Paolo Pedercini and Closing to the Season
After six weeks of featuring our Makers Muse Recipients it seems only fitting that our final post of the year is about Paolo Pedercini who is an artist, educator and the mind behind the cutting edge creations of Molleindustria. His work reflects the very essence of what captivates us about the spirit and purpose of the Makers Muse Award. We are always looking for people who use media and art in ways that push the boundaries of our perceptions of what any given medium can accomplish. The way Blu makes murals move, the way that eL Seed infuses beauty into issues of identity, the way in which Geraldine Juárez tackles issues of technology and piracy, and the ways in which Tessa Farmer, Ian Nagoski and Simon Norfolk expose us to worlds that we would otherwise not be privy to – these are the outcomes of art that trigger new ideas, critical thought and engagement. Pedercini’s work does this through the art of video games.
If we were to play a word association game, where we ask you to say the first three words you think of when we say ‘video game’ it’s likely your answers will not be related to issue of gender, religious fundamentalism, and environment. After experiencing Pedercini’s games, however, they might be.
Pedercini’s work asks us to focus on the issues that are most pressing in our times through video games. In this interview on the Culture Jamming site he describes the aim of Molleindustria as a “start (to) a serious discussion about the political implications of videogames and also to produce various, very quick simple games – experimental games – to spread a political message and to criticize the mainstream videogames as a cultural form.”
Pedercini has challenged the very notions of what gaming and entertainment mean culturally and exposes the potential impact this industry can make in the areas of social and environmental justice. Paolo’s games open a door for the player to explore complex social issues such as food politics, gender, labor and corporatization. This September we featured one of Pedercini’s projects – Phone Story – a smartphone app that allowed the user to play an educational game about the back end journey of mobile electronic devices and the human rights atrocities committed in their production. Proceeds from the app went to organizations working on these issues. Apple banned the sale of this app just hours after it was released, but not before it made it into the hands of consumers worldwide, catalyzing important discussion around labor and censorship.
Note to our readers:
Kindle Project will be closing for the holidays and we’ll be back in 2012 with weekly features on our blog starting January 5th. We’ve been cooking up some exciting ideas and new collaborations and we are really looking forward to sharing them with you. As always, if you have an idea for an article, feature or post please be in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org). Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!