Mary Flanagan (Dartmouth College)
“Never Mind the Body, Here’s a Gamepad? Considering Embodiment in The Age of Play”
Thursday, February 28, 2013
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Also available as a live streaming video (link will be available shortly before the presentation on Thursday, Feb. 28)
This keynote presentation explores a pervasive onscreen/offscreen split of identification and the body in what we could now call The Age of Play. Citing examples from artists’ work and popular culture, with a focus on games, Flanagan leads the audience on an investigation of current trends that are in diametrical opposition: on the one hand, a hunger for embodied, resonant experience; and on the other, a desire for control for the body, a recurring motif in fields from psychology to public health, manifesting in plastic surgery and digital manipulation of the body.
About Mary Flanagan
Mary Flanagan is an innovator focused on how people create and use technology. Her groundbreaking explorations across the arts, humanities, and sciences represent a novel use of methods and tools that bind research with introspective cultural production. As an artist, her collection of works range from game-inspired systems to computer viruses, embodied interfaces to interactive texts. These works are exhibited internationally at venues including the Laboral Art Center, The Whitney Museum of American Art, SIGGRAPH, Beall Center, The Banff Centre, The Moving Image Center, Steirischer Herbst, Ars Electronica, Artist’s Space, The Guggenheim Museum New York, Incheon Digital Arts Festival South Korea, Writing Machine Collective Hong Kong, Maryland Institute College of Art, and venues in Brazil, France, UK, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia.
As a researcher, she focuses on popular culture, digital studies, and computer games to look at issues of representation, behavior, equity, and process. She writes about popular culture and digital media such as computer games, virtual agents, and online spaces in order to understand how they affect and reflect culture. In the field of creative writing, Flanagan is known as a writer of electronic literature, and she is also a poet, with work in The Iowa Review, Barrow Street, Saranac Review, Mudfish, and other books & periodicals. She has written more than twenty critical essays on digital art, cyberculture, and gaming in periodicals such as Art Journal, Wide Angle, Intelligent Agent, Convergence, and Culture Machine, as well as several books. Her books in English include reload: rethinking women + cyberculture (2002), re:SKIN (2007), and Critical Play: Radical Game Design (2009), all with MIT Press. She is also co-author with Matteo Bittanti of Similitudini. Simboli. Simulacri, on the game The Sims (in Italian, Unicopli 2003). She is author, with Helen Nissenbaum, of the forthcoming Values at Play (MIT Press, 2013).
Flanagan founded the Tiltfactor game research laboratory in 2003, where researchers study and make social games, urban games, and software in a rigorous theory/practice environment. She is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College.
Website: http://www.maryflanagan.com/(includes extensive images and video)