Edge Interview: Playing to The Gallery

Edge: Mark Essen, who works under the name Messhof, recently graduated with a degree in film and electronic art from New York State-based Bard College and has a foot in two communities – the indie gaming scene and the New York City art world. His game Flywrench was selected for the New Museum's The Generational: Younger Than Jesus show, which is open only to artists under 33. Essen makes art using videogames as his medium, but his works also succeed as games – from the absurdly difficult platformers Punishment and Punishment: The Punishing, surreal narrative-based works like Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist (pictured above) to off-the-cuff experiments like Stenography Hero, a game in tended to be played with a stenography machine.

We spoke with Essen about his experiences in both camps, and where he plans to take his bewilderingly eclectic, utterly un-commercial and yet strangely magnetising work.

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