Aurora Picture Show presents the 8th annual Media Archeology Festival Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Houston. Taking place at venues across the city, including The Orange Show and Menil park, the festival is presented in collaboration with the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. This multi-media festival showcases artists who use, manipulate, recycle and reinvent electronic media to create live multidisciplinary performances.
This year, the festival explores the ideas of games and play from the past and present. Games are social tools for interaction, community building, and entertainment that have traditionally permeated media in various ways—all the way from chess, charades and hula-hoops, to role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and now to the World of Warcraft, one of the most successful multi-player role playing video games of recent times. This year’s festival Rewind – Play – Fast Forward examines new forms and contexts of performance-based art informed by games through visuals, interactivity and strategy.
The three nights of the festival include the following:
Thursday, September 15, 8PM Sniff with Karolina Sobecka Location: Chick and Chica, 3710 Main Street For the opening night of Media Archeology, Aurora invites everyone to midtown Houston for a unique shop window display sure to entertain. Sniff is an interactive projection where an animated CG dog follows the viewer, responds to gestures and forms a relationship based on the history of their interaction. Sniff was created with Unity3d Game Engine, which renders the dog in real time and allows it to dynamically change his behavior based on the video tracking data. READ MORE
Friday, September 16, 8PM Performing and Playing in Bits with Robert Thoth Location: The Menil Collection front lawn For the second night of the festival, we invite you to another memorable night of Media Archeology at The Menil Collection with multiple projections of video games of the past and a live performance. Houston artist Robert Thoth will present the live cinema performance “The Chip Tune Crooner” during which he will perform popular songs from the 1960s to 1980s which are accompanied by a low tech 8-bit orchestra created from vintage computer parts, complete with large pixel-art music videos projected behind him. In addition to Robert’s performance, Aurora will present a cornucopia of video games available to audiences to play and compete in a festive and larger than life capacity out under the stars. READ MORE
Saturday, September 17, 8PM Wizard Takes All with Eddo Stern Location: The Orange Show, 2402 Munger Street Commissioned specifically for Media Archeology, media artist Eddo Stern presents Wizard Takes All, for the final night of the festival. This is a live computer game performance that explores the relationships between scripted time and space, role playing, acting, audience/performer relationships, computer simulation and the boundaries between narrative and game-play. A single player/performer plays an all-powerful wizard who possesses boundless audiovisual powers. The wizard stands above a large group of avatar minions, uses hand gestures and chants which are analyzed by software and activated into visuals representing “magical powers” for the purpose of the game. Members of the audience, through the use of simple custom game controllers, control the actions of the mob. The wizard and the mob are engaged in an epic computer game battle that gradually builds in intensity as the performance develops towards a spectacular synesthetic climax. READ MORE