In this video piece, Martin Gabriel juxtaposes the spaces of videogames and real (that is, tangible) environments. In fact, he built a sculpture directly inspired by ludic architecture:
As he writes in his artist statement,
My work is mostly about accessibility of space. I am asking the viewer what and where are the boundaries of the space we live in. For better understanding I can give brief explanation with the example of the computer generated world (CGW). I can see there so many similarities with our reality even if the CGW is created by man there is always a space which is meant to be discovered and then space all around it, which is sort of necessity and is not intended to be discovered although they both must be there because one cannot exist without the other. I see a similar situation in our everyday reality, where the world created by us is a synonym to thoughts, ideas and rules, the world built by man such as cities, houses and apartments. (Martin Gabriel)
Gabriel also developed of sculptures and installations based on id Software's DOOM.
Consider, for instance, physical DOOM II (2013):
Martin Gabriel, physical DOOM II, mdf, 2013.
And Tower (2014), a set of box-like structures containing images of cacodemons on aluminum foil:
Martin Gabriel, Tower, mdf, 2014.
Videogames' aesthetics are clearly at play in Nobody Lives Here (2014)...
Martin Gabriel, Nobody Lives Here, mdf, 2014.
...And Corridor (2014):
Martin Gabriel, Corridor, mdf, 2014.
This is how the piece looks in a gallery space, by the way:
Corridor (left), installation view, no one gets angry, group show in Groningen, 2014
His paintings aslo feature several game themes and tropes. Consider, for instance, Video Game (2015)...
Martin Gabriel, Video Game, paper, acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 130, 2015.
Martin Gabriel, Skull, oil on canvas, 50 x 50, 2015.
Born in Prague, Czech Republic in 1991, Gabriel graduated from the Royal academy of fine arts in The Hague in 2015.
LINK: Martin Gabriel
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti (all photos by Martin Gabriel)
Jon Rafman, You are Standing in an Open Field (Squall), 2015, Archival pigment print, polystyrene, resin, 60 × 90 × 3 inches
Jon Rafman, You are Standing in an Open Field (Iceberg), 2015, Archival pigment print, polystyrene lined with aluminum, resin, 60 × 80 × 3 in
Jon Rafman, You are Standing in an Open Field (Jungle), 2015, Archival pigment print, wood, resin, 59 × 44 × 1 1/2 in
Jon Rafman, You are Standing in an Open Field (Gale), 2015, Archival pigment print, polystyrene, resin, 60 × 90 × 3 in
LINK: Jon Rafman
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti
Colleen Flaherty, outer space, oil on canvas, 2015.
FEBRUARY 21- MARCH 18, 2015
1206 13TH AVENUE, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA 94606
OPENING RECEPTION: THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 3-7PM
LIVE ACOUSTIC MUSIC WITH THE BAND UNCLE AT 4:30PM
"In the seminal Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man (1964), Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan stated that "An abstract painting represents direct manifestation of creative thought processes as they might appear in computer designs." In PATTERN RECOGNITION, Colleen Flaherty’s creative thought process is made visible for the viewer. Acting as a juncture between the machinic and the natural, the archaic and the modern, she asks as a radar, a warning system. "The serious artist - adds McLuhan - is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because [she] is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception". The inorganic is thus unmasked, unpacked: behind the screen lies a microprocessor. But chips are made of silicon, that is, sand: under the technical, lies the natural. Sand snakes leave traces and Flaherty has captured them all: lines of codes, curves, layers of information.
As Sherry Turkle wrote in Alone, Together (2012), we shape our tools and our tools shape us. They also redefine what it means to be human. The artist is a vigilant sentinel, because unlike others, she is immune to their subtle effects. According to McLuhan, "No society has ever known enough about its actions to have developed immunity to its new extensions or technologies. Today we have begun to sense that art may be able to provide such immunity." What Flaherty does in her latest works is "to pick messages of cultural and technological challenge decades before its transforming impact occurs." As such, she is a woman of "integral awareness", one who can visualize the technical through the artist gesture.
Flaherty’s intuitive yet highly sophisticated use of abstraction comes at no surprise. As McLuhan noted, abstract art "offers a central nervous system for a work of art, rather than the conventional husk of the old pictorial image." PATTERN RECOGNITION is a set of maps of the contemporary visual age dominated by circuit boards. These paintings form the cartography of a new territory, both inner and outer. These paintings are not symptoms, but offer a diagnosis, a verdict. "Just as higher education is no longer a frill or luxury but a stark need of production and operational design in the electric age, so the artist is indispensable in the shaping and analysis and understanding of the life of forms, and structures created by electric technology."
