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Banksy is opening an hotel in Palestine called ‘The Walled Off Hotel’. The hotel is a few meters away from the wall that Israel built to surround the city of Bethlehem and this is why it claims it can offer its guests ‘the worst view in the world’.
The hotel wants to be a spotlight on the tense political history between Israel and Palestine. To do this, Banksy creates a beautiful contrast, staging the hotel and the wall as perfect antagonists. The hotel, the business of hospitality, has its fundamental job in ‘the inside’, in offering a space to be in, in welcoming people, strangers, foreigners. The wall, instead, is built to keep people, strangers, foreigners away, in ‘the outside’.
Dictionaries are a very special kind of book. They are built as repositories of the full spectrum of human speech, zealous reporters of all meaning we assign to our world. They appear as powerful figures in our bookshelves, almost freightening, as no one who buys them will fully read them, but can just ask for specific advice and pick few definitions here and there, as needed.
Dictionaries appear to have three defining traits: association, exhaustiveness, order. All words in a language are gathered and listed alphabetically. Their definitions are carefully drafted to include all possible meanings, with precision reaching scientific rigor.
‘It is As if You Were Playing Chess’ is a work by Pippin Barr, scholar at Concordia University in Montreal. It is a simple and beautiful video game I found in an article on KillScreen. I interviewed the creator and I tried to explore its rich meanings.
“It is As if You Were Playing Chess” simulates a game of chess, but in a radically different way than we are used to. It does not show the player a single piece on the board, nor a board at all for that matter. Instead, it displays a black screen and, through just words, arrows and little white dots/crosses, it gives the player instructions on which actions to take next. Even if you cannot see it, these actions guide you through an actual classic chess game, in which the little dots are the pieces and the arrows are the moves on the board. Continue reading ‘It is As if You Were Playing Chess’ – Pippin Barr