May 27th – August 31st, 2014
Assalamualaikum Babycastles is an exploration of the "lived Muslim experience" through the embedded narratives of independent, contemporary video games. These stories capture the various threads of Muslim life throughout the world and deal with subjects such as survival, war, and classical Muslim art. Inside Babycastles Gallery, an immersive, physical installation houses the work, directly inspired by Islamic aesthetics and created by contemporary artists. In addition to independent game developers, Assalamualaikum Babycastles also features work from "modders" who appropriate existing, western based video games and visually fashion them into experiences that reflect their own. As a medium, video games have the unique power to create immersive environments and give agency to those who play. Game designers can assemble situations that allow players to make choices that reflect those environments. Each work represents a different narrative expressed either through the gameplay or the developer’s creative journey. The player shares these experiences: sometimes represented abstractly, as in the game “Engare,” based off classical Islamic art; or literally, as in a modded version of Grand Theft Auto as shown in “GTA: Indonesia.” For the first time in Babycastles history, Assalamualaikum Babycastles displays “Special Force 2: Tale of the Truthful Pledge” as a non-interactive video loop, as opposed to a playable game. We wanted to present a perspective on the lived Muslim experience that is honest and complete, rather than one that is aesthetically shallow. Unfortunately, oppression and violence pervades the Muslim world. The non-interactive presentation allows us to simultaneously acknowledge the game’s existence while refusing to condone its content or creation. The audience becomes passive viewers of the game creator’s perspective on the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war. Ramsey Nasser / Syed Salahuddin ~~~~~~~~~~ OPENING RECEPTION TUESDAY MAY 27TH 6:30PM - 9:30PM Performance by Lichens aka Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe http://lichensarealive.com/ http://www.exploratorium.edu/resonance/calendar/robert-aiki-aubrey-lowe (nice picture) DJ set by Lamin Fofana http://scifiandfantasy.net/ http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2012/10/lamin_fofanas_a.php All-Ages $ 8 / $ 6 Babycastles Gallery Members ~~~~~~ GALLERY HOURS May 27 - August 31st tba ~~~~~~ GAMES Engare - http://marsigames.blogspot.com/ (Mahdi Bahrami, Iran) Farsh - http://marsigames.blogspot.com/ (Mahdi Bahrami, Iran) A Dark Room - http://amirrajan.net/ (Amir Rajan, Texas) قلب - http://nas.sr/ (Ramsey Nasser, NY) بونج! - http://nas.sr/ (Ramsey Nasser, NY) Grand Theft Auto Indonesia - http://muslimgamer.com/muslim-gta-mod-indonesia-nikko-bellic-altair-jamaat-salaat-gta (unknown) Special Force (Lebanon) ~~~~~~ INSTALLATION ARTISTS Nanu Al-Hamad http://www.alhamaddesign.com/ Stewart Bird http://stewbird.com/ Rasmey Nasser http://nas.sr/قلب/ Terror Pigeon http://theterrorpigeondancerevolt.com/ ~~~~~~ VISUAL ARTISTS Uman Nyako X http://137ac.org/artists.html Iasmin Omar Ata http://machinamar.com/ ~~~~~~~~~~ THANKS TO Ronny Nunez / Krissy Rubbles / Jack Caron / Hillary Livingston / Ben Johnson / Stephen Clark / EMi Spicer / Robin Enrico / Joe Salina / Aaron Isaksen / Arthur Ward Jr. / Rob Chabebe / Ari Spool / Thomas Knowlton / Kunal Gupta / Syed Salahuddin who do everything at Babycastles! ADDITIONAL THANKS TO Julia Lipscomb / Sonya Belakhlef / TJ / Reginald Pascual / Adelle Lin / Lyndsey Jane / Mike Lazer-Walker / Matt Newman / Ruben Lopez / Curtis / Annatina Miescher / Kirk / Oz / Rebecca Richards / Cris Elie / Cris Elie's Friend / Joe Ishikura / Kristen Tonga who joined in to help realize this exhibition! ALWAYS THANKS TO The Babycastles Members, the support of which entirely makes this exhibition possible. Thank you!