It does not get more meta than this.
LINK: Akihiko Taniguchi
Leonardo Sang (1990) is a self-taught photographer living and working in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2009, he bought a Nikon film camera from a friend. Since then, he has been practicing his photographic skills whenever he can, from slacking off work to family trips, from real world assignments to virtual reality photography. He holds a degree in industrial design from Mackenzie University (2012) and worked for 8 years as graphic designer, at Estúdio Árvore, EC and Bossa Nova Films. He is also one of the founders of Estúdio Arnold (2011), a strategic design studio based in São Paulo. Along with analog and digital photography, Leonardo also has an experimental practice. Called VRP (Virtual Reality Photography), this project involves the application of photographic techniques in videogame realities.
Mondo Cane! (2018) is a 20 minute video essay that accompanies Sturtevant/a_m_f_skidrow_01 Finite Infinite, a short video loop portraying a non-player character (NPC) from a computer game, projected on a rotating beamer in the installation space. It was developed by Alan Butler to for the exhibition SITUATIONS/Posthuman at Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland (07.07.2018–16.09.2018)
The installation builds on Butler’s previous work, Down and Out in Los Santos. There, the artist embarked on a journey through the social landscape of the video game Grand Theft Auto V to document the lives of homeless NPCs in the virtual city of Los Santos. One of the characters he encountered is at the centrepiece of his new work: a homeless NPC that bears a striking resemblance to conceptual artist Sturtevant. The character is transformed into a hybrid, computational entity, half human-looking, yet resembling a dog running endlessly in circles. By directing our gaze to the characters that inhabit the uncanny borders of non/human, the artist challenges the viewer to rethink anthropomorphic representation and consider these digital entities and bots as autonomous creatures that do not subjugate to a human hierarchy.
Alan Butler, Sturtevant/a_m_f_skidrow_01 Finite Infinite, video still, HD-video, 00:09 min. (loop)
LINK: Alan Butler
Polixeni Papapetrou is a photographic artist who explores the relationship between history, contemporary culture, identity and being. Since 2002, she has been exploring the cultural positioning of childhood. Creating fantastical worlds that feature her children, transformed with masks and costumes and set against both real and imagined backdrops, the characters in her photographs inhabit other times and places. By focusing on the theatricality and face of childhood, Papapetrou explores an unconscious realm between the real and the imaginary, archetype and free play, child and adult and photography’s capacity to bridge truth and fiction. Especially interesting for us is her 2013 series The Gillies, which features a ghillie suit – a kind of camouflage clothing developed by Scottish gamekeepers - in different settings. This work was inspired by the artist’s then 14-year-old son Solomon, who was familiar with the ghillie suit through playing the video game Call of Duty.
LINK: Polixeni Papatreou
Petri Levälahti aka Berduu works at EA DICE in Stockholm. He's also an accomplished game photographer: his flickr stream is a visual triumph ("video game tourism, snapping shots as mementos", he told EA). Like Duncan Harris, Berduu pursues an aestheticized digital photorealism that recalls Jean Baudrillard's notion of iper-reality using camera hacks and mods developed by other modders, including Finnish maestro Matti Hietanen and Dutch wunderkind Frans Bouma.
However, what I find truly fascinating is Levälahti's machinima portfolio, which includes delicious shorts made with Grand Theft Auto V, like the following trifecta. Incidentally, all the GTA videos star three different characters. Both absurdist in tone and slickly produced, these videos exemplify Barduu's impressive technical prowess.
Equally impressive are his Battlefield 1 machinima. Consider his 4K "restorations" of fictional movies (It Came From the Desert, 1968 and Outpost, 1961), created by amalgamating a variety of media sources (novels, games, films) including Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Cinemaware's It Came From the Desert, and The Innocents (1961).
Lorna Ruth Galloway, Globe, La Puerta, Los Santos, 2016, Charcoal Screen print, 18 x 24
Several artists have reproduced Ed Ruscha's seminal Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963) with video games, including Irish artist Alan Butler. Most of them used game-photography as their medium of choice. Miami-based artist Lorna Ruth Galloway, however, has produced a series of charcoal screen prints depicting gas stations found within Grand Theft Auto V, adding an extra layer of mediation.
Lorna Ruth Galloway, Ron, Los Santos County, 2016, Charcoal Screen print, 18 x 24
Galloway captured the images during game play using a cellphone camera. Gas stations are situated in the picture plane as close to Ruscha's as possible. The photographs were subsequently edited and uploaded to Rockstar Games's Social Club platform and shared with other members of the community. Further transformation was required to produce the charcoal screen prints. Here's a detailed description of the process, courtesy of The Sumter Item:
"Galloway downloads the photographs and uses Photoshop to create halftone separations for screen-printing. The halftone, a logarithmic transformation of an image into a series of tiny dots to simulate a continuous tone image, exaggerates the digital, screen-based aspect of the image. At the same time, it references the tradition of photographic reproduction in printmaking.
