MoMA is doing it Wrong.
I think in order to determine whether society thinks something is art or not you need to look at the place in which they are displayed. The MoMA has a bunch a people who say they are forward thinkers but simply aren’t doing it right.
“The labyrinth ritual glamorizes the competitive individualism and alienated human relations that characterize contemporary social experience. it reconciles the visitor to pure subjectivity by equation it with ” the human condition.” And in the garden, as in the outside world, that with satisfies material needs appears not as the result of labor but as if by magic-gifts of a great nature goddess. As an institution MOMA appears to be a refuge from materials society: a cultural haven, an ideal world apart. Yet, it exalts precisely the values and experiences it apparently rejects by elevating them to the universal and timeless realm of spirit. MOMA’s ritual is a walk through a hall of mirror in which isolation, fear and numbness appear as eating and desirable states of being.”
Now this quote can be taken with a grain of salt because it comes from a marxist publication but it does illiterate how the MoMA is aligned which in my opinion alludes to their closed minds and inability to accept a new wave of change. They push the same point of view that people have had since the dawn of paint but now have slowly come to adopt the new baby of film into such a prestigious category that the likes of Picasso and Michelangelo reside.
If you look at a place like the Smithsonian, where the games are championed and explored for their interactive properties and the context in which they were made, you can clearly see that the MoMA has an pinky in the air view on video games as interactive design. I do think they fall into that category although I do not think it is up for them to make a line in the sand and say that not all of them are art. Antonelli doesn’t think that the feeling that video games brings people is in any way worthy of anything but praise to the code.
Ratchet and Clank: The Game
For this final analysis I chose to play the game Ratchet and Clank on the PS4. Number one on my list is this little thing called nostalgia. It brings you back to the ‘good ole days’ when you and your buddy were eating pizza beagles on his space bed after 6th grade, and the smell of his mother smoking cigarettes in the back yard while you joyfully took turns conquering this tiny make believe world on your massive 20″ screen. Or it could simply take you back to a time of blissful freedom. Either way nostalgia brings about a feeling deep down that stirs and sits, sometimes relaxes, soothes or breaks you down.
Parallel to Film
I think that we are waiting. In transition is a way I like to think about it, just as film went through this in it’s early development and study. Whenever a new technology comes out
Oh wait, there is Film.
Ratchet and Clank the movie is out and available for you to watch on your Netflix account if you would like to take a look. If you had no idea about the video game and went to watch the movie you would be able to be captivated by it and possibly laugh. Now, it is true that a few of the jokes do cater to the people who are familiar with the past Ratchet and Clank games. Although, this was not enough to keep my roommate intensely watching this movie from start to finish. He is one of those people who doesn’t like cartoons or shows with cartoon characters.
So to have him be so into a movie such as this one was a novelty. He even laughed at some of childish jokes and stupidity of some of the characters, which leads me to believe that video games can reach other people through film. QUOTE!!! Although, I do not believe that is the end game for video games in the art world as seen by the art community. Because let’s face it, we are actually talking about how do we change the mind of these people and make them see it the way I think most younger academics and non-academics see video games. It is extremely similar to the way most of them think of film and film study. When film first came into existence, no one knew what it was, how to properly use the technology, and what it meant to people until it had been in the popular culture for quite some time.
Nostalgia is an integral part of this whole experience. And that is not to say that games who do not use nostalgia as either a sales tactic or simply the MoMA’s antiquated idea of design and Art. It is not up to the MomA to be to paternal with people art form and to let them speak for themselves. Sometimes the more educated or financially lucky forget that most of societal change happens outside of their bubble. But those were the same people who fought for film. If you look at the first discussion we had about how Ebert did not fathom video games ever becoming an art form.
I do think that video games jump into cinema was an important development, although not the only way it could be art. I think of it more as a step to show people that video games are not like the “boob tube” people called the television when it first erupted but instead something that they should take a look at and have an open mind rather than discounting the video games because of outdated misconceptions. In todays American society, video games are seen by the older public as children games because only their children and like minded adults play such things. And that is not their fault, the closed mindedness is. But like anything opinions can be changed through presentation on common ground or over time.
For me art is more than if something has an interactive element or allows you to manipulate it and forge your own path, it is appreciating the aesthetically pleasing visual and auditory inputs. That is when you look upon something and appreciate not only the work that was put into the creating of such a project but also the feelings of experience, knowledge, discovery, excitement, and many more. It is a matter of perspective for each individual what he thinks is art. No one has the right to say this painting is art and this table is not for everyone because it doesn’t have the classic elements of that world. It is much in its own world just as Howard Becker says in Art Worlds. Yet it seems that the art community and even the gaming community is dead set on putting these terms into fine neat boxes for people to start virtually dumping each game into some category of ‘ART’ or ‘Not ART’. I think that in the end video games will be looked back on as a similar art form to film and that it was a derived from film with a strong deviation towards interaction of human with the virtual.