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June 21, 2006



Live in 45 Minutes

BREAKING THE GAME :: THE PANEL :: Wednesday, June 21st, 2006 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at the Society for Art & Technology in Montreal - Free. The event will be streamed live to the SAT as well as to an online audience.

Workspace Unlimited in collaboration with the Society for Art and Technology will host a public panel looking back at phase one of Breaking the Game, a series of interdisciplinary workshops and online symposium that brought together competing theorists and practitioners to build, debate and reflect on virtual worlds, computer gaming, immersive technologies, and new possibilities for artistic practice and experience. The symposium was conducted exclusively through a variety of telematic technologies: iChat, Skype, virtual walkthroughs, an online forum, and email.

Taking place both online and offline, the workshops opened up the art of game modification to the contingencies of everyday life, where virtual technologies increasingly mediate physical spaces and human movements in very complex and dynamic ways.

Breaking the Game initiators Thomas Soetens, Kora Van den Bulcke and curator Wayne Ashley together with symposium participants Sheldon Brown, Luc Courchesne, and Elizabeth Goodman discuss how, why, and under what conditions their artistic work and research have focused on gaming - as a category of cultural behavior; as allegory; as a series of specific audio/visual and interactive technologies; as an emerging form of machine/human poetics and action. They will consider how their interests in gaming overlap with the increasing computerization of the city and ongoing transformation of the built environment in concert with the proliferation of communication and surveillance technologies. During the event, Brown and Goodman will participate remotely through iChat.

The evening will be divided into two sessions. In the first session we will talk more generally about the format, goals, objectives, and challenges of producing Breaking the Game. In the second phase of the evening we will engage the three symposium participants.


Thomas Soetens
Workspace Unlimited - artist - Initiator Breaking the Game
Thomas Soetens, born in Belgium is a new media artist. In 2002 he co-founded the international artist collective Workspace Unlimited. Thomas Soetens explores the creative potential of multiplayer game technology in relation to digital art and architecture. In his artistic practice he focuses mainly on immersive environments, experience design, hybrid space, information architecture and networks. He is the leading art director of Virtual World of Art (VWA), a series of networked virtual environments connected to different new media centers in Europe and North America. Along the permanent visibility of VWA, Thomas Soetens participates in research projects and is frequently invited to lectures and exhibitions in Europe and Canada. In 2004 he was commissioned by the V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media, in Rotterdam, to produce the central work for the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF04).

Kora Van den Bulcke
Workspace Unlimited - architect - Initiator Breaking the Game
Kora Van den Bulcke was born in Belgium and studied architecture at the University of Montreal in Canada. She received the Gold Medal of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada for The Invention factory. Prototypes of her concepts and ideas have been exhibited and published at the Architecture Foundation in London, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, the Zeppelin Museum in Germany and the V2_Institute in Rotterdam. In 2002 she co-founded Workspace Unlimited and is now exploring the possibilities of virtual architecture using computer game technology and other forms of new media focusing mainly on immersive responsive environments, experience design, hybrid space, information architecture and networks. She is currently working on the Implant project and is involved in a Belgian research project The Virtual Art Centre of the Future investigating the possibilities of hybrid architecture for cultural institutions.

Wayne Ashley
Independant Curator/Producer
Workspace Unlimited - Co-organizer/Moderator Breaking the Game
Wayne Ashley is an independent curator, producer, and consultant working at the intersection of media, technology, and performance. Presently, he is consulting for Rich Mix, a new cultural center opening in London in 2006. Previously he was the Programs Director and Curator at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where he organized public programming and exhibitions around art and technology. From 1999 to 2001 Ashley was the first Manager of New Media at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), one of America's foremost presenters of contemporary music, opera, theater, dance and film from around the world. He was hired to establish BAM's New Media Department; and design, direct, and implement Arts in Multimedia (AIM), a research, art and technology project with Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs. He produced works for BAM's Next Wave Festival which included Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin's Listening Post, Paul Kaiser's Trace, and John Jesurun's Virtual Actor.

Sheldon Brown
Center of Research in Computing and the Arts, University of California
Sheldon Brown is Director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) where he is a Professor of Visual Arts and the head of New Media Arts for the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technologies (Cal-(IT)2). His work examines the relationships between mediated and physical experiences. This work often exists across a range of public realms.As an artist, he is concerned about overlapping and reconfiguring private and public spaces; how new forms of mediation are proliferating co-existing public realms whose geographies and social organizations become ever more diverse. Art that explores schismatic junctions of these zones - the edges of their coherency - allow glimpses into their formative structures and provide a view that suggests transformative modes of being, extending constrained boundaries. Currently, he is developing a series of sculptures, Istoria, which explore the intersection of the virtual and physical worlds, created with a variety of computer controlled processes, and several interactive environments that utilize a cross-fertilization of virtual reality and game technologies.

Luc Courchesne
Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) and University of Montreal
Born 1952 in Quebec. Luc Courchesne studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (Bachelor of Design, 1974) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA (Master of Science in Visual Studies, 1984). His design work covers a wide range of projects in graphic, product and exhibition design. His art installation work includes Encyclopedia Chiaroscuro (1987), Portrait One (1990), Family Portrait (1993), Hall of Shadows (1996), Landscape One (1997), Passages (1998), Rendez-vous (1999), The Visitor: Living by Numbers (2001), Untitled (2002) and Where are you? (2005). He exhibited extensively worldwide in venues such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; La Villette, Paris, the ZKM, Karlsruhe. He was awarded the Grand Prix of the ICC Biennale 1997 in Tokyo and an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica 1999 in Linz, Austria. Courchesne is currently director of the School of Industrial Design, University of Montreal and boardmember of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT).

Elizabeth Goodman
Elizabeth Goodman's design, writing, and research focuses on critical thinking and creative exploration at the intersections of new digital technologies, social life and urban spaces. Her work has been shown at Paris' la Cite des sciences et de l'industrie, as well as at conferences and forums such as CHI, DIS and Ubicomp. She was a visiting lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004, and now lives and works in Portland, OR.

Workspace Unlimited website: www.workspace-unlimited.org

Thomas Soetens, Workspace Unlimited
Kora Van den Bulcke, Workspace Unlimited
Wayne Ashley, Independent Curator, New York

Posted by jo at June 21, 2006 04:15 PM