it. Playing is not a simple decision to take when you know that the machine plays dirty! The idea of abusing computer game technology is one of the crucial elements of what Im calling here the unplayable games and it also emerges in Eddo Sterns Runners (1999-2002), a 3D strategy game based on a bestselling product of the late 90s where the player has 3 different characters displayed on one big screen each: the idea is that the 3 avatars are driven by the same joystick so that any move is the same for all three, although they are obviously in three different game situations. The game is digitally cruel because sooner or later two out of three characters will be abandoned in the vain hope that at least one will survive. Challenging the machine - instead of the phantom of your enemy moving on a screen changes the rules of the game and displaces its basic goal: the simulation shows its inherent limits and any other move in the game makes the competition lose its meaning.

E37 Will Navidson (and family), a Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary photography of some fame (according to Zampan), but presently missing. The House always printed in blue (crossed over in the black and white version).

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The narrative background starts with Will Navidson and his family moving into a new House in Virginia, in order to sort out domestic problems. He decides to document this important change of life and sets up surveillance cameras in tactical spots around the house. The family soon makes astonishing discoveries; while trying to find the best spot for a bookshelf, they realize that the dimensions of the House are flawed. Its simply larger on the inside than on the outside. Through an escalating series of events, all documented in the movie clips, corridors that stretch far outside the outer limits of the House appear, spaces shift dimensions before their very eyes and a giant staircase leads the family (as explorers) deep into the earth. In the extremes they manage to calculate the size of the stair to a depth beyond the diameter of the planet, and carbon dating samples from a wall indicates materials older than the solar system. Zampan reports that he came across assorted parts of these movie clips; the Navidson Records. He also claims that the material was released on Miramax. No films are part of the material Johnny Truant finds in his dead neighbours flat; only fragments of a manuscript and apocryphal footnotes, and he cannot find any records of any Miramax release, but his life transforms as he progresses deeper and deeper into Zampans material. Truant collects the material into a printable version, and includes his own commentary. The conclusions of Zampan have a disruptive influence on his own life, which is included in his layer of writing. The House of Leaves intertwines a multiple author narrative, as each narrator adds his layer to the story. Designed to be read in any order, the layers have still been created in a sequential manner; Navidson tries to understand a house through his films, Zampan draws his conclusions through the fragmented Navidson movie records, Johnny Truant evaluates Zampans conclusions (and is bewildered on how a blind man could have

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RAM 6 | Social interaction and collective intelligence: method approach and strategy | hosted by Vilma jutempus@yahoo.com Vilnius August 2004 The workshop will focus on cultural activities where artists involve local communities in art and social projects in order to implement alternative strategies of the new media context. The aim of the workshop is to investigate collective intelligence and how it involves computer literacy as a basic right in modern society.

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Peter Bryngelsson is editor and lecturer in film music at several film and music colleges in Sweden and Europe. Composer and performer for theatre, film, TV and radio. Leader of musical projects like Ragnark, Urban Turban, Astroturf. www.algonet.se/~slask/artists/ bryngelsson.html tial protocols that could be used in the feedback loops, and Marianne Selsjord produced a Mod environment to suggest a digital component. Jaanis Garancs speculated on potential scenarios through his previous work and Tina Finns used her previous knowledge of Basic Stamp to find connectors between the digital and physical parts of the nodes. The proposal was presented as a potential network acting either as series of game-like scenarios or collaborative environments with related agendas, or both. Almost anachronistic in its network within a network principles, the outline of the project added another layer of complexity and (un)control to these issues, and more importantly: the set-up had enabled the collaboration between the participants on multiple levels, and the potential effects of the proposal were discussed in the final presentation. While discussed as an outline for further exploration, the project has not yet been further developed. Deployment The temporary workshop is a venue for networking, and a meeting point, in which its intensity unveils mutual interests and possible future collaborations. Its a testing ground for new ideas, created by new constellations of people, with no previous common background. The workshop can be performative in many different ways, through the discussion within a discourse, through action in working together with common goals, and of course through the blend of the two, in which projects are outlined, proposals shaped and a critical discussion is taking place. Organisation and set-up of these venues for critical work and discussion has special collaborative qualities in themselves. The NON and PoP agendas were evolving during numerous meetings and discussions between the organisers, who had different interests and agendas, but with many related issues. They were speculations on working conditions in which participants would be triggered to take action, and encouraged to handle presented issues with a personal approach.

