Podcast, Arts & Culture, Community

Episode 239: Ass Power — with Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim

April 09, 2024
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This week on Below the Radar, we’re joined by Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim, co-creators of the participatory videogame performance asses.masses. The show recently wrapped up a run at Vancouver’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

SFU VOCE Program Assistant Samantha Walters talks to Patrick and Milton about the show’s development, videogames as performance, and what they’ve discovered as they’ve toured the piece.

Find out more and get tickets for their upcoming performances here!

About asses.masses

asses.masses is a custom video game designed to be played from beginning to end by a live audience, one person at a time. It’s the 7+ hour epic story of a herd of unemployed donkeys trying to get their jobs back, all while navigating the perils of a post-Industrial society in which they’ve been made redundant. 

Cheeky, political, and best described as Animal Farm meets Pokemon meets Final Fantasy, asses.masses puts the control(ler) in its audience’s hands and asks them to discover the space between the work that defines us and the play that frees us.

About Our Guests

Patrick Blenkarn

Patrick Blenkarn is an artist working at the intersection of performance, game design, and visual art. 

His research-based practice revolves around the themes of language, labour, and economy, with projects ranging in form from video games and card games to stage plays and books.

Patrick is also the co-founder of and a key archivist for videocan, Canada’s video archive of performance documentation. He has a degree in philosophy, theatre, and film from the University of King's College and an MFA from Simon Fraser University. His writings on the politics of theatre have been published in Performance Matters, Theatre Research in Canada, GUTS, SpiderWebShow, and Canadian Theatre Review.

He is based out of Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Milton Lim

Milton Lim (he/him) is a digital media artist, game designer, and performance creator based in Vancouver, Canada: the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

His research-based practice entwines publicly available data, interactive digital media, and gameful performance to create speculative visions and candid articulations of social capital. This line of inquiry aims to reconsider our repertoires of knowledge aggregation and political intervention in the contemporary context of big data and algorithmic culture. Often cheeky and audience/participant driven, his work challenges standard performance traditions including duration, linearity, and repeatability. Milton holds a BFA (Hons.) in theatre performance and psychology from Simon Fraser University.

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Walters, Samantha. “Ass Power — with Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, April 9, 2024.


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