Still from ‘You Flee From Combat’ – Arne Kjell Vikhagen.

Welcome to a public lecture with Dr Arne Kjell Vikhagen at Bio Valand, Valand Academy, Feb 20th 10:30–12:00.

Link to facebook event

In the last forty years or so, gaming has grown from a marginal activity confined to the kid’s room to a major cultural industry. Gaming is now an integral part of our culture – and by extension, it is also relevant to contemporary art practices.

This lecture is about ludic art, that is, art that somehow relates to play activities, game aesthetics, rule systems or in other ways connects to game cultures. Art histories are ripe with works that rely on rule systems or invite its audience to engage in free play. But the evolution of digital games has led to a particularly interesting inclusion of ludic activities in contemporary art. The collaborative aspect of gaming seems to evolve concurrently with participation, collaboration and social practices in art.

We will discuss, among other things:
– Examples of contemporary ludic art, such as works by Hito Steyerl, Brody – – Condon, Anne-Marie Schleiner and others.
– Rules, cheating and subversion in ludic art.
– The lack of inclusion and stereotypical tropes in games.
– Play and art, and how they don’t work together.
– Games as art – the rise of indie games.

Selected literature:
Consalvo, Mia. 2007. Cheating: Gaming Advantages in Videogames. MIT Press.
Flanagan, Mary. 2009. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Mitchell, Grethe, and Andy Clarke, eds. 2007. Videogames and Art. Intellect Ltd.
Sharp, John. 2015. Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art. Playful Thinking. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Vikhagen, Arne Kjell. 2017. ‘When Art Is Put into Play: A Practice-Based Research Project on Game Art’. Göteborg: ArtMonitor.

Public defense November 3rd 2017 at 14:30 in Aulan,Valand Academy, Vasagatan 50, Göteborg.


Here is a link to a pdf version of the thesis

From the abstract:

When Art Is Put Into Play: A Practice-based Research Project on Game Art is a practice-based research project that aims to contribute to the understanding of the relation between play and art from the specific perspective of computer-based Game Art.

This is done firstly through the production of nine works of art that through their means of production all relate to Game Art as it has come to be known in the last twenty years or so. Secondly, the relation between games, play and art is discussed from a Game Art perspective.

This project as a whole aims to map and exemplify cases where Game Art successfully inherits rule-systems, aesthetics, spatial and temporal aspects from computer games.

This work has in turn resulted in a provisional response to the question of the possibility for Game Art to successfully create a state of play, whilst still maintain agency as a work of art. The claim is that the friction between art and play makes it doubtful that art can maintain its agency as art through play. This claim is made as a result of the artistic process leading up to the works of art that were made as a part of the thesis. It has been strengthened through the study of the concept of play and how it relates to artistic practice.


You are welcome to visit the group exhibition The Research Show at A-venue from 6-23 April, with a finissage on April 20th 16:00 – 18:30. I will be showing a modified version of the piece “Don’t Quit Your Daydream” from 2008:

Still from "Don't Quit Your Daydream"

Still from “Don’t Quit Your Daydream”

Here is the information from the event’s Facebook page:

The Research show is an informal exhibition of work in progress from doctoral researchers based in the artistic faculty of the University of Gothenburg. The exhibition features works by André Alves, Eva la Cour, Kerstin Hamilton, Annelies Vaneycken, Arne Kjell Vikhagen, and Eva Weinmayr. Works presented are produced by researchers from art and design who are currently pursuing doctoral studies at HDK and Valand Academy. During the exhibition there will be opportunities to discuss with the participants aspects of the exhibition and their wider research projects.

The exhibition will begin with on April 6th while the installation process is still happening. The content of the exhibition will build over the following weeks leading to a “finissage” – a celebratory closing event on Wednesday April 20th 16:00 – 18:30. The exhibition will then close on Saturday April 23rd. There will also be lunchtime talks with the participants during the exhibition – schedule posted shortly. The exhibition has been curated by Cora Hillebrand, Ram Krishna Ranjan, and Mick Wilson.

Skogen, Tuesday November 19th, 2013:

See event details here:

75% Seminar

75% Seminar: No Work and All Play 

Computer Games as Art

December 17, 2012:  13:00-16:00

Opponent: Jonas Ingvarsson
Main supervisor: Karin Wagner

Welcome to my 75% Seminar at the Valand Academy, Vasagatan 50.

The seminar will be in Swedish.

Opening: Retro Video Games April 14th 2011

I’m showing the Too Close for Comfort piece at Lilla galleriet, Urban outfitters. Biblioteksgatan 4. Curated by Olof Löf.

Opening 14th April, 19.30 – 21.30

Exhibited artists:
Johan Thurfjell, Cory Archangel, Andreas Ribbung, Arne Kjell Vikhagen, Kristoffer Zetterstrand

Live “performance” of my piece “You Flee From Combat” on Friday Oct 8th:

Welcome to my lecture on Game Art at Borås Konstmuseum – it part of the museum’s Tuesday lectures. I will discuss Game Art as an art form, and how it’s related to art in general, as well as showing some classic and contemporary examples from the genre.

Borås Konstmuseum, October 28th 2008, at Lilla Scenen, Kulturhuset kl 19.00

Lecture in Swedish on computer games and moral panics, as a part of the Science Festival in Göteborg, 2008.

18 April 2008, 12:00 – 12:25
Nordstan (Vid Åhléns, bakom Turistbyrån)

From the Festival programme:
Dataspel och moralpanik
Har du någonsin funderat över varför vissa tycker att dataspel är dåligt och att böcker är bra? I så fall är den här föreläsningen för dig. Dataspel är numera en naturlig del av vår visuella kultur, så det finns goda skäl att se på det som något annat än bortkastad tid. Arne Kjell visar några klassiska exempel på dataspel och pratar om hur konstnärer idag använder dataspel som verktyg i sitt arbete.

Medverkande: Doktorand Arne Kjell Vikhagen, Digital gestaltning, Konstnärliga fakulteten, Göteborgs universitet
Tema: Let´s play!
Aktivitetstyp: Akademisk kvart
Lokal: Nordstan
Adress: Vid Åhléns, bakom Turistbyrån
Datum: 2008-04-18.
Tid: 12:00 – 12:25

MyComputer (28 March – 20 April) is a group exhibition on digital art curated by Olle Essvik and Erik Broström.

Anna Wignell, Bill Drumond, Shane Hope, Darsha Hewitt, Charlotte Johannesson, Ian Campbell, Goddiepall, Pauline Curnier and Catarina/Miss Le Bomb, Krtistoffer Zetterstrand, Goldin & Senneby, Andreas Nilsson, Sture Johannesson, Leif Elggren & Michael von Hausswolf, Johan Löfgren, Matheus Pozar, Mattias Nilsson, Arne-Kjell Vikhagen, Thomas Broomé.

From “Don’t Quit Your Daydream” (2008), a game art piece that associates around memories, dreams and hopes.

Don’t Quit Your Daydream from Arne Kjell Vikhagen on Vimeo.

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