Shop > Artists' Books

Out of Stock

Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art

John Sharp
MIT Press
Artists' Books

Games and art have intersected at least since the early twentieth century, as can be seen in the Surrealists’ use of Exquisite Corpse and other games, Duchamp’s obsession with Chess, and Fluxus event scores and boxes—to name just a few examples. Over the past fifteen years, the synthesis of art and games has clouded for both artists and gamemakers. Contemporary art has drawn on the tool set of videogames, but has not considered them a cultural form with its own conceptual, formal, and experiential affordances. For their part, game developers and players focus on the innate properties of games and the experiences they provide, giving little attention to what it means to create and evaluate fine art. In Works of Game, John Sharp bridges this gap, offering a formal aesthetics of games that encompasses the commonalities and the differences between games and art.

Sharp describes three communities of practice and offers case studies for each. “Game Art,” which includes such artists as Julian Oliver, Cory Arcangel, and JODI (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans) treats videogames as a form of popular culture from which can be borrowed subject matter, tools, and processes. “Artgames,” created by gamemakers including Jason Rohrer, Brenda Romero, and Jonathan Blow, explore territory usually occupied by poetry, painting, literature, or film. Finally, “Artists’ Games”—with artists including Blast Theory, Mary Flanagan, and the collaboration of Nathalie Pozzi and Eric Zimmerman—represents a more synthetic conception of games as an artistic medium. The work of these gamemakers, Sharp suggests, shows that it is possible to create game-based artworks that satisfy the aesthetic and critical values of both the contemporary art and game communities.

John Sharp is Associate Professor of Games and Learning at Parsons the New School for Design and a member of the game design collective Local No. 12.

  1. Works of Game

Related Items

  1. Vito Acconci, lynda benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Gerard Byrne, George Chakravarthi, Judy Chicago, vaginal davis, Wim Delvoye, Elmgreen & Dragset, VALIE EXPORT, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, harmony hammond, claudette johnson, Mary Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, and Robert: Sexuality
  2. The Global Contemporary and the Rise of New Art Worlds
  3. Robin Cameron and Rochelle Goldberg: Moves 2
  4. Jo Cook, Wesley Mulvin, and Petra Poldlahova: Czech Birds, Sileni Lovci, Wild Hunters
  5. Keiichi Tanaami: No More War
  6. Anna Dezeuze: Thomas Hirschhorn: Deleuze Monument
  7. John Bride: Illusory Self #5
  8. Andrea Fraser: 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics
  9. Amanda Boetzkes: Plastic Capitalism
  10. Bruce Hainley and Elaine Sturtevant: Under the Sign of [ sic]: Sturtevant’s Volte-Face
  11. Anne Rorimer: Michael Asher: Kunsthalle Bern
  12. Kodwo Eshun: Dan Graham: Rock My Religion
  13. Rohan Hutchinson: Elemental
  14. Neil M. Hennessy, Ian Hooper, Jason Le Heup, and Prize Budget for Boys: The Prize Budget for Boys Present : The Spectacular Vernacular Revue
  15. Robin Cameron and Rochelle Goldberg: Moves 1
  16. Reto Pulfer: Der Themenkatalog
  17. Sylvie Fleury 49000
  18. Martine Derks and Xavier Fernandez: Everybody’s Card
  19. Peggy Gale: Videotexts
  20. John Cage: Diary
  21. Michael Lee: New and Recent Works 2006 - 2012
  22. Amit Middel: Almut Middel: Consumidor
  23. Eric Doeringer: The Rematerialization Of The Art Object
  24. Michalis Pichler: BOYS! MÄNNER!
  25. Kiristine Roepstorff: Who Decides Who Decides
  26. Michael Snow: October 114
  27. October 145: Summer 2013
  28. OCTOBER 146 - Fall 2013
  29. OCTOBER 146 - Winter 2014
  30. October 148
  31. October Magazine Issue 149
  32. October Magazine Issue 151
  33. Eileen Myles: The Importance of Being Iceland
  34. October Magazine
  35. October Magazine Issue 153
  36. Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl
  37. Chris Kraus and Eileen Myles: I Love Dick