Sex Worker is currently on display at
Pon de Replay
Mock Jungle, Bologna
October 16 - November 5 2021
Artist line-up: The Discreet Artist, -ness, Francesca Cornacchini, Valerio Veneruso, Carola Bonfili, Daniele Sciacca, Claudia Holzinger + Raphael Unger, Luca Miranda, Luca Grimaldi
Mock Jungle, a project included in the institutional program of ART CITY Bologna 2021 promoted by the Municipality of Bologna in the framework of Bologna Estate, continues its broadcasts from the Chapel of Santa Maria dei Carcerati in Palazzo Re Enzo, Piazza del Nettuno 1.
Playlist video, 24/7, curated by ISIT (Alessandra Cecchini, Federica Di Pietrantonio, Andrea Frosolini)
Luca Miranda, Sex worker, 2021, 54’43’’
The work is both an autonomous part and an integral part of a larger project focused on investigating and documenting the routines of NPCs that began in 2020. Here, the term routine is not only understood in the sense of "technical programming", but also as a dimension that lies parallel to and beyond our approaching, conceptualising and relating to virtual prostheses and simulacral identities. I have used - and I still use - three triple-A open world video games as a field of testing and investigation: Grand Theft Auto V (2013), Fallout 4 (2015), Rage 2 (2019). In this type of games, NPCs are interesting for a twofold reason: they represent a virtually real sociality and externalize different types of interstitial fractures with their pre-purposed function. They function - and conceptualise - not simply as a mere virtual counterpart of a simulated population, thus making explicit a real anthropological potential. What do NPCs do in their lives (expressed in seconds, minutes, hours)? Where do they go? In what way and why are their behaviours triggered that are opposed or complementary to the system that governs them? Are they subject to secret reactions and actions, or do they refer solely to their daily lives? And how is this supposed daily routine configured? In a way, their daily routines and our relationship with their existence are often no different from the 'ordinary' relationship between human beings. Take, for instance, the great subways: interfaces, screens and extras of flesh, bone, blood and synapses spurt - more or less quickly, more or less swirling - past each other without questioning each other's wandering. Instead, from an exquisitely technical perspective, NPCs often demonstrate that they do not respond (or counter-respond, as the case may be) to the roles imposed on them by the system, while others seem instead to be seduced and subjugated in an essentially infinite loop-cycle. Sex Worker is the prolonged 'pursuit' of a prostitute in Grand Theft Auto V, a documentation of the behaviour of this type of virtualised identity subject. As such, it is (and is) invested with a series of rhetorics and idealisations. The work is inspired by both artistic theory and practice. On the one hand, the researcher W. J. T. Mitchell's questioning of the will of images, their organicity and their being alive and vital. On the other hand, the performance-routine of the artist Vito Acconci in his Following Piece (1969). A final source of inspiration probably concerns the unspeakable: fractures, fragments, archives and cognitive and mnemonic collections that have guided my practice up to this point, and of which, perhaps, I remember nothing. Luca Miranda is an artist, writer, curator and independent researcher that works and lives in Italy. His artist practice looks at the relationship between reality and simulation and at the historic and politic rhetoric that lies beneath. He is interested in investigating video game as text and critic tool to highlight its inner contradictions as well as the contemporary media culture’s paradoxes. Part of Miranda practice concerns about the analysis of the avatar figure, its functions, and purposes within culture and the videoludic. Some of his areas of work are machinima and game photography, together with experimentation with filmic and photographic traditional languages. In 2018 he co-founded Eremo, an artistic collective based in Milan that operates among the intersections of video game, sound art, performance and contemporary art. He actively collaborates with writer and researcher Riccardo Retez, with several projects underway. Since 2020 he is part of the Milan Machinima Festival curatorial Committee, a festival dedicated to machinima, Game art and cinematographic experimentation.
