Molleindustria, art video games

Molleindustria, is an Italian game development company that describes itself as:

Since 2003 we produced homeopathic remedies to the idiocy of mainstream entertainment in the form of free, short-form, online games. Our products range from satirical business simulations (McDonald’s Video game, Oiligarchy) to meditations on labor and alienation (Every day the same dream, Tuboflex, Unmanned), from playable theories (the Free Culture Game, Leaky World) to politically incorrect pseudo-games (Orgasm Simulator, Operation: Pedopriest).

-Molleindustria

Created as a criticism and rejection of stablished game making ideologies and methodologies, Molleindustria creates game that question not only the game world but our day to day existence through the means of play.  Critiquing our capitalistic society, highlighting the perpetuation of violence through hate crime and the banalities of life is their bread and butter and it is the reason I will be addressing their work this time. Continue reading

A unified theory of Art

Warning: the following theory and concepts are my own, do not take this as an actual academic theory.

We have now explored the ideas of art as conjunction of shapes, forms and colors that create a distinct and unique aesthetic experience, as the transmission of an specific feeling the artist wishes to convey, as more of a series of common characteristics that are shared by some but not all works of art, but that still mark them as such and as the result of an academic and institutional consensus. To my  (admittedly limited) knowledge, not many attempts have been done in the visual arts to reconcile all these approaches. Authors like Cynthia Freeland and Nigel Warburton both have written books trying to explain what art is, however in the end, both authors make a similar suggestion: Perhaps each individual should create their own definition of art. Continue reading

Institutional Theory of Art

And so we get to the last of the aesthetic theories I am covering. This theory takes a descriptive approach to describe what art is. Just as the dictionary describes how language is being used by actual living human beings, the institutional theory tells us that art is what the art world says it is. It does not seek to provide an all encompassing definition that covers every form of art in existence. What it does, is appeal to a certain degree of connoisseurship and academic knowledge. George Dickie, continuing the work of Arthur Danto’s art world tells us that art is: Continue reading

Family Resemblances

As we move closer to post-modern thought we find that philosophers, aestheticians and others shift in how to grapple with the “Art Question.” The search for an essential quality that all works of art share and that can thus be used as a benchmark to determine what is art and what is not, seems more and more outdated to thinkers in the 40’s and 50’s, and while the old concepts of universal beauty still dominate in most circles, some people are beginning to question this. Thinkers such as Paul Ziff and Morris Weitz are inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s anti-essentialist ideas, best exemplified in his concept of family resemblances. Continue reading

Expression of Emotion

I have managed to squirrel some time to write again (this semester was a trial by fire) and thus I will continue with my plan to explain the four most common aesthetic theories. For this post, we will look at Robin George Collingwood’s theory of expression of emotion.

In broad terms, the theory tells us that art is mostly expression, that is, viewer and artist come together to experience a mental state, or emotion. I make emphasis in the words “come together” because they highlight one of the most crucial aspects of Collingwood’s theory: shared experiences. This is important to Collingwood as he believed re-enactment, the act of being in the same place of mind and context as the subject of study, was necessary to properly understand both human history as well as art. Collingwood refers to art as:

“the imaginative expression of emotion in a way that goes from a general imprecise feeling, to an expression that allows an understanding on part of the audience of the exact kind of feeling the artist feels”

Continue reading