In memoriam: David Bowie

David Bowie mural, Brixton, Jun 22, 2015, by Maureen Barlin (1920x1080)News that David Bowie, the musician, fashion iconic and eccentric innovator, passed away today, after an 18-month battle with cancer, has shocked the world.

As I write, tributes continue to be posted by millions on social media, and if all the Bowie obituaries and editorials that have appeared in the last 12 hours were printed out and pasted together there could well be enough paper to cast a tether into space to rescue Major Tom. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: Gorillaz – Demon Days

Parlophone Records, 2005Gorillaz - Demon Days artwork, wallpaper edit (1024x576)A gimmick. That’s what they put Gorillaz’ success down to. Despite everything that had been achieved by this unusual musical concoction in the 18 months since the launch of their 2001 debut album, detractors still labelled them a here today, gone tomorrow band. But little did they know that the virtual band, created by musician, Damon Albarn, and cartoonist, Jamie Hewlett, would front what would later be acknowledged as one of the most influential and progressive records of the noughties: Demon Days. Continue reading

Visiting the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Olympic Park, London, Apr 27, 2015, by Aaron Lee, 02, OrbitThe view was astounding. You could see right the way across London, from Ally Pally in the north to Crystal Palace in the south.

Today I took a trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, and, thanks to the curiosity of my companion, found myself standing on the circular observation deck of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Continue reading

Journey: online gaming the way it should be

Journey, screenshot 01, SCEE/Thatgamecompany (1280x720)It’s tough to have fun playing games online. If you’re not biting your lip as your chosen video game system attempts to reconnect to a flagging game server the umpteenth time, then your frantically jabbing at the mute button to silence the shouts and squeals of the online rabble. Should you dare to play a game that requires teamwork – cooperation beyond attacking whatever crosses your path, you must brace yourself for a tsunami of miscommunication, impatience and frustration. Continue reading

Inside the Barbican’s Digital Revolution

Barbican - Digital Revolution, Pyramidi 02, 20140715 by Aaron Lee (1448x815)Digital Revolution is a celebration of computing and all things interactive. By bringing together artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, it hopes to give you a sense of the breakthroughs that digital creatives are making across culture, as well as remind you just how dramatically digital technology has changed all our lives in less than 50 years.

What follows are some of the moments that fascinated me most as I explored the chambers of this computing archive and its digital delights. Continue reading

Gaming as seen by an art critic

Mention the words ‘game development’ to anyone who doesn’t love or make games and watch their eyes glaze over, obscured by visions of complicated bleeps and bloops.

This is the reaction I (almost) always find when speaking to those oblivious to the joys of gaming. Yes, while my attempts to get friends to take the genius of Portal seriously still fall on deaf ears, more people might appreciate games if they understood at least some of the creative and artistic feats behind them. Continue reading

Death Fest on the Southbank

Day of the Dead skulls by Nick ThompsonThree thousand years on from our ancient ancestors, we’re still no better than they were when it comes to death. The one thing we all have in common continues to enthral and terrify, mystify and sadden. This weekend, the Southbank Centre held a Festival for the Living, an unorthodox menu of talks, performances and entertainment all about life’s ultimate destination. Continue reading

Tomorrow’s transport art today

Never mind the weather. The mother of all icebreakers is public transport. Every city dweller has an opinion on public transport, an opinion which is often swiftly followed by a disaster story or two. And, given the demands of modern life, it’s not surprising that so many of us cringe at the thought of public transport. Continue reading