In 2015 Brisbane Powerhouse hosted the IRL Festival, a program exploring the convergence between live arts, and digital and gaming culture. The Edge was asked to be involved. As is the way with a lot of things The Edge does, we saw this as an opportunity to involve the larger community in a collaborative process to develop, build and install two art installations for the week-long festival. The IRL project gave emerging installation artists and a variety of newcomers from a range of ages and backgrounds the opportunity to collaborate and create work for a large festival audience (approximately 10,000 came through the festival) in a professional arts venue.
There were two public outcomes: Player 1/ Player 2 and Enter The Mashup
Nuts and Bolts
Player 1 / Player 2
Player1 / Player2 was a collaborative art installation that explored the social history and evolution video games. The work, which explored community artists’ personal connections with games, also provided an opportunity for audiences to reflect on their own connection with these important cultural artefacts.
Installed in the Powerhouse’s central Turbine Platform, this work lead members of the public through a sound and interactive museum display of archaeological relics from 12 of the most pivotal video games in history (Pong, Space Invaders, Follow the Leader, Streetfighter, Contra, Bubble Bobble, Day of the Tentacle, Super Smash Bros, Legend of Zelda, Diablo and World of Warcraft).
With each of these relics the public were invited to delve deeper into a hidden narrative, the epic story of the tumultuous relationship between the two mythical characters, our hero Player 1 and his jealous brother Player 2.
The people involved were:
- The watchful, organisational eye of The Edge’s A/Creative Manager Mick Byrne
- The uber-producers Marianna Shek and Sarah Winter (Player One/Player Two)
- The writing team of Tara Brown, Angela Hibbard, RJ Miso & Victoria Posner (Player One/Player Two)
- The visual design team of Richard Lee, Caitlin McGowan, Leila Watson, Brian Dinh, Craig Bentick, Stacy Field, Gregory Davis, Tara May Flynn, Bob Dobson and Jessica Fay (Player One/Player Two)
- The patience, professionalism and support of the Brisbane Powerhouse
Enter the Mashup
Take back the screens! Control or be controlled in this electric new installation where your only weapon is the mashup.
Enter the Mashup was a collaborative media installation that experimented with a giant Near Field Communication Slide Puzzle as a unique live audio-visual mixing interface. Members of the public were invited to remix a library of community generated video animations and effects by rearranging the oversized slidey parts of the puzzle.
While this popular installation entertained thousands of festival goers with its mix of old skool charm and digital manipulation of colourful animations, it also seriously tested the creative team. Developing the bespoke physical interface, putting together the complicated electronics and establishing the software to run the installation and maintain it over the course of the festival via a remote network was a significant achievement. The development and experience and that resulted from these technical achievements were a significant capacity development for The Edge and the community participants that were engaged with the project.
The people involved were:
- Emerging Installation artist and coder-fabricator extraordinaire Nathen Street
- The film making facilitation of community arts worker Angus Macleod
- The film making skills of community members Tatjana Hamilton, Sonal Patel, Joan Mok, Joe Fernando, Arwin Sahar, Bethany Watt and Bertrand Dungan.