Exhibition

Now in Digital Art:
Game Room

Exhibition
Now in Digital Art: Game Room

Now In Digital Art: Game Room

Curators:

Güven Çatak, Zeynep Arınç

Artists:

Amanita Design, BugLAB, Eddo Stern, Emi Kusano, Jon Haddock, Ken Wong, Kristin Lucas, Murat Kalkavan, Ouchhh, Petra Szeman, Total Refusal, Ucla Game Lab (Jenna Caravello, Vinny Roca, Zheng Fang), We Are Muesli

Everything starts with Spacewar!, developed by a group of engineers at MIT in 1962 to introduce a room-sized PDP-1 computer. This first video game, considered a laboratory experiment, garners significant attention in academic circles. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, played the game as a university student, which led to the discovery of video games' mass appeal and commercial potential, thus marking the initial steps of a giant industry.

Video games continue from one-dimensional representations in the 1960s to immersive virtual reality experiences enveloping players today. The gaming industry, which ended 2023 with a revenue of $184 billion, is both the naughty child and the largest of the creative industries. Türkiye is now a player in this arena, with our first "Unicorn" being a gaming company, representing our sector that receives the most investments and engages in exports. Relevant departments are continuously being opened in our universities. The gaming sector presents a world full of opportunities, especially for our young population.

Let's remember the consumption aspect. Everyone from ages 7 to 70 is now a gamer, whether playing on a computer, a smartphone, for leisure, or professionally. Nearly one-third of the world's population plays games, experiencing entirely new realities in parallel worlds. Everyone is now part of the gaming landscape, and it's not just about entertainment anymore. With educational games, games for social change, and gamified applications, gaming has touched almost every field with its culture, technology, and components. As gaming reshapes our world, it also forms a close relationship with the art world.

Game-based artworks inspired by the interaction between contemporary art and the world of video games have been exhibited in major art centers worldwide for many years and have found a place in both private and public collections. In these works, where the boundaries between art and games blur, various methods such as intervention, modification, and interpretation are applied alongside the usage of culture, aesthetics, and narratives of video games. By giving the audience control, video games provide a powerful experience in questioning socio-political issues, creating social awareness, and triggering emotions. In this sense, it's not just us diving into gaming worlds; gaming worlds also bring aspects of our reality into their realms.

You can play all the video games featured in this exhibition. The works vary greatly in form, aesthetics, and meaning. Some infiltrate platforms like photography, video, and painting with their languages, characters, and worlds, contributing to Game Art. Some are playable Art Games, while others are films produced directly with game tools (Machinima). Some serve as examples of art inspired by gaming culture.

Now in Digital Art: Game Room offers a curious look at the use of games in contemporary art from both perspectives: examples of game art and art games invite visitors to view video games from a different angle. Game Room is a meeting point where we explore different gaming worlds and return with various experiences like travelers. Besides commercially-driven projects distinguished by their interactive narratives and mechanics, we also encounter works where games become tools of satire and a series of metaphors. This selection is just a small cross-section. Games represent the most current form of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exploration. For now, the best we can do is to understand them better, which means playing more.

* You are invited to workshops, interviews and seminars organised by the participant curators within the exhibition. Click here to see the program of exhibition events.

26 March - 18 May 2024

Akbank Sanat

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20 MAY MON
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21 MAY TUE
1

19:00

Film Toldi

Akbank Sanat

22 MAY WED
1

16:30

Workshop Objects, Needs and Tricks (Workshop for Adults)

Akbank Sanat

23 MAY THU
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24 MAY FRI
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25 MAY SAT
5

Online Event HEY! Beyoğlu: ‘Falling Beyoglu’

Akbank Sanat

12:00

Kid The Istanbul I See (Ages 7 to 12)

Akbank Sanat

14:00

Kid My Neighborhood Istanbul (Ages 8 to 13)

Akbank Sanat

15:00

Workshop Physicality In Narrative

Akbank Sanat

16:00

Kid Patterns and Repetitions Workshop: Mosaic (Ages 9 to 14)

Akbank Sanat

26 MAY SUN
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27 MAY MON
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28 MAY TUE
1

19:00

Film Hungarian Short Movie Selection and The Talk about "110 Years of Hungarian Animation"

Akbank Sanat

29 MAY WED
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30 MAY THU
1

19:00

Conversation Contemporary Borders of Jazz: Alternative Voices

Akbank Sanat

31 MAY FRI
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01 JUN SAT
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02 JUN SUN
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03 JUN MON
1

18:00

Seminar Acoustic Approaches In Architectural Desgin

Online Platform – Zoom

04 JUN TUE
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05 JUN WED
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06 JUN THU
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07 JUN FRI
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08 JUN SAT
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09 JUN SUN
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