I received yesterday a copy of the new aminima:: issue. So i’m not going to talk about a book today but about a magazine i like a lot. The name of the publication comes from the fact that its editors, the lovely Barcelona-based Andrea Garcia Mendez and Clara Alba, claim that they take a “very minimal” part to its redaction. It’s the artists themselves who write about their work. The selected authors maintain a critical view on the problems of their time. Their work reflects on aesthetic, technological and political questions.
The new issue is as good as ever and contains some very compelling short essays: Scott Hessels and Gabriel Dunne talk about Celestial Mechanics; Koray Tahiroglu and Joni Lyytikainen explain how they make music with light waves; Davide Grassi presents DemoKino, the Virtual Political Agora; Mathias Fuchs talks games; there’s an interview of William J. Mitchell, the Academic Head of the Program in Media Arts and Science (MIT), and many many more.
Aminima is fairly well distributed in Spain. Those living outside the country can order the bi-monthly magazine by contacting aminima at aminima dot net. Don’t be fooled by the very spanish website, the mag is also in english.
Now for the project i discovered through the book… It’s called Fish and was developed by John Klima who wrote a very informative essay in aminima about his work, in particular on of his latest installations, Train. Fish is an older project, it dates back to 2001 and as it’s rather cruel, it was my favourite.
Implementing the classic paradigm of the “first person 3D shooter”, the installation, made of a virtual gaming environment and its analog physical installation places the life of a real goldfish at stake.
The game is played from a coin-operated arcade cabinet. The player has to guide their goldfish avatar to the safety of its tank by traveling through predator infested waters. If the game-goldfish makes it to safety, a live goldfish is automatically released from a holding area into a large bowl with other “saved” goldfish. If it doesn’t, the live goldfish is released into a tank with a live oscar fish, and is subsequently devoured.