Gaming and Contemporary Art
Fall Term 2018, BA/MA Art History, University of Basel

More than 70% of all smartphone users also use their phone as a mobile gaming device and thus have a share in a global market whose turnover is estimated at almost 80 billion US dollars. Gaming is omnipresent: on our smartphones, in the living room as console games, as everyday entertainment on streaming platforms such as Twitch, or as gamified learning applications in the school environment.

The course "Gaming and Contemporary Art" takes as its starting point the ubiquity of gaming practices in popular culture to address the relevance of screen-based gaming practices to contemporary art. What interactions are there between screen-based games and artistic works? For example, how do artists use the (social) spaces of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft or how do they negotiate narrative conventions of game design? Before selected artistic works are jointly examined in the course (e.g. by Hito Steyerl, Axel Stockburger and Cory Arcangel), we discuss basic theoretical texts on the specifics of the computer game image as well as theoretical threshold declarations such as "post-internet art" or "postdigital".