Formed as part of Berlin Art Week, “Vertigo of Reality” is a new forthcoming exhibition exploring the reality-altering boundaries of art from physical to video to videogames. Per the museum, “Vertigo” “seeks answers to the question of the beholder’s repositioning between artwork and reality, highlights key concepts such as participation and interactivity, and fathoms changes to our self-determination which affect all areas of modern life.” In other words, a look at the strange days ahead.
What’s most interesting is the approach. We worked with MoMA on taking games into their permanent collection which was an event in and of itself. But senior curator Paola Antonelli’s approach to including games in future exhibitions was to simply put games like EVE Online and Vib-Ribbon in the appropriate contexts. So you were just as likely to see The Sims or Portal next to an Eames chair. Speaking at TED, Antonelli explains how situates games in the larger language of interaction design:
In order to explain interaction, we need to really bring people in and make them realize how interaction is part of their lives.So when I talk about it, I don’t talk only about video games, which are in a way the purest form of interaction, unadulterated by any kind of function or finality. I also talk about the MetroCard vending machine, which I consider a masterpiece of interaction.
Akademie der Künste is taking a similar sharp perspective by simply including games to explore the exhibitions larger themes, rather than treating games as something wholly different, as the Smithsonian did. The work of Paolo Pedercini, for example, is just another piece of art. It’s about time.