Sunday, November 18, 2012
Games Designer Paolo Pedercini Joins Tenure-Track Faculty
Internationally recognized artist and games designer Paolo Pedercini has accepted a full-time tenure-track faculty position with the School of Art.
Pedercini's work bridges the art world and the most forward-looking fringes of the game industry and academia. His appointment signals the deepening relationship in society today among art, computer science, activism and media literacy - and the new directions the combination of any and all may take.
"His games pose difficult questions not only about the society in which we live, but also the very industry and medium of video games themselves. His approach positions games as a form of art, as well as a vehicle for critical perspective. "
John Carson, Head of the School of Art
At 31, Pedercini has produced an impressive number of controversial Flash-based games that have been exhibited around the world and have gathered a large "non-art" following online. "Oligarchy," "McDonald's Videogame," "The Free Culture Game," "Unmanned" and "Phone Story," an iPhone/Android game about hidden social costs of smartphone manufacturing (banned from the Apple App Store), are just a few of his works that exemplify culture jamming using videogames as means of expression.
Stimulating debate beyond art and gaming circles, "Unmanned" and "Phone Story" have drawn attention from The New York Times, Wired, El Pais, Haaretz, USA Today, The Guardian, CNN, Spiegel, NPR, BBC Radio and a multitude of internet-based media. Pedercini has contributed to books like "Net Works" (Routelege) and "Cultura e nuovi media: Cinique interrogativi de Lev Manovich" (Culture and New Media: Five Questions by Lev Manovich) and is a sought-after lecturer and judge for numerous international conferences devoted to games with social impact, such as the Independent Games Festival and Games for Change.
"Paolo made an intimidating medium approachable, providing a fresh perspective that helped me to navigate my interests in game art, video and animation. We got a real sense of collaboration in his classes; I could pursue my interests in animation and visual design while a partner implemented code. This method forced us to learn how to communicate across media, which is a skill I really came to value after school. Some of us still work together."
Tara Helfer (BFA 2012)
A Fine Foundation Visiting Professor with the electronic and time-based media area since 2009, his broad technical expertise, combined with a wry humor and awareness of global economic, environmental, and political issues, sharpen the School of Art's critical perspective and curriculum with courses that blend video production, animation, code-generated art, performance and tactical media.