Wednesday, September 30, 2015

iGraz#2. Public space: from nature morte to nature vivant

iGRAZ#2
Publik, Re-publik. Raum, Traum. Square.

Week 39, 2015 (21-27 September 2015)Concept and props by Veronika TzekovaSupported by Institut für Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Steiermark



After the iGRAZ(1) flash-mob in May 2015, the borders of public were crossed and further stretched with iGRAZ#2 but this time as a pop-up play.


The FLOXOXD
The FLOXOXD
In the week 39, 2015 (21-27 September 2015) the Tummelplatz(2) in Graz was again re-designed through its usage. The place was time-wise randomly and surprisingly flooded by with Tic-tac-toe game sets, appropriated and turned into numerous game-fields for the simplest strategy game Tic-tac-toe (German: Drei gewinnt). The props for the appropriation were the people spontaneously playing and the Street Tic-tac-toe, an author’s game-sets, designed to be played on tiles-covered surfaces using the grid, which they create.


And the first winner and strategies brainstorming
and on 5 x 5 grid by Hungarians visiting Graz on their way to Venezia

and the Akademisches (Gymnasium) tornado
re-public (ohne Beratung und Betreuung)
The Xs and the Os, turned to be more than tic-tac-toe props and kisses and hugs (the acronym XO). My younger fellow citizens interpreted them also as boomerangs, frisbees and halos. And actually they were the ones most freely engaging with the unaccompanied game pieces.
:: :: ::

About the project

iGraz it is not particularly about games and playing. It offers a different frame of reference and questions modes of behaviour in public space, notions of ownership, safety, sharing and freedom in public space. It is about rethinking public space and our role, attitude and relation to it and from here to all agencies involved in its construction, government and policies. Games are perceived as leisure activities and one should not be misled by this. Here the game and its game board/grid are employed as a metaphor for life and representation of systems, society and its members.

Tic-tac-toe is generally perceived as the simplest strategy game. A strategy game is a game in which the players’ uncoerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree style thinking, and typically very high situational awareness.

Tummelplatz offers opulence of visually well defined grids and I see it as constellation of multiple game fields waiting to be populated. iGRAZ aims to turn physical public space from nature morte to nature vivant. The game set used becomes a simple and universal space rethinking and reuse tool. It challenges to change.

In reference to this I would like also to quote Ivan Ilich: “games are a special form of liberating education, since they heighten awareness of the fact that formal systems are based on changeable axioms and that conceptual operations have a game-like nature.”


____________________________________________________
(1) „igra“ in most of the Slavic languages means “game”. The “i” before “Graz” also borrows the meaning where ‘i’ stands for “individuality” and “innovation”.
(2) Interesting coincidence is that Google translates “der Tummelplatz” as “the playground”.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Game epiphanies: game terminology, physics and metaphysics.


Game epiphanies: game terminology, physics and metaphysics.





Two copies of the same edition of a book were lying on the carpet on the floor. "Les jeux sont faits".

"Les jeux sont faits" is the title of a screenplay by Jean-Paul Sartre and translates literally as "The Plays are Made", an idiomatic French expression used mainly in casino gambling meaning the bets have been placed. The English translation made in 1948 was published as "The Chips are Down". Title and plot both sound quite deterministic.

"Das Spiel ist aus", the German translation of the title means literally "The Game is Over". Thus the short time span between ending of the bets and the ball loosing it momentum and falling into the pocket of the wheel, saturated with expectations, hope, fear, desire, doubts, stressgreed, anxiety, adrenalin, sweat and prayers, as our whole life itself, is cast out. If we accept the parallel existence of the both translations and let them complement each other, the game is over before the final outcome of the game, at ending of the bets. Not only one has no influence on the future,  but also on the present because it is now, but a subset of the past.

Life is a game” is a common verbal discharge taken for granted. It is, as far as we engage in conflicts, follow rules, make decisions and choices, manage resources, pursuit goals, and often gamble. That sounds more like existentialism. But if life is a game, and the game is over, is life over when the bets are placed? What is the time span between the bets being placed and defining the outcome of the game, a non-game, a non-life? A moment saturated with expectations, hope, fear, desire, doubts, stress, greed, anxiety, adrenalin, sweat and prayers. And who is placing the bets?

"Les jeux sont faits" can also be translated as the “the die is cast”. And to partially quote Albert Einstein's letter to Max Born from 1926: “The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the "old one." I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.” Does the same act, throwing dice, serve to describe exactly the opposite notion or somebody is throwing the dice for Him?

