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ORANGE COUNTY CALENDAR: ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, LEISURE

UCI's New Digital Show Puts You in 'Shift-CTRL'

The interactive exhibit that opens today at Beall Center features the work of 23 artists exploring the universe and issues of electronic games.

Art

October 17, 2000|VIVIAN LETRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Forget the arcades of the '80s.

An art exhibition opening today at UC Irvine's new Beall Center is guaranteed to rock your joystick.

"Shift-CTRL" is a collection of computer games created by 23 national and international artists who explore social issues related to gaming.

The art show is a universe of electronically produced images and experiences. Games such as The Sims and Ultima Online, for instance, offer unique scenarios that are created in virtual worlds. In The Sims, players build a community of people whose destinies are guided by the player. Ultima Online is a complex fantasy role-playing game online in which thousands of players simultaneously venture into the mystical, medieval world of Britannia.

The show is interactive. A segment of the gallery provides 13 computer stations where visitors can play popular computer games. Another display includes a room divided into six rooms with joysticks and large screen projector.

A live performance art piece by artists Adriene Jenik and Lisa Brenneis begins at 8 p.m.

The explosion of the multibillion dollar video gaming industry, once considered a niche market dominated by teenagers, has serious artists and researchers tuned in.

"The challenge before us is to critically and creatively address the significance of computer games and gaming, which in a relatively short time have become a major part of contemporary culture," said UCI assistant studio art professor Robert Nideffer, who co-curates the exhibition with faculty colleague Antoinette LaFarge.

The exhibition runs through Dec. 3.

EXHIBITION TIMES

"Shift-CTRL: Computers, Games and Art," Donald R. and Joan F. Beall Center for Art and Technology at UC Irvine, 300 Arts. 6 to 9 tonight. Free. Through Dec. 3. (714) 824-6206.

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