jaqaur – Looking Outwards 1

When I went to SF MoMa in 2017, my favorite floor was the one full of sound-based artworks (a temporary installation). I have always had a strong reaction to sounds (some positive, some negative), and so all of these were especially moving. However, one stands out in my memory as particularly interactive: Cloud by Christina Kubisch.

The artwork is a large tangle of red wires suspended in midair. Different prerecorded sounds play in different parts of the sculpture. These sounds are mostly recordings of electromagnetic fields from locations around the world, with some generated sounds mixed in. By wearing special headphones, guests can pick up the sounds and hear the magnetic fields themselves, creating their own soundscape as they move around the sculpture.

I really like how accessible this piece is. The visual of this massive net of wires fits perfectly with the audio experience it delivers: chaotic, dense with detailed but unintelligible information. It also really makes me feel the presence of all the data–public, mundane, or extremely intimate–that is being transmitted through the air.

Here is a video of Kubisch discussing the piece (note that Clouds is actually a series, and she is talking about a different but very similar Cloud from the one I experienced):


jaqaur – Reading1

When I have brainstormed games in the past, they frequently incorporated more than one of Flanagan’s propositions (at least to some extent). That said, the proposition that most directly aligns with my goals is the third: extreme new kinds of play, and making familiar types of play unfamiliar. In my experience, new and surprising mechanics are one of the best ways to interest me in a game, which ultimately causes me to consider the game’s themes and messages more than I might have otherwise. If the method of play is particularly physical or experiential, as is the case with the examples Flanagan provided, then this effect is magnified. In games (and non-game artworks) that I create, I hope to have a similar effect on people, providing a unique and memorable experience that also carries a critical message.