RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Paradigm Shift" Participants


The gamification of New Media Arts? The effectivities of video game engines in new media arts worlds

Session:Paradigm Shift

Panel:Panel B (Paper session)


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics

The notions of immersion and virtual worlds steaming from the production practices in video game industries gain momentum in some new media art worlds, highlighting the hybridity and circulation existing between diverse technocreative practices (Charrieras, 2010; Ross, 2005). Contemporary art tenants often criticize new media artists for their fetishistic approach to technologies that can lead according to them to a technological determinism of the art practice, far away from the postmedia perspective highlighted by some critics of contemporary art worlds (Bourriaud, 2009, pp. 53–54; Quaranta, 2011) . More broadly, some commentators fear a gamification of art worlds (Hasa, 2012). For a few years now, artists belonging to the world of New Media Arts use technologies conceived originally for the video game industries (video game engines). Given the current debates and anxieties surrounding the role of technologies in artistic practices, the effectivities of those video game technologies on new media art worlds are worth studying. Following Barker, our research aims to describe and understand the condition of ‘userness’ of video game engines in new media art worlds, “to shift the focus of interaction from the agency of a so called user and instead understand interaction as more like an assemblage where agency is shared among its many parts” (Barker, 2012, p. 15). Video game engines technologies embed some qualities linked to the specificities of their context of production (Mackenzie, 2006) and are surrounded by different scripts of use (usersgroup, manuals, etc.). How are they taken up by new media artists whose production practices and technological and creative set of references differ?

Damien Charrieras, Assistant Professor, City University of Hong Kong ( ) Damien is interested in emerging cultural practices related to new media arts, electronic music, video game production milieus, new technologies and artistic/cultural work, spaces and places of cultural work, critical new media studies, new materialism, french theory. In his previous research,he did a cultural analysis of the hybrid practices and the trajectories of new media artists in Montreal and their relationships to technologies, places of cultural work and industries. His current research investigates the circulation of video game engines across companies and new media art production milieus.

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