What are the ways in which play enters into our everyday lives? To play with can be both joyous and sinister – from which perspective do we enter into the play of games, of music, of art? And, what are the ways in which we play, the ways we begin to change and shift our engagement with the world around us? 

Play Festival is an interdisciplinary two day symposium at Oberlin that incorporates film screenings, concerts, gallery events, talks, panels, papers, and audio walks that focus on the tactics and strategies of play. All events are free and open to the public. 

Featuring: Brian House, Jordan Bartee, Brenda Hutchinson, and Peter Bussigel 

Brian House is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. He is interested in the contingent qualities of information and how we experience time in network culture. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he negotiates between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. Brian’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries including MoMA (NYC), MOCA (LA), Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and performed at venues such as Issue Project Room, Monkeytown, The Stone and many more. 

Jordan Bartee is an experimental designer, philosopher, and engineer. As founder of Special Stage Systems, he designs and manufactures avant-garde modular electronics. His voltage controlled video game console Ming Mecca has received international attention and been featured in articles by Kotaku, Joystiq, and Engadget. He currently lives and works in Seattle, WA. He will be discussing his work with Ming Mecca and will provide a workshop session where participants can get hands on experience with the console. 

Brenda Hutchinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey and is a composer and sound artist whose work is based on the cultivation and encouragement of openness in her own life and in those she works with. Through her work with large-scale experiments in socially based improvisations and encounters, Brenda has developed a body of work based on a perspective about interacting with the public and non-artists through personal, reciprocal engagement with listening and sounding. She will be presenting “What Can You Do?” a celebration and reclamation of public space through direct interaction among strangers. 

Peter Bussigel is a composer and artist based in Providence, RI. He makes unpredictable sound systems for concerts, installations, recordings, and video. He also performs on brass instruments and electronics and teaches at Brown University, where he is artist-in-residence at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. 

Also featuring intermedia artists, composers, dancers and more from Oberlin and around the world: 
Michael Boyd
Julius Bucsis
Jason Charney
Flandrew Fleisenberg
Lyn Goeringer
Loren Groenendaal
Holly Handman-Lopez
Joshua Harris
Mitchell Herrmann
Sage Jenson
Bonnie Kane
Tom Lopez
Fransesc Marti
Charles Nichols
Joo Won Park
Christiana Rose
Mike Zellers

For the full schedule click here. -GJ