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Directions in Play/Art/Design… D-Pad-1 Round Up.

February 16, 2012

On Feb. 3rd, I hosted my first game/art/performance event in Toronto (since moving here for Graduate School last fall) called D-P.A.D. (Directions in Play.Art.Design) at Interaccess Gallery.  Interaccess is an artist run Media Art gallery and studio in the Queen West district of Toronto.

I am pleased to report that the night was a smashing success!  We opened the doors a little after 8pm, and by shortly after 9pm, we had hit the capacity for the gallery, which was about a 150 people!!!!  Then a line up formed outside!  Then it thinned out, then filled up again. All told our attendance peaked around 250 people in and out of the space all night.   Thank you all who came out and supported this event, I was beaming then and am still elated when I think back on it!  Thanks to the gallery staff Alex (program director) and Laura(director) for the opportunity, thanks to the HandEye Society and the Canadian Game Studies Association for the sponsorship and help with the army of volunteers, and thanks to the designers, artists and performers!  It went so well, we’re planning the next one already, should be sometime in May/June.   Until then, here’s a summary of the works exhibited and some pictures!

The event was programmed to show a wide range of creative practices all centered around gaming culture.   It featured games by local Indie Game Developers,  media artists, hackers, and musical performers (and a few out of town guest artists).    The Night featured games by Damian Sommer (A co-op game called Friendship in 4 colours) Big Pants (a game using 3d red/blue anaglyph glasses, Depths to Which I Sink), Devine Lu Linvega and Renaud Bedard from MTL  (bullet hell shooter Rain+bow), Alex Droqen and Jason Kaplan (multiplayer vs. game involving pirates!), A myraid of games by the Group Dames Making Games and their JAMuary incubator, which featured a ton of first time female game makers,  and  Alex Bethke (Poppycock, a sidescroller runner/platformer.

The night also featured works of art by 3 artists: RotterDam Tower and Gameboy Empire by Clint Enns (The first was a machinima remake of Andy Warhol’s Empire made using GTA IV, the 2nd a remake as a Gameboy ROM), Gauntlet Series ( a series of paintings by King Woobs, based on images and themes from the Gauntlet games), and Cities in Flux by Kenton Sheely (a hack of GTA San Andreas that allowed the user to stretch, modify and otherwise destroy the game’s architecture, thus creating glitches and abstractions of the game world).

And finally there was a round of musical and visual performances, by locals MandelBrut (an a/v noise set using home made noise generators and snyths, and a modified vectrex game console), Oxvylu, (chipmusic), BossFyte (a/v chip madness!) and myself (with a rather Drunken chipbass/chipstep DJ set on PSPs).  For Oxvylu’s and my performances, we made use of my DDR VJC mod, which is a mod of two DDR pads which are then used as VJ controllers for live visuals, thus the people on the dance floor, are also the VJs!!!

^Mandelbrut ^



^and me! mrghosty^

^and a special thanks to these guys ^
who kept the visuals running and
the dance floor bouncing!

One thing I have to say about Toronto is that it is full of immensely talented people in games/ media / performance, and full of a supportive group of makers and enthusiasts who support each other in ways I’ve never seen before.  I’m truly humbled by the quality of work I was fortunate enough to showcase, and by all the amazing people I met at the show.

Right now I’m working on a few other events and project, for the nearish future, and have an upcoming exhibition I’m curating this summer in Winnipeg at Platform as well. Stay Tuned for more info!

**pics in this post by Brendan Bell and Elma Bello!

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