It does not get more meta than this.
LINK: Akihiko Taniguchi
To create WE BUILD WORLDS, Krista Hoefle appropriated No Man’s Sky by Hello Game and juxtaposed its "seductive imagery" of gameplay with "an unattainable rewards system
(out of reach papercraft gems)". The resulting machinima is fragmented into color fields that have a confusing effect on the viewer. By deliberately obfuscating the goal of the game, Hoefle is renouncing its functional logic while simultaneously emphasizing the lethal nature of the lush environment (“toxicity level 70%”). As Hoefle writes,
The structural grid—projected onto the floor and walls—breaks through the lush scenery as a “healthy sign” (in accordance with Roland Barthes), a sign that “draws attention to its own arbitrariness, which does not try to play itself off as ‘natural’ but which, in the very moment of conveying a meaning, communicates something of its own relative, artificial status as well” (from Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton). WE BUILD WORLDS reflects an isolation and artifice that comes with our technological experiences.
Krista Hoefle is an artist and gamer from the Midwest. She exhibits her work nationally, and is represented by Aron Packer Projects (Chicago). She uses games as a a medium for sculpture and installation, questioning the logic and aesthetics of gaming systems through installations, interactive sculpture and machinima. Specifically, Hoefle turns commercial videogames into
artworks that amplify play-conditions or are directly interrupted, subverted or adapted (through computational means or game-based performance). 3D digital objects and characters are directly extracted from videogames, rebuilt, and reinterpreted for physical spaces. (Krista Hoefle)
LINK: Krista Hoefle (images and video courtesy of the Artist)
Exhibition: Jon Rafman. The Mental Traveller
Curated by: Diana Baldon
Curatorial Assistance: Chiara Dall’Olio
Institutions: Fondazione Fotografia Modena and Galleria Civica di Modena
Location: Palazzina dei Giardini, Corso Cavour, 2, Modena
Exhibition Dates: 14 September 2018 to 24 February 2019
Opening: 14 September 2018 at 6pm
Press View 12 September 2018 at 11am
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11am to 1pm; 4pm to 7pm
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 11am to 7pm
Opening Hours for festivalfilosofia 2018:
Friday 14 September: 9am to 11pm
Saturday 15 September: 9am to 12am
Sunday 16 September: 9am to 9pm
Jon Rafman, Dream Journal 2016-2017, 2017, Colour HD video with stereo sound. Music by James Ferraro and Oneohtrix Point Never, Runtime: 49’17”, Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers
FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE is delighted to present The Mental Traveller, the first large-scale exhibition of works by Jon Rafman to be shown in an Italian contemporary art institution. Curated by Diana Baldon and presented by Fondazione Fotografia Modena and the Galleria Civica di Modena, the exhibition will open at the Palazzina dei Giardini on Friday 14 September 2018, to coincide with this year’s festivalfilosofia, the theme of which is truth.
The exhibition brings together a selection of multimedia installations, presented for the first time in Italy, tracing the arc of the Canadian artist’s practice from 2011 to the present. Employing a variety of media – including photography, video, sculpture and installation – Rafman explores how reality and simulation have become increasingly homogenized in contemporary society in artworks that blur the boundaries between the virtual and the tangible, between physical bodies and technological replicas.
Born in 1981 in Montreal, where he lives and works, Rafman studied literature and philosophy at McGill University before graduating in film, video and new media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since his earliest career, Rafman has investigated the ramifications of our reliance on technology on our perceptions of reality.To create Kool-Aid Man (2008–11), Rafman spent three years exploringthe virtual-reality platform Second Life, in the guise of the titular avatar, to discover the myriad incarnationsof its digital ‘inhabitants’. Rafman neither judges nor criticises his Second Life cohabitants: rather, his intention is to document how technology enables people to create entirely new versions of themselves in fantastical environments, giving them the freedom to invent new identities and iconographies.
