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

I’m an artist, lecturer and a native San Franciscan.  After 23 years directing the Digital Media program at the University of Nevada, I relocated to Dundee in 2017. 

My work in online gaming performance, sculpture and electromechanical installation has been shown all over the world but I am perhaps best known for my art intervention pieces exploring contemporary issues in politics.

My 2006 online gaming protest dead-in-iraq memorialised the name of every service person who died in the Iraq war by typing their names into the US Defense Department’s America's Army online shooter game. 

More recently I developed the concept behind Killbox, an interactive computer game about drone warfare created with the Biome Collective which was recently nominated for a BAFTA Scotland in the Best Computer Game category.

As an artist/activist, I believe it’s essential to engage in and challenge the norms and expectations of the digital present and the larger cultural context by informing, provoking and questioning. 

My work has been shown internationally at galleries, museums, festivals and thru online and real world interventions. I've lectured extensively as well, including a talk presented at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC among many others.

My work has been featured in the New York Times, The Australian Morning Herald and Art in America.  In 2017 I was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, one of the top prizes in the United States for practicing artists. For more information regarding my creative work and to access a full vitae, visit my website: http://www.delappe.net

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

Publications:
2013
“Playing Politics: Machinima as Live Performance and Document”, Understanding Machinima Essays on  Filmmaking in Virtual Worlds, editor Jenna P-S. Ng, London, UK: Continuum
2012
“10 to 1 – iraqimemorial.org”, Public Art Dialogue (PAD), Routledge, UK
2011
“Virtual Commemoration: The Iraqi Memorial Project”, The Journal for Critical Inquiry, co-authored with  Dr.  David Simpson
“The Gandhi Complex: The Mahatma in Second Life.” Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design.  editor Xtine Burrough, New York: Routledge

Exhibitions:
2018
Into-Action: A Celebration of Community Power + Cultural Resistance, Los Angeles, CA
May we not go up there?, Studio Seven, Karachi, Pakistan
A Well-Played Game, Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
2017
Watch the Skies - Joseph DeLappe – solo exhibition, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA?
Justice for All, Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
Rome Media Art Festival, MAXXI the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy
Karachi Art Summit, Commune Artist Colony, Karachi, Pakistan
Rubber Stamps – Distributed Exhibition, Printed Matter, New York City, NY
2016
Game Video/Art. A Survey, XX1T Triennale International Exhibition. 21 Century. Design After Design, IULM University, Milan, Italy?
Politics and Videogames, Goethe Institute and ZKM, Munich-Germany, travelling to 30 cities worldwide?
The Gig is Up - Artists Show How New Technologies Are Reshaping the Future of Work, V2, Rotterdam, NL?
Not Alone: Exploring Bonds Between and With Members of the Armed Forces, San Francisco Arts Commission  Gallery, CA
Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO?
Agitprop, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY?
#MAKEAMERICAGREATAGAIN, White Box, New York, NY? Books – London Edition, Arebyte Gallery, London, UK

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Iain Donald

Dr Iain Donald

Division of Games and Arts | Senior Lecturer

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Dr Andrew Reid

Dr Andrew Reid

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

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