With Internet games like Outcast, in which you play against other players on-line, the actual person is dissolved even more, in that interaction with other physical entities, i.e. everyday social relations, is replaced by relationships with network representations: your avatar interacts with other avatars. In these games the goal is now for the music and sound to interact with the functions of the game on a deeper level. This still leaves room for musical ambition. And so symphony orchestras are recording complete, especially composed works that express all of this complexity and the interaction between sound and music. Peter Bryngelsson

C38 mentioned so far, SOD actually can be played, and the reward for those who take up the challenge is the opportunity to move within an extraordinary visual (and even playable) representation of the invisible. In 1924, Tristan Tzara formally instructed his readers To make a Dadaist poem by cutting out the single words of an arbitrary newspaper article, mixing them and taking out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag. While the resulting poem is random, the instruction is not. Just like Jodis works, the code modifications developed by Retroyou mostly start from commercial video games software. Retroyou analyses its structures, decompresses files, and substitutes them rewriting a few critical details. While Eddo Sterns hardware modifications distort competitive game practice to paradoxical effects, Retroyous software modifications stretch, mock and eventually take apart even the possibility of a competition. Retroyou doesnt seem to hate the video game, and on the contrary chooses only the best ones to put his perverse engineering in action.
The r/c series is based on a popular car race game, of which r/c alters a few levels following different strategies of intervention, as well as a common set of skin images, textures and sound modifications. In one case the rules of gravity and motion are changed, so while the game retains the response to the players inputs, the effect of these inputs in the (no longer enchanted) world of the game are absurd: the cars - or rather what remains of them - follow improbable trajectories and even if theyre still driven by the player the computer intervenes somewhere challenging the possibilities of control. Following the new physics of the game, the cars will even jump out of the game field and reveal the deceit: as if in a digital Truman Show, the car exits and flies over the space conceived by the original programmers, showing the attempt to imprison the faithful gamer in a jpg-ed cardboard-made universe. In an another level of the same car race game, Retroyou modifies some of the files that render realistic the movements of all the objects of the game world: the result of this slight modification in the code is that the changes of the gamers point of view (i.e. any movement produced by the user) do not successively substitute each other, but accumulate on the screen one after the other.

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HOW TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM. Tzaras instruction is quoted by Florian Cramer in Discordia Concors, a text published on the exhibition catalogue of install.exe/Jodi (the book is available from Christoph Merian Verlag Basel, see: www.christoph-merian-verlag.ch/m2_ buecher/D04_BuecherDetail.cfm?BUCH_ id=185 and now available in the Nettime archives at: amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/ nettime-l-0211/msg00010.html

www.retroy ou. o r g / r e t r o y o u _ R C _ f u l l _ radioControl/reVision_why.htm

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taken part of that medium) and the editors correct any mistakes by the non-academic Truant. Through a well established, but abused, protocol of academic writing the different layers come together and can be read in any order; typically in a browse like manner, following references as one would be guided by hyperlinks. The paradox of House of Leaves is that the base of the narrative, the Navidson movie clips, is missing. The structure is built around this core, through the multiple layers of annotation in Zampanos monograph on the films, or Truants sorting and immersive annotation. The complex structure that (the true writer) Danielewski builds around these central elements is self supporting, and the enigma of the book / House can only be approach through this parallel reading. The missing films are in a way replaced by cinematic sequences in the graphic layout of the pages; some passages with dense annotation require hours of reading back and forth, other parts encourage the reader to flip the pages in a frantic mode. The book was type set by Danielewski himself, and the crude but affective layout add to the characteristics of remediation; in the use of a hypertext protocol in a printed version. Another structural generative layer is indicated on the opening page; the 2nd print. The manuscript is said to have been passed around The Index, the hardcopy browser of the 700 pages, adds the notion of cross reference through listings of occurrences of words, names and concepts. Some of them are listed as DNE rather than with a page number, simply stating that the word Does Not Exist. The bound version of this story is not without limits, there is no fractal space that provides endless space for even more loops between annotation, but references are given to outside sources; existing or non-existing. There is also the claim that the manuscript circulated in different communities during the nineties, as a loose folder of information, in which material could be added or removed without notice. The printed version is vast, complex and multi faceted enough for multiple readings and performs as game like context. The creative authored diversity of this environment is only rivalled by its creative reading. Jonas Runberger

