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Ian Bogost / Georgia Institute of Technology

Gui Auditorium / Knowlton Hall
August 30, 2017 - 5:30pm

Dr. Ian Bogost will present a lecture "Object-Oriented Ontology as a Design Philosophy" in Knowlton Hall’s Gui Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30. The talk is free and open to the public. Bogost is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. He also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business and is a contributing editor at The Atlantic.

Bogost received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. Following a career in software and videogame development, he joined Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication in 2004. Bogost is the author or co-author of ten books: Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism (MIT Press, 2006), Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames (MIT Press, 2007), How To Do Things With Videogames (Minnesota, 2011), Alien Phenomenologyor What it's Like To Be a Thing (Minnesota, 2012), Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (MIT Press, 2008), Newsgames: Journalism at Play (MIT Press, 2010), 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (MIT Press, 2012), The Geek’s Chihuahua: Living With Apple (Minnesota, 2015), How to Talk About Videogames (Minnesota, 2015), and Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games (Basic Books, 2016). He is also co-series editor of the Platform Studies book series at MIT Press and co-series editor of the Object Lessons series at The Atlantic and Bloomsbury.

Bogost’s videogames about social and political issues cover topics as varied as airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited or held in collections internationally, at venues including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Telfair Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, the Laboral Centro de Arte and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

His independent games include Cow Clicker, a Facebook game send-up of Facebook games that was the subject of a Wired magazine feature, and A Slow Year, a collection of videogame poems for Atari VCS, Windows, and Mac, which won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 IndieCade Festival.

About the lecture

While he is best known as a theorist and practitioner of play and games, Ian Bogost has also been a key figure in the rise of Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO), a philosophical approach focused on things that was first advocated by Graham Harman in the early 2000s. Bogost’s book Alien Phenomenology, for example, wrestled with the unknowable experience of things. And his book Play Anything brought together games, play, and object-thinking, offering something like an object-oriented ethics of everyday life.

Over the last handful of years, OOO has become a contender for the next philosophical inspiration for architects. Some interesting first takes on OOO-inspired designs have appeared, most notably from Mark Foster Gage. And some theoretical takes on OOO by architectural theorists have arrived, too. Even more recently, Harman was been installed at SCI-Arc, where he now teaches philosophy to architects full-time.

But even despite these achievements, OOO’s influence on architectural and design practice is not yet clear.

In this lecture, Bogost will attempt to offer a more formal answer to that question. In so doing, he will weave together his work in philosophy, in games and play, and in design, to offer some first steps toward a true OOO design philosophy. Examples will be drawn from Bogost’s own practice in local land use politics, planning, and historical preservation—domains whose mundane and even boring nature might show why the influence of things and of play on architecture should start from the ordinary instead of the extraordinary.