The Situationist Raoul Vaneigem famously wrote “There are no more artists since we’ve all become artists. Our next work of art is the construction of a full-blooded life.” – The Revolution of Everyday Life.
In this tradition, Class Wargames present two days of making and playing Guy Debord’s The Game of War. Debord, leader of the Situationist International, developed the game while in exile after the May ’68 Revolution, and came to regard it as his most important project. For Debord, The Game of War wasn’t just a game – come and learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of the spectacular society! Join the Class Wargames crew, Richard Barbrook, Fabian Tompsett, Ilze Black and others, in redefining political and contextual territories.
Come along on Saturday to learn the intricacies of the game by making your own board from recycled materials. Then come back on Sunday to play the game and participate in a discussion between political theorist and author Dr. Richard Barbrook of Class Wargames and author and programmer Alex Galloway of RSG, developer of Kriegspeil, a digital version of the Game of War, who will participate online from New York. The discussion will be chaired by Marc Garrett, co-director of Furtherfield.org and HTTP Gallery.
The discussion will be featured in ‘Artists RE:thinking Games’, due to be published in September 2009, compiled and edited by furtherfield.org in collaboration with Fact.co.uk.
Free Entry: Booking Essential
Saturday 16th May 12-5pm
Make your own board from recycled materials and learn the rules.
Sunday 17th May 12-5pm
Play the game and join the discussion with Richard Barkbrook and Alex Galloway
For more information about the event please visit HTTP Gallery website.
To take part in the game please RSVP to ale[AT]furtherfield[DOT]org
Game of War Weekend Schedule:
Day 1 – 12-5pm Saturday 16th May.
12.00 meet and great
12.15 introduction (Fabian/Richard)
12.30 building your own game
15.00 learning to play/ preparing the teams
17.00 day is over
Day 2 – 12-5pm Sunday 17th May.
12.00 meet and great and introduction
13.00 playing the game in team
16:30 Online Discussion – Richard Brabrook & Alex Galloway
17.00 day is over / drinks
The Game of War is a Clausewitz simulator: a Napoleonic-era military strategy game where armies must maintain their communications structure to survive – and where victory is achieved by smashing your opponent’s supply network rather than by taking their pieces. For Debord, The Game of War wasn’t just a game – it was a guide to how people should live their lives within Fordist society. Come learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society!
Dr. Richard Barbrook is a senior lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages at the University of Westminster. In 2007 he published his study of the political and ideological role of the prophecies of artificial intelligence and the information society: Imaginary Futures. Richard is a trustee of Cybersalon and a founding member of Class Wargames. He is currently carrying out research into the politics of ludic subversion. More info: http://www.imaginaryfutures.net
Alexander R. Galloway is an author and programmer. He is Associate Professor or Media, Art and Communication at New York University; author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (MIT, 2004), Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (Minnesota, 2006), and a new book coauthored with Eugene Thacker called The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Minnesota, 2007). a founding member of the software collective RSG and creator of the Carnivore and Kriegspiel projects. More info:
Ilze Black is an artist and curator of media arts:
http://www.hivenetworks.net & http://www.take2030.net
Fabian Tompsett, London Psychogeographical Association and author:
Class Wargames are playing Guy Debord’s The Game of War in public using a replica of his original 1977 design for the board game; it is committed to subverting the ideological mechanisms which are used to keep us in line. The Class Wargames players are Dr. Richard Barbrook, University of Westminster; Ilze Black, Waterman’s Art Gallery; Lucy Blake, Software Developer; Mark Copplestone, Copplestone Castings; Rod Dickinson, Artist; Fabian Tompsett, Class War 1985; and Alex Veness, University of the Arts.
Ale, HTTP Gallery
Unit A2, Arena Design Centre
71 Ashfield Road
London N4 1LD