The Mass Cultural Council and New Art Center will present the 2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows Invitational in Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Artist Fellow Seth Alter proves playing around when it comes to art can produce fascinating results. Here, he describes three of his games, work that explores ideas like complicity and free will in the face of complex societal issues.
Neocolonialism is a turn-based strategy game for 3-5 players. Your goal is to extract the most wealth from the world. You do this by buying and selling government votes and vying to create exploitative free trade agreements in order to siphon capital into your secret Swiss bank account.
From the description: “Remember, your goal is to make a profit, NOT to improve the world.”
No Pineapple Left Behind is a management simulator about running a charter school. As the principal of the school, you have to make sure the school doesn’t bankrupt. The school’s budget is tied to its academic grades (due to the No Child Left Behind Act). Children are complicated, and their wants, needs, and feelings make them sub-optimal students. However, by casting magic spells, zapping lasers, and hacking brains, you can stamp out the humanity of children and turn them into pineapples. Pineapples do not have emotions and are not people, and therefore are superior test takers.
You are never instructed to turn children into pineapples. But, you always must balance the budget, and this is rarely possible if all students are children.
No Pineapple Left Behind was developed with a small team of audio/visual artists.
Traitor Nightly is an interactive fiction game. Set in the oppressive Pharostine Empire, you are a news reporter playing the board game “Traitor” against the Grandmaster, on his radio show, Traitor Nightly. As you play the game, you can interview the Grandmaster. However, if you start winning the game, the Grandmaster’s answers will change. He will attempt to imply (but never state) that if he loses the game, he will be executed. Traitor Nightly is thus an experiment to see if the user will throw the game on purpose and spare the Grandmaster; unusually for video games, Traitor Nightly will not reward or penalize the player’s decision in any way. It is thus an experiment to see if players will act differently than they otherwise would, simply by having a conversation with a fictional person.
For more, see Seth Alter’s work at the upcoming exhibition 2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows in Photography and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
New Art Center
61 Washington Park, Newtonville
2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows Invitational
Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres
Opening Reception: Friday, October 27, 6-8PM
Exhibition Dates: October 27 – December 2, 2017
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 1PM-6PM, and by appointment.
The exhibition is free, open to the public and accessible to all.