December 31, 2019

“Open World” at Akron Art Museum @ Hyperallergic

AKRON, Ohio — It is difficult to imagine a life in the last 40 years that has been untouched by virtual worlds and increasingly immersive digital gaming. But are these art? Yes, doye, video games are art — or, at least, they can be. In fact, video games are some of the most popular and best-funded interpretive art forms on the planet. A single blockbuster video game might have a production budget of $100M, and employ artists to create original graphics, design characters and worlds, produce experimental soundtracks — which have developed into an incredible avant garde subgenre within contemporary scoring and electronic music — in addition to a host of other technical graphic rendering and programming professionals. Just as A/V technology not only employed creative professionals in the making of mainstream videos, but also fostered a cohort of video artists who seized upon this new medium as a forum for experimentation, pushing against and advancing the form, video games (both mainstream and indie) are at a creative peak, as fine artists respond to and play with video gaming culture, visuals, and communities.

Some outstanding examples of these can be found in Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art at the Akron Art Museum. Curated by Theresa Bembnister, the show features two dozen international artists who use video games as source material, and includes interactive art experiences, physical and virtual objects, and the opportunity to play while teasing out the art within video games.

Read more here…

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