Michael Parekowhai Chapman's Homer (detail) 2011. Bronze, stainless steel. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Lett, Auckland
Good Game, but is it Art
Like any young medium, video games increasingly find themselves the subject of that age old question: is it art? Play itself has a strong presence in the artworld, from Yoko Ono's all-white chess set Play It By Trust to the amusing interactions possible with Franz West's Adaptives, but video games are often regarded with suspicion. Aren't they all just shooting and looting? And even if they're not, how can you tell if they're art?
To the extent that context is king – this artwork is in a museum, that artwork is stuck to the refrigerator door with a magnet – we have some validation. Recently, the Smithsonian in Washington DC opened the Art of Video Games exhibition and the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a game-oriented conference called Contemporary Art Forum: Critical Play. And in fact at Critical Play there was never a whisper that digital games simply might not be art at all. Instead it was generally agreed that digital games are a medium of expression, an artform capable of yielding everything from the lame to the sublime.
Pippin Barr The Artist Is Present (still) 2011
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Doc Ross Gravestones Building Sydenham Christchurch c.1999. Silver gelatin photograph
Has the impulse to survey and record the here and now taken on a quickening urgency for photographers in post-earthquake Christchurch? The change that is happening around us is extraordinary and accelerating with a rapidity particular only to disaster and war. And the prevalence and ease of digital technology means that, now more than ever, photography is the tool to document the way things are today, weren't yesterday and won't be tomorrow.
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset Park für unerwünschte Skulpturen (Park for Unwanted Sculptures) 2003. Lawn, wooden fence, light box sign. Sculptures in
the park are: Uwe Schloen Neptun Bunker 2000; Horst Hellinger Röhrentorso 1988; Ludmilla Schalthoff Spiegelinstallation 2004; Gustav Reinhard o.T. 1983(?); Ulla
Nentwig Das steinerne Herz 2007; Vito Acconci Father's Garden 1986. Reproduced courtesy of the artists, Kunstverein Springhornhof
The recently released Christchurch City Recovery Plan establishes the development of earthquake memorial of local, national and international significance as one of its 'anchor projects'. With no timeframe set for its completion, the discussion around the project will be measured, and is bound to generate interest across the city and farther afield. We asked Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery, London, and author of Monuments for the USA to add his voice to the conversation. Here, he looks at contemporary monumania worldwide, and asks what lessons we might learn from past failures.