Alexis Ibarra Ibarra holds a BA in International Relations by the Mexico’s Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM), where she also completed advanced studies in Economics and Applied Mathematics. She also holds a MA in Communication oriented to New Media and Global Processes by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She specialized in Videogames, Hermeneutics, and representation of national values. Currently, she is a student at the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Media Arts Cultures Programme. Besides being a researcher, she is an artist and writer. Her main interests are Videogames, Art, Politics, Economics, Physics, and Clinical Psychopathology.
The Magic of Videogame Art Curation: Remediating Videogames to Physical Exhibitions
FROG 2021 – Talk
The ‘Videogame’ is a medium, with very particular aesthetic characteristics, that can be used to create artworks despite some voices that still reject that idea. The aesthetic of videogames, in short, is composed by representational and symbolic aspects, mechanics, feedback systems, interactivity and participation, and, of course, the generation of the magic called immersion. They are both digital and analogue (i.e., devices, controllers, screens): ignoring the latter is disregarding an important element of their materiality. Since videogames are complex works, curating them is particularly challenging but also exciting. Some curation strategies rely on the digital nature of them (i.e., digital archives) while others dedicate to the preservation of hardware; however, these approaches make it hard to (re)create the magical sense of immersion. The curation of videogames for physical spaces such as museums, galleries, and exhibitions could help to (re)create that magic. In that regard, (re)mediation is a valuable tool that should be used to translate the magical world of videogames to the physical world. Traditional and new media approaches, installation art, Augmented Reality, as well as Virtual Reality, are strategies available for the curator. Curators should go beyond their traditional roles and offer interactive and immersive experiences that encompass the whole videogame aesthetics, even if that poses the difficult question of differentiating spaces created for pure entertainment and those created for culture and art appreciation. Therefore, the job of a curator is not only having to deal with Academia, preservation, documentation, and theory: just as videogames create magic, the curator has to create magic too.