Month: October 2018

Artwork #2 Appropriation: Go Carrom


  • Two bowls of Go stones
  • A dry-erase game board with targets of any number of rings (depending on desired difficulty)

Artist Statement:

For this assignment, I decided to appropriate the stones and bowls from a classic strategy board-game that predates even chess known as Go. The game board used was the underside of a dry-erase board from a board-game making kit that I’m using for another game in another class.

My goal for this project was to create a short, simple, fun game that retained some of the sensory experiences of its components. Carom alone is the result of decades of play and refinement, while Go is largely considered to be the ultimate strategy game, focused on knowing the mind of the opponent, the sensory and aesthetic experience of playing the game itself, and the creation of a celestial landscape that mirrors the universe itself through the regular procedure of play.

I was pleasantly surprised during play to find that the sensory and aesthetic appeal of both games was retained in this hybrid. Flicking a stone just hard enough for it to land in the perfect spot, knocking your opponent’s stones off of an advantageous position, or even just feeling the the stones click against each other as you reach in the bowl are all experiences that coalesce into a delightful amalgam of the sensory impact afforded by both games.

The original idea for this piece was inspired by Maciunas’ Fluxkits, whereby each item contained within served some aesthetic purpose as a set-piece for preservation and interaction. As such, I had meant to find an adequately appealing game board and some other items that would enhance the experience, but I ended up settling for the dry-erase stand-in from my other game. In doing so, I decided not to place the entire thing in a box or case as it might have been confusing to make sense of these disparate pieces on one’s own. The end result manages to feel like what a Saudi Arabian boy (Carrom is popular in Saudi Arabia, where I was born and raised) might think of doing with a set Go stones he’s never seen before.

Appropriation S&T – Twice “What Is Love?”

This music video is for a song titled “What Is Love?” by a K-Pop group called Twice and features each of the nine members presented as characters in different iconic films such as Romeo and Juliet, Pulp Fiction, La La Land, etc.

Music Video:

Side by Side Comparison:


Artwork #1: “Fresh Attempt”

Final Score

When you wake up on a cloudy day

Catch rainwater in an empty medicine bottle.

Do this for a month, filling more bottles as desired.

Then take the water and wash your bedsheets in it.


Author’s Notes

This piece is a metaphorical comparison of coping methods. It doesn’t take a stance on what is right or wrong, but rather a comment on how our coping methods are often ineffective ways of dealing with a problem with issues that might be more deeply rooted.



I found some creative ways to collect rainwater. It took a while because rain doesn’t really fall in the same place so much as it just collects in areas after it falls. By the time it was full enough for me to try washing my sheets, I basically just made a small wet mark that dried in a matter of minutes. Ultimately though, I can say that the score played out the way I intended it to.

Appropriation Game – Telling Lies?

For my appropriation game, I designed a game I dubbed “Telling Lies?” it’s a card game played with a standard deck of cards revolving around deceiving your opponents and collecting pairs of cards. Sound familiar? If so, you may draw parallels to this and games like Go Fish, BS, and Coup.

In the game, each player asks for cards from another player’s hand. That player may give them the card, or deny that they have it. A player may call someone’s bluff though, and ask them to reveal their hand to prove it. If they’re caught lying, there’s a punishment. But, if they were telling the truth, the accuser gets punished. The goal of the game is to collect as many pairs of cards as possible before the deck runs out. Feel free to read the full rules here: Telling Lies

I took a lot of inspiration for the game from the chess appropriations we learned about in class, namely White Chess and Saito’s chess series. The concept of taking a game that is so cemented in place as a classic game and making it something new seemed enticing to me, so I decided to choose something classic that most players could instantly think of while playing the game, Go-Fish. Of course, this is a little different, since chess appropriations make an entirely different game with a board and chess pieces which is different, while different card games pop up all the time. That being said, does that make all card games appropriations of each other?

Playtesting went very well, as the game had a massive amount of strategy that I wasn’t ready for when I started playing. I got destroyed, and realized that several aspects of the game were important, most of all being mind-games. You could fake a card in hand by asking for that card from someone, leading the rest to believe you have a copy of that card to pair with it. Reading body language, eye contact, and more was important. All these levels of play that were outside of the physical game themselves made the game highly competitive and fun. The players enjoyed playing, as did I. A few changes were made over time, such as covering some edge cases where players would accuse with no cards in hand to pay for the possible penalty, and the penalties were messed with a bit for balancing so there wasn’t accusations every turn or none at all. However, not much was changed, and the fundamentals of the game were the same throughout the game’s existence.

