I am really thrilled to present my last collaboration with The Overkill Festival in Enschede in Netherlands on a invitation of Marie Janin. This art, games, music and films festival which usually happends in a 72 non stop hours format had to be online this year. But all the team made huge efforts to allow multiple collective funny online events. Here is a recording of the opening of the virtual exhibition created by The Rodina and Handi Kim.
Marie asked me to co-curate an art and games program related to their 2020 theme: The end of the world as we know it
After one year touring the art & games global south world, that brought her to Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, India, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, I look back at all the encounters and interviews I made with artists working with games as a medium, game makers, queer activists and curators focusing on female, queer, feminist and decolonial practices.I found out that today we have to speak of neo-colonialism rather than post-colonialism in which soft power plays a huge rôle to impose a monopolistic culture.
DON’T LIBERATE US WE TAKE CARE OF IT
I met some of the artists and activists of this new generation making its own decolonization. A new world is emerging and affirming its own voice, stopping to work for or like the others, but rather recalling its own history, roots and beliefs.
Interview Isabelle Arvers by Marie Janin
These tendencies resonate with the feminist book : Don’t liberate us, we’ll take care of it (2020) by Bibia Pavard, Florence Rochefort and Michelle Zancarini-Fournel; and the quote from Felwin Sarr “Decolonization has to be done in both sides of the mediterranean sea.” It is now possible to produce counter-fictions, strong enough to deconstruct and fight the soft power effects of cultural imperialism and send it back by reappropriating the tools, ressources and references. Making new alliances, new kin families alike, we can now reinvente discourses on ourselves.
ART & GAMES
An open source publication as “a science-quasi-fictional quest into the peculiar behavior of the cockroach; constituted as an assemblage of nocturnal, habitable, homeopathic, and nonhuman agency to explore the idea of kinship eco-centric futurism.” Learning from cockroaches opens up a future in which human and non-human beings alike can master existential threats. For this is precisely what cockroaches have been able to do for centuries, during which they have been understood and despised transnationally as disease carriers. Listen interview from June 2020 .
It was December 2001, and the Argentine economy was collapsing. The people demonstrated against the government and ended up deposing President Fernando de La Rua, who ended up escaping from the Casa Rosada by helicopter. In 2018, once again the Argentine economy collapsed, and President Mauricio Macri (a.k.a. Macri Gato) began to lose popularity. The desire to repeat the feats of that December 2001 was in the air. 2001: Helicopter Simulator simulates a Tiger Console game, where you are a cat and have to control a helicopter to collect as much money as possible before the people throw stones at you. This game is a dream that never came true.
In 2016, Brazil is preparing to host the Olympic Games. At the same time, the President is removed from office by the Senate because of pressure from large corporations. Michel Temer takes over as de facto President and the police repress citizens who demonstrate under the slogan FORA TEMER. A city in Minas Gerais is buried by a mudslide, LGBTIQ activists are lynched in the cities but the media only talks about the Olympic Games. Fora Olympics is a video game about the Olympics where people compete in Brazil’s favourite disciplines, which are made invisible by the media. This game was created in one night.
It was 2016 and Mauricio Macri had just taken office as President of the Argentine Republic. In his first 50 days in office, he dismissed more than 25,000 civil servants and signed three emergency decrees. Decretator is a game where you have to fire people as if you were crushing ants with your hands. You have 50 days to reach 25,000 layoffs and thus surpass the President. This game was created in 4 hours.
Hieronytris is a playable fragment of the famous Hieronymous Bosch’ tryptic “The Garden of Earthly Delights“, where the tetrominoes are changed for human souls being tortured in hell. This game is coded by Fabio Manna.
Carrocalipse is a sequel to Carrocracia. The game is a mix between Frogger and Sokoban, with more storytelling and character development. It talks about a dystopian future where civilisation collapsed because cars stopped working for no reason (maybe they were working way too well?). You and your partners need to fight the fascist cult called The Steering Wheel Society in order to survive.
The Indifferent Wonder of an Edible Place is a story about a building eater consuming a tower in a town condemned to be removed from history. It ponders the violence of erasure and the profound grief of surviving at the edge of despotism, when places of entangled heritage are willfully effaced.
Adapted from the works of the Gujarati poet MirUmar Hassan, it ponders the violence of erasure and the profound grief of having to survive on the margins of history, while places of entangled and inclusive record are being effaced.
This game is presented thanks to co-curator Isabelle Arvers and her project ART & GAMES world tour.
Machinima/game art workshop: Make movies with video games !
In the footsteps of machinima making – the use of video and computer games to direct movies with a game engine – games can be perceived as a medium and as a raw material for artists to create hybrids artworks from stop motion, video art, experimental cinema, installations; and can be transformed into colours in order to produce a totally new original artwork. Each step of the workshop can enable everyone to fit into a creative process: games wandering and recording, transforming games spaces into set design, video editing, sound mixing.
More about Isabelle Arvers : https://www.isabellearvers.com/