The Building Is…

12 April 2012 | 1 comment

This summer, Hide&Seek will be playing in Paris.

We’re excited to announce our involvement with the upcoming exhibition Joue le Jeu at La Gaîté Lyrique, an amazing institution that opened in 2010, devoted to exploring digital culture. Their big summer exhibition this year filsl the building with astonishing games: a stupendous installation from Fred Deakin & Company, a gorgeous social strategy game from Eric Zimmerman and Nathalie Pozzi, a charmingly bewildering construction from Babycastles, and so much more! The exhibition includes our contribution, entitled The Building Is…

Our game, which is embedded into the architecture of the building and threads its way through the exhibition, is a response to the Gaîté Lyrique itself. The institution is housed in what used to be a theatre showing light operetta, but which has been transformed. It’s a gorgeous, unlikely building with huge ambitions, purpose-built to enable interactive work, and passionately curated to be a place where all are welcome, and where real interactions between audiences and artworks are possible.

Because the building feels so responsive and alive to us, we’ve created a game that asks you to play with it. The Building Is … Emotional. Moody. It’s been knocked about, displaced, renamed, remodelled, gutted, and filled with wires. It’s a hundred and fifty years old. You’d be moody too.

The Building remembers its first Architect, the one that willed it into shape, who named it for lyric gaiety. It used to feel this, when there was operetta, music, singing, applause. But it’s been a long time since it felt this way. It hopes that you might have this lyric gaiety. But it needs to get to know you first.

How does one come to be known by this Building? By playing with its senses. It Listens, it Feels, it Smells and it Sees – through its telephone exchanges, its buttons, its air vents, its cameras. They are twitching, sensing, trying to make you out.

How will the Building define you? Willing Flunky, perhaps, or an Energetic Masseur? An Angry Jester? A Tender Architect?

Maybe the Building will let you touch its Heart, and change the way it feels. It needs you to do this, but it doesn’t want you to do this. Remember that, as you play the four games:

- The Building Listens – in which you make a sound that the Building wishes to hear

- The Building Feels – in which you touch the Building rhythmically

- The Building Smells – in which you negotiate the contours of the Building’s nose so that it can take in your scent

- The Building Sees – in which you help the Building see into places where its cameras do not point…

If you play these games, then the Building will be able to make you out, and maybe – just maybe – it will let you in…

The exhibition runs from 21 June to 12 August 2012.
A full credits list can be found here.
A flickr gallery of images from the game can be found here.

Pictures copyright Manuelle Gautrand Archicecture, 1 and 3 by Vincent Fillon, 2 by Philippe Ruault

1 comment on this post.

  • On 17 Apr 2012, Talia said:

    I’m in Paris that first weekend. Hooray. Will it be playable if ones French is say, a little rusty?

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