Alea iacta est (Latin "The die is cast") is a phrase attributed to Julius Caesar and still used to mean that events have passed a point of no return, that something, whatever it is, will inevitably happen, says Wikipedia.

Something, whatever it is, is inevitable, life is a game and the plays are made. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

On the multiplicity in the simplicity, and the graphic appeal of the simplest strategy game


On the multiplicity in the simplicity,  and the graphic appeal of the simplest strategy game



Isolating symbols and trying to decipher the abnormal tic-tac-toes from Yerevan, reminded me that I had encountered symbiosis between stylised hearts and tic-tac-toe games before. Since I first came to Graz in 2012, I keep coming upon a graffiti “LOVE WINS” accompanied with a tic-tac-toe game where “O” is replaced by a stylised heart and wins.


I guess the main reason that I am so attracted to tic-tac-toe is the multiplicity in the simplicity of its symbols and graphics. The “X” and the “O” carry symbolical meanings as well. For example, “kisses and hugs” (XOXO) acronym. Cross in a circle, or the sun cross: , is the astronomical symbol of the planet Earth. Cross and circle also form the sign of Venus: , etc.

The “X” also also can derive from “O”, marking two perpendicular diameters, as we see in the symbol of the Earth where it represents the equator and a meridian.

The “X” can be also constructed from two semi-circles or semi-ellipses. Actually that’s how I was thaught in school to write the letter “X”:

I also used this method in the design of some of my tic-tac-toe games made of leftover cardboard tubes.
Veronika Tzekova, KOMPLEMENT Tic-tac-toe, 2013

Veronika Tzekova, 5 in OneDesign submitted for REDESIGN+ AWARD 2014

And what more simple, clear and immediate way to visualise „a win“ than sketch of a win in tic-tac-toe game?



Friday, June 5, 2015

Evolution of GAME


Evolution of GAME/animals

From landscape to cityscape. From two players to a single player, from 3x3 to 1x5 and 2x4, from a human to an animal.



Once humans depicted game animals, now game animals depict CHAlleNGED GAMES.


Rock art is placed on natural rock surfaces and can be considered a form of landscape art. Common subject in rock art is depiction of game and hunting scenes. In the course of time our evolution replaced the natural surroundings and rock surfaces with cityscapes and building walls. Game evolved as well. From game animal to a game, from a game to a CHAlleNGED GAME. So did human being, to a game animal.


On the documentary photos below are some evidences. These are some peculiar versions of the popular tic-tac-toe game I encountered in 2012 in the city of Yerevan, Armenia, that offer food for though to ludologists and game connoisseurs what kind of game animal expressed itself and what is the game played.



The first example was teasing me daily as it was on my way from the school I was living in to the bus stop in a suburb in Yerevan called (unofficially, but nobody knew any other name for it) Bangladesh. Simple chalk drawing on a building wall, extremely resembling a tic-tac-toe game but only with one player, the player “X”. “X” always starts in tic-tac-toe, so in general has bigger chances to win. But this one stopped and didn't win. Win against oneself? Is this losing?
To my regret I was unable to decipher the mysterious constellations and the message from the free thinker on the second picture. It reminded me a bit to my One-row-Tic-tac-toe http://challengedgames.blogspot.co.at/2014/01/one-row-tic-tac-toe.html ), but this didn't take me further. Two intersecting stylised hearts can be isolated between the two games... this just leads me to the next post.

__________________________________________________________________________________
game  
  • something you play, usually a competitive activity
  • an animal that is hunted 
animal
  • a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli.
  • a person with a particular interest or aptitude

Friday, May 29, 2015

CDoupbles :: sWING and sWAY

 THE WINGS from sWINGing and THE WAY from sWAYing.




I love logic and combinatorics. And I am more keen on the analysing the puzzle solving with logic and stratagem than using random-move methods, rather process and detail orientated than winning orientated. And Sudoku is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids that compose the grid contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which for a well-posed puzzle has a unique solution. I do the difficult ones. With the last one, I reached a point that I had two optional locations for considerable amount of numbers but not their precise whereabouts and couldn't move further. My logic was holding me to continue as it was not able to provide me with concrete answers. But I wanted to continue. So I just followed the multiple logic paths at random. „and it went on about how the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality in our lives is a very precious thing. And if you suppress that to have a nice orderly life, you kill off what's most important.“ Simon Jeffes, Penguin Cafe Orchestra. I finished it very quickly. For someone like me, conscious of rules and logic, was really a CHAlleNGING experience. sWINGing and sWAYing with my little magnetic numbers on my 9x9 grid with 3x3 sub-grids was so relieving. It felt like there is somebody else inside of me doing it, someone who knew what s/he is doing. I wished I could do things like this in real life.




