Second and last chapter of my report from the GAMERZ festival, one of the very few French festivals that doesn’t play it safe nor stiff with a programme that endorses the unexpected, a laid-back atmosphere, a few famous names but also an impressive line-up of fresh talents. Plus, it’s in Aix-en-Provence so as the French say “y’a pas photo!” (which means something like ‘it’s a no-brainer.’)

This year’s edition of the GAMERZ festival not only demonstrated that there is nothing trivial about play but it also explored how our relationship to play has changed with the advances of technology. And, more interestingly, it invited us to join artists whose work investigates how the digital age is changing man, whether we’re talking about Huizinga’s homo ludens, the working man (Homo Faber) or more generally the modern man (Homo sapiens.)


The 10th edition of the festival celebrated the death of passive leisure in the hands of games and art as well as the transformation of the compliant consumer into a creative user and abuser of technology. The exhibitions across town also investigated how the digital environment impacts and disrupts people’s development at conscious and unconscious levels (cognitive, social, psychological, among others) and looked at how these often invisible adjustments can be harnessed in alternative social, economic, political or ecological practices.

DRONE.2000 is a performance where autonomous objects moved by simple algorithms are patrolling over the audience. Their latent and dysfunctional presence is a concrete threat. Drone.2000 takes us into a dystopian situation, thus illustrating the military origins of these entertaining objects. Here, trusting the autonomy of the machine is not only a discursive concept but a true experience shared with the audience

The Trophies from the 6th Continent are lifeless, plastic ‘skins’ of computer generated models found in 3D environments. Deflated of any volume nor life, they were hanging in the gallery like bloodless carcasses. Cimolaï tracked down these hunting preys on the ‘sixth continent’, the land of our 3D digital entertainment made of video games, special effects, post-production works, etc.