:: Friday, June 04, 2004 ::

I would like to add an additional resource to Eduardo's game theory compendium, the Italian-based ludologica. The projects presents a series of readers on issues of gaming as they evolve:
"Launched in 2003 by Edizioni Unicopli, “Ludologica. Videogames d’autore” is a new series of books that honour the most significant video games ever produced. Available in two formats (Monographs and Readers), these volumes discuss video games from a broad academic and critical perspective, setting characteristics, themes and techniques in context and exploring the game's significance."
Recent titles include Resident Evil: Surviving the Horror and The Sims: Similarities, Symbols & Simulacra, with the forthcoming titles Super Mario Worlds: Actions, Interactions & Explorations, and several other due out this June, and Doom: A first person reader due out this fall. Books are available in Italian, with English versions pending.
:: [+] ::
As a follow up to my post on game theory yesterday, I should include ludology.org, a site run by video game theorist Gonzalo Frasca. A big thanks to Garrett from the netKru for the heads up.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
As part of "Art in the Garden," Chicago's first public art project stretching from the lakefront to the inner city, participating artist Ellen Rothenberg will present "The Invisible Garden" -- a hidden installation that will create a sort of corridor that explores and maps the social space of the momentary interactions that occur within it.

An ethereal concept, the project proposes the questions, "What aren't we seeing? What's all around us but remains invisible?" The artist invites us all to participate in answering, or rather addressing, these questions by sending our words and ideas on these concerns, which in turn will be intigrated into the installation "through a textual broadcast of multiple voices."

Responses will be broadcast on-line and may be presented as banners at The Invisible Garden. If you would be interested in participating, please send short texts (1-3 lines), to invisiblegarden2004@yahoo.com by June 15.

The gardens are scheduled to open to the public mid-June.

The website www.invisiblegarden.com has more information.

:: [+] ::
:: Thursday, June 03, 2004 ::
With Summer coming our way, some of our readers might be wondering what to read over the next three months. Well, in other circumstances people might recommend books, but here at N_A_R I will recommend subjects for online research.

Today I recommend Game Theory. Given that this term has picked up some popularity around the new media circles, it should be clarified that such area of research has been around for a long time; in many ways it directly relates to Machiavelli and his theories of war. His ideas have been, of course, appropriated by major video game companies such as X-Box (which Linux gurus have been able to hack to create computers out of). But what we want here are links, so here they go:

For Game Theory history check out:
What is Game Theory, Chronology of Game Theory, a mathematical branch, a synopsis at the New School, and The Center for Game Theory.

Because new media's relationship to game theory is partly through video games, here are some video game resources (portals) worth of note: Blue's News, Online Gaming Resource. These are of course tentative suggestions. But one I highly recommend for its crossover to other new media fields of research is Grand Text Auto, a well respected group blog.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
Following up on Steve kurtz news, here are a few links dealing with his current situation:

first, a release of May 25 now making the rounds around the web, also a blog recontextualizing the news (always good to hear a more personal opinion), and now the other members of Critical Art Ensemble have also been subpoenaed (newsday).

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 ::
As members of online communities are aware, artist Steve Kurtz,Associate Professor in the Department of Art at New York State University at Buffalo, and a member of the internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble, was arrested by the FBI on May 11 after he called 911 because his wife had a heart attack. The reason for his arrest was that he had chemical equipment in his house. More information on this incident can be accessed on RTmark website. The washington post and Newsday are now covering the story.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 ::
José Luis Orihuela's eCuaderno V2.0 is a portal for various areas of cyberculture, media, communications and blogging. The Spanish language site includes highlights of current issues and article links in various languages, and copious links to related and relevant net.art resources. The site is available in English through the use of a Google translator, whose link is readily available on the Spanish homepage.

The although it takes up only the left quarter portion of the site, a narrow list of links provides a comprehensive, if not exhaustive, list of weblogs and resource sites. Orihuela has arranged alphabetically lists of links in the following areas:Blogs in Spanish; Blogs in English; Blogs in German; Blogs in French; Blogs in Italian; Blogs in Portuguese; Trip Blogs; Documentary Blogs; Design and Information Architecture; Economy, Marketing and Publicity; Education and University; Economy, Marketing and Publicity; Means and eComunication; Technology; Electronic magazines; as well as sections pertaining to Orihuela's own involvement and interests in the community.

I am overwhelmed. The site is a melangè of overlapping and tangental topics. As such, it functions as a loose encyclopedia of what concerns are swirling through net.culture at the moment.

:: [+] ::
:: Monday, May 31, 2004 ::
"Design Research : Methods and Perspectives" - Brenda Laurel's most recent book

There I was, at SXSW in Austin, in front of the "diva" who was hectically signing her newest book. I was distracted looking at the tatoo on her arm when she grabbed my book. I just had the time to mumble how "your Computers as Theater changed my life".