Rafman also drew from the Internet and its multiple online communities as archival resources for the three videos comprising his Betamale Trilogy (2013–15) – Still Life (Betamale), Mainsqueezeand Erysichthon – which are among the installations included in this exhibition. As in the novels of Georges Bataille, where the narrative arc implodes in the claustrophobic and catastrophic arena of the writing, this leads to a proliferation of narrative strands and interpretations. Watching the Betamale Trilogy, the viewer feels trapped in a vortex of scenarios that are traumatic yet seductive. Rafman skilfully conveys the ambiguous lure of the Internet, which seemingly promises freedom and the discovery of new worlds, yet, in reality, imprisons you in a space tracked by algorithms and monitored by agencies that process, then sell, your navigational data.
Rafman’s extensive research on both the Internet and the deep web has enabled him to assume the mantle of amateur anthropologist and digital flâneur. He investigates the epistemic collapse in recent years of the distinction between digital and authentic worlds, between reality and its virtual representation. In his videos, a poetic and hypnotic off-screen voice invariably accompanies a sequence of images taken from the Internet, videogames or online chat forums.
Memory figures as a major theme in many works. In A Man Digging (2013), which comprises footage from videogames including Max Payne 3, the main character speaks of the intrinsic mutability of memory and how it allows for the rewriting of individual and collective history. While the narrator nostalgically drifts along in search of his fragmented past, Rafman transports us, via the glinting surfaces of memory, to the furthest reaches of reality. The video Remember Carthage (2013)tells the story of a man who sets sail on a ship bound for Tunisia in search of a mythical city in the Sahara Desert that existed at the same time as Carthage. Despite its legendary status as the ‘Las Vegas of Maghreb’, however, no trace of the city remains. Composed of footage from Second Life and the videogame Uncharted 3, the film again features an off-camera voice detailing the sublime architectural beauty of ancient civilisations. Remember Carthage explores not only memory but the contemporaneity of history, since – thanks to technological developments such as videogames and Second Life– even history can now find a different form and influence.
The video Dream Journal (2016–17) comes from Rafman’s habit of animating his dreams using amateur 3D software, and has a soundtrack composed by James Ferraro and Oneohtrix Point Never, with whom the artist has previously collaborated. Two young female protagonists – a stereotypical millennial and a child warrior – set off on a Dantean journey within a dystopian universe. The narrative interweaves imaginary scenes with characters from classical epic tales to yield a series of darkly surreal incidents: this is Rafman’s unconscious mind, augmented by online surfing, rendered visual.
Greeting visitors at the entrance of the Palazzina is the artist’s latest work, Legendary Reality (2017). In this he leads us on a voyage into ‘inner space’. An anonymous protagonist narrates a journey through what appears to be a sci-fi landscape – although he could just as easily be sitting at a computer screen on which historical depictions have become conflated with virtual experiences.
Jon Rafman (Montreal, 1981) is an artist who explores digital culture and subcultures, exposing the desires, obsessions and fetishes triggered by the use of technological devices. Recent solo shows in international contemporary art institutions include:I have ten thousand compound eyes and each is named suffering, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016); Jon Rafman, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2016); Jon Rafman, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2015); The end of the end of the end,Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2014); Remember Carthage, First Look: New Art Online, New Museum, New York (2013); The Nine Eyes of Google Streetview, Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); Jon Rafman, online exhibition, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012). He has also participated in numerous group shows, including: I was raised on the Internet, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018); Alone together, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2018); ARS 17: Hello world!, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki (2017–18); Jon Rafman / Stan Vanderbeek, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles (2017); Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016);Welcome to the Jungle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015);Speculations on Anonymous Materials, Fridericianum, Kassel (2013); NineEyes, Moscow Photobienniale (2012); Screenshots, William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut (2012); From Here On, Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, Arles (2011).
Together with Museo della Figurina, Fondazione Fotografia Modenaand Galleria Civica di Modena are part of FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE, an institution dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary art and visual culture, directed by Diana Baldon.
