Boules de Neige made by Objets Célibataires
"By the way, shall we have a party Wednesday in the Ouvroir? Given your gift to ooze snowballs and light bombs, it should be a breeze to invent champagne bubbles." -- Chris Marker, to Grete Ludologica on their Second Life Ouvroir. /simulation (189,64,40)
Exposing this private mail statement of Chris Marker is a ‘patadecision, very precise in method but absolutely insecure in its result. One does not know exactly what the effects will be, if a sentence from a letter is read in an official publication of the Snowball Association. But logically enough, as the statement, how ever private it may be, expresses the deliberating playful symbolism of throwing a snowball, I dare to break the rules of play and enter joy, jeux, juissance, the field of play beyond the rules of game.
The strategy is play, the matter is game. The material is the Boule de Neige.
A Glitch: la nue remontante l´escalier
Glitch comes from the Yiddish glitsch, a slippery area. In electronics, a glitch causes white noise. I would say this is a graphic snow-like effect, if it is displayed on a monitor. So this is the material investigated in this article, the snow of which the snowballs discussed hereby are made.
Interestingly, it also should be added that this glitch noise is considered a USELESS effect, a disturbance. Inutile, futile! As a consequence we can consider uselessness as the investigatory focus of this article, and also of the Ludic Society (LS). According to this circumstance, we more clearly understand the link to the affiliations associated at a unique event in Valaisoise Chalet, where a Viennese co-founder of the LS meets le Régent for dialectics of useless works of the Collège du ‘Pataphysique, which provides a continuous inspiration for the ouvroirs of the Ludic Society and futility as its investigation emphasis.
Introducing the Ludic Monowheel, a machine that produces snowballs in virtual environments; it is a kind of glitch in the concept of snowball throwing. According to the universal Tlönian enzyklopedia, Wikipedia, in electronics, a glitch is an electrical pulse of short duration that is usually the result of a fault or design error, particularly in a digital circuit. A glitch can occur in the presence of race condition in a poorly designed digital logic circuit. On the occasion of the club soirée of The Snowball Association at chateau Mercier in Sierre, a "Boule" shaped electronic circuitboard, which has been glitch designed on purpose, was presented. The snowball throwing effect it causes in the metaverse is demonstrated in a poor image-quality effect on footage taken from "Real Players" in the Banlieus of Paris. The impossible machine causes more and more pixelation till it finally culmulates in white snow: "Es endet das Geflimmer, allein in dunkler Nacht!" (Pop-songtext, '70s). Designed in an ouvroir of the Ludic Society Spain Chapter (LSSC), these functioning but absurd game interfaces illustrate imaginative potential solutions.
But these snowball machines make sense for two reasons.
1). The conceptual albeit handcrafted and built machines are "glitch-designed." This means that these technologically working interfaces make use of logic errors on purpose. The electronic circuit board layout is correct, but the circuits lines are too long, Bezier curved, round and molded like a snowball. This causes glitches, slight errors in the representation of the effect, which the interface triggers when entering a virtual environment, and when the player tries to throw snowballs there. This is the moment to express our respect to Monsieur Daniel for playing with this spinning wheel on stage, without knowing what one does in fact, when touching such a ‘pataboard objet du jeu et vie.
2). When talking about play with snowballs in Real Gaming environments, like the Snowball Association's project Last One Standing, these strategies always refer to virtual games, namely shooter games. The snowball tournament project, played in costumes inspired by 3D super humans is a perfect Détournement of this type of military game play, originally the analogous training game Last Man Standing. The transfer of the structure of the play (which became known to the public via the virtual scope of computer games) back into reality, we call Real Play in Ludics. Real Play was discussed by numerous members of the Ludic Society in urban games as a location for the unexpected, for contingency.
In video games, a glitch is a term used by players to indicate a programming error which results in behavior not intended by the programmers. The play in the "Reality Engine" was not intendened either. Equally erudition and discipline are transported by the toy objective's futility.
Emphasis: Morales du Joujou
Charles Baudelaire writes in "Morale du Joujou" of a toy chamber into which he was introduced by a lady dressed in velvet and furs who said: "I should like to give this little boy something to remember me."