Flaherty's canvas is a framing device: screens and windows are transformed, and so are their values, purposes, and meanings. The Technical and the Natural. A new visual language for a new kind of viewer. Patterns await recognition."
LINK: RANDOM PARTS
LINK: COLLEEN FLAHERTY
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti
Andr Derain, The Pool of London, 1906, Oil on canvas
Remember the Second Life art craze of the mid-Zeroes? A decade later, we're experiencing the same phenomenon, but after the demise of Linden Lab's virtual world, Minecraft has become the new playground of choice for artistic re-enactments. This time, The Tate Museum has teamed up with the formerly independent company Mojang to create Tate Worlds, a series of virtual environments based on specific artworks. The game, which allows players to create their own three dimensional spaces, will use the paintings and sculptures, called "maps", as the main inspiration to generate a series of activities that relate to the main themes of the artwork. The first two maps, available to download free at Tate's website, are based on André Derain’s 1906 The Pool of London, and Christopher Nevinson’s 1920 The Soul of the Soulless City. Both maps focus on the theme of urban life.
Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, The Soul of the Soulless City ('New York - an Abstraction'), 1920, Oil on canvas
Six additional "maps" will be released in 2015 based on works by John Singer Sargent (Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-6), Peter Blake (The Toy Shop, 1962), John Martin (The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, 1822) and Cornelia Parker (Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991).
How does Tate Worlds differ from filmic "adaptations" of famous paintings, .e.g The Mill and the Cross (Lech Majewski, 2011)? Is the idea of "animating" paintings through digital games an abomination or an "exciting opportunity" for "enlightenment and endless discovery"?
Here are my suggestions for the next Minecraft "maps". Let's re-imagine...
Salvador Dali's The Enigma of William Tell
Gustave Courbet's L'origine du Monde
Otto Dix' The Trench Warfare
Balthasar Klossowski de Rola aka Balthus's The Guitar Lesson
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes's The Disasters of War
LINK: Tate Worlds
Submited by Matteo Bittanti (via The New York Times)
Cable Griffith, Wall Pattern (installation detail), 2014, acrylic on panel, 8 x 10 inches
Cable Griffith: Domestic Landscapes
Thursday, November 13
212 11th Ave E, Apt 202
Seattle, WA 98102
7 - 10 PM
Domestic Landscapes is a site-specific installation by Cable Griffith for the Seattle in-home gallery, Two Shelves that combines paintings, playing cards, textiles, and objects into a connected landscape.
LINK: Cable Griffth
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti
Jason Rouse: I am an Irish Artist, from Co Tyrone in the North West, studied Foundation Art in Limavady College before moving to England to study Painting in Bath Spa University. Post-Degree I spent some time back in Ireland before relocating to Cardiff, Wales, where I now work in BIT Studios. As an Artist I am keen to produce work that is deeply layered yet instantly accessible. I enjoy using technology in my work to achieve this.
Jason Rouse, Postcards from Mexico, 2014, digital image
GameScenes: Can you briefly discuss the origins of your latest project, Postcards from Mexico?
Jason Rouse: A local ceramic/performance artist Sarah Younan has been prolific in working with emerging 3D printing & scanning technology. As part of her PhD work a number of museum pieces were scanned, with the intention of artists reinterpreting them through digital intervention. Where many artists in the group were interested in software manipulation and reprinting I wanted to make something more interactive. My initial thoughts were to generate some kind of game using the pieces as avatars or entities, but this proved difficult due to the hugely detailed files. I eventually used this to my advantage in expanding one scanned file up to fill a whole landscape. There were also thoughts on running a server so multiple people could explore the landscape together but this was abandoned in favour of a downloadable executable file, much like I have done in a previous exhibition (CLIFTON).
Jason Rouse, Postcards from Mexico, 2014, digital image
GameScenes: Postcards from Mexico examines the relationship between post-geographical spaces and new production techniques, i.e. 3D printing. How do you reconcile your own experiences in the intangible environments of videogames with the materiality of 3D printing? Does the postcard become a memento or some kind of evidence of a journey, a trip, that took place in a different dimension?
Bringing made up entities from games into existence makes them more real. When I was younger my brother took some photographs from a game, off the TV, with a simple film camera and had the photographs developed. To me this is giving the game a step closer to reality.
Conversely, when you take something that physically exists and create a digital copy of it, does it somehow compromise its reality? It’s an interesting subject and one I feel worth exploring with my work.
