CAC Presents | Quantification, Engine and Values of Online Games


2021.05.23 (Sunday)


20:00 – 22:00(Beijing Time)


Sarah Friend
LI Dianfeng
Jonas Lund


English (with Chinese translation) / Chinese


Event on Zoom


Game design has become a creative approach and an experimental tool adopted by artists and developers to interrogate and subvert complex financial and political systems. From characterisation to world view construction, from token accumulation to buying and selling in-game items, games not only present social and political infrastructures but also simulate the performance of financial investments. Internet games add a social interactions layer on top of this foundation. Players create a social network in the game, but is the interaction a genuine friendship or merely resources?Can the click itself become a form of production, exchanging accumulated numbers for emotions, data, traffic and even money itself? How can we simulate the destruction of the capitalist system in a quantitative world? And how can such a simulation affect reality?


The participating artist of We=Link: Sideways Jonas Lund will talk about his views on quantification, optimisation and automated decision-making and their potential influence on internet culture that underpin the series of Internet games developed by himself. Starting with her work Clickmine, artist Sarah Friend will dig into the meaning of the term "Statistical Fetishism" to describe the inherent function of the need to create quantity, and explore how blockchain and finance can be employed as a game engine. In the presentation by game theorist LI Dengfeng, he will explore how games can be seamlessly integrated into life based on his study on the interface design, and with a quantitative mechanism of games how life is gamified.


About the Guests



Sarah Friend is an artist and software engineer, specializing in blockchain and the p2p web. She is an alumni of Recurse Centre, New York, and an organiser of Our Networks, a conference on all aspects of the distributed web in Toronto.



LI Dianfeng, graduated from China University of Political Science and Law with a Master's degree in Philosophy and holds a PhD candidate at the School of Arts, Peking University. He has worked as a journalist for Southern People Weekly, a course developer for 706, and a lecturer for the course "Games and Life". He is fond of movies, video games and sports.



Jonas Lund (1984, Sweden) creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites and performances that critically reflect on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control. His artistic practice involves creating systems and setting up parameters that oftentimes require engagement from the viewer. This results in performative artworks where tasks are executed according to algorithms or a set of rules. Through his works, Lund investigates the latest issues generated by the increasing digitalisation of contemporary society like authorship, participation and distribution of agency. At the same time, he questions the mechanisms of the art world; he challenges the production process, authoritative power and art market practices.