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MATTEO BITTANTI
San Francisco, California & Milan, Italy
Recent Activity
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Trevor Raab, Interdimensionally, 2015. The stars are aligned: all the signs are pointing to 2018 as the tipping point for in-game photography, that is, for the transitioning of this practice from the (relative) underground to a more institutionalized context. Below are some of the key factors that are contributing to this phenomenon: Commercial efforts to incorporate in-game photography into the gameplay by dramatically expanding the tools available to the players are increasing. In this regard, nVidia is the clear market leader (see The Instagrammification of Gaming for more details). Moreover, photo modes are becoming more versatile, flexible, and powerful. Consider,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at GAMESCENES
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Let's face it: with a slightly different conceptual framing, a White Cube context, and an enigmatic, cryptic, inaccessible artist statement, this could have become the Game Art equivalent of Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho (1993). Instead, it's just a missed opportunity. What if we could watch a game of Super Mario Bros. slowed down to, say, 380,000 frames per second and played it on an old TV? YouTubers The Slow Mo Guys did just that. Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy’s YouTube channel is all about using an expensive camera to slow things way, way down. (Matthew Gault, Motherboard). LINK: The... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at GAMESCENES
Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward February 2 – August 12, 2018 Institute of Contemporary Art University of Philadelphia 118 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 Robert Yang, Radiator 2 (still), 2017, video game. Courtesy of the artist. More info here. Organized by guest curator and artist Nayland Blake, Tag: Proposals On Queer Play and the Ways Forward explores how the expanding influence of digital and online technologies, fandom subcultures, and artistic discourse has created new possibilities for queer identification, changing how personal roles and forms of expressions are defined in contemporary society. Based on the premise... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at GAMESCENES
Not Normal Scritto e diretto da Matt MacDonald Stati Uniti, 2017 Lingua: inglese 11' 38" minuti, colore Doppiaggio e voice over: Jon Bailey, Anthony Falleroni, Matt MacDonald, Tamar Meyouhas e Paige Williams. Colonna sonora originale: Simon Stevens Mixaggio sonoro: Eric Marks Montaggio, effetti sonori e sound design: Matt MacDonald Nel... Continue reading
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Photo modes are quickly becoming the most advanced feature of most video games. Aside from nVidia recent announcement about the instagrammification of gaming, Sony has now revealed Shadow of the Colossus' photo mode which will surely spawn a new kind of fantasy tourism. The upcoming PS4 remake will include, among other things, a versatile photo mode equipped with filters, color balancing, midtones and highlights, vignette, depth of field ranges and much more. As Mark Skelton, Art Director, Bluepoint Games explains The thing that makes Photo Mode stand out is its power and flexibility. It’s an entire photo adjustment suite built... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at GAMESCENES
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Martin Pleure Scritto e diretto da Jonathan Vinel Francia, 2017 Lingua: francese 16 minuti, colore Paul Hamy (Voce di Martin) Clémence Diard (Narratore) Sarah-Megan Allouch (Voce di Louna) Nel suo affascinante studio Ex-Cinema. From a Theory of Experimental Film and Video, Akira Mizuta Lippit (2012) sviluppa una teoria del cinema... Continue reading
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Written, directed and edited by Matt MacDonald, Not Normal is one of the most sophisticated and polished GTA V machinima of the year. A story of obsession and alienation with a twist, Not Normal is a (relatively) large machinima production featuring an original soundtrack by Simon Stevens and sound design by Eric Marks. The production process is illustrated in a compelling "behind the scenes" video, which also functions as a high level tutorial for making machinima: Created with Grand Theft Auto V, the machinima was shot in anamorphic 21:9 and subsequently edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017. MacDonald used... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at GAMESCENES
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Yuliya Kozhemyako and Margarita Skomorokh are currently working on Overseas Digital, collection of short art games. "Each game is a completely independent world with its own rules and its own kind of weirdness. Nevertheless, all worlds are joined together by a common interface — a mysterious place resembling a spaceship." The games are inspired by avant-garde aesthetics, including Max Ernst’s art and fiction, like Borges’s narratives. As Yuliya writes, The episodes of Overseas are like digital poems. There are no goals and no story in the usual sense, but at some deep level all worlds are interconnected and express the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at GAMESCENES
