Robert Alias Dragot
Aniceto Exposito Lopez
The Game. A Personal Cinema project primarily focused on the social and cultural issues within the Peninsula and on the creation of networks between artists, art critics, writers and curators from Southeastern Europe. It proposes some new media works created by 51 participating artists investigating the Balkan territory and way of life.
THE BALKAN MALL
Curated by: "Personal Cinema", Nina Vagic
Coordinated by: Ilias Marmaras and Nina Vagic.
The project was proposed at Media Lab by: Katerina Gregos, Sania Papa, and Denys Zacharopoulos
Personal Cinema announces, The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game and The Balkan Mall opening on the February 10th 2004 at 1 p.m. at the Media Lab Madrid.
"The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game" is a Personal Cinema project primarily focused on the social and cultural issues within the Peninsula and on the creation of networks between artists, art critics, writers and curators from Southeastern Europe. It proposes some new media works created by 51 participating artists investigating the Balkan territory and way of life.
Both geopolitical war games and epic strategy video games are interrelated in this multi-media project. While virtual battle scenes are celebrated for their extreme realism, contemporary warfare has begun to resemble science fiction. The reality (or virtual reality) presented by official narratives and industrial entertainment does not adequately describe the experiences of the people who are caught in the actual war games. In the real-time of CNN, and in video games, the simplification of cultures and history is itself a form of violence.
The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game is intended to counteract the sensational spectacle of war presented by the media by deconstructing stereotypes, focusing on the distortion of identities, and revising the dominant logic of explanation.
"The Balkan Mall" video game, the central node of the project, created by the Personal Cinema team, is the elevation of social, historical and cultural elements of the Balkans into the form of an imaginary Balkan shopping mall. It is a poetic metaphor, which has many moments of ironic stance towards the prevailing multicultural concepts, historic disputes and contemporary political developments in the area. The players and spectators have the opportunity to learn how to behave and act in a simulated Balkan reality, and are informed about their level of Balkanization/De-Balkanization through an indicator within the interface of the game. The game contains about 20 different spaces, and some 30 videos from artists participating in the wider project; "The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game".
Following the "Myth of Interactivity" of new media, in contrast to old media where the order of presentation is fixed, the users can now interact with and within a media. They can choose which elements to display or which paths to follow, creating each time a new pathway and generating each time a unique work. In addition to the virtual space, there is a real space, a three-wall projection of a virtual room in which both real and computer users can select and project videos from the participating artists. In this way the users become the co-authors and co-curators of the work. This leads to changing the view and standards of the art system of curatorial presentation, putting all of us (artists, critics, curators and spectators) in an uncertain position of proposing a new art behavior.
Personal Cinema: Maya Bontzou, Andy Deck, Dimitris Dokatzis, Stelios Giannoulakis, Vassilis Kokkas, Nikolas Kozakis, Ilias Marmaras, Panos Papadopoulos, Yannis Scoulidas, Alexandros Spyropoulos, Stewart Ziff
Participating Artists: Robert Alias Dragot, Genti Shkurti (Albania); Beatrijs Albers, Francis Schmetz, Jacques Lizene, Marie Andre, Eugene Savitzkaya, Reggy Timmermans, Koen Wastijn-Deschuymer, Ria Pacquee (Belgium); Albena Mihaylova, Krassimir Terziev (Bulgaria); Irena Paskali, Natasha Dimitrievska, Christina Ivanoska-Yane Calovski (FYROM / Macedonia); Mathias Wagner K (Germany); Kostas Beveratos, Maya Bontzou, Dimitris Dokatzis, Stelios Giannoulakis, Maurice Ganis, Ilias Marmaras, Angelo Skourtis, Panos Vittorakis, Alexandros Spyropoulos, Dimitris Tsardakas (Greece); Babis Kandilaptis, Nicolas Kozakis (Greece / Belgium); Vassilis Kokkas, Dimitris Tzamouranis (Greece / Germany); Chiara Passa, Antonio Riello (Italy); Floe Tudor, Mona Vatamanu, (Romania); Per Pegelow (Russia); Andrej Tisma, Windows 99 - hammer creative (Serbia); Milena ZeVu (Serbia / Hungary); Vuk Cosic (Serbia / Slovenia); Aniceto Exposito - Lopez, Angel Vergara (Spain / Belgium); Selda Ashal, Gulsen Bal, Cem Genser, Genco Gulan (Turkey); Ruth Catlow (UK); Stewart Ziff (UK / USA); Andy Deck, Goron Dolan, Morgan Showalter (USA)
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