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In Freeways, players are challenged to build increasingly complex roads in an ever-expanding landscape of concrete. Will you construct an efficient interstate for the endless traffic of colorful cars, or trap them in a gridlocked dystopia? The urban planning simulator by Justin Smith of Captain Games is a simple video game that revels in the complexities of highway engineering, as well as the sometimes absurdist shapes roads take in order to transport the motorist everywhere.
Freeways was recently released on Itch.io for PC, iPad, and Android. It has much of the joyful insanity of Smith’s previous games, like Desert Golfing, in which you play through an infinite course of sand, and Enviro-Bear 2010, a driving simulation in which you are a bear. As I covered the digital world of Freeways with my shoddily drawn roads, it became a very messy “Spaghetti Junction,” a knot of cloverleafs, whiplash intersections, harrowing overpasses, and questionably safe mergers. It also gave me flashbacks to driving such real urban puzzles as the High Five Interchange in Dallas where five levels of roads zip drivers from expressways to interstates, and reminded me what a relief it is to live in Brooklyn where I do not need a car.
Once a Freeways player designs their roads, they’re given a rapid time-lapse simulation, and rated based on efficiency, how much concrete was used, and number of traffic jams (“Jammed!” the game exclaims when you’ve failed). One wrong move can destroy your system, but it’s easy to start over and drag the little bulldozer icon over the dark emptiness. And after one block is filled, you can zoom out, and keep filling the grid with congestion. As with much of the world, the needs of the cars in Freeways are prioritized above all other means of movement; trees, homes, and waterways are just obstacles.
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
Unless you were already familiar with Bey’s documentary work, the horror he refers to might not be recognizable to you.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Several members of the 2021 cohort identify as artists and storytellers, utilizing the power that art and narrative have on changing ideas of power.
Made possible by a donation from Amazon stakeholder MacKenzie Scott, the award is the single largest in the Bedstuy-based organization’s history.
A donation of two hundred works includes Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, and Donald Baechler.