BAR SK is a small bar/gallery space for [[new and playful media.|newmedia]] We're taking the [[event-style model|model]] we've evolved over the last three years and solidifying it into a permanent venue in [[Melbourne|melb]]; number 90 Smith St, Collingwood.
We exhibit weird and wonderful creations from a [[wide scope of play,|play]] and we create unique [[controllers and installations|control]] to make them as [[accessible|access]] and [[impactful|impact]] as possible. It's not about being good or bad at anything, it's about playing and experiencing, reflecting, chatting and [[drinking.|drink]]
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch for whatever reason, hit up <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
New Media or Playful Media refer to artistic works in digital or playful mediums, basically. The term Playful Media has been popularised by the AMAZE fest <a href="http://a-maze.net/" target="_blank">[link]</a>, which showcases a wonderful array of games and interactive media from digital to analogue.
We use these terms to distance ourselves from the word "videogame", which carries a lot of connotations, most of which don't encourage a social or accessable atmosphere. We're trying a new approach with BAR SK and we need new terms.
We've mainly been doing one-off events over the last three years, and we've learnt a lot about our preferred style of show. We've been based in Perth, but travelled extensively and exhibited all around Australia as well as overseas.
The bar style show works well for us because of its acessibility and diverse audience. Making the shift to a permanent venue seemed perfectly natural, finally we don't have to fight the bar manager about where we can put our projectors.
Another good resource if you're still curious would be our youtube and facebook pages, the video and photos might give you a better idea of our shows. Click the info tab up the top, or actually here, I'll put some links in: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/skgamesperth" target="_blank">[youtube]</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/aintnopartylikeanskparty" target="_blank">[facebook]</a>
Melbourne is a great city for digital arts, especially in the games sector. It's currently the only state that gets funding for videogames, and that really shows. While we'd love to open up at home in Perth, we know Melbourne is a much better choice for such a new venture.
There's a huge range of games and play being created today, from videogames through boardgames, physical games, even gambling. There's also countless examples of crossovers and exceptions, it's as versatile as any other artform.
Obviously we aren't interested in exhibiting all of it, but it's a much broader world than many imagine, and expanding the common perception of games is totally our bag.
When we exhibit unusual games, sometimes we need unusual input devices. At the very least we need a controller that is more inviting and tactile than a keyboard and mouse. Something that can be understood a little easier than the cluster of buttons that is a modern game controller.
Creating custom controllers for us is quick and dirty. We're not making something to last, we're making something unique to be experienced and remembered. If you want a little overview, check out the SK website: <a href="http://skgames.com.au/?p=done" target="_blank">[link]</a>
A big aim for BAR SK is acessability. We want the space to be inviting and safe for a wide array of people. We also want the media on display to be accessible and inviting to everyone who comes in.
We tackle that through the selection of media, the way we display it, and the training of the staff. Start by selecting a range of works both social and intimate, then create controllers and installations around them to invite curious people to play, and finally employ staff that will listen and discuss both the media and the environment with patrons. We want to know how you experience the venue so we can make any changes, the space is deliberately flexible.
The works we show are usually the product of a single artist or small team. This can make the works feel raw and heartfelt, which is an amazing side of digital art that isn't often exposed. The impact of these works is unique and something we've built our bar around.
We're also proud to exhibit works which push many barriers, which may make some people uncomfortable. These works will be clearly signed and no one should come across these accidentally.
We like to mirror the display of unique games with unique drinks, and under closer inspection there are many similarities between the fields. We're looking forward to rotating the taps and stocking some short term bottles to reflect the dynamic nature of the bar.
We're also aware that not everyone drinks, and we will make certian there are plenty of alternatives.