Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Monday, August 8, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The other day I ran into Press any key by Adam Saltsman. This game (let's call it game) is any minimalist's delight: the only thing the player does is to fill the screen with red dots, each of which appears when the player (you guessed it) presses any key on the keyboard. In addition, several messages appear above the game to spur you on your task. As I am a patient guy I got the time to play it to the point it reveals its true objective: to help us understand the true scale of large numbers, in this case a hundred thousand, because each red dot represents one of the hundred thousand civilian deaths since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
I remembered then how big it always sounded to me the thirty thousand we had here in Argentina, and I wanted to see if, with the advantage that not any event on this date requests it, I could do something similar (even if we didn't have an actual war and our thirty thousand don't get to be dead yet). Something somewhat predictable turned out, something unimpressive, but I liked it. The result was
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Just four keys: ←, ↑, →, and the spacebar. The body, Dean Moynihan's last game, is one of those dark games that if they do tell a story they make it obliquely, and slowly, as to irritate the hurried player. It is also one of those that, except for a few elements, are not that different from a short, bleak animation.
Its greatest virtues are the atmosphere it creates and some playful thing between the narration of the past and the present, using resources imported (don't know if I'm bluffing here) from cinema. I put it here just because I can, but you can also play it in the author's website, or if you want an even weirder experience, you can take a look at the original file without frame.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Some readers (in the broad sense of the word) find from time to time in certain works of art the expression of thoughts we failed to externalize ourselves. This is one of the functions of art, although not the only one nor the most important. Channels, by Graham Annable, made me think of this.
Being sad is like riding a bicycle: once you learn how to, you can continue throughout life, no matter how much time you spend without doing it. Being happy is like playing the piano: no matter how much you practice, any neglect may may damage your technique. Feel free to reverse the metaphor and make it optimistic. Pain may just be like playing the piano and pleasure like cycling. Aphorisms have that: they can claim anything in any circumstance sounding equally true and being equally useless. Two things, however, remain indisputable: I never learned to ride a bike nor I know how to play the piano.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
We often say an artist "makes so much with so little." And whether we're talking about Pizarnik or MacGyver, we're referring to their ability to maximize the expressive possibilities of the materials they work with. Never before has this expression described so well an artistic phenomenon as with the boys of 5-Second Films.
The idea (making five-second long films) is not much more than the name. But it is no less either. And the implementation has surpassed the idea (as in the commonplace, not that they've started making longer shorts). So relax, and learn to enjoy the magic of cinema.