Artist Write-Up: Joe McKay

Where: Bret Llewellyn Gallery

When: February 25, 2016

Title: One 2 One

Artist: Joe McKay

Works: Cellphone Telegraph, Falling From Segway 1, Streetview Images (London, San Francisco, Map Jack of San Francisco)

Intentions: Joe McKay was thinking about the way in which games can work in a gallery. With some of his work, he was trying to find the middle ground between artistic games as determined in the gaming environment and artistic games in the art world. McKay explored playing with the familiar and creating new interactions for it (in other words, he wants to allow people to think about interface differently).

Effective/Ineffective and why: With the game he presented in the gallery, he successfully created a different way in which interface of everyday objects is used. As McKay stated, we are used to using one mouse at a time. The game he presented required the use of two mouses, which makes the player uncomfortable with the unfamiliarity of holding a mouse in both hands. While this game could be described as well-programmed with its functionality to appeal to the art world, he was also able to add the gaming environment successfully with creating a potentially addictive rule set. By being able to stimulate the player emotionally (even with anger), it is arguable that as a game it was a success.

Influences on the artist: In a minor way, Surrealism influenced this artist with the new applications he created in some of his art. For example, the old cellphones were repurposed to provide communication once again, albeit in a fashion even more old-fashioned than the phones themselves. Other influences include artist Perry Hoberman, from which McKay found a love of humorous interactive work, and the Canadian group Fast Wurms, which created humorous work in collaboration with cats.

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