At a time when theorists in visual culture (and I will leave the "label" there) are realizing they must reassess the way we do research in the field, Brenda Laurel's last book on Design Research is refreshing and inspiring. "Design Research : Methods and Perspectives", with preface by Peter Lunenfeld proposes a re-examination of research methodologies in the area of trans/convergent/digital media.

While the book presents qualitative and quantitative methods, performance ethnography and design improvisation, as recent trends in research in the field, those seeking a systematic presentation of alternatives out there may be disappointed. The book is composed by essays that some may find self-congratulatory and hence, it is more a collection of case studies than an overview of alternatives methodologies. Furthermore, these projects are too unique for any generalization of the methodology followed (and in any case there is no clear assessment of the method followed).

And given that this week NY can see the exhibition of the MFA Design & Technology students at the Parsons School allow me this closing note. Many are saying of this event, which starts this Wednesday June 2, that it redefines Digital Design, for it proposes a reflection on the impact of technology on human experience. Although Laurel's book may not present "the" solution or even a systematic overview for designing research in the realm of the digital, it does seem to anticipate the Parson's exhibition in stressing the need for a new framework, where methods are truly interdisciplinary , informed by areas such as performance and anthropology.

More info on the book's table of contents here.
:: ana boa-ventura [+] ::
Net Art Review is looking for contributing writers

Contact: Lora McPhail at editor@netartreview.net
Eduardo Navas at info@netartreview.net

Net Art Review has been online for over a year and is glad to still be going strong. We, the netKru, would like to invite members of online communities to join us. Writing in languages other than English is welcomed.

meet the netKru

If you are interested in opining, critiquing or simply sharing your ideas about works of art in the field of net art and its crossover to new media, then become a contributing writer and join our netKru.

Net Art Review focuses on net-art and its crossover to other new media fields. The purpose of the site is to provide a space for sharing links to net-art works that contributing writers find interesting; these include actual net-art projects, exhibition opportunities, as well as online resources.

Net Art Review was founded on a community based approach, which means that anyone can become a contributing writer. If a person has the time to comment, and shows a strong understanding of new media and net art, then we welcome the writing, as long as the contributor respects the posting guidelines.

For details please contact Lora McPhail at editor@netartreview.net or Eduardo Navas at info@netartreview.net

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
Mapping has become an obsession for net.artists, new media artists, researchers and designers alike. We map the internet and its cultural / political / economical growth, we map the movement of information via emails and the movement of people through websites. While seeming to be an almost naive approach to information, map / visualise it and you will understand, it is certain that since culture is now predominantly visual it does assist in seeing the information in multiple and unexpected ways.

That obsession is never so true than with Marcos Weskamp and Dan Albritton's project newsmap hosted on Marcos Weskamp's site marumushi.com/.

"Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe."

Mapping news items from the Google News news aggregator based on location, on the regularity of its appearance, how up to date it is, its importance etc., the newsmap displays the news in blocks of colour visually identifying what is the latest and most documented news split into categorized strata or layers.

Already receiving an Award of distinction in Prix Ars Electronica 2004 and heavily featured in the press, Creative Review amongst others, the newsmap's creators emphasise that it "does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator" rather "It's objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media", which it succeeds in doing.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 30, 2004 ::
One of my recent students of Interactive Online Media emailed me a link to a game yesterday she thought I’d like. Being naturally burned out after a hectic academic year I clicked, expecting some silly animation or toilet-humor joke to lighten my mood.

Sure enough, I was hit with A Case of the Crabs!
Rolling my eyes at the title, I entered and was greeted by a hilariously clever “Nick Bounty Mini Mystery.”

It’s got a deliciously film noir feel to it, yet after you meet our main character, Nick Bounty, the drawing style lends you to believe that much of the game is tongue in cheek.
This is a game that will take you back to those early computer games where you walk around rooms and environments and look at and pick up objects, talk to other characters, and use your objects and logic to get further into the game.

The main premise is that Nick Bounty is in his detective office staring out the window, when he gets a delivery of shellfish (aka-crabs). When the delivery man suddenly drops dead, it’s up to Nick to untangle this complex, intricate, and highly entertaining mystery.
The characters are all voiced by skilled actors (or what sound like skilled actors), with the main voice provided by the game’s co-writer and co-animator, Mark Darin.
Jason Ellis also wrote and animated the game as well as directed and programmed it.

A Case of the Crabs! from Pinhead Games is brought to you by The Otter Archives. There you will find links to more games, animations, movies, pictures, and other creative works.

Well, I’d tell you more about the game, but my husband and I are addicted to it, and really need to go back in and figure out how to get rid of the rat at the Crab Shack Restaurant.

:: Kristen Palana [+] ::
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