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Yuliya Kozhemyako (Supr) is organizing an Unreal Engine 4 Game Jam. These are the rules; * create a game using Unreal Engine 4 for any platforms Windows and web is preferable; * use only engine content and engine tools; * can’t use other programs like 3d editors, audio editors, anyThingElsE editors or plugins Submission open from January 19th to March 4th 2018 Discord server for #UEJAM: https://discord.gg/2Xs66yD LINK: Unreal 4 Jam Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at GAMESCENES
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I know, instagrammification is a terrible neologism, but bear with me for a sec. At CES 2018, nVidia introduced a feature called NVIDIA Freestyle for its GeForce Experience that basically adds instagram-like functionality to gaming practices, with obvious implications for both game photography and machinima. Specifically, right from the in-game overlay, gamers can apply post-processing filters on games during a match, tweaking color or saturation and apply dramatic post-process filters. At launch, nVidia is introducing a total of 15 filters with 38 different settings (some filters have multiple settings), including black & white, sepia, vignette, retro and many more. At... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at GAMESCENES
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Su LINK magazine si parla dell'ascesa di Minecraft, il secondo videogioco più venduto di tutti i tempi, come genere post-televisiso. L'articolo fa parte della serie "estetiche dei new media". LINK: Stasera mi guardo Minecraft Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at LUDOLOGICA
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LINK magazine has just published my latest article in the ongoing "new media aesthetics" series. It describes the irresistible ascent of Minecraft videos and presents a taxonomy of the main genres. Text encrypted in Italian. LINK: Watching Minecraft Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at MATTEO BITTANTI
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Il Libro di Giobbe di Emanuele Aldrovandi e Pietro Babina liberamente ispirato all’omonimo testo biblico scene, luci e regia Pietro Babina con Leonardo Capuano e Alessandro Bay Rossi, Barbara Chichiarelli, Fabrizio Croci, Andrea Sorrentino, Giuliana Vigogna assistente alla regia Mila Vanzini video a cura di Riccardo Mengoli si ringrazia Domenico... Continue reading
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Angela Washko Plays The Game: The Game Wednesday, January 10th 2018 at 7pm Museum of the Moving Image, New York Video Screening Amphitheater Event Website Exhibition Website Facebook Event Museum of the Moving Image will present the world premiere of Angela Washko’s The Game: The Game, a dating simulator that pits players against several men modeled on real-life seduction coaches, who vie for their attention in a bar setting. Composed of scenarios, techniques, and language from texts and instructional videos created by these men, The Game: The Game flips the script on the processes of some of the world’s most... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2018 at GAMESCENES
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Jakob Kudsk Steensen's AQUAPHOBIA is a stunning achievement, both on technical and conceptual levels. Created with Unreal Engine, AQUAPHOBIA is an immersive experience which allows the viewer to navigate through five different environments or "levels" seamlessly connected. These spaces form an ecosystem and include simple to water microbial surroundings and futuristic replicas of Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn, developed in a scale accurately one to one. The "goal" of this non-game is to to overcome fear of water, hence the title, AQUAPHOBIA. The work features a voice-over narration by Rindon Johnson. As the artist writes,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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Nicholas O'Brien's latest project is a narrative-driven, first person, essay game with a score by Seth Cluett. The game's main theme is the sudden closure of a public transportation system in a fictional Rustbelt American city. Available for Windows PC, Mac OS X, The Trolley can be downloaded here ($2 recommended donation). Here's a more detailed description: Set in the late 1950s in a fictional rustbelt American city, The Trolley invites players to complete a series of tasks in order to dismantle the incline railroad of a recently discontinued trolley line. As the player boards up the gatehouse, disposes of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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click on the image to read the full list A few comments and highlights Graduation by Claire Simon (#1) Le Concours exposes the ideologies inherent to the evaluation and assessment process of a prestigious school, the inconsistencies of "meritocracy", the logic of privilege and exclusivity, self branding and the performance... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2017 at MATTEO BITTANTI
