Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

On Peace Games.

Posted: September 28, 2018 in Articles, Documents etc., News, Notes

On PEAGE GAMES. Training Course in Slunakov, Czech Republic. 26 August – 3rd September.

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It’s time I guess to write about a great experience I had about a month ago.

It all started on the 26th of August in Slunakov, an amazing ecological home near Horka nad Moravou village . A building based in the middle of a green preserved area functioning with respect towards the environment and the people. A  peaceful place to be.

There, I met up for the first time with the rest of the participants, people from all over the world. Romania, Argentina, UK, Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Madeira Island, Hungary, Turkey, Slovenia, Spain America and Russia! A big wave of different names  and cultural backgrounds  hit me but soon it all became very familiar and I felt like I was living in a unique multicultural family , and every single member of it had so much to teach me.

 

Those 8 days  were a big, long journey filled with new explorations, challenges, debates and games.

We had practical and theoretical sessions on how to structure and design a game. We also had to deal with stressful  tasks such as “building the tallest #LEGO tower”, which sometimes costs more than you imagine! We learned about teamwork and team organisation, the mechanics of creating a game and shaping a narrative. And to go deeper we tested our values and discussed over the values promoted by the messages that we get bombarded on a daily basis by politicians, adverts, the TV, the press and other social groups.

 

Now you ‘ll probably start thinking why the hell this course was called “PEACE GAMES”… well I was thinking the same; until we watched the movie …”War Games”.

Ok!  No!  (This movie is integral to the course for various reasons I am not going to explain. If you want to know more just watch the movie and/or go attend a “Peace Games Training Course” )

The real way to find out the mystery of this course was to link the idea of games to our society. And that again happened through more discussions and a deeper understanding of games. Ranging from racist and sexist, violent online video games[1] to “finding your real love” board games[2]. From old classic games such as Dungeons and Dragons [3] to theatre improvisation games and card games where cheating[4]is finally allowed (!). From running free and wild into the field having the goal to “HAVE FUN”  to playing obsessively “Overcooked”[5] until 3am. From games that killing crabs[6] can actually destroy your life to games that the lack of communication can blow everyone up[7]. (Definitely tried my best! ).

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But what was puzzling me was the fact that even though most of the times games create imaginary words with amazing graphics and endless possibilities they are indeed the mirror of our “REAL” world (although as trainer Michele said there is not such thing as real and unreal world. It all belongs to this world).  Only, this mirror shows what is actually missing from peoples’ lives. Imagination, communication, trust, bravery, achievement, goals, awards, risk, rebellion, companion, fun and freedom.

Let’s think how many of these we can identify in our everyday life?

As the week went by I started understanding that the wide range of games exist to attract different groups of people. But isn’t this a creation of the adult world too. A separation of worlds within a world? The development of more and more boxes labelled in different ways. How possible though it is to be able to jump from one box to another? Like we did that week, in that training course, following our own preferences and priorities but also accepting and trying and playing.

Everyone is different and that’s why there are so many different games. But what if the ideal Peace Game is playing ALL of the games? Acquiring skills and knowledge from all of them without judging or creating personal barriers. Entering different dark caves and crossing thresholds again and again. Meeting trolls that become your best friends and tricksters that by tricking you they help you find the right path. Enjoying that moment of playing rather than wishing is not going to end. Celebrating winning but also celebrating losing!  Embodying your character and knowing it is still you , the real you.

Only one week was enough to appreciate the real value of “Peace” and “War” games. The essence of having a goal and either alone or with a team trying to achieve it!

And what if that goal was to change the world? How would you play this game?

Well we tried…by creating even more games!

Games that language can make you a king [1], or where the sea animals can probably hear the desperate attempt of you to save them[2]. Games where you have the power to change the earth’s fate[3] or others were you have to YOLOmoc[4] or end up  mass- debating[5] .

It may all sound we were just going crazy… but I can reassure you it was one of the most enriching experiences I ever had. Inspiring, challenging and FUN!

Because at the end of the day, playing is part of our nature and the reason we grow old is because we decide at some point of our lives that playing is not as important any more. So I challenge you… go and play any game that makes the hidden inner child laugh again. Someone , some time said … life is a game. Just then we decide the rules. And these rules make the society we live in and the REAL world as it is. So keep playing and choose your rules because otherwise, someone else will…. But don’t forget in this game.. you only have one life.

 

Over and out,

Eleni

 

*References of games mentioned above:

  1. Anita Sharkeesian beating game (which I recommend you don’t try)
  2. The Fog of Love (attention this game can lead to marriage! )
  3. Dungeons and Dragons (which I recommend you playing at least once in your lifetime, but remember #gollumslivesmatter)
  4. Schummel Hummel ( Game designed by kids.  Wonder why?)
  5. Overcooked (not suitable for easily irritated people)
  6. The Visit  (very misleading title! )
  7. Keep talking and no one explodes.  (well…)

 

*Games created during the training course:

  1. A-Mazing Words
  2. The Sound of the Sea
  3. The Last Ones
  4. Yolo(moc)
  5. The Devil’s Advocate

 

A big thank you to Erasmus + and the training team of War Games : Carmine Rodi Falanga Mafalda Morganti and  Michele Di Paola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this is ART.

