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Mary Flanagan by Mind Map: Mary Flanagan
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Mary Flanagan

Media Projects



[phage] is a computer application which is viral-- an artificial life form. [phage] filters through all available material on a specified workstation and places it in an alternate context-a visible and audible moving 3D spatialized world. I encourage this virus lifeform to spread via email (but only by the consent of the host). [phage] creates new living sculptures from our own data, thus mixing ideas of authorship between programmer, operating system, and users    

[six circles]


Mary Flanagan is an artist, an author, and an educator and is a designer using technology as her primary medium. She is a professor at Dartmouth College and is the director of the Tiltfactor Lab in New York. She uses modern technologies, experiments with them, and investigates them using writing, artwork and activist design projects. Within her field of culture and technology she is well know for her theory of play culture and the way she applies that the her project. Her works have been featured in international exhibitions, art museums, festivals and galleries. Some of these include the Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum, and The Banff Centre. Her artwork investigates the relationships between humans and their technology. She observes the relationships we form between our computers, cell phones, games, and email. These artifacts and relationships represent something else to Flanagan. She sees themes of human desire, intimacy, language, and secrecy within the machines themselves. The ways we react to these objects are extraordinary to her. In The Adventures of Josie True, done form 1997 to 2002, Flanagan is concerned the cyber-feminism and the representation of women in the cyber culture. The project was specifically created to teach young girls. It encouraged young girls to learn about video and games and participate in them within our culture. Her most recent work the Giant Joystick appeared in the 2007 she Feedback at the Laboral Art Center in Spain. The Giant Joystick is a ten-foot-tall working joystick design for collaborative play of the Atari 2600 games. Through the use computer game engines and network databases as her resources she explores the culture impact that digital technologies have on our everyday lie. Her investigates take the forms as web-based media, computer applications and games. The works she creates relies on the Internet culture and computational customs that exists in society. In the Tiltfactor Lab, an activist game design group, she explores and creates socially aware computer programs. Tiltfactor Lab started as an experiment. Its use was to harness the group power of production, involve students, integrate research, and make interesting games in a team-based model. From their experiments and research it evolved to be much more powerful and important. Some of our research projects really have the potential to shift thinking in the field of game design. Currently the group is working on Values at Play ( In addition to her artwork and research Flanagan writes about popular culture and digital media. Such as computer games, virtual agents, and online spaces in order to understand their affect on culture. Her essays on digital art, cyber culture, and gaming have appeared in periodicals such as Art Journal, Wide Angle, Intelligent Agent, Convergence, and Culture Machine.


Social Change


Massive Multiplayer Games


Game Development

The Adventures of Josie True

sculpture and installation


Giant Joystick