Featuring Games and Appearances by Renowned Videogame Designer Keita Takahashi
SAVANNAH, GA. (December 14) Kicking off the new year is Telfair Museums’ annual PULSE Art + Technology Festival, an activity-filled, multi-day event highlighting innovative, technology-based art. This year, festivalgoers can enjoy the fun and quirky world of award-winning videogame designer Keita Takahashi, lectures on the future of design, STEAM workshops, performances, and more from January 24–27 at Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center.
The festival commences on January 23 at 6pm with a discussion between PULSE Curator Harry DeLorme and renowned game designer Keita Takahashi. Topics include Takahashi’s career path from creating sculpture to designing videogames as well as his unorthodox approach to design. Takahashi was the director of Katamari Damacy, one of the first videogames acquired for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and “Best Game Design” recipient at the 2005 Game Developers Conference. This and many other projects by Takahashi will remain on view through July 14 in an exhibition planned in conjunction with PULSE.
Several Savannah-made videogames will also be on view throughout the festival, including Alex Barrett and Samantha Davenport’s Squidlit, with characters and sounds reminiscent of vintage Game Boy games, and Halseo’s ultra-competitive Battery Jam, in which players smash their robotic opponents into smithereens.
Included in programming are two morning discussions, one with Takahashi and Dr. Clement Shimizu, who has designed immersive experiences for NASA, and one featuring a panel of local technology and design professionals, including Christine Wacta of the Savannah College of Art and Design and Chris Nusbaum of Gulfstream Aerospace. There also will be an evening event entitled Designing the Future including the screening of video documentaries and demonstration interactive technologies presented by W Projects and Vice Media. Youth workshops and exhibition tours are available to students by advance registration.
A Chatham County Free Family Day on January 26 will exhibit STEAM projects from local schools. In keeping with the humorous and inventive spirit of Takahashi’s games, the museum will also present a performance by That1Guy, an artist known for his unique instrument, the Magic Pipe, at 3pm.
“For the 2019 edition of PULSE, Telfair Museums is proud to present a range of programs that celebrate creative visionaries, from legendary game designer Keita Takahashi to locally based game developers, as well as artists, designers, and engineers who are working to positively shape our future,” said DeLorme, Telfair Museums’ Senior Curator of Education. “The museum hopes that programs by these artists, including tech talks and workshops, will inspire and excite young people to think outside the box and look at ways that technology can have a positive impact on the world.”
Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out (on view through July 14, 2019)
This exhibition will include playable versions of all of Takahashi’s major Namco games, including the original Katamari Damacy and its newly remastered edition, Katamari Reroll, We Love Katamari, and Noby Noby Boy. The exhibition will also include Takahashi’s independent games and immersive installations, including Tenya Wanya Teens, which is operated with two 16-button controllers, the AR game Woorld (Funomena), and a reimagined, immersive take on the classic game PacMan (with Clement Shimizu and Babycastles).
Early projects as well as those currently in development, including the eagerly awaited major game Wattam (Funomena, Annapurna Interactive), will also be on view.
This exhibition is organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Harry DeLorme, Senior Curator of Education.
Lead sponsor: iam8bit. In-kind support has been provided by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., Funomena, Annapurna Interactive, the Elumenati, and Panic, Inc.
Programming (Jepson Center)
January 23, 6pm: PULSE opening night reception and conversation with Keita Takahashi, with 7pm video performance by the Medeology Collective. Members free / non-members $8.
January 24, 11am: Panel and Q&A for students, with Keita Takahashi and Dr. Clement Shimizu (grades 4 and up). Free to students by advance registration.
January 24, 4:30pm: Game Development and workshop for youth. Free to students by advance registration.
January 24, 6pm Savannah Games Showcase Lightning Talks. Free admission.
January 25, 11am: Lightning Talks for students (grades 4 and up). Free to students by advance registration.
January 25, 2pm: PULSE Curator’s Tour. Free to students by advance registration.
January 25, 4:30pm: Game Development and Coding workshop for youth. Free to students by advance registration.
January 25, 6pm: Designing the Future screening and panel presented by W Projects and Vice Media. Free to the public.
January 26, 10am: STEAM youth workshop led by the Society of Women Engineers – LED bracelets. Free to students by advance registration.
January 26, 10am: Youth workshop – Make your own Zoetropes. Free to students by advance registration.
January 26, 1–4pm: Chatham County Free Family Day with 3pm performance by That1Guy. Free to Chatham County residents.
January 27, 3pm: PULSE Curator’s Tour. Free to students by advance registration.
Investment is provided by the City of Savannah, the Rotary Club of Skidaway Island, and generous donors. In-kind support has been provided by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., Funomena, Annapurna Interactive, the Elumenati, and Panic, Inc.
For more information about the festival, programming, registration, and tickets, visit Telfair.org/PULSE.
About PULSE Art + Technology Festival:
Originating in 2007 following the opening of Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center, PULSE is an all ages festival highlights the work of innovative artists working in digital media. The festival includes exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops and other educational programs, many connected to S.T.E.A.M. education. PULSE Art + Technology Festival is free to museum members, and the daytime events and workshops are free to students with advance registration. For non-members, regular museum admission is required to enter. The PULSE opening lecture and reception on January 23 is a ticketed event; tickets cost $8 for non-members (members get in free).
About Telfair Museums
Opened in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District. The museum encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Telfair Academy. 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of both the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. For more information, call 912-790-8800 or visit www.telfair.org.