Virtual Textual

For Playing Poetry’s second full scale exhibition, Nick Murray curated and produced Virtual Textual, a custom built arcade that combines traditional arcade aesthetics with a speculative future vision of tended gardens. While playing with a dark, cinematic feeling, the technologically-focused curation leans away from the cyberpunk tropes of the future. Instead the exbihition’s design hints at a future where we live in step with nature.

More information on the exhibition and programme of events here.

Exhibited works:

Autodidact & The Librarian Conducts a Reference Interview – David McFarlane & Charlotte Wetton
If We Were Allowed to Visit – Ian MacLarty & Gemma Mahadeo
Head Girl – Charlotte Geater
Storehouse A – Steffi Che & Katherine Yang
Rock, Star, North. – Calum Rodger
Wayfinder – Matt DesLauriers
Wood Wide Web – Mariana Marangoni, Rianna Suen & Mikey Parsons

Through play we experience language differently.

Stories can be explored from numerous points of view. Words themselves can become objects to manipulate and affect the space around us.

In this new exhibition we invite you to explore a variety of digital works that each ask a different question about what poetry can be. Through transformative acts of play, twelve artists from around the globe present new ways to shift text from a static object to a vibrant experience that changes with each reading.
A theme running through the exhibition is the exploration of new worlds, from ASCII dungeons to the lush outskirts of online multiplayer games. Through this celebration of digital place writing, Virtual Textual responds to, and builds upon, a long and treasured history of nature writing.

As in the natural world where each viewer is their own focal point in any experience, in the game-based texts on show here, the player is an essential part of how each text exists in space. The writing shifts with you, and no two readings will ever be the same. Reading is no longer a passive act, but a dynamic and immersive experience.