John Klima (contact)
(c) copyright 2012


June - Sept, 2012 - Ride the "Train" Again AT Emergencias 2012, Guimeraes, Portugal

if you happen to be in guimeraes, portugal, for the "european cultural capital 2012," Train is up and running! the opening was saturday night, and it ran flawlessly. i simplified the phone and switching systems, and replaced the stolen gameboys with android phones, bingo! using the android gained me huge new advantages, like actually making a full 3d game version of the train layout, kept in perfect sync with the movement of train by using the compass module on the phone, and magnets distributed around the layout. one functionality i assumed to posses but in fact is denied by all smartphone manufacturers (iPhone too), is the ability to actually author an "answering machine" for the phone itself. i was horrified when i discovered that all phones have cooked into the hardware a separation between the software and phone systems. this exists because it would take revenue from the service providers who charge you for voicemail. damn them! so in the end, "train" is running the original cellphone modules, and the "smart" phones don't even have a sim chip in them. ha! on the other hand, a nice thing about portugal is you can get free sim chips, and you don't pay for incoming calls, so my phone connection is totally free of charge! i guess they didn't think of that, hehehe. i'm super-pleased with how it all went, and it is SOOO nice to play with my favorite toy again.


A long-term installation version of PGH has been completed and is on exhibit in the "old country." Viewers are invited to interact with three individual levels of expertise. The truly timid can use a hand-crank music box mechanism playing the Sinatra tune "My Way." The more adventurous can play a small xylophone, easily navigating the space. The hard-core gamer may try the real Portuguese guitar on display, but try not to think too much about Fado!
installation photo to come...

A new version was built using an old elephant kiddie ride for Laboral, in Gijon. When the viewer deposits 50 EU cents, the elephant draws red fluid from the papier mache relief of Afghanistan. Could not be more blatant.
The original helicopter was "dolled-up" for a long run at La Casa Encendida, in Madrid
and will also travel to the Basque country, at Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, in San Sebastian.
photo by Aram Bartholl

January, 2008 - AUDIOGRAPHICS performance with Adriana Sa at the Bolsa Ernesto De Sousa 15th aniversary exhibition

NOT AT ALL like the very popular video game from which i blatantly stole the name, in my version you actual play a real guitar (not a stupid plastic joystick reproduction of a guitar), and thus navigate through, and simultaneously create, a three-dimensional audio landscape. i built PGH in C++, and it implements a fully 3d "game-space," subverted to make music. i chose to use "uma guitarra portuguesa" not only for it's incredibly rich sound - sweet but with a decidedly sharp edge, but also because it's an extremely difficult instrument to play! HOWEVER, the nature of PGH allows for any analog signal to drive it, so it works with Spanish guitars, clarinets, harmonicas, saxophones, xylophones, or even screams of anguish!

Not So Current Anymore...

January, 2007 - MAGIC GAME

“Magic Game” consists of a physical installation corresponding to a 3d game world. The software involves the integration of a procedural animation system, blended with a traditional key-frame system, driven by a neural network linked closely to a novel approach to classic "sword and spell" hack and slash game mechanics.

Rather than casting fireballs and lightning bolts, the "magic" system uses the most mundane objects as the basis for it's spells. For example, one "spell" consists of a stream of high velocity new york city metro-cards issuing forth from the player's palms. Other typical materials include motor oil, rubbing alcohol, kitchen matches, salt, super glue, safety pins, etc...

Though the system is not related to Santeria, like any "living" magic system, it draws from the contemporary world for it sources, meaning, and materials.

character configuration screen

game under construction

installation under construction

the collectable


rapunsel is a game designed to introduce programming concepts to young people.


The Music Lounge (now known as Vside) is a very popular multi-user virtual world I have the honor of working on with Doppelganger, a great studio in San Francisco. My role is to expand the Torque engine, enhancing the animation system by inventing procedural and blended animation techniques.