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LINK Editions

Domenico Quaranta, In Your Computer, 2011 Valentina Tanni, Random, 2011 Miltos Manetas, In My Computer – Miltos Manetas, 2011 Gene McHugh, Post Internet, 2011 Domenico Quaranta (ed.), Collect the WWWorld. The Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age, 2011. Exhibition Catalogue. Texts by Josephine Bosma, Gene McHugh, Joanne McNeil, Domenico Quaranta Brad Troemel, Peer Pressure, 2011 Domenico Quaranta (ed.), Gazira Babeli, 2011 Yves Bernard, Domenico Quaranta (eds.), Holy Fire. Art of the Digital Age, 2011 Kevin Bewersdorf, Spirit Surfing, 2012

Mathias Jansson Everything I Shoot Is Art Publisher: LINK Editions, Brescia 2012 www.linkartcenter.eu This work is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Printed and distributed by: Lulu.com www.lulu.com ISBN 978-1-291-02050-2


             


Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and researcher. He writes about New Media Art and Game Art for blogs and magazines such as Gamescenes, Digimag and Next Level. His main body of work consists of a huge corpus of interviews with the pioneers of Game Art, as well as critics, curators and gallery owners operating in the field of Game Art. www.janssonswebb.se


Contents

Preface

1

ESSAYS

5

> Confessions of a Game Art Addict

7

> Insert Art to Play

13

> From Plaintext Players to Avatar Actors: A Short Survey of Online Gaming Performance

19

> Pain is not the Game: Virtual and Real in Video Game Art

31

> Video Game Appropriation in Contemporary Art

37

INTERVIEWS

61

> Pippin Barr

63

> Nils Deneken

69

> Constant Dullaart

73

> Jakub Dvorsky

81

> Sachiko Hayashi

85

> Krystian Majewski

97

> Christy Matson and Melissa Baron

101

> Iman Moradi and Max Capacity

109

> Shinji Murakami

117

> Jason Nelson

123

> Martin Pichlmair

131

> Rafel Rozendaal

135

> Jonatan Söderström

143

> Jeroen D. Stout

147

> Erik Svedäng

151

> Anders Weberg

155


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

Preface

1


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

    

                              

                 

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4


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

ESSAYS

5


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

6


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

Confessions of a Game Art Addict

7


Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

Tobias Bernstrup, Palle Torsson, Museum Meltdown, 1996 – 1999. Above: screen shot from The Contemporary Art Centre of Vilnius, 1997; below: screen shot from The Modern Museum, Stockholm 1999. Images courtesy the artists

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Insert Art to Play

13


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Bill Viola, The Night Journey, 2005 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2008. Screenshot, Š 2005-2008 University of Southern California

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From Plaintext Players to Avatar Actors: A Short Survey of Online Gaming Performance

19


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Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.org, Reenactment of Gilbert&George's The Singing Sculpture, 2007-10. Online performance. Exhibition view, Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke Gallery, Mumbai. Image courtesy the artists.

20


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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

of my fellow students had a similar impulse, and at first we would just meet up online and improvise very loosely. For instance, we might change our avatar names (@rename) 4 or 5 times an hour just to prod each other to change how we were interacting. We were the puppetmasters and the puppets. [2]     

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 677&0 It was in the spring of 2001 that I engaged in my first online gaming performance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Howl: Elite Force Voyager Online. I entered the game as Allen Ginsberg and proceeded to perform the entirety of his seminal beat poem Howl, word for word. [3] 4  -8 P   @    4 . 0 %      .                                / /           /  1        @   # # " 

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              +UFV" -8 P 0 I see these works as a way to break through and perhaps expand the notion of â&#x20AC;&#x153;the magic circleâ&#x20AC;? in gaming. We do not 'play' in contexts that are unrelated to our political, social and economic realities. Reactions during the first performance, Howl were mostly humorous. I recall one player noting â&#x20AC;&#x153;wow, poetry and shooting!â&#x20AC;?. Reactions to my work have been most fierce within the context of the ongoing project, dead-in-iraq, commenced in 2006. Other players routinely insult me, demand to know why I am doing what I am doing and are generally very hostile. [5] P              

