The Card Players

Caligari Cards

There is a curious sub-history of the use of playing cards in artistic production; it is one of the more interesting of the obscure subjects of art, but can also become the objet d’art itself (play as œuvre).

Artifactual Playground

In 1958, the American physicist William Higinbotham created what is one of the first instances of what we would today call a modern “video game”. The game, named Tennis For Two, was built at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for their yearly open-house presentations of the lab’s activities. The game was built using an oscilloscope and a programmable analog computer, the Donner Model 30. It simulated a simple tennis match between two players, with a sideways perspective of the net and a ball bouncing back and forth, controlled by two player-manipulated inputs.

Proteus Proteus /clouds/

Exhausting gameplay

A significant percentage of video games employ in one way or another the figure of death. The thanatological sub-species of video game representations are practically endless: dismemberment, infection, untreatable wounds, explosion, etc. Players can be eaten, crushed, sliced, diced, quartered, electrocuted, impaled, and so on. Many of these representations are more or less approximate: in Doom, for example, a player’s state of “health” is represented by an abstract percentage value where players do not die of any specific organ failure, but instead from some sort of provoked exhaustion. In role playing games, players kill their opponents in a similar manner, i.e. by reducing this all-encompassing numerical value of their enemies to zero. In other games, players simply keel over, or disappear in a puff of smoke when touched, as in Pacman. In Super Mario Bros. players can just run out of time. Death in gaming is more a question of symbol than of substance. While we are still in the realm of simulation, the simulation is so figurative as pull us into an wholly other realm of representation. In his 1972 article on transcendence, gaming and “computer bums”, Stewart Brand used the term “symbolic” to describe the flickering figurations of death slowly taking over university computer science research consoles: “Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums“.

Inume Pass In the Kai Provence, Hokusai Journey, That Game Company

Art + Recherche

l'esthétique ludique

Seminar: Algorithms + Physicalization

WJ-Spots, print edition

MCD has just annouced the publication of WJ-Spots #1 – 15 Years of Artistic Creation on the Internet. It is a billingual (French/English) publication. As readers of this blog might have noticed, I participated a few months back in Anne… Continue Reading →

The double-bearded frenchman

I have some catching up to do (I’ve been more active on my Twitter account recently), starting with this catalogue the Tokyo Wonder Site just sent me of Antonin Fourneau‘s recent residency and exhibition at DAF Tokyo. He and I… Continue Reading →


Update: download texte (en français) here: Antagonisme et imbrication (pdf)

Le mythe de la mite

Algorithmic Writing Systems

Several people asked me to post a copy of my talk from the Art-Oriented Programming conference (cf. Art-Oriented Programming++). As I mentioned at the opening of my talk, the conference itself was organized on such short notice that I had… Continue Reading →

Discrete computations in continuous planes

Via Slashdot who got it from tshb, here’s a fascinating paper by Daniel E. Holcomb, Wayne P. Burleson, and Kevin Fu (University of Massachusetts) on accessing the physical properties of digital circuits for both the generation of random numbers and… Continue Reading →

The Decaying Body of Baudrillard

« Aujourd’hui l’abstraction n’est plus celle de la carte, du double, du miroir ou du concept. La simulation n’est plus celle d’un territoire, d’un être référentiel, d’une substance. Elle est la génération par les modèles d’un réel sans origine ni réalité :… Continue Reading →

Théorie des hyperpassoires et de la bulleicité

Ok, so I was feeling a little inspired today, and sort of strung up a pretty diverse plate of references, and along with those from the students and my collegues it was a pretty fun mix. For those that were… Continue Reading →

Prix Argos

Award: Prix Argos – Lewis Carroll Project: The Plot website Recipients: Jean Cristofol, Fabrice Gallis, Guillaume Stagnaro, Douglas Edric Stanley & the students of the Aix-en-Provence School of Art Information: 22nd International Scientific Audio-Visual Conference / CNRS (French National Center… Continue Reading →

Lexique de l’interactivité

Apparently, there are still fans of the Lexique de l’interactivité I wrote a little under ten years ago. Yikes! I was at the Arborescence festival when I was introduced to an interresting artist (more on her work later) who could… Continue Reading →

Re: Feed me, Feed me!!!

I’m participating in a minor debate with some friends over at Metazimut (great name by the way). There are several points we’re debating, all surrounding the political, artistic and ontological nature of blogs. It started with one of the best… Continue Reading →

Diagram, Procedure, Algorithm

So last week I presented my research on “Abstract Machines : Art and the Age of the Algorithm” to the LEI and ARI labs. An interresting debate ensued, with my thesis director Jean-Louis Boissier heading the charge, mostly around what… Continue Reading →

La chute

For various reasons, I was looking for Deleuze’s writings on the fall, or “la chute”, just yeasterday. It’s a concept I discovered just at the time of his death when he had thrown himself out of a window. Interresting coincidence…. Continue Reading →

instruments + plateformes interactives

presentation: instruments + plateformes interactives speaker: Douglas Edric Stanley conference: Symposium Audio/Espaces/Réseaux organizers: Locus Sonus pdf: destanley.pdf This is a recording of my presentation during the Symposium Audio/Espaces/Réseaux organized by Locus Sonus. In the accompagnying pdf file (destanley.pdf) you will… Continue Reading →