Course Description

TCS 110: Art Games
Object-Oriented Programming for Artists

Not simply a programming class for artists, this course will investigate and intervene on the histories, theories, and practices occurring at the intersection of art and games. From the Dadaist, Surrealist, Situationist, Fluxus, and Oulipian games of the twentieth century to the artist games, auteur games, arthouse games, and indie games of the early twenty-first century, this quarter we will think, make, and play with the concept of “art games.” At the intersection of the white cube and the magic circle, art games no longer operate according to the logic of the marketplace or even as a form of entertainment but as a medium for technical exploration, aesthetic experimentation, cultural critique, and political action.

In this class we will read the scholarship of artists, curators, and game theorists like Mary Flanagan, Alexander Galloway, Christiane Paul, John Sharp, and Anna Anthropy as well as play with the artwork of Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, Guy Debord, Yoko Ono, Raymond Queneau, Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans, Brody Condon, Cory Arcangel, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Eddo Stern, and Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn (among others). In response to these critical practices, we will plan projects and become familiar with a production pipeline that includes tools like Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, and the Unity game engine. We will learn to code with programming languages like JavaScript and C# and we will create, critique, and exhibit original non games, not games, alt games, and art games.

Previous game development or media production experience is not required, but this course will progress at a brisk pace and include hands-on prototyping, in-class discussion, and rigorous critique. As a result, our games will engage the ludic and aesthetic potential of both the embodied cultures of play as well as the technical operations of digital media as a way to make art.

Click here for the full Spring 2016 course schedule.

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