Jason Rouse, Outpost, 2008, Oil on canvas
GameScenes: You have been using games as a medium, raw material, and canvas for quite some time. For instance, you have painted several scenes from videogames - I am referring to the Outpost - shown at the Holborne Museum of Art, in Bath - and Watchtower series. Do you see some kind of historical continuity between game landscapes and traditional painting? What is the quid, the essence, of the gaming medium in representing, or, rather, simulating "nature"? In other words, what idea of nature is constructed by games?
Jason Rouse: Context and execution is important when combining painting with games. As soon as you lift a paint brush you instantly create the link to historic painting. When games simulate nature, they too are opening up to be decontextualised. Painting lends a little more authenticity to work, and I’ve been able to use it to my advantage when dealing with art & games. Then again, there is always the danger of slipping into fandom & fan art.
Jason Rouse, The Outpost, 2008, Oil on canvas
GameScenes: Videogame spaces are often created with the only purpose of being smashed, that is, destruction in inherent and intrinsic to their own existence. You are extrapolating buildings, structures, scenes and situations from the screen to the canvas. By doing so, you are actively re-framing their importance and "visibility". In 2008, you mentioned that this process gives the image more ontological substance. Can you elaborate? Also, what inspired you to create such an interesting body of work? What is about games that you find so interesting, as a visual artist?
Jason Rouse: Games have their own language, same as photography, video, sculpture and painting. They all have aspects of ontology and when you mix things up you get interesting results. To bring it back to Postcards from Mexico, the screen shot ‘postcards’ have specific 6x4 aspect ratios, and they also have post processed slight camera lens defects, such as vignetting in the corners. In the work discussed in 2008, the physical process of painting the scenes completely changes the context and inherent nature of the source.
My inspiration came from looking at new ways to represent location via painting. Prior to the game paintings in 2008 I had been painting from digital & found sources and produced some separate digital pieces. The Outpost and Watchtower series came from an amalgamation of these two previously separate practices. I have been developing it since then. Part of me has always been intrigued in art imitating art, for example, early photographers taking self portraits holding brushes and palettes. This was kind of my take on that, to some extent.
Artists respond best to their immediate surroundings and it just so happens that my immediate surroundings involve video games.
Jason Rouse, Skybox Friedrich, 2008, digital photograph
GameScenes: In Skybox Friedrich, you allude to and simultaneously remediate the aesthetics of Casper David Friedrich's art. Why do you think gaming is so obsessed with the Romantic style?
Jason Rouse: Games have their own over synthesised versions of reality. As games and game engines get more advanced the inherent limitations decrease, therefore, developers are more likely to produce a gorgeous and overly romantic landscape than a boring realistic landscape. They want to make the player go ‘wow’ which you don’t always get in real life. I love how this can tie visually into Romantic landscapes, perpetually beautiful, misty, sunrises and sunsets, beams of light, and of course, the third person view of the main subject.
Jason Rouse, CLIFTON, 2010, interactive game
GameScenes: Your examination of game landscapes continues with CLIFTON, a remix of Team 17 seminal puzzle game Worms. How did you develop this project?
My piece CLIFTON was produced specifically for the Bristol Festival of Photography. There was a group exhibition that had a number of responses to Brunel's famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Bridges tend to feature in my work from time to time. They provide a link from one location to another, often over a body of water. I also enjoy the visuals of a horizontal line cutting across an otherwise organic landscape. In games, bridges can be control points, objectives, destruct points, or action set pieces.
Team17’s Worms game has been a favourite of mine since it came out in 1995. The game itself is relatively easy to modify, and user generated landscapes are simple to create and install. Worms itself makes great use of bridges, providing links across randomly generated landscapes. I thought I’d play with this concept and introduce a replica real life bridge into the game, in a fairly crude analogue to digital conversion.
I must also point out Worms was not exactly a puzzle game, more of a turn based artillery game.
Jason Rouse, Watchtower I (Double Cross), 2010, Oil on Board
"The addition of the military installation adds a contemporary subject to otherwise 'dated' landscape paintings. The contemporary theme adds political weight to a painting that has nothing to do with such subject matter.
Military installation subject matter relates to the idea of the computer game shooter more than the previous landscapes, but they sacrifice the calmness and relation to historic art inherent in the landscape painting." (Jason Rouse)
GameScenes: Indeed! I should know better considering that I am playing the latest iterations, Worms Battlegrounds on the Xbox One right now. Apropos... What are you working on these days? And playing?
