ComputerMusic4Kids at Avgarde

BEK,Spilldag 09, Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek,Avgarde, Røkeriet, USF 01.02.2009 00.0002.03.2009 00.00


In more recent years games have emerged as a new cultural expression. The influence of video games is so pervasive that computer game characters, such as Lara Croft of Tomb raider, have become cultural icons. Games such as Pong, Tetris and Space invaders, that have been created for early game consoles are ever as populair and can be seen as symbols of contemporary culture.

Children playing games today are mostly unaware of the relatively young history of games, starting around 1972. Computermusic4Kidz is an electronic music installation for children between the age of ca. 6 to 16. By using a visual, intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, the installation offers an insight and overview of the history of game consoles. Children can navigate through this visual library, containing the most important game consoles developed between 1972 and 1995.

Besides containing information about the consoles in the form of a short video clip with voice over, the installation mainly focus on the sounds that can be produced with these machines and enables children to create music using the sound samples from these game consoles, by using a physical interface.

This interface is a custom built step sequencer control table with buttons that are connected to what they see on screen. Using the music maker from the controller table, children will get an elaborate understanding of basic sound interaction and a playful introduction to the history of sound in games.

The project have been developed in collaboration with BEK 2008-2009. In addition to the artistic development, development of custom hardware and software has been required. The project is supported by the Municipality of Bergen and the Norwegian Art Council.

Marieke Verbiesen received a MFA in Interactive Media Environments, University of Groningen the Netherlands in 2003, and has been working in the field of electronic art and interaction design. Most of her work and projects revolve around creative production with obsolete games and game consoles, exploring the boundaries of their limitations and pushing them towards a creative output.

In the live performance project Videohometraining the performers themselves appear as characters in a fictional game set as a liveperformance, fighting through the levels.

Marieke is has organised Micromusic Events in Norway and the Netherlands, Micromusic is a community that organises live events, lectures, workshops and exhibitions based on art made with game consoles, as well as functioning as an online label for music made with gameboys and other game based music.

She has a part time position as network administrator at BEK and have been teaching digital media at the Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen (KHIB) and Kunstakademiet i Trondheim (KIT) as a teacher in digital media.