Abstract


Welcome to the Pleasure Dome

Mathias Fuchs

Today media artists rebel against the homogenization of interface devices and reclaim a wide variety of ludic concepts and ludic set-ups. They suggest that guitar foot pedals, light sabres, dolls' heads, tarot tables and many other devices can be more efficient and more fun to use than conventional computer interfaces. The key factor of artists' strategies to reinvent and rethink the predominant mouse wheel is "play". There is a ludic drive behind the attempt to control media art via bicycle pedals or a game via a guitar effects pedal. The reason for inventing and using new interface devices is deeply grounded in the joy of haptic experience which allow us to feel play. Play in this context is the range of surprise and slack inside a technical apparatus. ("Spiel" in Gadamer's sense - or "Hin und Her" as he calls it) Play is also the ironic comment on status-quo technology. It is however not a set of rules like the rules of a game of chess. For this reason ludic interfaces are rather play-driven then enhanced by conventional game technology.

We conceive artistic strategies of building ludic interfaces in terms of
Cannibalism,
Hybridization,
Revenge, and Vampyrism.
The author explains his terminology and classification by introducing into a number of recent game art and media art pieces. He analyses the pieces in regard to the history of media art and technical and social implications.


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