// Celebrating the Convergence of Games, Art, and Music
A MAZE. Interact …celebrating the Convergence of Games, Art, and Music is a festival in its own right that takes place within CTM.10. A Maze Interact considers the increasingly merging worlds of computer games, art and music from multiple perspectives; it highlights the both the courage in experimentation and the joy in playing; it actively reflects the relevance of technology and play in contemporary digital culture.
With its 5+2 modules consisting of the Interact Symposium (1), Workshops (2), Installations (3), the A MAZE. Jump’n Run Bonus Cheat club night (4), and the Music-Games Exhibition (5) the program content blurs genre and media borders. Artists display their work as installations, performances and club-acts and share their experiences within symposiums and workshops alike. Moreover, as computer games are an increasingly dominant part of the ‘creative industries’, the overlap between game development and music production is examined to reflect the ongoing structural transformations of the cultural economy. Accordingly, the two extra, bonus-level events, Games Culture Circle (+1) and Global Game Jam (+2), introduce a more applied approach.
As the contributions of game artist Julian Oliver, game scholar Michael Harenberg and game musician Leonard Paul, show: the computer game constitutes not only a popular point of reference for musicians and artists, but also becomes working material, an alternative channel for distribution or even a creative production environment. The same applies to the works of games producer Paulina Bozek, DJ Christian Candid and Martin Pichlmair, who just recently fulfilled his dream and founded his own music-game design start-up after writing his PhD in computer science, and experimenting with computer games as a media artist. Each with his or her own unique approach, they all contribute to the convergence of computer games, music, and art and contribute towards a better understanding of what this convergence might lead to. Keynote speaker of the Interact Symposium, Keiichi Yano, gives a first hand example. Starting as a jazz musician in Tokyo after studying music at the University of Southern California, he soon made his name as excellent coder for music games. He’s produced game hits like 'Gitarroo Man', 'Ossu! Tatakae! Ouendan', and 'Lips', but he never stopped playing music or lost sight of his roots in the arts.
Since January 2008, A MAZE. has analysed computer games from cultural, aesthetic, and social points of view. The critical appropriation and continued development of computer games as an artistic medium plays a central role. A MAZE. regularly produces exhibitions, lectures, workshops and concerts and creates a platform to communicate, express ideas, learn from each other and playfully experiment together. Creatives and scientists are encouraged to break through the borders of conventional computer games and surpass established concepts of play to merge enjoyment with critical reflection.
The cooperation of A MAZE. and DISK/CTM presents these 5+2 modules, prototypes of the overlap of sound and other media, to foster interdisciplinary exchange and experimentation.
Module 1: Interact Symposium – The Convergence of Sound and Games
The heart of the A Maze. Interact festival is the Interact Symposium. It provides the theoretical backdrop for the theme of convergences between computer games, art, and music. Renowned international speakers analyze the networks and strategies applied by media compounds, which challenge and alter existing production and reception methods. The future of music, games, and music-games is discussed in reference to the historical development of the genre and contemporary art practices.
Module 2: Workshops
In the workshops, artists share their artistic and technological experience with participants, with the topics ranging from experimental programming to hardware hacking, interface design and music production in the context of computer games.
Module 3: Installations
Augmenting the program with more performative moments of interaction, a number of Installations shown at .HBC provide new forms of haptic experience as well as of auditory access to music.
Module 4: A MAZE. Jump’n Run Bonus Cheat
The most radical form of interaction may be found in the A MAZE. Jump’n Run Bonus Cheat. This club night forms the closing party of the Interact festival, featuring acts, shows, performances, and installations that all share common inspiration from digital games.
Module 5: Music-Games-Exhibition
Play forms an intersection between music and games that needs to be explored. Examples are shown in this exhibition of commercial computer games in which music is the major theme or aim.
Bonus Level: Games Culture Circle
The Games Culture Circle is a talk-show format designed to build networks that go beyond enclosed groups sharing the same interests. It is about interdisciplinary inspiration and encouraging unexpected partnerships.
Bonus Level: Global Game Jam
A unique game design event that takes place simultaneously at more than 120 spaces worldwide. For 48 hours people come together for non-stop-coding, designing, illustrating, making music, playing, and whatever else it takes to make good games, until they made just that: good games.
A MAZE. Interact is curated by Thorsten S. Wiedemann and Michael Liebe. Supported by Karla Höß, Emily Völker, Jöran Eitel, Martina Kellner, Katrin Werner, Christina Manoliu, Arjan Dhupia, Georg Spehr and many others.
A MAZE. Interact
is organized by the A MAZE. GbR Liebe Wiedemann
and funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds
Supported by: Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltung e.V. / Gee – Love for Games / 100,6 Motor FM / European Media Studies program of the University of Potsdam and the University of Applied Studies Potsdam / Digital Games Research Center of the University of Postdam (DIGAREC) / Videospielkultur e.V.
/ Gamology e.V.