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Post #438 • December 27, 2004, 9:28 AM • 13 Comments

Via the New York Times: Pac-Mondrian. From the Pac-Mondrian website:

Pac-Mondrian transcodes 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' into a Pac-Man video game: the painting becomes the board, the music becomes the sound effects, and Piet Mondrian becomes Pac-Man.

Pac-Mondrian disciplines the syncopated rhythms of Mondrian's spatial arrangements into a regular grid, then frees the gaze to follow the viewer's whimsical perambulations of the painting: a player's thorough study of the painting clears the level.

Each play of the game is an act of devotion. Mondrian's geometric spirituality fuses with his ecstatic physicality when Pac-Mondrian dances around the screen while the Trinity of Boogie Woogie jazz play 'Boogie Woogie Prayer'.

Each play of the game is an improvisational jazz session. Pac-Mondrian sits in as a session drummer with Ammons, Lewis, and Johnson, hitting hi-hats, cymbals, and snares as he eats pellets.

It delivers. Go play!



shaolin soccer mom

December 27, 2004, 6:12 PM


I've always wanted to design a video game that married Mondrian to Tetris, but the most recent programing language I'm fluent in is Fortran. Not ideal for game development.



December 27, 2004, 6:29 PM

Not ideal for game development.

You could try using FORTRAN to marry Ed Ruscha to Hunt the Wumpus.


shaolin soccer mom

December 27, 2004, 7:17 PM

If we can have Nietzche cartoons, why not a whole line of artist video games. How about something with Rothko and staring off into space. Klee and Frogger?

Orsinal Morning Sunshine needs to get on this pronto.



December 27, 2004, 7:30 PM

You know what'd be perfect for Rothko? Pong.

I think we're onto something here...


shaolin soccer mom

December 27, 2004, 7:40 PM

I don't normally indulge in knocking the conceptualists, but Joseph Kosuth would be a good fit for those text-based Dungeons and Dragons games from the 80s. Too, that one I could do in Fortran, natch.

I'm on it.



December 27, 2004, 7:48 PM

For research, and to kill a couple of hours, you might have a look at Peasant's Quest, a Homestar Runner production that I believe is the mother of all 80's D&D computer game send-ups. (Check out that URL!)

I've beaten this thing, which I'm almost embarrassed to admit.


shaolin soccer mom

December 27, 2004, 7:58 PM

Not at work I'm not! You're not getting me fired; not today. Homestar Runner is the loudest web site (visually and aurally) in existence.

Also: you want embarrasing? I've played so much freecell that I average 94% completed games.



December 28, 2004, 12:19 AM

Check out Forward Retreat for my take on the Pac Mondrian thing--it has little to do with the actual game. I'm much better at Tetris, anyway...



December 28, 2004, 4:02 AM

Franklin, I'm not over my flu yet, which means I'm still more irritable than usual, which means I did not respond well to a post for computer geeks--I mean computer types. The Mondrian angle did not mollify me. Of course, sometimes, nothing short of narcotics is likely to do that. I'm sure Hovig is most understanding, but I was not amused.



December 28, 2004, 5:02 AM

Jack, you may not have the cultural references for this. I dispatched a good portion of th 1980s playing video games, so I thought this was pretty cute. Feel better.



December 28, 2004, 6:01 PM

I spent my twenties playing pool,
Its a generational thing.....
personally I sit in front of a computer as little as possible...
so I doubt I'll be doing much blogging...
but I can see the addictive qualities to it all.



December 28, 2004, 6:18 PM

i didn't play the game, and i didn't read the NY times article, but I did read a bit of sarah's comments. whatever else, it's kind of cool that the NY times is deveoting (apparently) lots of space to someting like this.


Fresh Paint

December 29, 2004, 9:04 AM

My god! Hunt the Wumpus! I think I typed the code for it into my very first computer. Such simple, sweet times.

I have discovered a program called DOSBOX that lets you simulate an ancient computer so you can play the old games on anything. I used to do extremely primative graphic art by poking colors directly into memory. I thought I was avant garde. Ha ha ha ha. I was just another geek.



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