Meme Uno

Artist Statement:

My game appropriates content from the internet, specifically memes. Usually, the memes are either posted independently on social media, added as reactions to other posts, or innovated and reinterpreted on the original post. The game takes the idea that the people interacting with the memes have to know what they are seeing before being able to interpret and enjoy it, and applies it to Uno. In Meme Uno, before a person can play a card, they have to identify the meme on it, and the other people can state that they are wrong. If the player cannot name any usable memes from their hand, they have to draw cards from the deck until they find one that is both applicable and that they can name. If they have 10+ cards in their hand that they cannot interpret, they can place the cards at the bottom of the deck and draw an equal number from the top. The goal, like Uno, is to get down to one card.

The memes in this version of the game are hand-drawn, but a more easily identifiable version would have the memes printed right in the cards, rather than drawn on. That would make it easier for the person bringing the deck since they wouldn’t have to draw the memes on.

The game is, because of its meme parts, partially inspired by the Dada movement, because a lot of the memes used draw upon styles used in the movement such as Baader’s photomontages. However, it is too broad a selection of images and styles to speculate which exact pieces might have influenced the memers of this generation. The actual game I made draws upon the idea of the memes as “found objects” in the way that Duchamp’s art used found objects, except instead of using objects from the outside world, the game takes memes found on the internet and translates them into the cards used for the game. Using images from sources that do not fit the base material (in this case, memes and blank Uno Cards, respectively), was also inspired by Baader’s photomontage, as well as Schwitter’s Merz collages, because those incorporated images more than words.


The first playtest spent about half of its time drawing the memes onto the cards, something that was later, in the secon playtest suggested to be turned into its own game of Meme Pictionary. After the memes were drawn, the game of Uno continued as it usually went, without the added component of naming the memes. This concluded pretty fast, because everyone knows how to play Uno and I had added nothing to the actual game.

The second playtest used the same cards as the first, so there was no drawing component, but it had the naming component, which made it last a longer time than the original. It was also a lot more chaotic and conversational, because people debated the memes they used and disproved other people. It was suggested here that either the drawings were separated into a different game and the Uno game just used the actual memes printed out, or the game was played with a BS vibe to it, where people would play memes and if they didn’t know the meme they could lie, but if they were caught they would take the card back and have to draw instead. Either option is viable, as is a combination of both.

Gallery from the second playtest:

The entire deck of memes laid out

And on a final note:

xXx Throwback 2 Quizilla xXx

xXx Throwback 2 Quizilla xXx

This game was made as an appropriation to the days of 2004-2010, when Quizilla was at its peak popularity. The website was used for mainly creating quizzes and writing stories. The site was used by many newer or popular fandoms of the time along with the emo scene. The game was made to mimic the quizzes of those times which were a series of questions and then a result in the end and the most popular quizzes had the taker get a result where they’re told that they have a certain power or end up with a handsome fictional character. The stories were all about a mediocre teenage girl who was stubborn and had attitude so instead of taking the route of those stories in which she gains 5-13 different powers, I made that all the questions would turn the player into a NPC in the interesting new world they were transported to instead of being a key player.

The game was made to mimic that style, but instead of having those happy endings or the instant suicide or cutting your wrists endings, I wanted to make the player always feel like they’re in limbo and thus never getting an end state that’s satisfactory or even considered an end state, but in respect to the medium I continuously gave the player commentary on their choices for some sort feedback even if it’s negative feedback.

The movement that I took inspiration from was the New York Dada movement because they had a focus on wit and humor using some sort of irony. However my main take away from the New York Dada movement was the movement’s criticism of forms of art by making fun of it with mimicry. Next are the works that I used to take inspiration from for my writing. The two that I used were Etant donnes and Fresh Widow by Marcel DuChamp. I used Etant donnes because Duchamp made a magical world over an impossible spanish wood door to point out war and the rise of fascism, but the viewer can only see it through a crack or peephole in the door and I used the idea of making a magical world, but only to block it off and have the players not do anything  to create a frustration in my players. Next was Fresh Widow, which was a play on French Window and was a way to point out war and the romantic idea of soldiers going to war and their wives waiting for them. The inspiration that I took from the piece was to remove the romantic idea of escapism from these quizzes and the idea that there is a happy ending in the end of all the effort of answering questions.


For my playtests, I’d ask them if they had been on Quizilla when it was still active, Or if their only experience were with Buzzfeed quizzes as it would give me some insight if the participant knew the type of humor and style of the ‘choose your own adventure’ disguised as a quiz with the appropriated general style of 2006-08.

