Thursday, May 30, 2013

Observations on Art 5.30

Late year the Museum of Modern Art caused a major art controversy when they added the first 14 video games to their collections. The controversy involves whether video games should be considered art at all. I've said before that if Damien Hirst's spots can be considered among the greatest art ever video games can be considered art too. But that's just my humble opinion. The late Roger Ebert once said "video games can never be art" but again that was just one man's opinion. You can form you own opinion but I needed a little background as an introduction to this TED video of Paola Antonelli.

Antonelli is the senior curator of architecture and design at MoMA and has been at the museum since 1994. Though not on their latest list Art Review once rated her as one of the hundred most powerful people in art. In the video she explains why adding the video games was important and also separates design from art.


Now something a bit more personal coming out of the same talk. At one point Antonelli says this; "EVE Online is an artificial universe, if you wish, but one of the diplomats that was killed in Benghazi, not Ambassador Stevens, but one of his collaborators, was a really big shot in EVE Online, so here you have a diplomat in the real world that spends his time in EVE Online to kind of test, maybe, all of his ideas about diplomacy and about universe-building, and to the point that the first announcement of the bombing was actually given on EVE Online, and after his death, several parts of the universe were named after him."

The diplomat Antonelli mentions was Sean Smith and while chatting on EVE the night of the Benghazi attack he sent this eerie message, "assuming we don't die tonight." My brother plays EVE and had actually chatted with Smith a few times. He tells me that thousands of in-world stations have been renamed in honor of Smith or the 'Vile Rat' as he was known.

Small world.

6/1 update - Here is a good clip tho go with the first part of this post. Paola Antonelli appearing on The Colbert Report back in February and explained applied design to Colbert. The best quote in the clip is from Colbert himself who asks Antonelli "what are we now? Are we modern, post-modern, or are we pre-future?"

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