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Click on the image to read the full list A few comments and highlights The Killing of a Sacred Deer by Yorgos Lanthimos (#1) [also made it to the Greatest Horror Films 2010-2020 list] Phenomenal psychosomatic metaphysical parable about retribution and vengeance in a morally bankrupt world. Lanthimos' robotic deadpan... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2017 at MATTEO BITTANTI
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This is my presentation for the second DiGRA Italia conference, Made in Italy, hosted at Vigamus, in Rome, on December 15, 2017. It's about the cognitive dissonance that an Italian may experience when playing Playground Games' Forza Horizon 2, set in a virtual replica of the Belpaese. Video below -... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at MATTEO BITTANTI
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Foto: Joel Stratte-McClure, Why Are Italians Among the Trashiest People on Earth?, 2010 (link) Questo il video e il testo dell'intervento all'ultima edizione di DiGRA Italia: Made in Italy, che si è tenuto a Roma il 15 dicembre 2017. La versione completa di questo saggio è apparsa in Matteo Bittanti,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2017 at LUDOLOGICA
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I rarely feature vernacular machinima on this site. Not because I don't find it interesting, but because fandom operates on a completely different register than video art/contemporary art. Nonetheless, tomayto_tomato's appropriation of the ultra-violent game Arma 3 to create a contemplative, ruminative visual experience inspired by Vivaldi's The Four Seasons crosses already porous boundaries and deserves wider visibility. Overall, the idyllic scenes remind me of The Seasons in Quincy: A Portrait of John Berger, LINK: tomayto_tomato Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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Claire Hentschke, Driver On The Highway, digital image, 2017 Claire Hentschke, Avatar Above The Sea, digital image, 2017 Hentschker captures the sublime using photographic practices in gaming, and specifically in Grand Theft Auto V. At the same time, she is remediating the medium of painting: In this series of works, I want to investigate Grand Theft Auto as a subject of art that transposes Friedrich’s subjective Romanticism to the digital age. I am particularly interested in working with videos that other players have already deemed important enough to share. This collection provides a sampling of GTA’s digital world that incorporates... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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Is there anything that Paolo Pedercini can't do? His first Let's Play video is a brilliant work of investigative journalism, Game art criticism, and sincere homage to John O'Neill, "one of the first artists working with computer games". As Pedercini writes: "In 1983 he designed Lifespan, a game for Atari 8-bit which takes the player through scenes representative of human life from childhood to death. Dolphin's Rune or Dolphin's Pearl was released in 1985 in consultation with researchers of animal intelligence and puts the player in the mind of a dolphin. Both games were released by Flyghts of Fancie which... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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VGA Reader Call for Papers—Issue 2: SURVIVAL STRATEGY "IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS." - Old Man, The Legend of Zelda In an era of ecological, social, and political crisis, when contemporary media inundates us daily with apocalyptic scenarios, video games can act as a valuable means of psychological escape. However, video games— as unique, participatory works of art— can also model both individual and collaborative means of survival through the experience of play. Video games offer opportunities to navigate both historical and fictional conflicts, traverse landscapes devastated by climate change or nuclear holocaust, and manage the limited resources... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at GAMESCENES
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Kerich's DKS is one of my favorite projects of the year. It's a cross between Arman and Ant Farm, in a digital space. Phenomenal: "This project, inspired by the YouTube series Car Boys, involved the creation and destruction of kinetic sculptures in the driving game BeamNG.drive(with a few modifications). BeamNG is built to be a vehicle simulator and racing game, allowing its users to customize cars and race and crash them with realistic soft body physics. It also includes an editor, to allow players to create their own levels and scenarios to race in. To create this project, I abused... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2017 at GAMESCENES