NEW GAME: SPACE USER'S MANUAL
20.11.2021 - 19.02.2022
RESEARCH: JOACHIM HACKL
Established in 1973 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the New Games Foundation appeared as a counter-cultural phenomenon that explored play as a means of community building, and a key component in the restructuring of space via belonging and individual consciousness. Based on an "organic and playful” construction of its precepts, the New Games were later instrumentalized as a space control system.
New Game: Space User’s Manual examines the New Games by documenting their instructions, space configurations, user evaluations, and navigation requirements. Each game shapes a set of values present in contemporary phenomena of activation, appropriation, and flexibility of both public and private spaces. Through the exhibition of the media artefacts that propagated the ideas, politics and social agenda of the Foundation, a conceptual link is established with contemporary space, present in military and corporate indoctrination (training), design of collective workspaces (coworking), individualization of work (freelancing), video surveillance and user profiles (profiling), and the recording, processing and storage of personal data (data mining and data warehouse).
Through the theoretical reverberations of movement present in its operational design, the New Game transcends space to become a system that explains it through the individual, the submission of the body, personal activity and collective consensus, referring us to a more technical use of the word game: space as movement, or a space for movement, and attachment to the rules that shape and sustain it.