Isabelle Arvers is a French artist and curator exploring for over 20 years the fields of digital art and video game, on formal as well as ethical and critical approaches. Her work explores the hacking possibilities of video games and mostly materializes in films called machinimas to be screened in on-site performative installation spaces. Arvers’ work grounded on collaborative experiences reflects all the possibilities of the “working together” processes. As a curator, she focuses on video game as a new language and as a medium for artists, notable exhibitions include Mind Control (Banana RAM Ancona, Italy, 2004), Node Runner (Paris, 2004), Playing Real (Gamerz, 2007), Game Heroes (Alcazar, Marseille, 2011), Evolution of Gaming (Vancouver, 2014)., UCLA Gamelab Festival (Hammer Museum, LA 2015, 2017), Machinima in Mash Up (Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016). In 2019, she embarks on an art and games world tour in non western countries to promote diversity of gender, sexuality and geographic origin and focuses on queer, feminist and decolonial practices. Working towards an exhibition and an international conference on post colonial game studies to be held at la Sorbonne in 2020, her reports on the research tour can be read online in Usbek & Rica, Poptronics, Immersion.
A graduate of the Political Sciences Institute and a Master in Management of cultural projects, Isabelle Arvers specializes in new media in 1993. Pioneer in the field of game art in France , she curated Playtime – the gaming room of Villette Numérique (2002), as well as the net.art gallery on “sound games”.
Her following exhibitions and projects then presented the video game as a new language and as a medium for artists: Organizing a gameboy music concert at Project 101, Paris, 2004 She also curated Mind Control, a net.art exhibition for Banana RAM Ancona, Italy , 2004, and Node Runners game festival, for the Region Ile de France in Paris, 2004. Curator Reactivate under Gametime festival , Melbourne, Australia 2004 / 2005.
Exhibition curator No Fun ! Games and the gaming experience for Piksel festival in Bergen, Norway , 2005. Playing Real, 2007 Gamerz 2009-2014 Digital Lounge at Maison Populaire , Montreuil , and Game Heroes at the Alcazar , Marseille, 2011.
From 2005, she is interested in machinima ( films made within virtual worlds using real-time 3D engines or video games) and organizes screenings at the Centre Pompidou, at festivals in France and abroad (Czech Republic , Brazil, Canada) since 2009, she organizes workshops initiation or completion of machinima , to democratize a practice that transforms an object of mass consumption into a production tool.
In partnership with the Gamerz Festival in Aix -en- Provence, she designed the first machinima exhibitions in art gallery and continues to work with curatorial exhibitions of independent games, game art and retrogaming in France with Dream Games, Games Policy, Games Reflexions and abroad with Evolution of Gaming, in Vancouver in 2014, UCLA Gamelab Festival in Los Angeles 2015, 2017, Machinima in Mash Up, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016.
From 2013 to 2016, she worked on art and research projects and curated and produced six antiAtlas of Borders exhibitions around the mutations of the borders in the 21st century, including The Art of Bordering at MAXXI in Roma and Coding and decoding borders in Brussels. She was also in charge of the End of the Map exhibition in the fall 2015 in Paris about alternative, subversive and emotional cartography.
With the artist Chloé Desmoineaux, she organized a series of Art Games Demos 2017 – 2018, a party mixing video art animation, machinima demos of alternative, artistic, experimental games demonstrations with music performances and dj set, focusing on queer and feminism, city and urban representation or borders and migration.
As a tribute to Nathalie Magnan, her NPO Kareron produced in 2018 TRANS//BORDER, Nathalie Magnan’s teachings, a series of events about ecosexuality, cyber feminism, alternative media and situated knowledge.
She has written for magazines like Arcadi, Amusement, MCD, Digitalarti, Etapes Graphiques and published critical essays on the work of game artists such as Matteo Bittanti or Axel Stockburger. Finally, she published an article on the machinima at MIT Press in 2010 : “Cheats or glitch , voice as a game modification in Machinima” in VOICE Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media , Edited by Norie Neumark , Ross Gibson and Theo Van Leeuwen and was interviewed in “Understanding Machinima , Essays on Filmmaking in Virtual World” published by Jenna NG editions Bloomsbury in 2013.