At Paris’s new digital culture center La Gaîté lyrique (opened in March 2011), over three thousand square meters of exhibition and community space were devoted this summer to Joue le jeu / Play Along, a playable showcase of new and emerging games. Joue le jeu was an active celebration of all types of interactive play: from innovative, cutting edge video games, to mixed digital/physical, social, performance, and even board games. Seven new large-scale works from notable game designers and interactive artists were commissioned to respond to the architecture of La Gaîté, joining pre-existing games selected to highlight the breadth of today’s interactive play culture. Joue le jeu curator Heather Kelley and Gaîté lyrique managing and artistic director Jerome Delormas discuss the development of the show and offer insights. Games now characterise our era, yet paradoxically, they are an ancient form of interaction. Digital technology has moved games into a very central topic of contemporary culture. The speakers will look at how a multidisciplinary media space dedicated to creation in the digital era, designed to make links between diverse, specialised and cutting edge subjects, can create a new cultural perspective.
Heather Kelley (@PerfectPlum) is an award-winning media artist, curator, and game designer. She was named by Fast Company magazine as one of 2011’s thirty most influential women in technology. Ms. Kelley heads her experience design studio Perfect Plum, and is co-founder of the experimental game collective Kokoromi, with whom she has produced and curated the renowned GAMMA event promoting experimental games as creative expression in a social context. Heather’s extensive career in game development has included design and production of AAA next-gen console games, interactive smart toys, mobile and handheld games, research games, installation games, and web communities for girls. She holds an MA in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jérôme Delormas was made Managing Director of la Gaîté lyrique in December 2007. Formerly the director of Lux-scène nationale de Valence and of the Ferme du Buisson's art center, he was also director of the Kansai Franco-Japanese institute and the Kujoyama villa at Kyoto, cultural attaché at Bilbao and has occupied various positions at the Ministry of Culture including that of member of the expert committee on dance and advisor for the Visual Arts. He was also co-director of Paris' Nuit Blanche 2007. In the course of a career which successively touched upon contemporary dance, music, graphic design and the visual arts, he has always remained in touch with the technological and artistic developments brought in by the digital revolution, encouraging artists to take to these new fields of experimentation.