As a cultural medium, games carry embedded beliefs within their systems of representation and their structures, whether game designers intend these ideologies or not. Artistic interventions in the form of games arise from a number of intentions, including social critique, a need for solidarity and action among participants, and the impulse to stage large-scale games in order to disrupt political scenarios or daily life.
Game strategies are able to subvert the constrictions and time and place, and help us imagining how the world could be otherwise. These practices convey social structures as well as political relations and social customs. They are rehearsals for the not-yet and, in this way, they share a political potential. With different modus operandi, gaming in contemporary art facilitates new perspectives on events that might (or might not) have happened and, as such, they allow us raise awareness about an event or situation, and to imagine our own subjectivities at a point in time.
This panel discussion sheds light on radical forms of gaming in contemporary art and to explore how they strive to subvert hegemonic discourses and accepted norms. The conversation is articulated through the very different practices of technologist Debbie Ding and filmmaker Green Zheng. This conversation investigate their polymorphic tactics of experience tentative realities. Their perspective aim to ground an investigation about the practice of blockchain in art, as this techniques can help understanding how alternative social compositions sustained with blockchain can be enacted and practiced. Not only they provide a experiential approach to the technological workings, they also embody the worlding capacity of blockchain.
Debbie Ding is a visual artist and technologist whose interests range from historical research and urban geography to visions of the future. She reworks and reappropriates formal, qualitative approaches to collecting, labelling, organising, and interpreting assemblages of information – using this to open up possibilities for alternative constructions of knowledge. Using interactive computer simulations, rapid prototyping, and other visual technologies, she creates works about subjects such as map traps, lost islands (Pulau Saigon), World War II histories, soil, bomb shelters, and public housing void decks. DBBD received a BA in English Literature from the National University of Singapore and, as a recipient of the NAC Arts Scholarship (Postgraduate), an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art, London.
Green Zeng is a filmmaker and artist from Singapore. His art practice explores issues of historiography and identity, and examines how history is scripted, perceived and disseminated. His earlier work focused on areas such as alternative histories, student activism, and the social-political understanding of landscape. His current work questions the connection between the archives, the State and the individual, and the role that an artist plays in Foucault’s notion of ‘parrhesia’ (truth-telling). As a practising artist, Zeng has exhibited widely in Singapore and abroad. In 2012, he was a Finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in Hong Kong. In 2014, he was nominated for the Asia Pacific Breweries Signature Art Prize. He won the Bronze Award in the 26th UOB Painting of the Year (Established Artist Category) in 2018. His most recent solo exhibition Notes for the Future was held at Art Outreach, Singapore in 2021. In 2020, he was an Artist-in-Resident at the NTU-CCA Singapore Residencies Programme.