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ConvergeNCE,      2013

Feburary 21-24, 2013



For 5 days, more than 70 artists, scholars and makers participated in our multi-venue programming, which included:

// 3 exhibitions
// 5 screenings
// 3 panel discussions
// 2 evenings of live performance and
// 4 workshops.


Vector Festival is a participatory and community-oriented initiative dedicated to showcasing digital games and creative media practices. Presenting works across a dynamic range of exhibitions, screenings, performances, lectures, and workshops, Vector acts as a critical bridge between emergent digital platforms and new media art practice. 

Exhibitions:  Other Worlds // // Ludacy //

Other Worlds @ InterAccess addresses digital spaces as procedural landscapes. Rather than creating games where prescribed routes and narratives directing player movement and action, the works of Other Worlds position the player as a digital flaneur; free to move anywhere within these worlds. Curated with Prosthetic Knowledge.

Artists: Bill Viola & Tracy Fullerton, Lea Albaugh, Arkane Kids, Luis Hernandez, Cyril Lecomte-Languerand,  Ed Key & David Kanaga, Alan Kwan, Alex Myers & Jeff Thompson, Axel Shokk @ Propeller acts as a survey of the range of different creative practices that fall under game art’s rubric. More than simply illustrating examples of the trans-medial potential of game art, the pieces in contain critical perspectives on digital photography, gender, game code, death, digital space, architecture, gentrification, marketing, and more.

Artists:  Kenton Sheely, notendo, anna anthropy, Christian Streinz, Aaron Oldenburg, Jose Acosta, Jason Nelson, Myfanwy Ashmore, Gavin Bailey, Tom Corby & Jonathan Mackenzie, Hannah Epstein, Alex Myers, coll.eo


Ludacy @ Gamma Space. This exhibition invited three Toronto indie game makers, Damian Sommer, Alex Martin (Droqen) and Cale Bradbury (Net Grind)  to expand their practice into an off-screen installation experience will hopefully spark an interest in new media art installations. Consequently, this project will question what defines new media art, and how a game installation might differ. 

Screenings: A Stranger Comes to Town: Identity and the Avatar // Meditations on the Medium // Awaiting the end of the beginning // Fanf*ckery
Performances: Engines of Performance // Playing Personae: Engendered + Embodied 

A Stranger Comes to Town: Identity and the Avatar @ videofag explored the politics of the avatar in relationship to identity by examining massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), technologies of biometrics, and the border that separates our real and digital identities. Artists: Peggy Ahwesh, Zach Blas, Valerie Brewer, Jacqueline Goss, Sandra Danilovic

Meditations on the Medium @ Propeller. This program consists of films and videos that allow us to meditate on the nature of the medium. What do a classic video game cabinet, a tv, and a snack dispenser have in common?   Artists: Stephanie Barber, Eddo Stern, Scott Stark, Beflix, Gun Holmström, Meesoo Lee, IP Yuk-Yiu

Awaiting the end of the beginning @ Propeller. This program explores the competitive nature of video games and our desire for simulated violence. Artists: Craig Baldwin, s.ara, Paul Atkins & Ian Campbell, Kathleen Daniel, Wei-Ming Ho, Josh Bricker, Jon Rafman. 

Engines of Performances @ InterAccess. 

Featuring digital game performances, Toronto based, Toca Loca’s 'Halo Ballet'  is a live machinima choreography and musical event, in which 3 performers control their Halo Avatars as 'dancers', and using a first- person- shooter perspective, while a fourth member of the team acts as ‘camera’ person capturing the avatar dance through a specific frame.

New York’s foci + loci use video game engines, map editors, virtual instruments and timed compositional elements as a means of creating a live audiovisual improvisation in the game 'LittleBigPlanet.' 

Playing Personae: Engendered + Embodied Performances @ InterAccess. 

Using games as the focal point for discussions of gender and embodiment, these performances address the representations of gender in gaming culture and technologies. 'Itagaki Interface'  by Daniele Hopkins and Kyle Duffield modifies game controllers for the one-on -one combat game, 'Dead or Alive' featuring  hyper masculinized /feminine avatars in battle. The audience is confronted with the challenge of having to play one another via controllers intimately mounted on the artists chest, turning them into 'human game controllers.' This piece is a hybridization of 70's body-centric performance art and new media interactive performances, challenging us to consider the ways in which gendered bodies are represented in interactive media.  

"Chastity and The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft” is a performance by Angela Washko consisting of the artist live playing and chatting with other gamers in World of Warcraft in front of a live audience. Washko narrates the experience, while engaging players in conversation centered around their definitions of feminism. Rather than confront players with swords and magic, she’ll be challenging assumptions of gender and its perception within these often misogynistic game worlds. 


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