ICIDS 2022

Art Exhibition

Hops Ahead:
The Art of Alternate Histories, Presents, and Futures

Curated By

Clara Fernández-Vara

NYU Game Center

Nick Montfort

MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

To construct productive new futures, we speculate, simulating important moments in the past and imagining alternate presents. We seek ways to shift our perspectives and to provoke our imagination, not smoothly and continuously but in non-linear leaps.

Hops Ahead peers ahead toward our speculative horizons, connecting with the main theme of ICIDS 2022 at UC Santa Cruz, where the exhibition takes place. Hope Ahead showcases interactive work at the intersection of game and art as an homage to the exquisite Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortázar, a novel that will celebrate its 60 anniversary in February 2023.

Rayuela, which initially offers a cast of expatriates meeting and dissipating in Paris and then moves to Buenos Aires, is not only an exemplary interactive narrative. It offers the exhibition’s themes: Alternate histories, presents and futures; social connection and disconnection; cultural universals and differences; playful words; and conversation across languages.

The eighteen works in the exhibit appear thanks to artists who responded to an open call and to the hard work of jurors who come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. These multilingual artworks involve the simulation of historical protests, uncanny stories of AI entities, consideration of everyday life, and digital adaptations of works of print literature. Cortázar’s novel is an explicit basis for two of the pieces, while his compatriot Jorge Luis Borges is also manifest. The artworks here are of many forms and include a book, a virtual reality experience, a Bitsy game, Twine games, an RPG, generative poetry, a non-interactive system for juxtaposition, and a hardware object.

Hops Ahead reflects shadows of the past and the turmoil of the times, while it also offers ways to consider seeing and building better tomorrows.


Thank you to our jurors!

Allen Turner

Senior Professional Lecturer,  DePaul Game Development, Interactive Media

Allison Parrish

Assistant Arts Professor, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program

Taken by Kojo J Acquah
Angela Chang

Research Affiliate, The MIT Trope Tank

Astrid Ensslin

Professor, University of Bergen Digital Culture

Brian Salisbury

Associate Professor, University of Utah Entertainment Arts Engineering

Jacqueline Ashwell

Senior Legislative Affairs Specialist, US National Park Service

Jeff Howard

Senior Lecturer, Falmouth University Games Academy

Leonardo Flores

Professor, Appalachian State University Department of English

Liza Daly

Technologist in Residence, Harvard University Library Innovation Lab

Mara Dionísio

University of Madeira Interactive Media Design

María Cecilia Reyes

Colombian Scholar, Artist and Entrepreneur

Ryan Bown

Associate Professor, University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering

Samya Brata Roy

Ph.D. candidate, School of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur

Scott Rettberg

Professor, University of Bergen Digital Culture

Stuart Moulthrop

Distinguished Professor, UW Milwaukee English