Video games get a rough shake. If they’re not openly denounced as child’s play, few people give the rhetoric of procedure—the idea that “playing” can impart something unique—a second glance. As a visual art installation focused on video game aesthetics, “Bit Wars: Art Tribute to 8bit and 16bit Videogaming” had its work cut out for it from the start. Continue reading
The engineer with the lost headlamp slipped as a shower of cinders, a flaming plank, caved out right before him. One leg dipped into the river. He laid there a moment, straddled half-off the pontoon.
“We’re having some electrical difficulties.”
Bridgeport on a Sunday morning: a seating queue winds snugly around the corner of the organic eatery Nana, its outdoor café space buzzing both with young brunchers and the bees that dive-bomb them from the planters. There’s a sidewalk sale assembled on the stoops of Jackalope Coffee and Tea House, attracting a crush of folks who are perhaps too cool for you. Continue reading
It’s something captured by a war reporter; it’s lifted from a horror film. Raw hamburger sloughs off the artist’s face and naked body, held in various poses. Photography flash-freezes four individual moments of sloppy decomposition. The resulting pictures are part of “Gratification,” a joint exhibition between six artists out of the School of the Art Institute (SAIC), hosted in unit 410 at Mana Contemporary, a satellite space of the Chicago Urban Art Society.
It’s the Madonna meets the Joker. Trapped behind the canvas’s glossy finish, a naked clown cups her breast with a gloved hand. Continue reading
I’m in a Hyde Park Starbucks, hunched over the laptop of game developer Rob Lockhart, trying hard to read the world as computer code. Continue reading
The boilerplate image for “#FOLLOWUS,” a collaborative multimedia installation on display at the University of Chicago’s Gray Center, is a still from the original short film “Urban Renewal.” Continue reading
Excuse me, my name is Mary Graves, and I’m a victim of spousal abuse.” So begins Dream Theatre’s “RIO,” a play written by Dream’s own Jeremy Menekseoglu and set in the rundown, sun-swept, nineties-ish border town of Hope, Texas. Continue reading
Whether he’s owning a crowd of wet, drunken rockers or depriving his players of sight, sound, and touch, game designer Eddo Stern brings games into untrodden settings, onto unfrequented media. Continue reading
Aired secrets, shredded cover-ups: the nagging urge to sort out a family’s twisted history and gloss its garbled narrative. The literature surrounding “Deacon’s Choice,” an independent film currently in production, suggests a deep preoccupation with voices and the stories they weave. Continue reading