On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Elizabeth Keegan, MFA candidate and American Cyberculture Graduate Student Instructor at UC Berkeley.
I used to be a passive player; eyes glazed over as my thumbs twitched over red buttons. Other times were spent with family and friends, playing competitively and exchanging playful banter. Things really shifted when dial-up entered my household. Anonymous, I could interact with people around the globe, play a different role, and participate in digital fantasy. Everything changed. I was participating in yet another community taking on any chance to ‘mod‘ I could. Now, and for the past couple years, my work has investigated the structure of play and games both on and offline. I’m making (yes I realize it took me a little to introduce the actual keyword..sorry about that!) for social engagement beyond entertainment. In the process of making, games have become an entry to creative experimentation, unexpected collaboration, and performance work. On one side we’re the player, and our experience is something entirely different, but in the role of the maker we gain control, we adjust parameters, rules, and space. Making forces you to think outside yourself.