The first person who played my game didn’t use Quizilla, but was familiar with the style of humor that I was trying to emulate and during the playtest.

Observations: There were a fair amount of eyerolls and mutters of ‘why?” Some chuckles mainly at the beginning.

Feedback: It changes too quickly from being nice to being cruel and dismissive. I (the playtester) wasn’t into the emo scene or depression scene back in the day so I guess maybe try to make it more surprising by making the first 3 questions nice and then attack the player at the drink questions

The second player is someone I’ve known for more than 10 years. They did go on Quizilla when they were in elementary school.

Observations: A bit of staring back and forth between the screen and my face. A fair amount of skepticism in the beginning then an elongated ‘oh’ when the person figured out what I was trying to appropriate.

Feedback: Called me a loser in a loving way and then called me a sell-out. The person actually asked me “Why didn’t the player commit suicide as one of the endings?”. At first I took the feedback as a joke, but then I started actually thinking about it.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this feedback because back when this style of humor was popular, it was commonplace for an abrupt end or all of the ends in the game be that the character is brutally killed or commits suicide. I wouldn’t be comfortable writing these scenarios now. However if I had to completely mimic the style in the game, I would have added it in, but since times are different and thankfully evolved past depression memes, I kept with the humor and style of the game just with minor edits.

Strolling Shadows

Strolling Shadows

Go outside with someone. On a sunny day.

Take a stroll with them in the park.

One can only walk in the light. Other in the shadows.

Alternate every 2 minutes.

Artist’s Statement

Strolling Shadows is a piece that changes the daily flow of walking by adding another factor along with another person. The piece also tests the layout of the environment and the designs behind them in terms of the how much light there is in the area vs how much shadow there is due to buildings, trees or other pieces of their surroundings. It allows the two people involved to walk together but adding a game-like quality to it using the environment around them.

This piece was originally supposed to be for one person as it was mainly inspired by two pieces in Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. The first one is called WALKING PIECE which I liked the premise of following someone’s footsteps on any kind of terrain without making sounds and the very first idea of this was to walk only in the shadows while walking with other people and do so without letting the other person find out. I tested out this version and it tested a lot of my companion’s comfort range as for most of the walk, there were no shadows made through the buildings and since the shopping bags my companion was carrying was making a shadow, I got closer to them that I ever should.

The second one is called CITY PIECE, which really transformed my piece to the playable iteration. The instructions for this piece is to talk with a baby carriage and that gave me the idea for the piece to have a companion. It wasn’t comfortable to be walking and following the rules by myself. It felt entertaining for a little while, but the novelty wore off very soon when the strange looks got more frequent. So instead of doing the piece alone, adding another person would make the eventual odd looks less embarrassing especially when there’s someone else to share it with or another object.

Since it’d be boring for both people to stay in the shadows, one had to be in the light and the other in the shadow because that would allow for more opportunities for cooperation and in case someone gets stuck without a shadow then they can use the other person’s shadow while if there’s an area covered in shadow then the person in shadow can use the flashlight function on their phone to help the other person cross the terrain.


Go outside with someone.

Take a stroll.

One can only walk in the light. Other in the shadows.

Alternate every 4 minutes.

(This was the version used for this test)

The first usable run had two people using these rules and walking through a designated path from Northeastern campus, through Fenway park, and then through a section in the city to Target. It was hard to run this for awhile because for most of the week, the weather was filled with overcasts and so no shadows came from the buildings. This was eventually changed to specifically a sunny day and just the park in the final iteration. The time was switched to two minutes due to the venue switching only to the park and for retention time.

This was the designated path because it goes through three different styles of architecture. When walking through Northeastern, the two participants were having a hard time walking through the centennial because there we decided to test the piece right before it was time to change classes and the two people stood either in light or shadow, switching and stepping side to side whenever the timer was up, until the crowds of students cleared. The two had to find different ways to get out of campus. because the campus had one way with lot buildings whose road was completely in shadow. There was a way with a much more light so the two decided to wait until the remaining time before they switch was up and then ran away for four minutes then meet back together at some point.

When they reached the park, it went much better because the trees were more spread out, less buildings, more room, and less people so it was much easier the participants to move around the area. The feedback from this area was that the walk was much more enjoyable because it was relaxing to leisurely walk around the area and not follow rules of crossing the road or worrying about getting in people’s way.

