This seminar will be presented by Dr Chris Chesher, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communications at the University of New South Wales. Dr, Chesher will pose the question – what is the difference between computer games and art? Described as having ‘an unhealthy obsession’ with new media, Chesher’s PhD was on what makes computer-based media distinctive, and went on to set up the MA (New Media) program at UNSW, which introduces new media practitioners to contemporary cultural theory.

As one of the facilitators of the critical Internet studies mailing list Fibreculture, he organised the "Networks of Excellence" conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in November 2002. Dr. Chesher also recently co-edited a special edition of Media International Australia on computer games and media studies methodologies. His writing can be found online in Cultronix, Ctheory and CultureMachine, in hard copy in several books, and in journals including Convergence and Media International Australia.

An abstract of his seminar subject appears below.

Date: Tuesday 25 August, 2004
Time: 1 – 2.30pm
Place: Room C102, University of Ulster Coleraine Campus

For further details, contact:

Ned Rossiter
Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media)
Centre for Media Research
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Northern Ireland
BT52 1SA

tel. +44 (0)28 7032 3275
fax. +44 (0)28 7032 4964

Chris Chesher’s contact details:
Dr Chris Chesher,
School of Media and Communications,
University of New South Wales,

What are the differences and connections between new media art and computer games? Whether in an art gallery or an arcade, confronting an installation or playing on a console, game players and gallery visitors encounter experiments with the implications of new media technology for desire, sensation and affect. While they are quite different, the institutional positions for both game designers and new media artists give them conditional licence to escape instrumentalism to privilege the invocational image, sensorimotor interaction, the generation of desire and the modulation of affect. Using examples of works in both fields, this paper illustrates some emerging topologies of human-technology relations that characterise contemporary and emerging structures of feeling.