Posted: March 20, 2016 in News, Notes

Another example of pure art that is not trying to be deep or extremely sophisticated but rather shouts out a clear message.

Yes I am talking about these guys dressed and coloured in blue, yellow, red, white and black.

Anyone to debate whether this ↓ is art or not?IMG_4410

Jeff Koon’s ‘Charity Art’

Posted: December 7, 2014 in News, Notes
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I was recently reading an article regarding Jeff Koon’s ‘new’ Art!

It specifically talks about Jeff Koon’s new artwork that was created  in order to raise money to contribute to UN Foundation charity. The amount? $5.5m ….

There was some discussion around this subject and many different opinions seemed to have been raised around Koon’s action to kindly offer ‘some’ money earned from his art to a charity.

However, I was mainly drawn to one of the comments under the article that stated: ”This helps…”

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So, yes. I totally agree that somehow this helps. But that’s not my point.

Is, in this case, the art that really helps? or the money?

What if Jeff Koon wasn’t a famous, millionaire artist? Would his artwork raise $5.5m?

Probably not. Which means that as an artist he wouldn’t be able to help or offer anything to any charity.

In the modern art world everyone knows what sells and what can raise money.   So, some artists choose to ‘help’ our society by creating this kind of artworks that will raise money for a good cause and will then give them even more fame and wealth.

On the other hand, some artists choose to make artworks that are not about the money. They are about the artwork itself and how art without involving any money, any advertising, selling and buying can ACTUALLY help. (see Tania Bruguera )

In a capitalist society money is involved in every action and activity . Money through art shouldn’t be the only way to offer help.

Because Art should be the Action, not the medium.

Jenny Holzer

Posted: May 28, 2014 in News, Notes
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For more than thirty years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, as a plaque, or as an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in 1996. She holds honorary degrees from Ohio University, Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, The New School, and Smith College. She received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. Holzer lives and works in New York.

For more of her works visit : http://projects.jennyholzer.com/projections

Subversion.

Posted: May 12, 2014 in News, Notes
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Subversion and direct action are often associated with potentially criminal activity. This is of course not with out reason as many activists, engaging in either subversion or other direct actions in the past, have been convicted for offences that relate to the specifics of their actions. Subversion is a very specific form of Direct Action that mainly applies to the alteration of existing visual or literary media, whereas direct action is the broader term, which encompasses not only methods that use subversion but also further physical preventative intervention, constructive intervention, sabotage and demonstration.

 What we are concerned with here at AAW is; the legality of such actions, that to layman, could be perceived as criminal. When we say ‘layman’ here it should be noted that the police are to be considered in this way. The police are only concerned with making arrests for and investigating what they deem to be suspicious. What the police consider suspicious derives from conventional sense, that of the layman. The rank and file of the police are not trained in the law, they are only trained in how lo make lawful arrests that result from suspicion.

from: http://www.agitartworks.com/subvertising/index.html

so… there is hope!

Posted: May 4, 2014 in News, Notes
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When I started my research I was quite hopeless.  I thought that I will not be able to find any examples of existing work that can reinforce my arguments. I mistakenly thought that no artists or groups exist that use art  as a  medium to oppose capitalism and the rules of our society.

While my research progressed I was surprised by my findings and to be honest quite relieved too.

There are various artists and art groups  that attempt to challenge the existing form of art, which is embedded into capitalism.

Here is a list of names and websites of these people that give some hope not only to the art world but the world in general.

–Steve Lambert (http://visitsteve.com/)

–Guerilla Art Group  ( http://www.guerrillagirls.com/)

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination ( http://www.labofii.net/)

–Radical Art Initiative , Brooke McGowen  (http://radicalartinitiative.com/)

Yes Men ( –http://theyesmen.org/)

Vaccum Cleaner   –(http://www.thevacuumcleaner.co.uk/)

Space Hijackers ( –http://www.spacehijackers.org/)

Adbusters (https://www.adbusters.org/)

And I hope  there are a lot more that I haven’t  discovered yet!

After almost 10 months of researching, observing and critically thinking I completed the written part of my research project entitled:   Art vs Capital : What does it mean for art to be useful in today’s capitalist society?

It was a very fulfilling process and I never thought I can learn so much.

I found out about amazing people and artists whose  work was a great  inspiration.

I realised a lot of things that I wasn’t sure about before, like the power that art has but also the even greater power of money.

And all of these reinforced my will to change the world through art. And I truly believe that art CAN win this battle…

 

[I’d like to thank everyone that helped me during this process and especially my interviewees Brooke McGowen and Stephen Duncombe for sharing their thoughts.]