Finally though the city section was the most stressful for the participants and there were many times they asked to stop because there were multiple groups of tourists or a rather intimidating group of people in business suits who they were going to get in the way of. The most interesting moment was that the person who had to be in shadows for a while couldn’t reach another shadow and jumped into the shadow of a shopping bag held by a random stranger. Then the person in the light had to run back and tell them to jump into their shadow. Then we all ran away, saying a quick apology.

Feminist Dress Up

For my game featuring appropriation I chose to make a dress up game utilizing images from famous feminist artworks. While I chose the majority of my images based on the work’s expression of the artist’s own self-expression and relation to gender. overall I am very happy with the chosen works, especially with how harshly they contradict the traditional dress up game with the common inclusion of nudity or blood.

Classmates actively collaging An example of one of the collages A second collage example


Initially I started with a physical version, scaling all of the source images to be comparably to scale, and had my classmates cut and clue parts of the images to create their own feminist artist. I was surprised with how well this activity turned out, with the flexibility of the physical medium offering unique combinations like different arms or feet that I hadn’t thought of for the digital version. I also love how the final products include the background of the various images, setting the characters in a scene. Initially I was conflicted on whether or not I should choose to cut the pieces out before hand, but found the physical act of cutting and gluing the collage to be powerful.

An example of the digital game. An example of the digital game. An example of the digital game.

For the digital version of the game I chose to use unity, and make a relatively simple character creation in which you could customize the head, torso, and legs of your character. While I love the immediacy of seeing the different combinations, in the future I hope to continue adding to the game to polish it, eventually adding a submit screen that would show the original works behind the parts you chose and a brief explanation of each work and its artist respectively.

Overall I took a lot of inspiration from a number of different Dada artists and their appropriation. Hannah Höch was particularly inspirational. I loved the aesthetic of Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany in addition to The Beautiful Girl being an amazing feminist collage. Max Ernst’s Sacred Conversations, Man Ray’s Coat Stand, George Grosz and John Heartfield’s The Middle-Class Philistine Heartfield Gone Wild, and Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 all served as great examples of the abstraction of the female form using collage and assembly, in addition to the question of the objectification of the female form. Overall while the combination of the individual works is up to the participant, I hope the resource of works provided allow for some kind of education or curiosity about the artists behind them and all the work that they have created.

Adventure to Unusual Articles

3-10 players
10 – 40 minutes

Play Rules:

  • Have everyone start at a completely random Wikipedia article. This can be done through this link
  • Choose a category in Wikipedia’s list of unusual articles
  • Have everyone choose an article within the category. This a your goal page. This is the page you want to move towards. This is to be kept secret.
  • Whoever got to the random page gets to be the first leader
  • Everyone else chooses a link they want to go through and offers it to the leader
  • The leader chooses a link from those offered by the other players
  • Everyone goes through the chosen link and whoever offered the link becomes the new leader

How to Win:

  • If you come to a page that links to your goal page, you win!

Optionally Tabletop-RPGesque Elements (for fun and profit):

Begin the game by having each player choose a person and place. (They must have a Wikipedia page) They will role play as that person and be from that place. The players should use this role as a way of backing up their link decisions. (Example: As Barbra Streisand from the isle of Jersey I think it would be smart if everyone else learned about my role in the film Funny Girl.)


So far 3 playtests have been run of this game. Here is the link history for the three of them:

Hendricks County Flyer Hell,Michigan Anupama Niranjana
North Salem, Indiana Paradise, Michigan Kannada Literature
Population Density Sufjan Stevens 20th Century in literature
Inbreeding Interstate 278 Genre Fiction
Adult Robert Moses Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Voting Post World War II Economic Boom Metro 2033
No Land! No House! No Vote! Baby Boom Special Edtion
Capetown Birth Control List of Video Game collector and limited items
2004 Summer Olympics Coitus Interruptus PlayStation 4
Jacques Rogge Penis PlayStation 4 System Software
Internet Censorship in China Koro (ran out of time)
Great Firewall
Classified Information
For Official Use Only
Freedom of Information Act

The first play test didn’t use the category rule, so it took a bit longer. On the last playtest we ran out of time so we just saw who could get to their page first.

Here’s the document I used to design the game

Artist Statement:

The initial conception of this game came from a normal visit to Wikipedia. Knowing I had to make an appropriation game (and in some bout of desperation) I established Wikipedia as the medium of choice. A few games have used Wikipedia, the most famous being the almost poetic Wiki Game. That has simple rules: Start on page A, go to page B using links fastest. I adore the wiki game both as a concept and as an actual experience. Any game that uses the internet as its play space like the Wiki Game or GeoGuesser continues to inspire me. It’s from the basic concept of the Wiki Game that this game was appropriated from.