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Weimaraner Chapping Doe empowering handicap era cowmen appearing haired women parading peachier manpower preaching idea chairwomen reeding papa warmonger hacienda pipe midwing hero appearance chairwoman dare peeping warming apron headpiece mowing china reappeared megaword encipher apian manpower diapering each woman diapering cheaper cowman regained happier manpower preaching aide empowering hacienda rap weimaraner chapping doe manpower change peridia cowmen again peripherad chairwoman angered pipe empowering arachnid ape wingmen idea approacher wingman heroic appeared manpower harding apiece empowering chain parade empowering dance pariah newman radiograph piece woman preceeding pariah crewmen appearing idaho newcomer epigraph diana powderman gain peachier mcgowan happened airier whim ignorance appeared homeward perigean panic whimper encage paranoid manpower agapeic hinder manpower dang hairpiece woman handgrip earpiece manward hoping earpiece women recapping airhead homeward appearing nice

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During the run of the courses the different agendas employed by the teachers were given the same level of attention, and students could choose to angle their work according to preferences, but were always subject to the general discourse. The initiative to the RAM series of workshops depended on the network of institutions operating as founding members, the existing network allowed concepts to be developed, and the venues enables contact on a personal level, further detailing these networks. The different approaches to a topic such as Representation and Control Interaction in Computer Games in relation to art create an arena in which this could be critically explored on many levels. Different experimental platforms need different levels of regulations. Sometimes these environments can emerge without any structure, at other times a rigorous schedule with dynamic qualities is necessary. A comparison could be made to methodologies in different professional fields, even though those set-ups are focused on commercial values and rational solutions. During the 60s and 70s computer programmers would develop software in any way they could. Individual programmers were excelling in creating code that was to complex for anyone to understand, and regulations had to be created. During the 80s and early 90s systems were developed, in which software was created to create software, and heavyweight methodologies were devised in order to maintain quality and expedience. Today, having been faced with impossible collaborative models, there is a return to agile or lightweight systems. One of the premiere methodologies is the Extreme Programming (XP) principle, a collection of rules and practices which supports each other, and is supported by others in turn. When used together, a methodology emerges. Four essential themes are pushed as the most important; communication, simplicity, feedback and courage. Through various means a prototype is shaped almost instantly, as different patches of code created by different actors, and throughout the process this prototype can be tested at different scales. The collaborative aspects are pushed, to the degree of a pair programming situation, with two people working together on one computer in order to enhance quality control. This brings up issues of Collective Code Ownership, which encourages all participants to contrib-

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Like other computer game modifications that consist mostly of visual and decorative features, Retroyous unplayable games are visually beautiful, especially when projected on big screens and with good sound systems. However, Retroyous resistance to simply vj-ing his games seems to reveal a more profound motivation behind his modifications: the r/c series is less an investigation into a particular form of auto-generative visuals, than a process revealing that contemporary digital media have very much to do with secrecy. Studying the code of a Microsoft flight simulator, for example Retroyou realised that some functions rendering the explosion effect of a plane crashing against buildings were present but disabled. These functions are simply part of the construction of an immersive realism, which represents a very important feature for a flight simulator, where the user has to cope with plausible weather conditions, the aerodynamics of the planes, real world skylines, etc. Locking the functions that render that particular kind of explosion seems like an arbitrary choice, which may be even more relevant since that version of the game has been released after the September 11 events. If the above mentioned Truman Show effect strips off the usually camouflaged limits of the game fiction, the disabled code of the flight simulator reveals that were not dealing with a simple, timeless and value-neutral game. The connections between the military nexus and entertainment industry are renowned and not even particularly hidden: since the cold war, the link between them has always Extreme Programming was born through the efforts been strong in terms both of programmer Kent Beck, within a software project at of strategic R&D investDaimlerChrysler in 1996. ments (training systems, It was created in response to problem domains whose simulations) and in terms of requirements change; there may not be a firm idea control policies over popular of what a system should do and the functionality of culture (construction of a a system may have to change every few months. common ideology, influence The quality of the (hidden) source-code proved more on leisure time, etc.). important than expected. Through important concepts of: Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, and CourRetroyous game modificaage, different rules and practices have been developed, tions actually grow from that supports an iterative work process with recurrent a continuous investigation tests of the prototype that comes into being initially in of the underground paths the project. where entertainment industry, corporate culture and political-military apparatus www.extremeprogramming.org mirror each other. On his own Web site Retroyou built and is continually updating

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This redundancy is perceived by the user as a sort of infinite trail of dragged skins and patterns and in a few seconds the screen is saturated by a kaleidoscope of pixels unintentionally generated by the user her/himself.