While ‘pataphysics still tried to focus, according to Alfred Jarry, on the science of imaginary solutions, Ludics focuses on the malpractice of science und builds philosophical toys, materializing potential solutions in futile, symbolically- charged objects. The objects often literally tell conceptions to the player.
Philosophical toys emerged in the 18th century. Beside incorporating avant-garde illusionary technologies, they were charged with symbolical significance. These toys for adults were presented as sophisticated amusement, entertaining magic tricks.
In "Eupalinos ou l'architecte" (1923), Paul Valéry reflects on metaphorical "futile objects," which convey existential questions.
Inspired by game consoles and handhelds, the Ludic Society developed a series of new bachelor machines and neo-'pataphysist objects. Their launch was heralded by a series of PCB Chindogus, Printed Circuit Board objects, 2005 to 2006. These garage-works were accomplished by Wunderbäumchen aether refreshers in spring 2007. This was followed by a subcutaneous RFID bijoux implant in a gallery space in Plymouth, UK, as activist statement. Several city walks and war drives, guided by cabal satellite maps, followed as performances on Dérive and Détournement.
The technological lie was achieved by the application of Kaballa rules on read RFID numbers. In winter 2007 firmware flashed game consoles for city walks were connected to customized Blitz tools in Norway. Public interventions paralleled game fashion works, to culminate in futile toy objects. A hitherto immaterial culture has changed into a ubiquitous material one, made of smartifacts, blogjects, spimes. Finally this re-materialised material universe of smart objects yearns for a radical antipode: Tous les enfants parlent à leurs joujoux!
Real Play: Urban Game Streaker
Futile actions in cities, like streaking, were introduced as activities of absurd protest in rigid institutions such as Oxford University, as student games. Nowadays Flashmobs are similarly in their appearance, futile and organised by mobile communication tools. The instructions for a play performance are received by SMS messages. A few games played with Nintendo DS game consoles, like War Dive or Object of Desire/ Tagging the City, adapt these principles.
Instructions are given by an objects constitution for Situationist play. Mobile gadgets of everyday life can read and decode hidden Flash Mob messages on goods in department stores. This happens with self built customised readers for RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tags, a sort of electronic barcode). Parallel to these low range waves sent out by objects, urban spaces are totally polluted with electromagnetic waves. Slightly tuned toy objects off the shelves are able to read both waves. Often only minor modifications, both of the object and of the moment, are required, but the effect can still be exponential. Each game console can be transmuted into a bare Geiger counter, if the player inserts home brew cartridges.
Détournement (Debord) as a practice of the Societé du Spectacle implies that an absurd turn of living situations inverts otherwise given conditions antagonistically. Ludic interventions integrate futile toys, SM (Standard Model) RFID-tags, and game consoles to trigger agency by objects found in public places. Modern cities are "fully tagged," a term from graffiti culture, to indicate a fully painted train or real estate property.
The self-built tools operate by enlightening the streets of the invisible city of WIFI waves with SNOW, each time an electromagnetic field is detected. This way electronic aether-refreshing little trees give the perfect shape for a wild white noise causing futility machine. The wave-lined city promises banality and wonder to those who read the objects' sub-messages.
Roy Ascott comments on that phenomenon in an statement for LS, 2007: "So now I shall visit game stores to find those apparently childish gadgets that actually have SM (secret material) content. You may perhaps know that this code is used in many professional announcements, where SM purportedly refers to Standard Model." SM electronic Spielzeuge (toys), are materialised instructions for actions. Beside standard action, the Spielzeug forces futile play in SM manner. The specious futility of toy objects holds a resistance!
Inside this yet-to-be-realized protected place, the Toy Objectives of interest are conceptual theoretical toys, such as sexy android mechanic flute players, automatic writers or popcoded Wunderbäumchens. The latter example describes ways of identifying different aether waves to develop activist concepts and game-plays in urban negative war chalking drives by foot and race cars. The move and walk are both stylised by Situationists' political interventions. Its aims were a ludic society in a New Babylon architectural environment. In contrast to this utopic idea of the 1950s, nowadays situated and parcour games take place in Banlieues.
Charles Baudelaire. 1853. Curiosité Esthétique. Paris
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