Game Engines from Worlds to Weather: On Arts Practices and Simulations
Games and game engines are central to different artistic practices from Harun Farocki’s Parallel series of investigations of game aesthetics to for example Lawrence Lek’s mobilization of game engines for inquiry into non-human machine worlds. I am interested in the intersection of software studies and games, especially in relation to art and experimental practices but also in terms of the environments being modeled or even simulated: one example of such would be weather, for example wind, that persists as a curious “non-player character” (not really a character though) in game worlds. Weather has historically been a major difficulty for “realistic” games but it is also something that helps to unfold different uses and meanings of game engines, including outside gaming.
Jussi Parikka is Professor of Digital Aesthetics and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark as well as (visiting) Professor at Winchester School of Art, UK. At Aarhus, he leads the project Design and Aesthetics for Environmental Data (https://cc.au.dk/en/dafed/). He has also worked as curator including part of the curatorial teams of transmediale 2023 and Helsinki Biennial 2023, and most recently as co-curator with Daphne Dragona of Climate Engines at Laboral, in Gijon (Spain) that is open until end of May 2024. His most recent book is Operational Images: From the Visual to the Invisual (University of Minnesota Press, 2023).
The lecture is part of “1,2,3 Playtime. A lecture and workshop series in the field of gamification” organised by Inter Arts Center and financed by Region Skåne.
Photo credit: Lawrence Lek, NOX (2023). © Lawrence Lek. Commissioned by LAS Art Foundation.