To construct productive new futures, we speculate,
simulating important moments in the past and imagining alternate presents.
We seek ways to shift our perspectives and to provoke our imagination, not
smoothly and continuously but in non-linear leaps.
Hops Ahead showcases interactive work at the intersection of game and art
as an homage to the exquisite Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortázar,
a novel that is celebrating its 60 anniversary this year.
Rayuela, which initially offers a cast of expatriates meeting and
dissipating in Paris and then moves to Buenos Aires, is not only an
exemplary interactive narrative. It offers the exhibition’s themes:
Alternate histories, presents and futures; social connection and
disconnection; cultural universals and differences; playful words; and
conversation across languages.
The eighteen works in the exhibit appear thanks to artists who responded to
an open call and to the hard work of jurors who come from a variety of
backgrounds and life experiences. These multilingual artworks involve the
simulation of historical protests, uncanny stories of AI entities,
consideration of everyday life, and digital adaptations of works of print
literature. Cortázar’s novel is an explicit basis for two of the pieces,
while his compatriot Jorge Luis Borges is also manifest. The artworks here
are of many forms and include a book, a virtual reality experience, a Bitsy
game, Twine games, an RPG, generative poetry, a non-interactive system for
juxtaposition, and a hardware object.
Hops Ahead reflects shadows of the past and the turmoil of the times, while
it also offers ways to consider seeing and building better tomorrows.
This exhibit was produced and staffed entirely
by volunteer effort, without any form of institutional support or funding.
We owe its success to our dedicated team of volunteers and effusively thank
Alberto Angelini aka Albert Figurt —
Angela Chang —
Ardalan SadeghiKivi —
Daniel Villagran —
Emilie Zhang —
Eva Goldie —
Wasalu Jaco aka Lupe Fiasco
The Hops Ahead logo image is by Ardalan SadeghiKivi. We thank Fox
Harrell and the Center for Advanced Virtuality for the loan of equipment
that made it possible for us to show I AM A MAN. Jessica TranVo of the
Literature Section at MIT provided invaluable last-minute help.
Thanks also to the organizing committee of the ICIDS 2022 conference!
We appreciate the support of ICIDS and ARDIN from our initial conception
of the exhibit through the selection of works. The exhibit was originally
planned for the ICIDS conference at University of California Santa Cruz
in December 2022. We recruited a jury, issued a call for works, and made
selections. Unfortunately, the exhibit itself could not take place during
the conference for reasons beyond our control. We are delighted to
present the exhibit now. Particular thanks to Michael Mateas, the general
chair of ICIDS 2022 who invited us to work together as curators and Shi
Johnson-Bey, the publicity chair who let the public know about our
international jury’s selections. ↑