LINK: Luca Miranda
LINK: Pon de Replay
All images courtesy of the Artist
Eddie Lohmeyer, video installation, found footage, 2021,installation shot at Post/Meta, Arts Warehouse, Delray Beach, FL., August-September 2021. All images and videos courtesy of the Artist
Altar of the Bargain Bin is a projection mapped sculpture that serves as an occult altar constructed from a forgotten cultural trope: cheap, mass-produced PC box games that might have once been found in a typical department store bargain bin. These precariously stacked boxes serve as a kind of physical, tangible glitch; rather, fragmented pop culture forms that mirror the frenetic video patterns overlayed onto their surfaces. Drawing from data moshed anime, retro videogames, horror film trailers, and occult imagery, these projected sequences, and the physical forms they correspond to, simultaneously elicit an intensive hysteria as well as ennui for the mass commodification of cheaply made, bargain PC titles. (text by Eddie Lohmeyer)
Eddie Lohmeyer is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida. His research explores aesthetic and technical developments within histories of digital media, with an emphasis on video games and their relationship to the avant-garde. His book Unstable Aesthetics: Game Engines and the Strangeness of Modding is now available through Bloomsbury Press. Using deconstructive approaches such as glitch, physical modifications to hardware, and assemblage, his installations, sculpture, and video have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at 1308 Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Ground Level Platform (Chicago, IL), the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, Russia and the 2021 Milan Machinima Festival.
LINK: Eddie Lohmeyer
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic scenario: awaking to a deserted Russian Pavilion in Giardini, the game stages a fantasy-like performance in which the main character (the player) mutates between human and non-human entities – a robot, a virus, and a humanoid – navigating a derelict digital environment and trying to recollect what has happened.
The 2021 Russian Pavilion is commissioned by Teresa Iarocci Mavica, director of the V-A-C Foundation; curated by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli in collaboration with curator’s team (Erica Petrillo, Giacomo Ardesio, Vladimir Nadein, Liza Dorrer, and Dasha Nasonova) and managed by Anastasia Karneeva of Smart Art.
Playing Democracy is an interactive installation designed by Singaporean artist Ling Tan. A colossal multiplayer game of Pong, Playing Democracy explores in a playful way the meaning of collaboration and participation within political contexts. Structured as a competitive game of Pong, the audience controls the game paddles using their body movement tracked by a camera. Players have the option of cooperating with each other, modify the rules or violate them, which can cause the game to implode. The project, which was commissioned by Barbican and Lumen Arts Projects, uses game-like mechanics to rethink the values of politics. In this case, democracy is described as a system based on such values as fairness, freedom, and equality.
Ling Tan is a UK based Singaporean multidisciplinary designer and artist working within the field of social engagement, technology, citizen participation and politics. Originally trained as an architect, her work explores citizens’ interaction with the built environment and our collective agency and responsibility in tackling complex issues surrounding our cities. She works with diverse communities across the UK and internationally in helping them make sense of their environment, express opinions in a playful and performative way, and collectively address issues such as public safety, air quality, climate change, gender, demographics and race. She designs, fabricates and create the software for her work, ranging from wearable technology, interactive installations.
Images and video (c) Ling Tan
LINK: Ling Tan
Screen Walk with Petra Szemán and Jamie Sutcliffe
Join next week's Screen Walk with Petra Szemán and Jamie Sutcliffe:
Wednesday, 20 October, 2021, 6 pm UK time / 7 pm CET
Petra Szemán will present a virtual studio tour, going through work-in-progress files and various inspiring bits of material, ranging from academia through anime to games. Petra will be joined by their co-conspirator Jamie Sutcliffe – while exploring Petra’s working methods, references, storyboards and in-progress AfterEffects compositions, Petra and Jamie will talk about collaborative creativity, class, weirdness, trans-cultural exchange, fandom, a shared appreciation of animation, and being a nerd in the art world.
Jamie Janković and Deborah Findlater
Outsourcing (My Desires to Avatars)
digital video, color, sound, 3’ 58”, 2021, United Kingdom
October 15 - 28 2021
Introduced by Riccardo Retez
Outsourcing (My Desires to Avatars) is a machinima and experimental video created by video artist Jamie Janković and writer, poet and director Deborah Findlater. The work is part of an ongoing project addressing the intersectionality of responses to female characters in video games; formally speaking, the work is presented as an audio-visual poem, accompanied by voice over. According to Janković, this work is meant as a response to found footage material of the character Christie from the popular ﬁghting game series Dead or Alive (1996– ongoing). Moreover, the examination of the role of female characters in Outsourcing (My Desires to Avatars) is part of a larger project titled The identity quest series, in which the artist addresses a multiplicity of responses to female video game characters, following engagement in interviews with queer people within the gaming industry and exploring their own views on gender in game design.
Jamie Janković is a London-based ﬁlmmaker and video artist whose practice focuses on the dynamics of gender within video game worlds: in previous works, Janković has investigated the ways in which men are socially conditioned to their cultural model by visual media and explored through found footage technique how mainstream U.S. horror and sci-ﬁ genres police masculinity through narrative and representation.
