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Personal Cinema announces, The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game and The BalkanMall opening on the February 10th 2004 at 1 p.m. at the MediaLabMadrid.

“The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game” is a Personal Cinema project primarily focused on the social and cultural issues within the Peninsula and on the creation of networks between artists, art critics, writers and curators from Southeastern Europe. It proposes some new media works created by 52 participating artists investigating the Balkan territory and way of life.

Both geopolitical war games and epic strategy video games are interrelated in this multi-media project. While {{virtual battle scenes}} are celebrated for their extreme realism, contemporary warfare has begun to resemble science fiction. The reality (or virtual reality) presented by official narratives and industrial entertainment does not adequately describe the experiences of the people who are caught in the actual war games. In the real-time of CNN, and in video games, the simplification of cultures and history is itself a form of violence. The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game is intended to counteract the sensational spectacle of war presented by the media by deconstructing stereotypes, focusing on the distortion of identities, and revising the dominant logic of explanation.

The Balkan Mall video game, the central node of the project, created by the Personal Cinema team, is the elevation of social, historical and cultural elements of the Balkans into the form of an imaginary Balkan shopping mall. It is a poetic metaphor, which has many moments of ironic stance towards the prevailing multicultural concepts, historic disputes and contemporary political developments in the area. The players and spectators have the opportunity to learn how to behave and act in a simulated Balkan reality, and are informed about their level of Balkanization and De-Balkanization through an indicator within the interface of the game. The game contains about 20 different spaces, and some 30 videos from artists participating in the wider project; “The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game”.

Following the “Myth of Interactivity” of new media, in contrast to old media where the order of presentation is fixed, the users can now interact with and within a media. They can choose which elements to display or which paths to follow, creating each time a new pathway and generating each time a unique work. In addition to the virtual space, there is a real space, a three-wall projection of a virtual room in which both real and computer users can select and project videos from the participating artists. In this way the users become the co-authors and co-curators of the work. This leads to changing the view and standards of the art system of curatorial presentation, putting all of us (artists, critics, curators and spectators) in an uncertain position of proposing a new art behavior.

Participating Artists:

Robert Alias Dragot, Genti Shkurti (Albania)

Beatrijs Albers, Francis Schmetz, Jacques Lizene, Marie Andre, Eugene Savitzkaya, Reggy Timmermans, Koen Wastijn-Deschuymer, Ria Pacquee (Belgium)

Albena Mihaylova, Krassimir Terziev (Bulgaria);

Irena Paskali, Natasha Dimitrievska, OPA & HA , Christina Ivanoska-Yane Calovski (Macedonia)

Mathias Wagner K, Per Pegelow (Germany) Vassilis Kokkas, Dimitris Tzamouranis (Greece / Germany)

Kostas Beveratos, Maya Bontzou, Dimitris Dokatzis Stelios Giannoulakis, Maurice Ganis, Ilias Marmaras, Angelo Skourtis, Panos Vittorakis, Alexandros Spyropoulos, Dimitris Tsardakas (Greece)

Babis Kandilaptis, Nicolas Kozakis (Greece / Belgium)

Chiara Passa, Antonio Riello (Italy)

Floe Tudor Mona Vatamanu, (Romania)

Andrej Tisma, Windows 99 Hammer creative (Serbia); Milena Ze Vu (Serbia / Hungary)

Vuk Cosic (Serbia / Slovenia)

Aniceto Exposito Lopez, Angel Vergara (Spain / Belgium)

Selda Asal, Gulsen Bal, Cem Genser, Genco Gulan (Turkey)

Ruth Catlow (UK); Stewart Ziff (UK / USA)

Andy Deck, Doron Golan, Morgan Showalter (USA)

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Page last modified on October 10, 2005, at 02:44 PM