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Franco Mattes through their avatars, which were constructed from their bodies and faces. People can attend and interact with the live performances connecting to the video-game from all over the world. [6]  677G    @       

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Games invite our participation and projection â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we are actors in these virtual spaces, and they are such plastic, malleable worlds. They are a tremendously powerful venue for exploring issues of representation, of identity, of control of our own image, as well as issues of aesthetics and how our senses are framed by the context in which we experience art. The Sims itself is a world in which these kinds of explorations are happening on a mass scale for everyday consumers, and was a ripe context for conducting such investigations. [7]

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       1 %  U(V0 Waiting is such a no-no in games [â&#x20AC;Ś] it's regarded as so abusive, and yet it's a major part of life. To the extent we want games to (sometimes) be â&#x20AC;&#x153;about lifeâ&#x20AC;?, waiting is fair game.

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Pain Is Not the Game: Virtual and Real in Video Game Art

31


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Volker Morawe, Tilman Reiff, PainStation, 2001 - 2004. Installation view at the O.K Center for Contemporary Art Upper Austria, during Ars Electronica 2002. Image courtesy O.K Center

32


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# ?   = 4   !               !  %  0 The most popular was probably Folter-Mau-Mau: a simple card game where the looser would be punished according to the cards that remain in his hand. We remember the special tension that arose from the threat of possible punishment and the excitement that came with it. The relief if you came away unpunished. It simply adds a lot of feelings to the experience.                               9    !  4                                  % 

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Video Game Appropriation in Contemporary Art

37


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Miltos Manetas, after TombRaider #2, 1996. Vibracolour print on superglossy paper, 50x75 inches. Edition: unique. Image courtesy the artist

38


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Appropriation is a fundamental aspect in the history of the arts (literary, visual, musical). Appropriation can be understood as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work.â&#x20AC;? In the visual arts, to appropriate means to properly adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects (or the entire form) of manmade visual culture. [1]                         

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The exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x153;pong.mythosâ&#x20AC;? installed at the Kunstverein Stuttgart (february 11 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; March 19, 2006). Photo: Mathilde Mupe

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      ":?   %   ":?        0 No other video game has been the origin of artistic production quite as often as the simple black-and-white tennis game. In addition to its popularity, it seems to be this minimalism that especially appeals to artists, since the playing pattern is a virtual prototype of the essence of each and every communication situation: the ball as the smallest possible unit of information, oscillating between sender and receiver. [2]

40


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David Kraftsow, First Person Tetris, 2010. Screenshot

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         5         ; 0 For me creating works by stacking and organizing ordinary objects is very much about putting things we all recognize from a certain situation into a new context, and by this altering their meaning. And I think for me the most fascinating thing 42


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

with the Tetris-effect is the fusion of two different worlds, that something you recognize from the world of the video game merges into the real life as well, and makes you step out from your daily routine and look at things in a different way. [3] 8                                       677(  I 1   

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Miltos Manetas, Supermario Sleeping, 1998. Dvd after SuperMario for Nintendo 64. Courtesy the artist.

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Douglas Edric Stanley, Invaders!, 2008. Screenshot, courtesy the artist.

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Katie Sokoler, Real Life Pacman, 2010. Image courtesy the artist.

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Racing Games     "  <&!  : /    

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Garnet Hertz, OutRun, 2009 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012. Sketch of the cabinet with electric drivetrain. Image courtesy the artist.

 = P                          0 Users look at a screen that combines both physical, realtime recorded elements, in a digital game with digital objects. They play the game with with a custom made joystick that controls a small real life car and moving elements in the installation competing against digitally generated objects in a race against time. The car and other mechanic objects are realtime recorded with a small camera which transports its signal to a computer that runs the game. Users see a screen where both digital and physical elements are visible and controllable in the game. [5]

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

                             ?  . ;P ! /    "  A/&'()C              ?  . ;                             

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Miltos Manetas, Untitled (Lara Croft), 1998. Vibracolour print on super glossy paper, courtesy the artist and Gloria Maria Gallery

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I             

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Stefano Spera, Grand Theft Auto, 2009. Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm. Courtesy Artra Gallery, Milan.