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A42 ute new ideas to all segments of a project. No one becomes a bottleneck for changes.

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With the ambition to look for the performative aspects of the workshop model, in rela- The Collective Code Ownership tion to the issues of Extreme Programming brought up in this text, I would argue that it can work on a very profound level. Yes, it is good that we make contact, in order to have more assets / collaborators / partners / references for future work, but the processes of the workshop in itself, both its planning and origin, and its execution, is a valuable testing ground which can be evaluated at depth, docu- Jonas Runberger is an architect and the mented and deployed in future designer of the RAM1 website and printed work. The modes of operation publication. Co-founder of the hypersketch for this generator would benefit research platform for mediated spaces and from experiences from artistical, the conceptual use of media in architectural architectural and other settings. design processes. Frequent teacher and The copyrights issues should be lecturer at the School of Architecture at the looked at in models developed in Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm other fields, in which collective (KTH). Assistent under professor Greg Lynn authorship already is present. at the Machinic Processes in Architectural This may be more controversial Design course at the Architectural School at in the artistic field, and archi- ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland 2001. Frequent tectural practice certainly has collaborator with Servo. Director of the hierarchies within organisational SSARK medialab, a research component structures that have to be re- with in the practice Scheiwiller Svensson evaluated. Architects. Jonas Runberger www.runberger.net

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a sort of hypothetical mailing list archive on controversial, irrational, classified topics of current networked society. While this information is redirected towards the complexity of a general context, on the contrary the video game modifications represent their visual synthesis. The r/c games show that the beauty of an unplayable game can lay in beautiful colours, shapes and sounds implying a challenge against secrecy as a cultural and psychological weapon. FOUR Is an unplayable game an unbearable or even useless contradiction? Is it just rhetorical? The computer games mentioned here - which by the way are just a few examples of a richer story - are not unplayable simply by dint of the fact that its impossible to play with them. Even if artists are often famous for designing systems that dont work or dont work properly or for promising more than they can fulfil, this is not the case in Go West, SimCopter, Super Kid Fighter, Tekken Torture Tournament, SOD and the r/c series. Unplayable here points towards a different direction than the plug-and-play entertainment and the playability of large scale industrial products. Even if some of these unplayable games to some extent depend on mainstream games, the relationship between the alternative, radical and even visionary experimentations and their global market counterparts is not ambiguous at all: theyre physical or conceptual hacks that dont only challenge gamers skills (as any good computer game does), but force the gamer to bring the state of things around h/er into play. The most frequent strategy put into action in narrative digital media is immersion, which tends to engage the user in a process that requires immediate reactions and a very pragmatic attitude towards objects, avatars, tactics and values at stake. An immersive narrative builds a world where the relationship between the user and h/er surroundings can simply be called simulation (the meaning of the term here is the same used by Baudrillard): a separate dimension where distinguishing true from false, possible from impossible, ultimately makes no sense. [The unplayable games introduce a distance factor that breaks the total immersion in the game world: the strategies are diverse and range from an out of control interface to the representation of the dramatic Albanian migration

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BAUDRILLARD: SIMULATION, SEDUCTION. Typically Baudrillards terms, the ideas of illusion, simulation, seduction in relation to art have been developed by Jean Baurillard in - among others - Thinking Art. The game of rules, published by Trivioquadrivio/A&M Bookstore, Milano, 2000 (proceedings of Thinking Art. Rules and anarchy conference, Venezia, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, 2000).