Deborah Findlater is a writer, poet, ﬁlmmaker and DJ from South London. As director, Findlater works with montage, installation and found footage in order to dissect the construction of narrative; as writer; as writer and DJ focuses on poetic qualities through its rhythmic use of voice, words and sound. Findlater artistic practice focuses on issues related to the working class, Blackness in Britain and Black Womxnhood.
Kingdom of Shadows, 2021
October 1 - October 14 2021
Introduced by Matteo Bittanti
Three avatars are auditioning for the role of a video game character under the vigilant eyes of a Japanese game designer. A human actor, wearing a motion-capture suit, performs a set of actions in real life that are translated in real time onto the on-screen image. Spectators see both. Conceived and produced by Amir Yatziv, this live performance blurring the lines that traditionally separate theater from digital gaming invites the viewer to consider the porosity between reality and simulation. Inspired by a scene in an episode of Final Fantasy, Kingdom of Shadows investigates the changing notions of identity, performance, and communication in a screen-based world.
Born in Israel, Amir Yatziv lives and works in Tel Aviv. After receiving a B.A. in Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel, he studied Arts at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He has directed several short films which were often exhibited as art installations as well. Among his solo exhibitions are This is Jerusalem Mr. Pasolini, Petah Tikva Museum of Art, Israel (2013), This is Jerusalem Mr. Pasolini, Galleria Laveronica, Modica, Italy (2012), Antipodes, Ramat-Gan Museum of Art, Tel-Aviv (2010). Group exhibitions include Too early, too late. Middle east and modernity, curated by Marco Scotini, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna (2015), Space Oddity, A capsule exhibition, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Germany (2014), La guerra che verrà non è la prima, 1914–2014, MaRT, Rovereto (2014), Recalculating Route, 4 Mediations Biennale, Poznan (2014), CounterIntelligence, Hart House, curated by Charles Stankievech, University of Toronto, Canada (2014), Time Pieces, Nordstern Videokunstzentrum, curated by Marius Babias and Kathrin Becker, Gelsenkirchen, Germany (2014), Measure for Measure, curated by Drorit gur-arie and Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, Petah Tikva Museum of Art, Israel (2014), Give Us The Future, curated by Frank Wagner, n.b.k Berlin, Germany (2014), Artists’ Film International, Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2014), Multiplicity, NURTUREart, curated by Marco Antonini and Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, New York (2014).
Finissage Event of How to Win at Photography – Image-Making as Play
with Marco de Mutiis and Matteo Bittanti
October 9 2021, 16:00 - 17:00
Grüzenstrasse 44 + 45
CH – 8400 Winterthur
+41 52 234 10 60
As a finissage event of the exhibition How to Win at Photography the final rounds of a playful tournament will take place: Curators turned sports commentators Matteo Bittanti and Marco De Mutiis will present artistic projects that have been created using in-game photography. The works address questions of photorealism, simulation, photographic practices in and against video games. Bittanti and De Mutiis ultimately choose what they consider to be the most exciting and best work with the help of the audience. Visitors play an important part in the process: they can cast their vote and decide who amongst the artists did it better in in-game photography!
The event takes place in English.
Subject to change due to the current situation.
Admission: CHF 5.–/4.– (reduced)
For members: CHF 4.–
The exhibition How to Win at Photography – Image-Making as Play explores the relationship between photography and play. It investigates the notion of image play, creating unexpected connections between the history of photography, the gamification of the visible as well as practices of image making with and within computer games.
In addition to the ARTE.TV's recent interview with Total Refusal, here's another brilliant portrayal of the gang from ZDK, in English. (Ok, it's The Division, not The Devision, but so what?)
The artist, researcher and filmmakers collective and pseudo-marxist media guerrilla Total Refusal (Susanna Flock, Adrian Haim, Jona Kleinlein, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf) intervenes in current video games and writes papers about games and politics. Since 2018 it has been awarded with 27 prizes (and 11 honorary mentions) like the Diagonale Film Award for the Best Short Doc, the Contemporary Visual Arts Award of Styria Province and Vimeo Staff Pick Award among others. Total Refusal's films have been presented at more than 130 film and video festivals, including Berlinale (2020), Doc Fortnight at MOMA New York and IDFA Amsterdam (2018) and they been exhibited at various exhibition spaces like the Architecture Biennial Venice 2021, the HEK Basel (2020) and the Ars Electronica Linz (2019).
Don't miss the upcoming Screen Walk with Total Refusal (Spet 22 2021, online).
LINK: Total Refusal