I wonder why it's titled "The" Franz Kafka Videogame as opposed to Franz Kafka: The Videogame.
And no, it's not by Pippin Barr.
LINK: Denis Galani
In these dystopic, desperate times, this utopian, retrofuturistic, eminently nostalgic take on virtual reality (featuring an exhilarating mini-interview with David Bowie from the late Nineties) is anachronistically remarkable.
LINK: Amelie Marcoud
Kingspray Graffiti is a multiplayer virtual reality painting experience for PC and MAC based on motion controllers. The game comes with realistic surfaces, spray and drip effects, UNrealistic Undo/Redo. It is available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift/Touch controllers.
Check out their instagram account.
LINK: Infectious Ape
Arcana or Finding Context is a fascinating attempt to contextualize, map, and identify the relationship between different spaces of play. Eron Rauch is a masterful cartographer of the imaginary, a flaneur of the arcana, and an excellent ethno-photographer.
Currently based in Los Angeles, Rauch received his M.F.A. in Photography and Media from the California Institute of the Arts and his B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Amongst showing at galleries and curating art projects, Eron is a regular essayist on the intersection of art and video games for the websites ZAM in America and Video Game Tourism in Austria.
LINK: Eron Rauch
Tony Albert, Space Invaders, 2014, Vintage playing cards, aluminium
Tony Albert was born in Australia in 1981. His practice combines text, video, drawing, painting and three-dimensional objects. Examining the legacy of racial and cultural misrepresentation, particularly of Australia’s Aboriginal people, Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice.
LINK: Tony Albert
David Jablonowski, Age of Empires, authorities and properties, 2016 aluminium, LED, screen, acetate sheets. Photo by Gert Jan van Rooij
Born in Bochum in 1982, David Jablonowski lives and works in Amsterdam. In his practice, Jablonowski incorporates machines or technology usually used for exchanging information— e.g. scanners, tablets, projectors, printing plates, and even mirrors—that have the potential to distort or disrupt transmission.
LINK: David Jablonowski
GameScenes is conducting a series of interviews with artists, critics, curators, and gallery owners active in the field of Game Art, as part of an ongoing investigation of the social history of this artworld. Our goal is to document and discuss both the origins and evolution of a phenomenon that changed the way game-based art is being created, experienced, shared, and discussed today.
Alex Hovet is a New York City-based artist currently pursuing an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts. She constructs visual representations of disappearance to ask whether it can be controlled. From still and moving images to online platforms, Hovet use lens- and screen-based tools to investigate the stability of physical and digital memory. For our ongoing series of conversations with contemporary artists who appropriate and incorporate videogame aesthetics and logics, we asked Alex Hovet a few questions about her recent works, including the machinima Counter-Charge (2016), Apotheosys (2016) and (Hohum)...it's gonna be a looong game (2016).
This interview took place via email in February 2017.
Alex Hovet, Counter-Charge, 2016, Video, color, sound, TRT
GameScenes: You studied at Bennington College and are currently completing an MFA at the School of Visual Arts. Can you identify specific courses, teachers, events or situations that provided epiphanic moments or turning points in your development as an artist? Moreover, which artists and/or scholars do you find inspiring?
Alex Hovet: When I began undergrad, I was more focused on traditional narrative filmmaking and scriptwriting. As I took introductory classes in video-making and film history, I found more and more that it was more natural for me to make experimental, non-narrative, non-linear, or installation works. My undergrad thesis work was a collection of videos about the persistent short-term memory loss that my father suffers, as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage he had when I was a teenager. The way that came about was that I was introduced to GoldMosh, a data-moshing freeware that was essentially a pre-programmed Max patch in which you could input videos and they would get moshed. This process immediately struck me as a clear visual parallel to this memory trauma that my father and I were a part of, in different ways. I was able to easily recognize these structural elements of experimental filmmaking that were easily used to talk about these personal themes. I really value the structural possibilities of moving image editing, and it is still the most natural way for me, I think, to create clear connections in theme and content. When I saw Peggy Ahwesh's video She Puppet in an undergraduate class, I was immediately taken by the singular use of gameplay as its visual content. It wasn't appropriated footage in the way I had seen or used, taken from multiple sources or re-edited. It was live appropriation, live editing, which the filmmaker was both in control and at the mercy of, free to navigate the game how she wanted, but constricted by its most basic rules and spaces. They had a kind of mutual dissatisfaction, or a shared wish to go beyond what they could both achieve in that space. That video in particular was a stand-out influence on my work, and continued to be when I decided to make Counter-Charge last year. It's in large part an homage to She Puppet.
Alex Hovet, Apotheosis, 2016, Video, color, sound, TRT
Jonathan Vinel, Martin Pleure, 2017, preview
Film screening in Berlin, February 2017
The film, which centers on loss, longing, grief, and the meaning of friendship, is 16 minute long. A short preview is available on vimeo. Below is the synopsis:
Martin cries. He is alone. He woke up in the morning and all his friends were gone. Disappeared. Just not there. He sets off to look for them. And he searches everywhere, in the city, in the mountains, in the rivers, but he doesn’t find them. That makes him furious. Really furious – really sad. Rage, violence, longing, loneliness. Without fear of great feelings, without fear of one's own courage and without fear of violence, Jonathan Vinel tells a story of love and loss entirely based on elements from the computer game Grand Theft Auto V – beyond all kinds of tawdry notions and with extremely concrete physicality.
Jonathan Vinel, Martin Pleure, 2017, still frame
Vinel has previously appropriated games for cinematic purposes. Consider, for instance, his short movie Notre amour est assez pouissant (2014), a video game "love story":
Kent Sheely's new machinima is a critical examination of the increasing militarization of US police forces. Bodycam was created with SWAT 4. Expect massive doses of police brutality and procedural incompetence: Hit the grandma with the taser! Arrest the prisoners! And more... Recommended/contextual viewing: Craig Atkinson's documentary Do Not Resist.
LINK: Kent Sheely
Robert Wetzer's Lost Worlds is an ongoing photographic exploration of "natural" video game landscapes such as "lush rainforests, icy mountain ranges, rushing waterfalls and barren deserts." As the artist notes on his website, what "used to be cardboard backdrops" have now become "seemingly unlimited worlds." Wetzer's approach to game photography reminds me of Justin Berry (think of his ongoing Videogame Landscapes series) and Mark Tribe (Rare Earth, 2012). But while many remediate the work of previous photographers, Wetzer's main inspiration is the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840) and Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902). The series, which began in 2013, features both black and white and color images. Truly stunning. You can read more about his project here.
Caspar David Friedrich, Afternoon, 1821
Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley, 1865
Robert Wetzer (b. 1981) is a Dutch artist living and working in Utrecht. He graduated in Digital photography at the Royal Academy of Arts of The Hague. He is represented by LhGWR Gallery.
LINK: Robert Wetzer
All images (c) Robert Wetzer.