Unlike Queen Victoria, We Are Amused

June 7, 2010

Issue introduction by Iker Gil, editor in chief of MAS Context.


Mas issue amusement cover opening

© Yosigo.

We began MAS Context with the following goals: learn more, share more, and enjoy every second doing both things. Issue Six AMUSEMENT has accomplished just that.

Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.
—Oliver Goldsmith

The multi-disciplinary contributors of this issue explore the virtual, temporal, speculative, contradictory, economic and comic qualities of amusement. They use their various medias and thoughts to address with all seriousness the concept of amusement. We wanted them to uncover, propose, and discuss amusement and its role in their work and life.

In the category of those who uncover new aspects of your and our amusement, photographer Yosigo has developed an intriguing set of photographs of amusement parks like you have never seen before: empty. Paul Butt from Section Design distills in his diagrams the relationship between comic books and their movies in terms of economic gains and critical acclaim. In such a frame, Howard the Duck is even more unamusing.

Another amusement proposal comes from architect Joseph Altshuler, who reinvents the traditional domestic boundary, the fence, and turns it into an opportunity for collective amusement.Liselore Goedhart illustrates Game Seeds, a set of little spirits that you can play with and combine to bring new characters and game ideas to life. With a concept design by Niki Smit, Christoper Berg turns the artwork into a game card—design a game by playing a game.

Creative directors and co-founders Matt Clark and Jenova Chen, from United Visual Artists and thagamecompany respectively, discuss with us their ideas and practice. Developing their projects in different fields, both have in common a body of work that redefines the boundaries of the design fields and breaks from the norm. If you have ever attended a Massive Attack concert or played the video game flOw, you will know exactly what we are talking about.

Architect Eduard Bru and writer Mike Walsh explore in their two essays physical spaces of amusement: urban waterfronts and local bowling alleys. Eduard takes us to some of the recent and past waterfront redevelopments and analyzes what they mean to their cities while Mike crafts stories from his half-year trip crossing all 50 states to do one thing: bowl. Jon Cole joins us for this issue to share in his video five amusement scenes, from the collective of the cinema to the individual of the mobile device.

It is worth noting that, while finishing the last touches of the issue you are about to enjoy, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup after a half-century drought. It was certainly amusing to see our city celebrate like never before the victory of the team long neglected by its citizens.

In the end, we all just need an excuse to be amused. We hope this issue serves as that excuse. Otherwise, the 2010 FIFA World Cup will have to do.