Headlines: Games, Trains and Shattered Statues
1) New Videogame Reads Players' Levels of Stress
A new artistic videogame utilizes webcam and facial-recognition technology to detect a player’s level of anxiety, tailoring the game experience to freak them out as much as possible. The game, called Nevermind, is billed as a horror game but plays off the user’s anxiety in ever-evolving ways to create an immersive, sometimes therapeutic experience. Debuted at the Games for Change summit as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, Nevermind is yet another entry in the book of videogames that seek to turn the medium into a more philosophical art form.
2) Trains Become Galleries in Japan and France
What officials are calling “the world’s fastest art experience” is now carrying passengers across Japan’s Niigata prefecture. A train named Genbi Shinkansen is now home to an exhibition space, featuring works by six independent Japanese artists as well as the Japanese art collective Paramodel, and one American artist. Individual carriages are devoted to a specific artist, giving viewers a unique opportunity to sit with and experience the works as the roll through the prefecture at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. At almost the same time, France’s national railway introduced a new rider experience in which expressionist paintings, courtesy of the Musée d’Orsay, are projected onto the ceilings of the cars to showcase the relationship between painting, landscape and movement.
3) Kinetic Art Pioneer Fran Ois Morellet Dies at 90
The French artist Fran Ois Morellet, who helped pioneer kinetic and optical art by founding the art collective known as Grav, passed away at the age of 90 on Wednesday, May 11th. Mollett was a self-taught artist who quickly moved from paint into experimentation with kinetic sculpture and op-art. The artist was particularly well-known for his works that used neon tubing, a medium that he worked with extensively over six decades. Mollett is considered one of the most important artists of his generation in France, and his works appear in various collections around the world, including New York’s MOMA.
4) German Railroad Bans Poster for Performance by Canadian Artist Cassils
A poster for a durational performance by Canadian trans artist Cassils was banned by a German railway company, only to be later reinstated. The poster, depicting the artist in only a jockstrap and red lipstick, was deemed overly sexual and possibly sexist by the Germain railway company Deutsche Bahn. Cassils, in a statement, noted that the reaction to the image was transphobic and supported a nonexistent gender-binary. While the poster is now allowed to be displayed in train stations throughout Germany, the spots previously reserved for it were sold to other advertisers in the meantime.
5) Man Destroys 126-Year-Old Statue in Selfie Attempt
Finally, an unidentified young man knocked over and shattered a 126-year old statue of the Portuguese king Dom Sebastiao in Lisbon, Spain. According to reports, the man was attempting to take a selfie with the statue, which was located outside of a train station, when the incident occurred just before midnight on Tuesday. The king is something of a legendary figure in Portugal. He ruled between 1557 and 1578 before dying in battle at the age of 24 during a crusade to Morocco. Since the king’s body was never recovered, legend says he will one day return to save Portugal in its hour of need.