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The RAM Project Room


The workshops of RAM are intended to work as starting points for future projects and prototypes to be developed outside the series workshop. The publications accompanying each workshop will have a section on-line devoted to presenting and experimenting with the proposals and projects generated within the framework of RAM. This project room will operate as a forum making the workshop results concrete and available to a larger international audience and network of artists, designers, media researchers, theorists, cultural practitioners etc. The idea is to link the different workshops producers, contributors, participants and applicants together during the three years of RAM. Through the exchange of content and contacts, the interest is to invite different people to advance and comment the approach and use of new media that today is reshaping society at large. The project room is curated and co-ordinated by Anita Malmqvist, Creative Room for Art and Computing in Stockholm.
www.ram-net.net/project-room

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Sonic Pong
Sonic Pong is a prototype for a computer game based on a sonic interface for navigating in a 3Dsound space. By using the sound of the video game Pong which was created by Ralph H. Baer in 1966, it is also paraphrasing one of the first video games ever being played.

Sonic Pong vs. Pong The original Pong is a very simple game. Two persons play against each other. The goal is to hit the small ball with your paddle which makes the ball return to the other players side. If you fail to hit the ball, your opponent will be granted with a point. In Pong the sound is a part of the audio-visual impact. The major difference between Pong and Sonic Pong is that Sonic Pong is only played with sound. This makes it even more simple and at the same time more complex than the original game. Removing the apparently most important aspect of the video game - the visual part - marks out a dramatically different challenge for the player. For those who have played the original Pong, the sound will create the image of the original game by sound memory and for those who have not; the sound will make the mind search for an image to combine it with. In both cases the sound will create bodily images of paddles touching the ball and the ball bouncing on a board since it relates to previous experiences of early computer games. The goofy sound of Sonic Pong corresponds with a certain mental image of a tiny machine and entertainment. Sonic Pong will be produced in two versions: 1. The Sonic Pong On-line Two players over the Internet using a headset. In case there is nobody on the other side: one player against the computer. 2. The Sonic Pong Installation Two players against each other in different physical spaces. The Sonic Pong On-line With a headset the player hears the ball, approach in a 3D sound space. The use of the arrowkeys of the keyboard indicates the movement of the paddle from left to right with the help of a sound that represents the paddle. The player will also hear a sound effect when the ball hits the paddles and the walls. This version of Sonic Pong is available online in the Project Room connected to the RAM web publication. (www.ram-net.net) The Sonic Pong Installation Each player move within a space that is determined by optical sensors and quadraphonic loudspeakers. The players then hit the ball with their own sound representations. The two opponents are placed in different physical rooms without the possibility to see one another. Even though the active game board is limited, each players side of it can be placed anywhere - on the opposite side of a Ping-Pong table, a football field, a country etc. For the Sonic Pong premiere on the 4th of April 2003, the first official game is arranged between a player at Soc, Bondegatan 64 in Stockholm and another player at the Baltic Art Center in Visby, Gotland. Credits: Sonic Pong was created by Robert Brecevic, Kenneth Langs, Denis Romanovski after a concept developed by Robert Brecevic, Iwona Hrynczenko, Kenneth Langs, Katarina Lfstrm, Saulius Paliukas and Denis Romanovski during the RAM1 workshop in Visby, November 2002.

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across the Adriatic Sea. Naively playing these games as if they were regular video games is hardly possible because the strategy of complete immersion is broken and the possibility of seduction opens up again: to seduce, se-ducere, means literally to lead someone to lose him/her self, to tear him from his identity, to divert her form her path, from her being, driving her somewhere else and it may even be a matter of life and death. Im not only thinking about love, sexual seduction. In every form of seduction theres an adventure, a risk, a dual relationship, a challenge. However, the simple opposition between immersion (that opens the way to simulation) and distance, break (to seduction) is just one part of the story. Unplayable game may even be too broad a label, including interventions that differ from both a technical and a conceptual point of view: games with radical content and developed from scratch (unavoidably simple in comparison to mass industrial products); limited modifications or patches that use the video game as a Trojan horse in order to build another reality or even to hijack the media; games as a kind of tactical tools to sabotage the main socialisation processes by official institutions; mutated forms of the normal(ized) interaction with computer hardware/ software (at any level: somatic, aesthetic, cognitive, emotional), and finally games as part of a strategy of reaction against mass spectacle. In spite of this amazing diversity, all these unplayable games point their weapons to the same target: the notion of interactivity, a typical byproduct of the digital media propaganda that smoothly runs through the established new media arts landscape. Is, however, the other side of this interactivity not interpassivity? Is the necessary obverse of my interacting with the object instead of just passively following the show not the situation in which the object itself takes from me, deprives me of, my own passive reaction of satisfaction (or mourning or laughter), so that it is the object itself which enjoys the show instead of me, relieving me of the superego duty to enjoy myself. Every game allows us interactive responses which imply the passivity of a full emotional reaction to an input that comes from the outside: its like being active through the other, where the

