Difference between revisions of "Project-Mortal Aleatic Play"

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==Mortal Aleatic Play==
 
==Mortal Aleatic Play==
 
There are few games more accessible to take part in than games of chance. Often there are no prerequisites or former knowledge about the game required, all that is required is that the player believe in an outcome and take a chance. But what if the wager is not money, or other material objects, but your life as it is in Russian Roulette? That when the wager is so high that the potential of winning is more of a driving force than the idea of dying? These mortal games of chance are found in different cultures and mediums - sometimes presenting themselves as a search for meaning where others like recreational games Russian Roulette initially let themselves off to be a game that burns off excess energy like Huizinga says.
 
There are few games more accessible to take part in than games of chance. Often there are no prerequisites or former knowledge about the game required, all that is required is that the player believe in an outcome and take a chance. But what if the wager is not money, or other material objects, but your life as it is in Russian Roulette? That when the wager is so high that the potential of winning is more of a driving force than the idea of dying? These mortal games of chance are found in different cultures and mediums - sometimes presenting themselves as a search for meaning where others like recreational games Russian Roulette initially let themselves off to be a game that burns off excess energy like Huizinga says.

Latest revision as of 16:48, 9 December 2017

Mortal Aleatic Play

There are few games more accessible to take part in than games of chance. Often there are no prerequisites or former knowledge about the game required, all that is required is that the player believe in an outcome and take a chance. But what if the wager is not money, or other material objects, but your life as it is in Russian Roulette? That when the wager is so high that the potential of winning is more of a driving force than the idea of dying? These mortal games of chance are found in different cultures and mediums - sometimes presenting themselves as a search for meaning where others like recreational games Russian Roulette initially let themselves off to be a game that burns off excess energy like Huizinga says.

Rhetorics of Fate and Fortune around Chance

  • "[Chance] signifies and reveals the favor of destiny. The player is entirely passive: he does not deploy his resources, skill, muscles or intelligence. all he need do it await, in hope and trembling the cast of the die...[Chance] negates work, patience, experience, qualifications...]" (Callois p.17)
  • "[in religion and play] one becomes "lost" in the experience and thus transcends everyday cares and concerns" (Sutton-Smith p.67)
  • "Chance games are for losers who know they are losers, and thus in a sense they have both the excitement of possibly winning, and more important, a way of gaining mastery over losing.." (Bergler)
  • "It is also...[romantic]...in it's view of life as conflict, wife others with nature, with the self, but always unsolved oppositions, uncertainties and overcoming of obstacles." (Abt 1971 p.6)
  • The idea that unhealthy play is not play : "Green (2005) sees treacherous, cruel and destructive play not only as a form of non-playing, but also as a counterpart to playing; negative playing. He compares is to negative therapeutic reaction, where domination and submission come into play." (Mortenson and Grunbaum)
  • "Both the fool and the playful person live in the place where "the writ does not run"...The promise that greater the frivolity, the greater the transcendence of the common writ...Apparently fate and frivolity share most closely the power to make players feel that they can transcend reality and indeed mortality." (Sutton-Smith p.212-13)

Russian Roulette

Sid4.gif

  • Video [1] (highly stressful to watch, trigger warning for guns, the man survives this stunt)
  • "is a lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against their head, and pulls the trigger. "Russian" refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver's cylinder, which is reminiscent of a spinning roulette wheel." (Wiki)
  • First report of the life wagering game Russian Roulette in America was from a short story written by George Surdez. It exposed the Tsarist Russian game to the American audience. Surdez described Russian soldier playing the game in Romania during the last days that Russia participated in WWI.
  • Throughout the stories of the Russian soldiers and popular culture, there seems to be a link tying them all together. The idea of Russian Roulette seems to be most appealing to a more masculine audience. Playing the game might be the most masculine cry for dominance over the destiny of a loser. Even though it is played against someone's will, iIt appears to be solely a man's game in movies. It just seems to be a more masculine things to try to have dominance over something like fate.

Mortal Play In Performance Art

  • 1974
  • Important historical events: Richard Nixon resigns, general worldwide inflation due to a global depression, U.S. energy crisis, post-Vietnam war world, ongoing Cold War, fight for nuclear power and space power
  • Not surprisingly, this risk of life or death amidst some pretty intense global events - bled into different mediums.
  • One of the most memorable version of this idea of chance is Marina Ambrahovic's Rhythm 0 (1974) wherein she laid 72 objects in front of her at a gallery including a gun with one bullet and a knife. She presented herself as an object and allowed observers to cut her clothes, undress her, draw on her face and make her bleed. At one point an audience member pointed the gun at her head and put her finger on the trigger. While there is no real winning or losing in this performance art

Sid1.jpg Sid2.jpg

  • Philippe Petit was another artist of 1974 to play a game of high-stakes chance. The tightrope walker placed a rope between the Twin Towers in NYC. The idea that he could reimagine the the space between the towers was more enticing than being afraid of dying by falling 110 floors.
  • "“There is no why,” the aeralist said later when questioned about his motivations.
  • “If I see three oranges, I have to juggle. And if I see two towers, I have to walk,” he told The New York Times." - (Emily S. Rueb. 2014. NYT)

Sid3.jpg

Etc.

  • These concepts of needing to feel surprise because of chance seem to come from a world whose technology rapidly evolved. A world where machine control most aspect of life hardly allows for randomness, or true randomness for that matter. This idea of letting technology do everything for us leaves out the emotional or fun side of things such as work or play. Chance seems more manual, more frequent experience a joy of winning or experiencing what lies in the balance of a game or activity where it is your own life as the wager.


Bibliography

  • Mortensen, Karen Vibeke., and Liselotte Grunbaum. “Chapter Two: Has Play the Power to Change Group and Patients in Group Analysis?” Play and Power, Karnac, 2010.
  • Sutton-Smith, Brian. “Ambiguity of Play.” Ambiguity of Play, Harvard University Press, 1997.