Game Play Festival 2011, The Brick Theater Williamsburg
foci + loci are interested in exploring the topological treatment of time and space afforded by game engines. Treating the map editors in video games as virtual sound stages, foci + loci create immersive electro-acoustic spaces with virtual instruments and timed audiovisual events.
foci + loci evolved through a fascination with the malleability of virtual space paired with an interest in electroacoustic improvisation leading the duo (Tamara Yadao and Chris Burke) to design spaces that could be “played” as instruments. foci + loci have received a NYSCA grant in 2013 to develop their full-scale game art performance installation ‘Bal(l)ade’ and have given workshops at 8static in Philadelphia, the Babycastles Summit at the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC) as well as lecturing on game sound and mashup culture at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and the New School. Among others, Chris and Tamara have performed at Babycastles, DistENDed Cinema at Outpost, Diapason Gallery, Handmade Music at Culture Fix, Front Room Gallery, Secret Project Robot, The Stone, Vaudeville Park, Vector Game Art Festival in Toronto and Game Play Festival 2011 at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Photo: Marjorie Becker/chiptography.com
Chris Burke came to his interest in game art via his work as a composer, sound designer and filmmaker. As a sound designer and composer he has worked with, among others, William Pope L., Jeremy Blake, Don Was, Tom Morello and Björk. In 2005 he created “This Spartan Life” which transformed the video game Halo into a talk show. Within the virtual space of the game, he has interviewed McKenzie Wark, Katie Salen, Malcolm McLaren, the rock band OK Go and others. This and other work in game art began his interest in the unique treatment of space and time in video games. In 2012, he contributed the essay “Beyond Bullet Time” to the “Understanding Machinima” compendium (2013, Continuum).
Tamara Yadao is an interdisciplinary artist who works with gaming technology, movement, sound, video and live performance. In Fall 2009, at Diapason Gallery, she presented a lecture on “the glitch” called “Post-Digital Music: The Expansion of Artifacts in Microsound and the Aesthetics of Failure in Improvisation.” Current explorations include electro-acoustic composition and movement in virtual space, 8-bit sound in antiquated game technologies (under the moniker Corset Lore), movement and radio transmission as a live performance tool and the spoken word. Among others, she has exhibited/performed at BAM, the Brooklyn Museum, Conflux Festival 2009, Dixon Place, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, the Hackers on Planet Earth Conference, the Kitchen, the Ontological Theater, PAX (Penny Arcade Exchange) East and Symphony Space.