toying with the archive

toying with the archive

I’ve just been awarded a research stipend by the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter. Here’s the rationale: My interest in the Bill Douglas collection centres on two categories: Toys in general, and Optical Toys. A particular concern is toys as media objects, both as communication media in their own right and […] more…
media archaeology of / through toys

media archaeology of / through toys

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moments of voluptuous release

moments of voluptuous release

[In early critical texts (mid to late 1980s) on the cultural economy of computer games] Fiske & Watts and Bernstein make reference to Roland Barthes’ 1950s account of Japanese players of pachinko. For Barthes, pachinko – a mechanical arcade game, somewhere between pinball, bagatelle and the fruit machine – and its players are at once […] more…
ethology (notes for a picture essay)

ethology (notes for a picture essay)

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protopolitics of play

protopolitics of play

The mobilisation in and as play of relationships of control and passivity, of playing by the rules and resisting, distorting or simply ignoring them, of social hierarchies that might be inverted or reinforced in any particular game… a dreamlike fluidity of power relationships evident in the medieval carnival and the… something else. Not immediately recuperated […] more…
Leia in the expanded field

Leia in the expanded field

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we both know your yearnings

we both know your yearnings

I know who I am, but who are we? Distributed subjectivity in the postindustrial machinic phylum. The card is delivered to me from a fairground fortune-telling machine in the collection of the SeaCity Museum in Southampton. Its message is printed on thick card and has the look of handwriting. It assumes an intimacy between us, […] more…
toying with the singularity

toying with the singularity

Introduction to the draft of a chapter for The Internet of Toys, edited by Giovanna Mascheroni and Donell Holloway, out soon-ish with Palgrave… Eight Year 5 children sit around a large table in a primary school classroom. Asked to draw and talk about their experience of and ideas about robots, they talk excitedly: It could be […] more…

under the pebbles…

Copied here to avoid unnecessary clicks for the Mail Online: ‘If these are top academics God help our students’: ANDREW PIERCE slams the ‘senior’ dons who penned a letter condemning the media’s treatment of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn By Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 01:14, 6 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:10, 6 April 2018 Just as Jeremy Corbyn was on […] more…
accursed play

accursed play

A new article in Games and Culture: Accursed play: the economic imaginary of early game studies. It’s part of the Ludic Economies special issue edited by myself and Alison Harvey – which should be published later this year. Here’s an extract: Play, work, and waste So videogame play in the arcades and the home in […] more…
smARtmurals

smARtmurals

A project I have been involved in – smARtmurals for Southampton City Art Gallery – opened on Thursday 22nd February in the Spark Building at Southampton Solent University, with AR-activated posters also installed around the Cultural Quarter. Testing ideas for attracting new audiences to the Gallery’s modern art collection, and led by Dr Alex Reynolds, the painting Deer Dog by Dan […] more…
why so Serious(tm)? playing with LEGO Serious Play

why so Serious(tm)? playing with LEGO Serious Play

edited excerpt from Ashton and Giddings 2018, At work in the toy box: bedrooms, playgrounds and theories of play in creative cultural work International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The appeal of the consultancy programme LEGO Serious Play is in part generated by the tension between work and play. The name itself jams together the Serious and […] more…
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