Veronika Tzekova, CDoupbles, 2013- ongoing

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CHAlleNGED GAMES @ Designmonat Graz 2015 #2 :: iGRAZ, uGRAZ...weGRAZ...

iGraz1
Publik, Re-publik. Raum, Traum. Square.


Flash mob on Tummelplatz, Graz

14th May, Thursday, 17:21h

Concept and props by Veronika Tzekova

games are a special form of liberating education, since they heighten awareness of the fact that formal systems are based on changeable axioms and that conceptual operations have a game-like nature.”
Ivan Ilich

The Tummelplatz2 in Graz was newly designed through its usage. The place was appropriated and turned into a big game-field for the simplest strategy game Tic-tac-toe (German: Drei gewinnt). The props for the appropriation were the people playing and the Street Tic-tac-toe, an author's game-sets, designed to be played on tiles covered surfaces using the grid, which they create.



iGraz it is not particularly about games and playing. It offers a different frame of reference and questions modes of behaviour in public space, notions of safety, sharing and freedom in public space. It is about rethinking public space and our role, attitude and relation to it and from here to all agencies involved in its construction, government and policies. Games are perceived as leisure activities and please do not be mislead by this. Here the game and its game board/grid are employed as metaphor for life and representation of systems, society and its members.

Tic-tac-toe is generally perceived as the simplest strategy game. A strategy game is a game in which the players' uncoerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree style thinking, and typically very high situational awareness.

Tummelplatz offers opulence of visually well defined grids and I see it as constellation of multiple game fields waiting to be populated. iGRAZ aims to turn physical public space from nature morte to nature vivant. The game set I use becomes a simple and universal space rethinking and reuse tool. It challenges to change all.

It took its natural course and people played as long as they wanted. It was small, beautiful and international.

1„igra“ in most of the Slavic languages means “game”. The “i” before “Graz” also borrows the meaning where 'i' stands for "individuality" and "innovation".

2Interesting coincidence is that Google translates “der Tummelplatz” as “the playground”




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CHAlleNGED GAMES @ Designmonat Graz 2015 #1

CoasteredTic-tac-toe and PuzzledTic-tac-toe were shuffled!

And a beautiful mistake showed me that CHALLENGE, apart of CHANGE contains also ALL and  ALLE (ALL in German).

@

GAME CHalleNGE with veroniKATZE  


Designmonat Graz 2015/ Design in the City
May 13 | 4:00 pm
Mau Shi fusion restaurant (Herrengasse 7, 8010 Graz)
















Sunday, May 17, 2015

iGRAZ: Game Epiphanies :: Is knowing how to play the game = keeping to the game rules?


The Small Newspaper (Die Kleine Zeitung) and its language crash-kurs raised a BIG philosophical and practical question: 

Is knowing how to play the game = keeping to the game rules?

Morning coffee, morning Kleine Zeitung, where Du musst dich auch an die Spielregeln halten= You must learn to play the game. I would rather translate it as: You have to keep to the rules of the game. But may be in German speaking realm these two mean the same?...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

@ Games & Playing @ Literature #5 :: Ovid on Tic tac toe :: ludendo saepe paratur amor

P. OVIDI NASONIS LIBER TERTIVS ARTIS AMATORIAE


„Parva monere pudet, talorum dicere iactus
Ut sciat, et vires, tessera missa, tuas:
Et modo tres iactet numeros, modo cogitet, apte
Quam subeat partem callida, quamque vocet.
Cautaque non stulte latronum proelia ludat,
Unus cum gemino calculus hoste perit,
Bellatorque sua prensus sine compare bellat,
Aemulus et coeptum saepe recurrit iter. 360
Reticuloque pilae leves fundantur aperto,
Nec, nisi quam tolles, ulla movenda pila est.
Est genus, in totidem tenui ratione redactum
Scriptula, quot menses lubricus annus habet:
Parva tabella capit ternos utrimque
lapillos, 365
In qua vicisse est continuasse suos.
Mille facesse iocos; turpe est nescire puellam
Ludere: ludendo saepe paratur amor.
Sed minimus labor est sapienter iactibus uti:
Maius opus mores composuisse suos.