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1    

                     

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

60


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

INTERVIEWS

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

62


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Pippin Barr

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Pippin Barr, The Artist Is Present, 2011. Image courtesy the artist.

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64


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Mathias Jansson: In your game The Artist Is Present you recreated a performance by artist Marina Abramovi , presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York 2010. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your own relationship to Abramovi 's art and why did choose to turn this particular performance into a game?   10"        +  3              

              

                

           

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How do you experience the development and interest for independent video games during the last years? And how do you like to contribute to the indie game scene?   10._                                                                                                                                   

   

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Nils Deneken

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Die Gute Fabrik, RĂźckblende, 2006. Screenshot, courtesy the artists.

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

What qualities do you think a video game should have to be an interesting work of art? :-  0             %                 3    Both Where is my heart? and RĂźckblende are based on a childhood memory. The childhood is a common theme in literature and film, but how can personal experiences and memories from a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s childhood be used in video games? :-  0=             2                                                                        What's your experience of the indie game scene in Copenhagen? :-  03  9   D                   9    ?  9                                             1                    9          9                            And how do you see the future for indie game developers? :-  0.                            

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Constant Dullart

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Constant Dullaart performing DVD Screensaver at The Influencers Festival, Barcelona 2012.

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         9     -      3                                   8                             @%   9                 In your art you are trying to visualise the internet grammar and software dialects, in a way that reminds me of JODI's work. Is JODI an inspiration for you, or where else do you find inspiration? 9   - 0>5"-                     5 . %3       1      

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

with simple methods as flipping the page and rotating it in order to change the viewer's perspective on everyday internet services. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the idea behind these works? 9    - 0    

                    

                                                                         

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                                     9               In Youtube on the Floor, you sit on the floor and move circles to create the effect of the loading icon of Youtube. Furthermore, in the DVD screensaver performance you use a DVD sign to create a performance about the floating DVD sign you can see on the screen when your DVD is inactive. Why did you choose to go off-line? 9   - 0"                                     ' 1                    

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Jakub Dvorsky

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Amanita Design, Machinarium, 2009. Wallpaper

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Where do you find inspirations for your games and art? 5- 0                                                                         1     

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Sachiko Hayashi

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Alan Sondheim's Yoshikaze â&#x20AC;&#x153;Up-In-The-Airâ&#x20AC;? residency project. Image courtesy Yoshikaze

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The development of new media and technology has been very fast in the last 20 years. How working with that tool kit has affected you as an artist? /   .0                    

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For Fylkingen you are editing the online Hz-journal. What is its focus? /  .0@A1F   <     @  3    '7     94  .      1  !                    <   1    &'))<  3      6777.;       H     83 < 677E    @ A6     83 C         @ @   A      EC  <    E 3             

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Krystian Majewski

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Krystian Majewski, TRAUMA, 2011. Screenshot

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What do you think about the current German indie game scene? H  430            ?              @   !                               ? ? 5   E              @    Finally do you have any advice to give to someone that is thinking of working as an indie game designer in the future? What kind of education and skills does she need to succeed in this hard branch? H   430                 0        "   :II-                         3               .  

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Christy Matson and Melissa Baron

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Melissa Barron, Jacquard Weavings, 2010. Image courtesy the artist.

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Christy, your experience with the adventure game Loom (Lucasfilms Games,1990) resulted in the project Loomscapes (2008). Can you tell me why you choose that game? 9   4  0                  8            3         @  

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108


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Iman Moradi and Max Capacity

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Rosa Menkman, A Vernacular of File Formats â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bitmap File (.BMP). Windows 24bit (irreversible databend), 2011. Digital print on Dbond, 30 x 40 cm. Image courtesy Fabio Paris Art Gallery.

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say that Cubism, Constructivism etc. are result of errors or mistakes during the painting process?  4 0  P                  2             %                                                    

                   

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Max Capacity, from the series Analog Video Glitch, 2011. Images courtesy the artist.

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Glitch theorist Iman Moradi distinguishes between two categories of glitches: the pure glitch, that is â&#x20AC;&#x153;the result of a malfunction or errorâ&#x20AC;?; and the glitch-alike, that happens when the artist creates the environment that is required to invoke a glitch and anticipate one to happen. What do you think about this? 4%9   0    

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116


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Shinji Murakami

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Shinji Murakami, Happy Meal, 2011. Wood blocks, glue, acrylic, resin, screw and plastic tray, 5.5 x 13.5 x 10.5 in. Image courtesy the artist.

