Exhibition: Art with Purpose

Art with Purpose, curated under the direction of Dr Tim Marsh with appraisal of works from panel of experts* brings together nine works of interactive art and games that explore new possibilities for interaction, play, narrative, story and experience for purpose.

La Petite Mort
Patrick Jarnfelt and Andrea Hasselager
Loveable Hat Cult, Denmark

La Petite Mort is an experimental non-explicit digital erotic experience designed for touch. It focuses on female pleasure and encourages the player to go slow and take their time. As much as giving a more nuanced picture of female pleasure and stimulation, La Petite Mort is also a statement of a different way of interacting with and using the tablet. La Petite Mort has a simplistic style and musical design that moves you through highly pixelated, but weirdly sensual landscapes, ending in a cacophony of musical climaxes.

Daniel Galbraith and Sean Fitzpatrick
Griffith Film School

Transmission is a statement on the fragility of communication systems, and an exploration of human interpretation when traditional communication fails. These topics are examined through the context of the Vietnam War – specifically, the capture of Saigon by the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and the People’s Army of Vietnam. Transmission captures the panic, tension and stress of the period by placing participants within a period-authentic area and tasking them with deciphering incoming transmissions. With no context to the situation, those involved must interpret their role in the events they uncover. The tension of the event therefore lies not in the event itself, but in the unknown circumstances that arise out of participation. In the context of this project, the term “transmission” is used to describe “the act or process by which something is spread or passed from one person or thing to another”. Under this definition, the “transmissions” found in our piece refer to the process of conveying information, both organically and digitally.

Arty Swirly Colourful
Thomas Hanley
Griffith Film School

Arty Swirly Colourful (ASC) is an interactive relaxation experience. While most games focus on challenge, excitement, fear, or bombast, ASC seeks to provide the player with a calming, relaxing escape from everyday life. Players will freely roam a fantasy world, discovering various points of interest, and observing the beauty of nature’s ever-changing presence. ASC is far from a traditional game; it does not feature a core conflict, obstacles, forced guidance or objectives. Players are free to explore at any pace, in any direction they want, over as many play sessions as they like. ASC can also be enjoyed passively allowing the player to engage as much or as little as they choose.

Blown Away (Sydney 365, 2014)
Brigid Costello
University of New South Wales

Working with 365 days of pollution data from Sydney, Australia, Blown Away traces the intersection between wind and pollution expressed as rhythms of light and dark within a 3-dimensional grid of cubes. Each day’s pollution particle count is represented by a cluster of cubes that fall from a point drawn from the daily wind direction. This process gradually destroys the grid structure and transforms a pristine white plane into a jagged dark landscape.

Coming Through: an animated experience of postnatal depression
Andi Spark
Griffith Film School

Ever felt that the supermarket shelves were out to get you? Or that suddenly the silverware needs polishing at 2am? Or that every photograph is somehow sucking another gram of your energy? And you have a baby that is utterly adorable, but you do not deserve it; your life is inextricably changed, and so far, not for the better; and yours and ours and theirs and everyone we know’s expectations of new motherhood are a big big lie? You’re not the only one (despite what you might think right now) and your story adds to hundreds of other stories, creating a matrix of bearing witness to the lived experience of postnatal depression (in animated form).

VR-RidesInteractive VR Games for Health
Kiran Ijaz, Yifan Wang, David Milne and Rafael Calvo
University of Sydney

VR Rides is a virtual reality game that aims to engage older adults in physical and cognitive exercise to reduce their risk of developing dementia. The experience combines a recumbent tricycle, real-world imagery (sourced from Google Streetview), an Oculus Rift headset and a Microsoft Kinect camera, such that the player can navigate real locations in a safe virtual environment. Using this platform, we further developed two game designs: Competitive (ghost/virtual player as opponent to guess visited cities) and affiliative (virtual tour to invoke and share memories). Our immediate goal involves deploying VR Rides into retirement homes, so that it can be evaluated in a realistic setting. The first primary measures of these experiments will focus on engagement and usability of older adults. However, we would also ideally measure the outcomes of using this platform on players’ mobility and spatial skills in future.

VR Immersive Slow Reef Experience
Tim Marsh, Nathan Jensen, Whitney Constantine and Elliot Miller
Griffith Film School

In this ever-advancing world, technologies that are slow are considered inferior, of the past and redundant, passé or obsolete. But there is an increasing belief that faster technologies creating faster work, faster lifestyles and leisure pursuits is having a detrimental effect on, and eroding our values, traditions, cultures, practices and experiences. Counter movements that promote a slower pace of life are for example slow technology, slow food, slow families and slow fixes. Following this trend, our work explores some of the latest, fastest virtual reality technology as platform for slow serious gameplay, stories and experiences. This immersive VR experience is a continuation of our work on slow interactions, slow serious gameplay and slow interactive movies to create a sense of calm and peacefulness and so open opportunities for reflection and contemplation. Specifically, this work allows participants to explore, learn about and experience the beauty and wonder of corals, marine life and ecosystems in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and glimpse a possible future in which human activities have continued to harm, disrupt and ultimately destroy the reef.

A Game of Horseshoes for the Ineffectual Martyr 0.2
Madeleine Boyd and Jason Haggerty
Freelance academic writer, artist & curator

A Game of Horseshoes for the Ineffectual Martyr (GOH) is a concept game with the intention of encouraging human empathy with racehorses. Racehorses are documented as being subject to treatment that does not reflect the public interest to protect animal welfare in Australia. Based ideologically in new materialism, the game ‘works’ through drawing attention to comparative human and horse physical performance in real space time, rather than being played entirely in virtual space time. GOH V1.0 was exhibited as a semi-interactive prototype in 2013 (playable without actual digital interactivity of display). An academic paper was published on the animal justice research grounding the game conceptually during 2015. This current paper reports on GOH V2.0 development progress as of July 2016. The primary progress concerns actual interactivity of horseshoe placement in the horseshoe pit with game result display. Technology used is software TouchDesigner 088 by Derivative, triggered by hardware computer vision via Pixy (CMUcam5) by Charmed Labs. For GOH V.02 the horseshoe pit is conceived as the ‘controller’ rather than the ‘game’, and the physical design is amenable to rapid prototyping, open source sharing and transportability.

Tyson Foster
Griffith Film School

Breathing life into the digital void is the core goal of my practice. As a technical artist I use 3D software and interactive real-time graphics to generate responsive performance for stylized 3D characters in virtual worlds. Working with stylized form allows me to explore the essence of motion. This practice is a symbiosis of code and aesthetics. Virtual Reality (VR) has [re]emerged as an artistic medium that fuses game mechanics and interactivity with active storytelling and character performance. The tranquil first person experience in DE.FORM presents the player with various creatures floating around the player while tracking the players gaze and head position. DE.FORM examines the importance of player immersion and how presence is maintained while interacting with responsive stylized 3D characters in VR. This has been achieved by employing rules of non-verbal communication and plausible motion in order to maintain player immersion.

*Panel of Experts: Naoko Tosa, Cecile Prado, Jon Weinbren, Conor Linehan, Sebastian Deterding, Gordon Moyes, Brigid Costello, Sandy Louchart, Victor Lim Fei, Verity McIntosh