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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathGame Art

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very beginning. The software versions that the artists came up with use commercial game software in ways for which it was not intended. These modifications penetrate like parasites into the existing program which they alter and—going from partial to complete unrecognizability—alienate, and therefore exploit their own artistic goals. With respect to these works, artist Annemarie Schleiner writes: «Like the sampling rap MC, game hacker artists operate as culture hackers who manipulate existing techno-semiotic structures towards different ends or, as described by artist Brett Stalbaum, ‹who endeavor to get inside cultural systems and make them do things they were never intended to do›.»[15] The art history of the 20th century is full of examples of these types of appropriations and redesignations, including: the «Ostranenie» of Wladimir Shklovsky[16], Bertolt Brecht’s «Verfremdungseffekt» (alienation effect), the recontextualization of Pop Art or the détournement of the Situationists [LI Debord]. The distortion of aesthetically complete pieces can be regarded as one of the most effective and workable ideas of modern art. Media scholar Claus Pias pointed out the parallels between the artistic modifications of


games and the ‹Appropriation Art› of the 1980s. At the same time however, he states that he was not out to «discredit the ideology of originality, authenticity or expertise from which the [computer art] undertook its critical mission within the institution of art… If there is… an ‹ideology of computer games› that could be deconstructed by appropriation, then perhaps it is in the nature of humanistic arrogance to wrongly believe that the game is in the possession of the subject.»[17] Tobias Bernstrup / Palle Torsson: «Museum Meltdown» (1996-1999) Tobias Bernstrup, a Swede, would be one of the first artists to personally attempt his own game modifications. In 1996, together with Palle Torsson, he modified the game called «Duke Nukem» so that it depicted the museum in which he was exhibiting.[18] With regard to the first version, which the Arken Museum in Copenhagen displayed, the artists say the following on their web site: «Since the museum was recently built and had a somewhat superficial architecture, we thought it would be interesting to do something that dealt with the idea of the entire exhibition space. The interior had a lot of fake details, like big metal panels and doors. This fake hi-tech style

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