Saturday, April 30, 2011

The day of Adán Buenosayres

Anyone remotely familiar with Bloomsday will find in this post a repeated idea that, however, excited me so much I had to write about it, even if too late. The day of Adán Buenosayres is a big tour in Saavedra that'll follow the path Adán and his companions held on Thursday April 28th of 1921 or 1927.
I can't begin to describe how pleased I am with this very modest event to which, due to lack of time and transportation, I won't be able to attend. As people who know me know, Marechal's Adán Buenosayres is one of my favorite things. April 30, the day of Adán's death, was always a personal anniversary that I have the habit of reminding me. I never knew if Marechal chose it knowing Hitler had died on that very same date, I guess it doesn't have much to do with it.
But anyway, read the book, go to the event, enjoy life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One news article and three works of art

In a news article published in Página/12 newspaper, the journalist Gustavo Ajzenman says video games are "finding their own vocabulary, but they shouldn't be confused with interactive art". The phrase isn't entirely his: in the article, Ajzenman interviews several members of the ADVA (Argentinian Game Developers Association), and it's Agustín Pérez Fernández who states:
"It's not interactive art, but art games. We don't want to lose that identity, because it's a different language that's worth exploring."
The distinction doesn't satisfy me. If we interpret the term interactive art literally, we'll see it describes video games precisely: games are, after all, works of art, and who's to deny they're interactive. And for claiming they're works of art, art game is as redundant as art poem or art film, because we know that all films, independently (and this is very important) from their quality, are works of art. And yes, even Explosive brigade 3: Pirate mission.
At most, one could say video games are a particular type of interactive art. Or not, I don't know. To defend an identity, as it does or seeks to do Pérez Fernández, maybe it's worth making a couple of inaccurate statements. Maybe interactive art doesn't apply to any work of art that's interactive, maybe it has a narrower meaning. What I do know (and here I put an end to this very extensive prologue) is that, for the Chilean Alejandro Grilli J. the term video game has a broad meaning. Come see, if you don't believe me, these three works of his authorship that I leave you below:

Prosopagnosia is a disorder of perception which prevents or impairs face recognition. Prosopamnesia is played with the mouse, and the goal (if there's any) is trying to recognize a full face (with an emphasis on trying, because you never do). It has no clear ending. It does a good job conveying a good dowry of despair to the player, eager to recognize a face. Kind of the desperation one feels would get if one day would wake up unable to recognize the most expressive and recognizable part of the human body.

Lucid interval of the unconscious individual
I have absolutely no fucking idea what this game may mean. If we adhere to that works of art must mean something, of course. Lucid interval of the unconscious individual is a rather strange thing, also played purely by mouse, in which you take the role of an Anglophone psychoanalyst quite distracted from his Spanish-speaking patient's psychotic rant. Whether it is a criticism of psychoanalysis, a reference to the Rorschach test, a commentary on the impossibility of communication or an excuse to have fun doodling, it's worth playing.

Quite similar to Prosopamnesia, tough the only strong point of contact is the use of random images taken from Google searches, Deconstructivism seems like an experiment on the capacity to manipulate visual information through ActionScript 3. It provides a single image at a time (to change it you have to refresh the page) wich, also with the mouse, you can ... cut, I guess, in pieces that move depending on the direction we give them. Whether you play it for a while or just leave it playing itself, after some time you get a very distorted version of the original.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The comeback

And that's what going back to school feels like. The anguish of knowing that no matter how hard you try, you'll always be below the expectations. The confusion of trying to understand the bureaucratic apparatus of an institution that seems to desire your desertion every moment. The torture of endure a rant of two (sometimes four) hours, or better put, the despair of expecting the current speaker didn't say anything vital while you were far away, dreaming with better worlds. Sometimes I'm willing to sacrifice my right to rethink the subjects' contents, as long as they plug me a pendrive in the neck with all the necessary information and transfer it to my brain.
Although not everything is tears in the world of the pedagogy of terror (and believe me that fear is the real engine of study, some teachers brag about it): college has also a very good side, it's just I'm in no mood to remember it.