Professor Joseph De Lappe

Professor of Games Research

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Games and Arts

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8549

Biography

engagement/activism and interventionist strategies exploring our geo-political contexts. DeLappe is a Professor of Games and Tactical Media at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, where he relocated in 2016 after directing the Digital Media Studio at the University of Nevada, Reno which he founded in 1993. DeLappe was born in San Francisco, California. He received the first MFA degree awarded by the CADRE Institute (Computers in Art and Design, Research and Education) at San Jose State University in1990. Working with electronic and new media since 1983, his work in online gaming performance, sculpture and electromechanical installation have been shown extensive throughout the world. In 2017 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has developed works for venues such as Eyebeam in New York, The Guangdong Museum of Art, China, Transitio MX, Mexico City and the ICC Intercommunication Center, Tokyo,among many others. 

In 2006 he began the project “dead-in-iraq”, to type consecutively, all names of America's military casualties from the war in Iraq into the America's Army first person shooter online recruiting game. He also directs the iraqimemorial.org project, an online archive based on an open call for proposed memorials to the many thousand of civilian casualties from the war in Iraq. In 2013, he rode a specially equipped bicycle to draw a 460 mile long chalk line around the Nellis Air Force Range to surround an area that would be large enough to create a solar farm that could power the entire United States.

In 2015 he collaborated with the Biome Collection to develop the computer game, “Killbox”, a two person shooter which explores the complexities and consequences of drone warfare – the project was nominated as “Best Computer Game” for a Scottish Bafta Award in 2016.

Creative works and actions have been featured widely in scholarly journals, film documentaries, books and in the popular media. These include the 2010 book from Routledge entitled “Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games”. He has authored two book chapters, including “The Gandhi Complex: The Mahatma in Second Life.” Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design, (New York, Routledge 2011) and “Playing Politics: Machinima as Live Performance and Document”, Understanding Machinima Essays on Filmmaking in Virtual Worlds, (London, UK, Continuum 2012).

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My teaching interests involve developing innovative programs and curriculum in emergent practices of computer gaming/art, sculpture/digital fabrication, digital media, performance, collaborative and community based practices. I am fully dedicated and experienced in exploring interdisciplinary possibilities in the classroom to create an active learning environment where students are challenged to become creative, thoughtful and conscientious artists through the use of digital and analog techniques, materials, ideas and interactions. A contemporary visual arts curriculum ideally provides students with a broad, diverse, yet theoretically focused environment that encourages them to explore the vast range of material and immaterial possibilities available to contemporary artists. My interests lie in the application of traditional and new, experimental techniques are synthesized towards the development of interdisciplinary learning and production - where real world issues and practices are engaged through a variety of processes and experiences.

Primary responsibilities for teaching and supervision involve fourth year Honours, MA and PdD candidates in the Division of Design and Informatics. 

Throughout my creative research, the intent is to forge connections between concept, object, interaction and a questioning/critical stance regarding issues ranging from pure aestheticism to contemporary geopolitics. The theoretical basis for my work lies in the belief that it is essential, as an artist and citizen of the world, to engage in and challenge the norms and expectations of the digital present and the larger cultural context. I seek to forge connections, explore the thoughtful processing of information, and develop exigencies that inform, provoke and question.

Past projects and ongoing efforts share an approach to critical and conceptual positioning as an artist - developing works that inquisitively engage issues of memory, politics, history, physicality and the virtual. Throughout the work I seek to find a synthesis between conflicting processes and ideas: analog/digital, concept/happenstance, physical/virtual, politics/art - all with a dedicated consideration and questioning of contemporary technologies and artistic practice.

Examples of projects include: In 2006 the project dead¿in¿iraq, an online gaming protest and memorial, to type consecutively, all names of America's military casualties from the war in Iraq into the America's Army first person shooter online recruiting game. The Salt Satyagraha Online: Gandhis March to Dandi in Second Life, 2008, involved using a specially converted treadmill to create a mixed-reality performance work to physically and virtual reenact Gandhi's 1930 "Salt March" within this online virtual world. In 2013, for a work entiteld Project 929: Mapping the Solar, I rode a specially equipped bicycle to draw a 460 mile long chalk line around the Nellis Air Force Range to surround an area that would be large enough to create a solar farm that could power the entire United States. More recently I developed the concept behind “Killbox”, an interactive computer game about drone warfare created with the Biome Collective in Scotland. Killbox was recently nominated for a BAFTA Scotland (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) as “Best Computer Game”.

For extensive documentation of my creative practice, please visit my artist's website: http://www.delappe.net

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Meet the rest of the team

Miss Kayleigh MacLeod

Miss Kayleigh MacLeod

Division of Games and Arts | Teaching Fellow

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Mr Ryan Locke

Mr Ryan Locke

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

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