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Fishburn’s intersection of computer gaming and fine art coming to FinnU

Josh Fishburn: Repeller, an exhibit focusing on the intersection of computer gaming and fine art is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, Hancock, from July 21 through September 10, 2015.

A closing reception for the artist will take place at the gallery on Thursday, September 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with an artist talk beginning at 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Josh Fishburn is a new media artist, game designer and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His research focuses on video games as creative expression and the connection between audio and visual movement in games and the expressive power of networks in games and art.

Repeller is a multiplayer game experience that takes place across several screens. Its abstract visuals evoke a solar system in crisis, with individual planets controlled by the players and unknown adversaries moving in for the kill. By strategically controlling your planet€™s rotation and gravity, you can repel these adversaries and maintain life on your planet, but at the cost of contaminating life for the other planets in the system.

Also on display are two video game pieces, displayed side-by-side. Survive/Progress are experiments with the notions of time and progression in games. Each game features a timer that runs opposite the player€™s movement, creating opportunities for different strategic situations for movement and survival.

€œI consider code to be my primary medium,€ noted Fishburn. €œI mention the tool first because the majority of my work is generative. There are few game ‘assets’ in my projects, mostly just code. It has been my goal to use the poetics of code to explore concepts of anxiety, shame and separation in subtle ways.€

Fishburn€™s games explore complicated relationships using deceptively simple shapes.

€œColor, physical proximity and interaction have additional meaning in game worlds, and my work experiments with these constraints,€ said Fishburn. €œOutside of the individual game code are the poetics of space and interaction. How games relate to each other (through physical proximity and software networking), how they relate to their players (through the senses and interface), and how the players relate to each other through the game are the other sites of experimentation and meaning-making for my work.€

Fishburn received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Denver in Electronic Media Arts Design in 2009. He also received a Master of Arts from the University of Denver in Digital Media Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibits and he has presented talks on Interactive Media, Gaming and Digital Media.

Fishburn will return to Finlandia University in September to attend the closing reception for his exhibit and he will work with the International School of Art & Design students.

Josh Fishburn: Repeller will be on display July 21 through Sept 10, 2015.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St., downtown Hancock. For more information, contact the Finlandia University Gallery at 906-487-7500.