Games can be a playful and pleasurable pastime. Cultural anthropologist Susan Ortner also writes that the idea of a game can create new opportunities for understanding how individuals negotiate and survive real-world obstacles and situations they encounter in their daily living.
As a documentary game-as-art, Play Me builds upon Ortner’s notion of the “serious game” in cultural studies as well as the artistic traditions of the Surrealists, Dadaists, and Situationists International (SI) in their subversion of the “normal” function of objects and spaces particularly urban spaces.
Play Me uses the game “Memory” as a tool to exhibit documentary photography capture through the geo-social mobile application Instagram. The photography selected seeks to serve as a witness to individual moments of encounter over the past two years that have particularly impacted how I experience and view Orlando’s urban landscape both as an artist and inhabitant.
Wealth, poverty, protest, mobility, consumerism, tourism and connectedness are some of the themes Play Me explores through location-based photography made possible by the emergent technology of mobile devices.
Smart Phones in particular, for those who can afford them, now enable emergent ways of interacting with spaces and places in virtual and physical ways instantaneously. Play Me is my viewpoint of the city streets I wander as a pedestrian and a photographer in a sprawling, suburban metropolis.
Ultimately, Play Me becomes somewhat of a metaphor for our own individual and collective perceptions and memories of place. What do we choose or choose not to see or acknowledge or remember about the places we inhabit here in Orlando? What do you see?