So that’s where the “materials” come from. The conceptual basis of the game is the Exquisite Corpse. The wiki game is an individual race; it can be done alone with no inherit difference in experience. I wanted to make that experience collaborative. Having everyone follow the same links that the group decides to go through changes the dynamics  of moving from A to B in Wikipedia. The mechanic of having every link decision decided by two people is another example of adding collaboration into the game. The effect of this is that the group creates a path instead of an individual. The path through links on Wikipedia might have less artistic merit then a drawing or poem that the Exquisite Corpse used but it’s a creation none the less.

The path that is created playing this game is something of a collaborative montage. Not in the sense of film but in the broader definition that the Berlin Dadaist worked in. A path is a collection of disparate ideas that miraculously have defined connection to each-other by the inherent fact that they are found within a path. The individual articles are just stepping stones to the next one, bereft of meaning beyond a name and a link. That same feeling is remarkably close to Hannah Hoch’s photo-montages that take letters and headlines from newspapers without regard for the totality of the articles. Cut with the kitchen knife is the first piece that came to mind when I though of the game’s product in this way. 3D montages like Grosz’s and Heartfield’s Elektro-mechan or much of the work of Raoul Hausmann is also conceptual similar.

Finally, this work is simple enough to be considered a score. I would be lying if I said that had an effect on the creation of the original game, but when I was simplifying the rules for quicker games the rules became more and more like a score. The game has shocking similarities with Ono’s Map Piece, something about the openness and use of preexisting mediums used in unintended ways lends itself to similarities with Ono’s and Fluxus as a whole… although it was not consciously made.

The Game of Life on the Oregon Trail

My game consisted of an analog version of The Oregon Trail, made on a Game of Life board, with Life pieces and money. I wanted to recreate a famous digital game as a board game; the fact that Oregon Trail was originally a text-based game was also interesting, as a board game seemed like an evolutionary step, between text and computer game, that didn’t exist. As I researched and read articles from the designer who helped make the text game a computer game, I realized how complicated the mechanics were behind the scenes, and I tried to simply them while also making the elements of chance visible.

This is part of my appropriated Game of Life board (in horrible phone-photo quality):

The rules are here.


I playtested first in class. This helped to work out some kinks, such as the options for moving, the too-small food denominations, and the ease of replenishing food through the minigame. (Since my dartboard had not yet come in, we played paper football, which was too easy, especially since you could Hunt and Move each turn.) Also, no party members died, which does not accurately reflect the Oregon Trail game, so I decided to make it more difficult. The guest teacher suggested that there be automatic death from dysentery, which I thought was a good idea so I changed those sickness tiles to death tiles.

I playtested the new game with my friends once my dart board arrived. It worked a lot better, but was still very slow, which led to the fact that you can move twice if you have 2+ oxen. This also fixed a problem we ran into where a player got stuck since they had to keep hunting for food and then immediately paying that food to the bank, leaving no room for them to move forward since they had nothing to trade. I also noticed that there was a lot of leftover money, so I changed the starting money to what it was originally.  I also removed the requirement to stop at every fort, because it became redundant and equalized where people were too much. This was a good playtest because they were constantly trying to push boundaries, asking if they could resurrect or eat their dead members, or eat the oxen, which forced me to make more explicit rules.


This game came about by thinking of what to appropriate. Originally I wanted to make a game about appropriation, but decided that using actual appropriation would be better-suited to a smaller project. I decided on Oregon Trail because it’s iconic as a computer game, and also because I had recently played it and wondered at how and why things happened, and saw its potential as  group game because my roomie and I were playing separately at the same time and updating each other on our progress. I chose the Life board because it fit well with the cars and people, and the new version with pets was perfect for the oxen. I ended up painting over most of the board and covering all the spaces with my Oregon Trail text copied from the 1971 game (the text was shortened to fit and I changed “Indian” from the game to “Native American”). Since the hunting minigame was an important part of bringing the game from text to computer, I wanted that to be skill-based, and decided appropriating darts would work well.

The idea of taking something and using it against its purpose was an aspect of Dada and Fluxus, and I was especially thinking of Duchamp’s readymade Bicycle Wheel, which in combining two objects made them useless. In this case, the Game of Life board was no longer playable as that game, but as a new one (Oregon Trail) that was in a different format than it was created in. The collaborative way my friends and I added and subtracted rules mid-game also seemed to speak to the collaborative, sometimes spontaneous entertainment performed in the Cabaret Voltaire.