Writing stories and exploring solutions to our world’s challenges, with pictograms, words, and math.
Some of humanity’s greatest inventions emerged in moments of freedom, when we were released to imagine without anything holding us back from endless possibilities. Meanwhile, others were the imagination’s unexpected, magical responses to constraints that compelled human ingenuity, the billiard ball bouncing in an entirely new direction when faced with a wall.
I believe powerful participation can occur in an artistic context that balances open and closed systems of creativity. As a game designer, I am often guided by a goal to create access or entry points for people to engage in different ways, where the integrity of the ‘rules’ are only as important as they spark human creativity.
In this installation, a large street game in the middle of a major intersection in Dumbo, New York, there were several different ways to play, depending on the choices people made and the gamepieces they received. On one path of interaction, players created micro-fiction stories, using words and/or images hand-drawn by me. Some received words, others received both words and images, to create blended sentences or stories combining the two. And still others created graphical equations using images alone. Participants found themselves inventing new ways of communicating meaning, poignant poetry made of blended languages.
The various games converged, and people who chose to play further connected game pieces to extend their stories in different ways, collaborating with others who are played before them.
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