Jon Rafman, Remember Carthage, 2013, Colour HD video with stereo sound, Runtime: 13’43” Courtesy of the artist
Jon Rafman, Remember Carthage, 2013, Colour HD video with stereo sound, Runtime: 13’43” Courtesy of the artist
CULTURE ARCADE OPENING
Thursday 30 August 2018 17.00 - 20.30
Dates: 31 August - 12 October 2018
Opening hours: Wednesday and Thursday 13:00 - 17:00, Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Free Admission - RSVP
Prince Claus Fund Gallery
Herengracht 603 Amsterdam The Netherlands
Funded by the The Prince Claus Fund and theVALUE Foundation (a Dutch Foundation that works internationally to design, facilitate, and conduct research, development, and outreach on the crossroads of gaming and academia), Culture Arcade is a new space and series of events in Amsterdam dedicated to games and Game Art. Through video games and narratives, players can enter the reality of people they may know little about, particularly in the countries where the Fund is active, in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Opening on August 30 2018, Culture Arcade will feature the work of Pakistani artist Omar Gilani. A digital artist, illustrator and designer from Peshawar, Pakistan, Giliani was trained as an engineer, with an MSc in Mechanical Design and an MPhil in Robotics. He decided to build a career that is more in line with his interests and started working as a visual designer and consultant in various fields including corporate design, mobile games and apps, animated TV series and product marketing campaigns. Gilani was supported by the Prince Claus Fund in 2017.
Additionally, during a unique educational programme, you can visit the Culture Arcade to reconstruct destroyed heritage using Minecraft. The reconstructions are inspired by the Prince Claus Fund’s previous rescue operations of heritage threatened by natural disasters or conflict situations.
LINK: Culture Arcade
Indeed, to destroy books is taboo, and there’s a solid historical precedent for why. I’m certainly not trying to say that destroying literature is a good idea. What I am trying to do is tell a story about guilt and loss. If the player feels guilty in the process of destroying their book, if it feels like they're losing something with innate value, it means they are acting out the emotion I want them to explore.
"In late October 2017, M WOODS welcomed visitors to the world of Lu Yang, an ambitious solo exhibition comprising three new commissions and a constellation of previous works that include sculpture, video, installation, computer programming, and video games. A leading figure among a young generation of new media artists, Lu Yang’s creative practice often satirizes efforts to demystify human experience through scientific theory, dismantling them with humor and fluency in the language of popular culture. Citing knowledge gleaned from the realms of neurology and biology, her works also reflect an ongoing interest in spirituality as a state of being pursued through different forms of religion and creative expression.
Lu Yang, Electromagnetic Brainology! 4 Deities, 2017
Capturing a breadth of influences from hip hop to Goa trance, punk, gothic, and glam rock street styles, gaming, anime, and the practice of Otaku, Lu Yang’s mesmerizing, multisensory environments reflect the dynamic amorphism of today’s globalized cultural climate and the semi-porous understandings we use to define the current historical moment of China and beyond. Conceived in entirety by the artist, the exhibition is something of a Gesamtkunstwerk combining the neon glitz of an arcade and the ritual of a heretical temple.
Presented on the first floor, Electromagnetic Brainology represents a new direction in Lu’s video work. Unfolding in the ritual-like space of the central hall, the work incorporates motion sensor technology and a soundtrack contributed by acclaimed Japanese producer invisible manners (インビジブル・マナーズ), weaving together popular culture and pan-cultural religious iconography. Stemming from her interest in MikuMikuDance (MMD) and the internet folk culture surrounding it, Lu uses the popular freeware as a readymade to complete the “LikuLikuDance” seen within many of the videos.
Lu Yang, Uterus Man, 2013
The action and aesthetic of gaming recurs throughout the exhibition, from the adventures of Lu’s gender-curious superhero Uterus Man (2013), to the 8-bit nostalgia of Cancer Baby (2014). Affinities to the gaming world are equally present in Wrathful King Kong Core (2011), and a sculptural installation on the second floor inviting viewers to ‘play’ using augmented reality. Emphasis on engagement and a visual vernacular popularized by modern video games form one thread of Lu’s artistic strategy that in the show subvert the normal functions of the museum.
In LuYang Delusional Mandala (2015) and LuYang Delusional Crime and Punishment (2016), relations of violence and domination become a solipsistic theatre revolving around her own likeness. Lu’s interest in deep brain stimulation (DBS), a treatment for tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease, is taken further through the invention of a halo-like, stereotactic surgery device that short-circuits the limbic system and results in religious delusions. For Lu, these investigations into the mechanisms of the mind and spirit, as well as our abilities to visualize them, lie at the heart of identity in the twenty-first century. Regularly featuring in her own films and animations, the artist’s own identity is deconstructed and she is re-incarnated in various works as a giant sculptural kite, a lifelike but genderless, non-binary simulation, and a guardian of the gates to ‘Luyang Hell’.
