Art and play: Designing ludic interactions within the art field

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2015 Lazzari Freitas
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The phenomenon of play has been a recurrent habit among human society. The scholar Johan Huizinga in his book Homo Ludens, published in 1938, introduced the modern view of play. Huizinga defined play as an activity that occurs outside of the ordinary routine and free from structured rules. Inspired by Homo Ludens ideas avant-garde artists made use of play in their artistic research process and as a way to engage the audience in participatory experiments. In this context, ludic practice can be conveyed into situations that augment our awareness of our surroundings. The avant-garde ideas in connection with the ludic were a source of inspiration for the development of this thesis. This thesis draws on the idea of exploring ludic interactions in the art field by using familiar objects in order to engage people in play. Following Huizinga’s ideas about the ludic, this work emphasizes the potential use of play as an inventive tool to release the participants’ imagination and engendering discovery. The practical projects concentrated on producing interactive and collaborative works that encourage players to establish a creative relationship with the daily life surroundings. In these projects players are the co-creators of the play situations. The presented thesis investigates three different projects and how they were designed to include play into the quotidian life. The projects are: Wanderlust, Constellations: Connect the Dots and The Wicked Witch’s Spats. The listed projects embrace guided and constructive play as a tool to stimulate players’ creative skills. The works convey new knowledge upon the players through exploratory activities that are indicative of play. The adults are transported to a world outside of the everyday life where they begin with a new mindset. The objects created for this thesis: the shoes/spats, the clue-messages from the The Wicked Witch’s Spats; the pen and paper from Constellations: Connect the Dots; the book, the camera, the map and the photographs from Wanderlust; act as an playful agents. By playing with the tools and objects, the players invent new meaning from their actions which were previously ordinary and mundane.
Junnila, Miikka
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x, x
play, ludic, art, interaction, everyday, avant-garde
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