Eddo Stern: New Works

Eddo Stern: New Works presents five game based projects: Darkgame 4.0, Vietnam Romance, Still Life With Putin, House Stern Pachinko, and Cruise Control. Stern explores the intersection between making games and making art. In the past few years he has been experimenting with various approaches for game visuals that integrate digital techniques such as 3D programming and electronics with non-digital image making methods such as watercolor on paper, calligraphy, ink and pen, and pencil drawing.  Stern explores new modes of narrative and documentary, experimental computer game design, fantasies of technology and history, and cross-cultural representation in computer games, film, and online media.

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Eddo Stern: New Works features a new multiscreen installation of Stern’s well-known work Darkgame in which the immersive gameplay is based upon the experience of communication and conflict under stress of sensory deprivation and sense isolation. During the game the player is equipped with custom made head gear, applying different sensations to the head that allow for non-visual and auditory interaction and navigation of the virtual world.

The exhibition includes the premiere of the opening three levels of Vietnam Romance, a long form computer game about the historical and cultural vestiges of the Vietnam War. Ed Halter, critic for the Village Voice, describes the project as exploring “a peculiarly American memorytrip, one in which the legacy of a gruesome war has become indistinguishable from pleasurable, if mythictragic, entertainments.”

Also on display, three new short-form computer games loosely bound by literal and humorous interpretations of portraiture and the notion of role playing. Visually, these games explore an expressionistic / eclectic aesthetic - the result of visual experiments and collaborations. Two of these new games are collaborations with artists Cyril Kuhn and Jon Haddock, who both work primarily as 2D image makers. 

Stern explores the intersection between making games and making art. In the past few years he has been experimenting with various approaches for game visuals that integrate digital techniques such as generative programming, electronics, realtime physics, 2D and 3D animation, with non-digital image making methods such as watercolor on paper, calligraphy, ink and pen, and pencil drawing. 

List of works in the exhibition:
Darkgame 4.0, computer game installation, 2014
Vietnam Romance: Levels 1-3, computer game, 2014
Still Life With Putin (with Cyril Kuhn), computer game, 2014
House Stern Pachinko, (with Jon Haddock), computer game, 2014
Cruise Control, computer game, 2013

About the Artist

Eddo Stern is a practicing artist and game designer.  He is a full-time professor in the Design Media Arts department at UCLA and the founder and Director of both UCLA's Game Lab and the annual Game Art Festival at the Hammer Museum of Art.  He is perhaps the most important artist and thinker in Southern California exploring the intersection between making games and making art.

Stern works on the disputed borderlands between fantasy and reality, exploring the uneasy and otherwise unconscious connections between physical existence and electronic simulation. His work explores new modes of narrative and documentary, experimental computer game design, fantasies of technology and history, and cross-cultural representation in computer games, film, and online media. He works in various media including computer software, hardware and game design, kinetic sculpture, performance, and film and video production. His works include the short films Sheik Attack, Deathstar, Landlord Vigilante, Best Flamewar Ever and the game performances Wizard Takes All, Goldstation, Darkgame, Waco Resurrection, and Tekken Torture Tournament. Online at http://www.eddostern.com and http://games.ucla.edu.

The Beall Center’s 2014-15 exhibitions are supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Beall Family Foundation, and VIZIO. The season includes two professional exhibitions that focus on artworks that explore our interactions with gaming and play. The season begins with Eddo Stern: New Works, followed by Play: In Three Acts highlighting the work of three artists - Joe McKay, David Rokeby, and Nina Waisman. Each exhibiting artist explores various modes of interaction: Stern explores the relationships between fantasy and reality; Waisman and Rokeby incorporate sound and embodied interaction; and McKay incorporates playful interaction around competition and cooperation. Highlighting gaming and play in a year-long series is distinctive and provides a comprehensive experience for our visitors.

Exhibition Dates: 
October 10, 2014 to January 24, 2015