Collaborating with musicians, actors, and animators, the exhibition culminates in an exorcism, writhing to a soundtrack of post-trance core. As an artist whose playful irreverence and wicked humor constantly question norms of acceptability, Lu’s last gesture raises deep polemical issues about the cathartic role art and art institutions play within society. As the artist’s first exhibition at a non-profit institution in China, and the first solo show by a Chinese artist at M WOODS, Lu Yang’s exhibition brings together many of her best-known works while pointing to new directions within her practice." (M Woods)
LuYang, Cancer Baby, 2014
Born and based in Shanghai, Lu Yang graduated from the China Academy of Art in 2010. Her works have been featured in important solo and group exhibitions at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), Centre Pompidou, 56th Venice Biennale 2015 China Pavillion, the Third Istanbul Design Biennial, Liverpool Biennial 2016, Shanghai Biennale 2012, Montreal International Digital Art Biennial 2016, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Momentum (Berlin), Tampa Museum of Art, Fifth Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, and the NYU Shanghai Art Gallery among others.
LINK: Lu Yang
Am Zollhafen 3-5, 55118 Mainz, Germany
Eva & Franco Mattes
Nicole Ruggiero & Molly Soda
“And now that things are
changing for the worse
see, it‘s a crazy world were living in
And I just can‘t see that half of us
immersed in sin
Is all we have to give these
Futures made of virtual insanity now
Always seem to, be governed
by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound, for we all live underground” (Jamiroquai)
Installation View: Eva und Franco Mattes, My Generation, 2010, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Schweiz, Photo: Christian Schwager
Virtual Insanity was the title of the song with which
Jamiroquai stormed the international music charts in
1996. The song heralded the dawn of a new era,
capturing its spirit both vocally and tonally. The
accompanying video has taken on legendary status
for its use of what at the time were spectacular images
to encapsulate the feeling of having the rug pulled
from under your feet, and the instability of people and
situations. While the term “virtual insanity” itself has
not stood the test of time, its meaning certainly has.
The accelerating slide into virtual realities is leading
to ever more sensory disorders, escapism and
brutalization. Simulator sickness or motion sickness is
the name given to the exhaustion and dizziness
experienced when someone’s actual physical
movements do not match what they visually perceive –
for instance, when wearing VR glasses. Thanks to VR
glasses, augmented reality applications, and perhaps
special contact lenses soon, too, the future has long
conquered the present.
Video Still: Cao Fei (SL avatar: China Tracy), Live in RMB City, 2009, Courtesy of the Artist and Vitamin Creative
Computer-communicated realities, mixing real and
virtual realities, extending our real surroundings with
additional artificial elements such as avatars or
virtual objects – these are all spaces for encountering
something entirely new, where human perception and
experience can be changed and expanded. They are
just a few examples to demonstrate that our reality is
steadily growing – and how it is doing so. Scientists
have already started attempting to redefine the
concept of “reality” – in a much freer and more
general sense as whatever makes an impact. But
what effects might computers and technology
precipitate in their interaction with human beings?
How will they be noticeable, and when?
Video Still: Jon Rafman: Dream Journal 2016-2017, 2017, Copyright Jon Rafman, Courtesy the Artist and Sprüth Magers
The exhibition Virtual Insanity examines the extension
of reality and its shadowy underbelly. Growth and
change are the driving forces of human thought and
social change; they stimulate us, they provide
meaning, and they can be necessary. At the same
time they can activate things or trigger thoughts and
actions which are neither wanted nor controllable.
When contemporary artists address present-day
issues and phenomena they are making an important
contribution towards understanding these themes.
