In the first half of the 20th century, Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood was known as the Black Metropolis, alive with vibrant Black culture and business that flourished during the Great Migration. Highlighting this historical moment, multimedia artist Philip Mallory Jones has developed a first person mystery video game, “DATELINE: Bronzeville,” set in 1940 based on oral and historical documentation. This exhibition will showcase playable game vignettes, fine art prints of scenes from DATELINE: Bronzeville, and corollary historical material. Presented in partnership with Video Game Art Gallery and made possible by The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust.
“DATELINE: Bronzeville,” planned for release in 2017, is a mystery adventure where the player assumes the role of Runny Walker, a seasoned photojournalist and columnist for the Chicago Advocate. The game takes place over the course of three weeks and each week the player publishes a weekly column that chronicles and critiques the spectrum of social, political, cultural, sport, entertainment and community events in Bronzeville. Through this process the player digs dangerously deeper, solving crimes and exposing corruption in Bronzeville. The player intuitively explores the fascinating world of a now-vanished Bronzeville, and interacts with numerous distinctive characters, and experiences the milieu of Chicago’s South side during The Great Migration, The Great Depression, The Chicago Renaissance, and Jim Crow Segregation, while discovering clues in order to solve several crimes and mysteries.
Philip Mallory Jones has been an internationally recognized innovator in the media art field for over four decades. He was founder and Director of Ithaca Video Projects, a pioneering media arts center from 1971 to 1984, and Director of the Annual Ithaca Video Festival from 1974 to 1984. Mr. Jones received a B.A. from Beloit College, and a MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Among his numerous awards are grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has held faculty posts at several universities, including the Batza Scholar in Art and Art History at Colgate University. Mr. Jones’ appointments as Resident Artist include the Institute for Studies in the Arts at Arizona State University, the Aesthetic Technologies Lab at Ohio University, the Television Lab at WNET/Thirteen, and the American Center, Paris, France. His work has been exhibited in major museums in the US, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, as well as in Europe, Japan, Africa, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Mr. Jones currently lives in Atlanta, GA.