Galloway combines two seemingly irreconcilable modes - charcoal and silk screen - with the use of a digital image sourced from a video game. Galloway asks the viewer to explore and consider these different levels of mediation. The gasoline stations' corporate icons serve as signifiers to the viewer, but only those familiar with the video game will realize these brands don't really exist. The gas prices serve as an indication of the time the photo was taken. This practice creates images of an "Any Town, USA" that are simultaneously a delicate homage to the places and a blurred disappearance of them."
Lorna Ruth Galloway, Xero, Pacific Buffs, Los Santos, 2016, Charcoal Screen print, 18 x 24
The original set of game photographs was exhibited at Miami Beach Urban Studios in the 2016 solo exhibition Deadpan Realities.
The new series, featuring the charcoal screen prints, is on view at the Sumter Gallery of Art in South Carolina, USA until June 22, 2018, as part of Galloway's show Halftone Half-Lives.
Lorna Ruth Galloway is a Miami-based artist who, as a point of departure, draws upon her experience of growing up near US highway one and witnessing impermanence in the sub-tropic urban landscape. The aesthetics of the American roadside have been an integral part of the formation of her visual world-view. She works in photo-based printmaking techniques, screen printing, polaroid transfers, and large tiled wheat paste installations explore space, time, nostalgia, and the mediated experience.
LINK: Lorna Ruth Galloway
The latest issue of Heterotopias (#4) focuses on the theme of landscape in virtual worlds, its contraction, simulation, and exploration.
Below are the highlights:
004’s cover piece is on the forests of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which in this issue are shown in all their glory in an original photo series. In an accompanying feature Lewis Gordon explores how the game’s depiction of real-world landscapes connects to Polish and European folklore, as well as a history of political struggle. A new interview with core members of the CD Projekt Red team completes our series on this exceptional game.
Elsewhere in the issue Miguel Penabella explores the influence of scenography, in particular the work of Adolphe Appia, on Cardboard Computer’s tale of debt and decay: Kentucky Route Zero. Meanwhile Sam Zucchi looks at the relationship between depictions of landscape and colonialism through the lens of the classic Oddworld game, Stranger’s Wrath.
Other features include a photo series exploring the virus-like patterns of No Man’s Sky‘s procedural landscapes, Rosa Carbo-Mascarell’s beautiful watercolor maps of Proteus as well as features on the long forgotten proto open-world of Lego Island and the ecohorror of Night in the Woods.
Also featured are Eron Rauch's haunting glitchscapes, part of his World of Warcraft landscape photography.
LINK: Heteropias #4
A killer workshop organized by Marco De Mutiis, digital curator at fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, part of the Biel Festival of Photography, featuring Simone Niquille, Roc Herms and Alan Butler:
As our lives take place increasingly on screens, our social interactions increasingly take place on media platforms. We chat with our families on our smartphones, we look for love swiping our touchscreens and meet our friends in online game simulations. As our avatars become more and more photorealistic and models of cities and people become algorithmically generated, photographic practices that deal with representation of society are radically transformed. How can photography document these new modes of interacting, and what does it mean for photographers to exist in such spaces? Furthermore what happens when photographic acts are simulated, and photorealistic avatars become the subjects of our portraits? What can photo reportages of these virtual yet very real worlds tell us about our interactions and about photography at large? The artists Simone Niquille, Roc Herms and Alan Butler will run three parallel workshops in a day-long event during the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography 2018, guiding participants into photographic explorations within game spaces attempting to reflect on these themes. Under the guidance of these three artists, participants will engage with issues of representation and identity, bridging the physical world and the one on screen. The results of the workshops will later be exhibited during the festival. Workshop Photographing Virtual Spaces: 5 May 2018, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. The workshops will be conducted in English.
Location: Schule für Gestaltung Bern und Biel/Ecole d’Arts Visuels Berne et Bienne.
Free admission. Registration is required: goo.gl/forms/xdFEbmaF8LBykixf2
For further information, please contact [email protected]
Exhibition Photographing Virtual Spaces: 6–27 May 2018
Opening: Sunday, 6 May 2018, 4 p.m. Location: Photoforum Pasquart
GameScenes is conducting a series of interviews with artists, critics, curators, and gallery owners operating 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 examine both the origins and evolution of a phenomenon that changed the way game-based art is being created, experienced, and discussed today.
We are currently running Season 7, which began in 2017 with a conversation with Alex Hovet.
This episode features a broad/deep conversation with Gareth Damian Martin, a British artist, game designer, scholar, and writer whose practice focuses on the aesthetics, phenomenology, and logics of contemporary video games. Trained in puppetry and theatre, Martin subsequently moved into graphic and video design, literature, and architecture. His writing can be found on some of the most interesting game publications, including - but not limited to - Kill Screen and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Fascinated by the intersection of architecture and photography in simulated environments, in 2017 Martin launched Heterotopias, on online publication entirely devoted to photographic practices in games. His most recent project, The Continuous City (2018), is a book about game photography available from InBound Publishing.
The following conversation between Matteo Bittanti and Gareth Damian Martin took place via email in March 2018. As usual, the text features embedded links.