Tenants in Action (2012-) is a mobile technology designed to facilitate communication between low-income tenants and governmental agencies in South Los Angeles. Users can access Tenants in Action (TIA) in English or Spanish through their smartphones, enter information about a problem or complaint, and send that information directly to local government agencies. In turn, TIA converts that information into the same format currently used by those agencies’ existing website-based complaint forms, requiring neither changes to the agencies’ websites nor access to those agencies’ secure data. The TIA mobile app framework is being developed using JQuery Mobile and other open-source technologies, in collaboration with Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) and USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML).
The Hold (2012-) is a first-person 3D puzzle platformer that takes place inside of a massive MC Escher-like ship. Users must navigate the absurd space, solve puzzles, shift gravity, and maintain perspective as they try to escape. The demo has been shown at the UCLA Game Art Festival at the Hammer Museum, TEDxUSC at the University of Southern California, First Look 2012 at the Directors’ Guild of America, and Game Fest 2012 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where it won the People’s Choice Award for “Best in Show”. More information is available here.
LL (2012) is a sequence of sixteen epigrams inspired by my cross-country move to Los Angeles, CA. Each epigram is displayed alongside a pair of large L’s, and each takes the “LL” digraph as its subject. LL will be published as a chapbook in Fall 2012 by Scharmel Iris Vanity Press.
Bullet Hell (2011) is a side-scrolling platform game in which the user controls the movement of a bullet. As with games like Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack, the object of the game is to prolong gameplay by avoiding collisions with the surrounding environment, and as gameplay progresses the game stage moves faster. The game explores the artistic potential of this popular game genre by removing its familiar feedback mechanisms (i.e. score, lives, music, interface), and foregrounding its eternal recurrence and limited control-set within a hellish context.
#hashTag (2011) is a puzzle platformer and experimental data visualization, inspired by the classic arcade game Q*bert and the Occupy Movement, in which the user advances through levels by tagging spaces while avoiding enemy peppers and dodo birds. Game levels are generated by Twitter data from a specific date and place of occupation.
Minecraft Memorials (2011-) is a virtual artistic intervention, in which the members of RUST LTD. install memorials to real-life coal mining accidents on multiplayer Minecraft servers. We have installed memorials to the Sago Coal Mine Disaster on the Toy Studio server, and on the CTCS 505 server at the University of Southern California. Future installations are currently in development.
Hourglass (2011-) is an experimental survival adventure game that explores indentured servitude and representations of labor. RUST LTD. is currently developing the game for the Unity 3D platform, and plans to release the game before the end of 2013.
AFEELD (2011) is a collection of playable intermedia and concrete art compositions that exist in the space between poetry and computer games. It contains four chapbooks (Alphabet Man, Feeldwork, Count as One, and This is Visual Poetry), two games (M!ndsweeper and Asterisk), and a wide variety of user-generated content. The entire collection is available for free online.
Robot Butler (2011) is an experimental combination of time management and classic tower defense mechanics. Players find themselves in the midst of a revolution led by obsolete domestic robots, and must defend their owners’ homes from relentless robotic revolutionaries while continuing to complete household chores. Robot Butler was created by RUST LTD. for Domestronics, the world’s leading provider of domestic maintenintelligence, and is free to play on the Kongregate website.
M!ndsweeper (2010) is a re-imagining of the classic game Minesweeper as a neo-dadaist concrete poem. The informational numbers have been replaced with groups of consonants, and those consonants change after each round of play. To play the game is to engage in a kind of purposeful forgetting in the tense space between competing acts of signification. M!ndsweeper was published in Issue 27 of Oxford Magazine, was installed as part of the Oct. 2010 Adjunct+1 show at Tulane University’s Carroll Gallery, and appears in my collection, AFEELD.
Asterisk (2010) is a concrete game that remixes the “top-down shooter” genre of video games. The user controls an asterisk that zooms around atop a canvas, dodging and shooting various colored opponents. Avatar and enemies alike leave trails marking their paths, and these trails accumulate as play progresses. When the asterisk-avatar shoots an opponent, the opponent bursts with a splat of color. Asterisk is both a game and an instrument for playful painting.
This is Visual Poetry (2010) contains sixteen visual poems created and controlled through computer game glitches. I used an NES emulator as an instrument, improvised and composed in real time, and recorded the output of my play. This is Visual Poetry was published by Dan Waber in July 2010, as the 51st chapbook in his This is Visual Poetry series, and also appears as a chapter in my full-length collection, AFEELD.