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In a series called RPG you have worked with maps, for example you have created a map over Central Park in New York in Final Quest 1 style. Can you tell me how this RGP maps are created and why did you choose to work with a style that reminds traditional Japanese art? / 340*          %     P    `+             677E         *4  + *  +            *9  +         5  /                 ;                                                5          :>  @    ; In your latest work you started to explore 3D-8bit. What brought you from 2D to 3D? / 340>P   %     E-@(  5    677B 3           :                 E-@(   / 4  1 5  "         A     C     %                                ; (@                E-@(     677'   -=  Can you tell me something about the Japanese Game Art scene? Are there many contemporary artists inspired by video games in Japan today? Are museums and galleries interested in displaying this kind of art? / 340<  P                     5                             :>           5    P           5        4                   5        121


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Jason Nelson

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Jason Nelson, Game, Game, Game and Again Game, 2010. Online game, screenshot.

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Which role has the player / reader in your games? 5 : 0I    W W                              

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Martin Pichlmair

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Broken Rules, And Yet It Moves, 2007. Screenshot

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In your artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s days, together with Fares Kayali, you created the Bagatelle Concrete (2006-2007), a pinball machine turned into a musical instrument. What was the concept behind this piece? 4    0 =  (

                   

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Rafel Rozendaal

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Rafael Rozendaal, Color Flip, 2008. Installation view at NIMk, Amsterdam. Photo Olof Werngren

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142


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Jonatan Söderström

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Cactus, Evac, 2012. Computer game, screenshot

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Can you tell me about the game Norrland that you made for an exhibition in Sweden 2010? 5   /\ \0    3   %          1 3                                                  .   %     Would you describe your games as art? 5   /\ \0#                                             ;   * +    3       3                 

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Jeroen D. Stout

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Jeroen D. Stout, Dinner Date, 2010. Promotional image

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Mathias Jansson – Everything I Shoot Is Art

Erik Svedäng

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Erik Svedäng, Blueberry Garden, 2008. Computer game, screenshot

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Anders Weberg

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Anders Weberg, Two screenshots from 101010, 2010.

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#                D!8                               /      #                     /                     % 0* & # " 677'+9              5     2                   0WW @  @ @ W                                       0 http://you-talking-to-me.com/ http://well-i-am-the-only-one-here.com/ http://who-the-fuck-do-you-think-you-are-talking-to.com/ http://you-talking-to-me-you-talking-to-me-you-talking-to-me.com/ http://then-who-the-hell-else-are-you-talking-to.com/

         7" A&'G)C  

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Anders Weberg, The URL Is the Artwork, 2009

#P       3                                                     D     9      4

    >  *             3                        

         

              +#%      #        D!8@                   Mathias Jansson: When did your interest for net art and P2P start?  #0   

   3    @'7   3               *:  +   6   3  677) 

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    158


Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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% ::: 67&7W&7W&7 In 2009 you made a net art work called The URL is the Artwork. How did you come up with the idea?  #0          3           9     !   #      

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    3                What does the URL mean for you as an artist?  #0            D!8      9 D!8            D!8                      W                                     A C            @         /

                                 3  Is there any similarity between your URL-art and your P2Part? Which ideas or concept do you like to explore or discuss in your art?  #0          

         2                            

               

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

Anders Weberg, This Site Is Not Available in Your Country, 2010.

In your latest www.thissiteisnotavailableinyourcountry.com, the user finds a statement similar to the one that sites as YouTube present when there are copyright or censorship restrictions...    #0  >     3             *  +                

  What do you think about copyright as an artist?  #0    *   +                                              

       %      4                         ;     9!8W94-p  9!8W94-p                  :                          2                       0                                           

<   "5B': 67&7     * #D :    +

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Mathias Jansson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything I Shoot Is Art

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Everything I Shoot Is Art  

“Everything I Shoot Is Art” is a collection of essays and interviews written by Swedish art critic and researcher Mathias Jansson along the...

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