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INTERPASSIVITY. Slavoj iek talks about interaction, passivity, interpassivity in For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment As A Political Factor, Verso, 1999, and in The Interpassive Subject, available at: lacan.com/interpassf.htm

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other is actually represented by the laws that rule the artificial world of the game. In contrast with the clichs that state that new media transform us into passive consumers who stare blindly at the screen, we argue that the so called threat of the new media lays in the fact that they deprive us of our passivity, of our real passive experience, thus preparing for irrational and frantic activity. As Slavoj iek puts it (through Lacan), the possibility of a full reaction to the established rules of a game leads me to a state of intensity (even when negative), and ultimately to a general state of satisfaction and enjoyment. It sounds paradoxical but its precisely in the most sophisticated interactive media (from complex games like The Sims to artistic multimedia installations) that this possibility of basic passivity is negated: I cant enjoy passivity because every reaction is already incorporated in the machine and its functioning. The interactivity proposed by sophisticated interactive media is most of the times false. It sketches instead a situation of interpassivity, which doesnt imply being active through the other but rather being passive through the other. The unplayable games dont fear passivity a priori, since they intend to engage the gamers with the basic satisfactory experience of simply playing and reacting to the new unexpected rules of the game. Some radical positions taken by Jodi are meaningful: their Untitled Games (a whole series/recollection of modifications of Quake) imply at a certain point a sort of blind use. In most of the Untitled Games and especially the ones with the black square icon - the reference to Malevitch is probably accidental but revealing - the basic commands available to the gamer have not been dismantled, but their effectiveness on an abstract or even textual environment are hard to interpret (the ASCII characters in some cases scrolling on the screen being real time values of the game code variables). Retroyous [RC02] BUTTERFLY OVERFLOW : FCK TH GRAVITY CODE and [RC03] RED HOOD : ZERO WORLD and Jodis G-R take that blind use to its very extremes and become completely passive play-fields. As Retroyou puts it, they dont require human player, implicitly mocking the taboo status of the passivity of the digital media user.

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Vanni Brusadin is an organizer, free lance researcher and cultural networker. Core member of dina collective, coorganized the last two editions of the digitalisnotanalog festival (Italy, 2001 2002) and a series of presentations with international guests for the Center of Contemporary Culture Barcelona (2002). Currently involved in the preparation of a set of dina projects for 2003, for the launch of The Thing Italy website. Also involved in public space actions within the Las Agencias collective (Barcelona, Spain). Thanks to NU for proof-reading d-i-n-a.net www.cccb.org www.thething.it/ www.lasagencias.net

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The motivation behind all the different kinds of unplayable games is fuelled by the desire to resist actively a development model where the user should be compliant to digital technology and its functions as they were originally conceived. In this sense, even the experience of absolute passivity within a modified game like Jodis or Retroyous - even if contradictory with the necessary degree of interaction of a playable game - provokes in the gamer a sort of total detachment. Fighting against the interpassivity (sold as enhanced interactivity), unplayable games dont negate the enjoyment of playing at all. They simply move the enjoyment back to our side of the screen, engaging us in a challenge where our own position in the world is at stake. *** At the beginning of the Case of the Computer Asia, the Italian-American computer detective Giovanni Ravelli is confronted with the case of Asia, a computer developed to be intelligent and to increase its knowledge endlessly. Enabled to get closer and closer to replicating human intelligence, the computer decides to disappear and flees. - Building a Buffer program [Buffer is the name of the dog of the inventor of Asia] would be easy. Just a few subroutines: food, master, caresses, she-doggies and so on. Feelings too. But dogs are alive, computers are not. And what about people buying inflatable dolls then? And those who fall in love with movie characters? And those who talk to their cars? Again, wheres life if not in our brains, in our behaviour? Asia was alive in its being purposeless. It was a machine in its being logic. Now, maybe these two facts clash. And this may have led her to unimaginable conclusions. Vanni Brusadin

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