Video still: Tabita Rezaire, Premium Connect, 2017, Courtesy of the Artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
In Virtual Insanity they are creating documents, writing
reports and narratives, developing scenarios, they
are practicing an entirely unique approach to the
technical innovations and lifestyle brought about by
the digital revolution. The side effects listed above of
a virtual or expanded reality have long formed an
important component of the questions asked and
research conducted by international contemporary
artists. They vocalize what science conjectures: that
a high degree of immersion can change not only
consciousness but also people. The stronger the
feeling we have of “presence” within the virtual world,
the more convincing is the illusion of being part of it
and of turning one’s back on the physical world, and
the more overwhelming and profound the impact. And
this impact is not merely limited to thoughts and
feelings, but can also be physically measured. Since
the introduction of the World Wide Web around twenty-
five years ago, digital technologies have permeated
our everyday lives and with breathtaking speed have
radically transformed the way we live with each other.
What happens when we immerse ourselves in unknown
worlds but can’t emerge out of them again? What do we
take with us and what remains of us? The artists
participating in Virtual Insanity will be exploring these
questions, and many more besides.
LINK: Virtual Insanity
Joseph DeLappe, Self Portrait/Laurie Anderson VR watercolor on paper 8x8", 2018
In the mid-Nineties, while Miltos Manetas was making a series of stunning paintings about the new environments created by technology - depicting wires, cables, joypads, light guns, and even game spaces (his legendary Paintings After Videogames serie is as relevant today as it was twenty years ago) - Joseph DeLappe created traditional oil paintings referencing media portrayals of people utilizing the first wave of virtual reality technologies when Jaron Lanier was venerated as a guru. In 2018, as virtual reality is experiencing a subdued renaissance, Jaron Lanier is still venerated as a guru and DeLappe began a new series of watercolor studies of people using VR equipment, from visors to controllers. These smaller paintings are based on photographs that the artist shot at various VR festivals, university labs, and conferences. As DeLappe writes on his website,
I remain fascinated by our eager embrace and adaptation to current interface technologies – VR remains very awkward, expensive and ungainly to use.
These paintings translate a digital moment into an analog artifact of this moment in time
Joseph DeLappe, John and Yoko in Bed, FOST watercolor on paper 8x8", 2018
This series is also inspired by a different technology of vision. Not VR, but color blind correcting glasses. As the artist writes,
I’ve been colorblind my entire life. I was partially inspired to take on this new series of paintings due to the acquisition of color blind correcting glasses –painting was always a challenge – these new glasses have literally opened up the world to me and have become, in a way, the mechanism towards connecting me to a new reality of color (wearing a different kind of headset if you will – my glasses)…
Fall on Your Sword is a music production, scoring, and audio post company founded by multi-media composer Will Bates. Located in both Williamsburg Brooklyn and Los Angeles, the FOYS 7.1 Studios serve their clients in all aspects of audio post-production. Specializing in music for feature films as well as advertising, FOYS are also creators of interactive artworks. Their pieces have been displayed at galleries and museums around the globe. Their 2015 artwork, Blaze Of Thunder,
puts the viewer in the driving seat of a heart pounding slot car race around a certain Brooklyn apartment. Stepping up to the platform starts the race, hitting the red button triggers a crash. Inspired by the work of the late Tony Scott, this interactive thrill ride aims to fullfill one's NASCAR fantasies and destructive tendencies.
LINK: Fall on Your Sword
Centro Cultural Las Cigarreras, Calle San Carlos 78, Alicante, Spain
August 2 - September 30, 2018
Negocio investigates the function and effectiveness of social critique expressed by alternative games and video games:
In the current context, where our freedoms and our civil rights are being challenged, games can become a powerful tool to subvert the world around us, to test mechanisms, roles, guidelines, utopias or dystopias in a way that escapes conventional ways of expression. This exhibition tries to find new ways of thinking about games, new ways to use games to reflect on the rest of the world. What does it take for a game to become an artistic means and how can art subvert the hierarchies of power?
Featuring Yoko Ono, Brenda Romero, Carlo No, Molleindustria, Ian Bogost & Jane McGonigal, Richard Hofmeier, Ricardo Miranda Zuniga, Rosa Lendinez, Alba Refulgente, Natalia Carminati, Abel Barroso, Joan Priego, Simon Evans & Simon Johnson, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Jason Rohrer, Paco Fernandez & Alejandro Perez, and Ralph Anspach.