Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Play in Digital Media Art: Interaction, Interfaces, Subversion
Laetitia Wilson
2nd Author
3rd Author
PhD Art History
Number of Pages
University of Western Australia
Thesis Supervisor
Winthrop Professor Ian McLean
Supervisor e-mail
Ian.McLean AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Visual Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
Play, Interactivity, Interpassivity, Subversion, Interfaces, Digital Media Art
Abstract: 200-500 words
The concept and practice of play has become an ever-more irrepressible cultural and artistic force. It has not only taken flight in the massive phenomenon of games, but in art practice and in particular digital media art. In this dissertation the concept of play is interrogated through a focus on its relationship to art and digital media, with specific attention to the player and modes of participation. Play is argued to be a pervasive cultural and counter-cultural force in digital media art. The specific artworks selected for discussion invite playful engagement from and indeed play the participant/s; reflect the nature of participation by establishing situations of intercorporeality, intersubjectivity and interpassivity; question and challenge issues within the contemporary socio-political terrain; as well as incite wonder and defy expectations of participation with digital media. Particular modes of participation are established by these artworks, which position them in distinction to traditional media works, a tension within which play acts as a reconciling element. The methodological basis for this dissertation is a hybrid form of art-history that draws media and games theory into a closer conversation with art. This establishes a perspective from which to approach burgeoning contemporary artistic practices that create, work through, explore and deconstruct digital media.