Jason Rouse: I am currently working on a number of projects, a number of them experimenting with the idea of painting en plein air. For example, I have a series of landscape paintings I am producing using webcams from around Ireland as my source. I like the idea of the painting being of a set place and time, and the challenge of a changeable landscape, forcing a quick capture of the scene. Concepts of location and forced composition/colour are also important. I don't think anyone has tackled subjects like emigration or location quite in this way before. Its also a kind of homage to great Irish artists from the past.
This idea is also being explored in relation to gaming, through a number of small paintings using the stylised eastern block landscapes of indie mod DayZ. There is an even more important role of haste with these paintings, as the game is only played live online, and there is constant danger of death due to other players or from zombies. You can’t stick around too long in one place.
The intention is to do some resurrection work on an older project, eBay Morandi, which I don’t think I developed as much as I’d liked. eBay itself is fascinating and I think there is a lot more to claim from it artistically.
I have been doing some pieces based around Google Street View in the last year or so, but none of them were particularly to my liking so that project is on temporary hold. There are some other game related pieces I’d like to do but will keep them quiet until I’ve established exactly what I want and how to do it.
Game wise, I’ve been really loving the indie game scene. Generally AAA titles with their ‘catch-all’ methods have lost their appeal. I like games that are a little bit deeper, personal, with rough edges but also great experiences.
I loved DayZ, found it to be one of the most original and entertaining games in a long time. Anything by Edmund McMillan, I’ve put more hours than I’d like to admit into The Binding of Isaac and I am excited for the reissue. I like Minecraft but preferred RPG-alike Terraria. Adventure games like Kentucky Route Zero and To the Moon are great. I also loved the tediously realistic Papers, Please. I genuinely enjoy 'non-games' like Proteus and Dear Esther too. The closest thing to a big budget game I’ve put any hours into has been Blizzard’s Hearthstone, which is both exceeding difficult and fun to play. The last game I bought was Kero Blaster, an excellent and charming run & gun platformer for iOS by Cave Story creator, Pixel.
LINK: Jason Rouse
Text & Editing: Matteo Bittanti
All images courtesy of the Artist
Dan Hernandez, Segacielo Civita, 2013. Mixed media on panel, 50 x 40 inches.
Dan Hernandez, 2013 Ex Voto (Death from Above). Mixed media on panel, 30 x 20 inches.
Dan Hernandez, (Untitled) Wall Fragment, 2013. Mixed media on panel, 30 x 43 inches.
Dan Hernandez, Defenders of Ataros, 2013. Mixed media, 24 x 57 inches.
Dan Hernandez, Treasures of Castle Atega, 2013. Mixed media, 16 x 60 inches.
Dan Hernandez, The Miracles of San Sagatarido, 2013. Mixed media on panel, 12 x 12 inches.
Dan Hernandez, Seige of Intelari Stronghold, 2013. Mixed media on panel, 44 x 40 inches.
Dan Hernandez, Untitled 2013. Mixed media, 12 x 12 inches.
Dan Hernandez (b. 1977) re-imagines the Biblical scenes through videogames' lenses, adopting the style and format of the fresco. Just don't call it "post-modern". Currently on display at Kim Foster Gallery in New York, Genesis 2014 cleverly integrates different visual aesthetics and simultaneously offers a considerable amount of word puns (after all, language games are... games). In his statement, San-Diego born Hernandez - whose day job involves teaching in the Art Department at the University of Toledo - writes:
"Genesis is defined as “the coming into being of something; the origin”, but like many words that can be used as both noun and proper noun, what it communicates depends largely on its usage. Two of its usages, and the relationship that exists between them, are particularly interesting and relevant to my body of work. In the first, and probably most well known, Genesis is the title of an important religious text. In the second, and equally well known amongst my generation, Genesis is the Sega video game console that hit the home gaming market in the late 1980s. While these two usages come from very different traditions, they share some common ground. On a basic level both signify a type of narrative device. In the case of the religious text, the Book of Genesis houses the creation stories that are part of the Christian tradition; Noah’s Arc, Adam & Eve, etc. Similarly, the Sega Genesis game console is a vehicle for narrative games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Altered Beast and others. On another level, both of the narrative collections that are associated with these usages of Genesis utilize the supernatural and mythic as a central and reoccurring theme. These comparisons are clearly a bit of a stretch, but within the space that is created by embracing such eccentric relationships there exists unique and interesting possibilities for artistic exploration." (Dan Hernandez)
Genesis 2014 is the follow-up to his previous body of work Genesis (2012), also presented at Kim Foster Gallery. It is also one of the most fascinating Game Art projects of the year.
LINK: Dan Hernandez
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti via Kotaku