Ovid: The Art of Love
(Ars Amatoria)
Book III

„A few things shameful to mention, she must know how to call
the throws at knucklebones, and your values, you rolled dice:
sometimes throwing three, sometimes thinking, closely,
how to advance craftily, how to challenge.
She should play the chess match warily not rashly,
where one piece can be lost to two opponents,
and a warrior wars without his companion who’s been taken,
and a rival often has to retrace the journey he began.
Light spills should be poured from the open bag,
nor should a spill be disturbed unless she can raise it.
There’s a kind of game, the board squared-off by as many lines,
with precise calculation, as the fleeting year has months:
a smaller board presents three stones each on either side
where the winner will have made his line up together.
There’s a thousand games to be had: it’s shameful for a girl
not to know how to play: playing often brings on love.
But there’s not much labour in knowing all the moves:

there’s much more work in keeping to your rules.“



Friday, May 8, 2015

CDoupbles :: GOD and ODD in GOOD


Veronika Tzekova, CDoupbles, 2013- ongoing


Words faded, merged and (re)appeared while looking at a refugee telling his story how he made it to EU @ Europatagsveranstaltung 2015 "Europa - ein Plädoyer für die Gemeinschaft".



Monday, May 4, 2015

CDoupbles :: NATOD :: a found one


I found it, it is not mine and I envy a bit but still happy to have seen it. However it was fabricated, on purpose or not,  it is simple and forcing into contemplation CDoupble

* NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization

   Tod (German)- death




Friday, May 1, 2015

The Coastered Tic-tac-toe is now displayed in its natural environment



The playable table accessory will be at Mau Shi restaurant (Herrengasse 7 | Altstadtpassage in Graz, www.facebook.com/maushi) as part of the Design in the City program part of Designmonat Graz (1 May-31 May 2015). Coasters are typical and simple attribute for public venues such cafes, bars and pubs. The tic-tac-toe (“X”s and “O”s) is one of the simplest and spontaneously playable table strategy game. The author’s game Coastered Tic-tac-toe brings these two together offering playful CHAlleNGE while enjoying one’s drink. The game attributes are double sided printed with “X”s and “O”s regular coasters. These are to be used both for playing and as coasters. The wooden container box defines the 3x3 game board.









Thursday, April 16, 2015

iGRAZ: Game Epiphanies :: Graffity Tic-tac-toe


Against the law, paper and pencil game took the CHAlleNGE to become wall and spray game.

Against the rules, „O“ started first.


A game unfinished, but with clear outcome.







Wednesday, April 15, 2015

iGRAZ: GAMe ≡ GAMbling Epiphanies :: Spielsucht :: Spielverbot :: Spielraum

In my parallel universe where words are subject to multiple contextualisations resulting in different connotation, “Spielsucht”1 sets free butterflies in my stomach, 


where “Spielverbot 2 gives me goosebumps. 


Though being fully aware of the dictionary meaning of the both words and the reason for their circulation in the local social and urban environment, I fail to comprehend why Spiel (=game)+verbot (=ban) is surrounded with visually dominating chessboard pattern. 

A game board with a game ban gives some Spielraum ...


1 “Spielverbot ” means “gambling ban”
2 “Spielsucht” stand for “gambling addiction”


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CDoupbles :: neu. glänzend. email. I want my emails shiny!


neu. glänzend. email.*



I left my cursor roaming on the shelves of hardware store ... ... ...

and what if they (the emails) where arriving packed like this :O:D...




Veronika Tzekova, CDoupbles, 2013- ongoing


*

  • in English: message distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network.
  • in German:
  1. email;
  2.  paint that air dries to a hard, usually glossy, finish, used for coating surfaces.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spending quality time with a bottle of wine




Some days ago a wine bottle flashed at me from a shop window. 



This encounter really deserves my blog label “Game Epiphanies”. It brings together my fascination with wine, patterns, games, and hidden messages.

Thanks to Mrs. Regina Triebaumer from Weingut Günter u. Regina Triebaumer, the missing threes were found:

TRIE is a nickname for Triebaumer, if to be translated, means THREE TREES.

TRIE ROT consists of THREE WINE VARIETIES. Mainly Zweigelt and additionally Cabernet Sauvignon and St. Laurent.

And tic-tac-toe was also in mind, when the label was designed. Though the the Xs and Os are some kind of placeholders, the tic-tac-toe is involved as it ends up with THREE again. In German it is even called DREI gewinnt (EN: THREE wins).

3X3 (but also 3x4) game grid is to be recognized in the label design, perfect prerequisite for tic-tac-toe (or THREE in a row).

I shifted the original roles and turned the letters into placeholders, apart of the O in ROT. THREE game situations are to be recognized in the label design, X wins in two of them and one the games ends in a draw. Bellow are the original label configuration and the game situations I discovered in the THREE ROT label.




A truly CHAlleNGING GAME experience. I guess I can call this

spending quality time
with a bottle of wine